Affluenza is quite possibly the only sickness on the face of the Earth where those who are afflicted by it show no sense of urgency to be cured. Although they pose a hazard to the larger community, those who've fallen ill to the rich man's disease are allowed to integrate with society and put innocent lives at risk. They're actions while under the influence go unpunished, because apparently like sleepwalkers, they aren't aware of what they're doing. Or they're aware, but due to the way their melanin is set up, they are unable to be exposed to punishment, let alone imprisonment.
A recent case of affluenza reported in the States was about 16-year-old Texas resident, Ethan Couch. A privileged white boy, Couch, who was driving drunk -- three times the legal limit in fact -- killed four people in a car accident last June, including a youth pastor. Due to the abnormality of his sickness, however, a judge deemed he was too wealthy for prison, thus sentencing him to 10 years probation, a portion of which will be spent in a luxurious private counseling center that costs $450,000 -- Daddy is picking up the bill, of course.
While on the topic of spoiled, irresponsible trust-fund babies, another case of a white person being diagnosed with affluenza is currently making headlines and dropping jaws. An heir to a conglomerate that has been noted as the fourth largest source of corporate air pollution, Robert H. Richards IV, whose great-grandfather was Irenne du Pont -- former president of the DuPont company and head of the Du Pont trust -- pleaded guilty in 2008 to fourth-degree rape of his three-year-old daughter. Like de ja vu, a Delaware judge ruled that Richards, who's 6'4" and over 240 pounds, would not "fare well" in prison, thus instead of the eight years he was originally sentenced to, he received probation and was ordered to participate in a sex offenders treatment program.
You know, I would never want anyone to get sick, especially with a caustic disease like affluenza, but given its fringe benefits and the way mainstream society seems to respond to it, I sure could think -under the circumstances -- a few people who I would wish that disease upon.
Darrin Manning would be one of them. The soft-spoken 16-year-old Philadelphia student lacks any leverage-able assets; however, his untapped wealth lies in his potential. He hopes to be a lawyer. But before getting to law school, he has to get through the law, which isn't set up in his favor. Because unlike Couch and Richards, Manning is a perfectly healthily, able-bodied young man, who could be an asset to a for-profit venture like prisons. A straight-A student who is relying on scholarships to place him in an university, I sure wish his bogus charges could be dismissed cause he suffered from made up sickness that only 1 percent of the world are at risk of catching.
What about Travion Blount? He's currently serving the "harshest punishment delivered to any American teenager for a crime not involving a murder," experts say. He was ordered to serve six life sentences and an additional 118 years for robbing a house party with two gang members, holding party-goers up at gunpoint and taking purses, cell phones and marijuana. Now, not that I support robbery, but c'mon, Couch killed four people while driving three times over the legal limit for goodness sakes. As it stands, Blount will die behind bars and Couch will probably die behind the wheel of a Ferrari.
And since we're talking about ridiculous charges placed on teenagers, let's not forget Tomayo McDuffy, the Philadelphia teen who is facing charges of attempted murder -- among others -- because his blind, mentally-ill next door neighbor said he broke into her three story row home and turned on the stove without lighting the pilot, attempting to kill her by poison. When his story first broke he was facing up to 80 years in prison and a half-a-million dollars bail. Although the bail was reduced to $100,000 and it was eventually paid, McDuffy is due in court in October of this year for trial -- the District Attorney, however, still refusing to release the "motive." McDuffy's family held several fundraisers for him, it's a shame he, too, its just too damn healthy to be seen as human.
Lady Liberty, the bountiful baker of poisonous all-American apple pies who doesn't bat an eyelash when throwing young chocolate faces into her batches of confinement for minor infractions, has once again proven with her actions that her 50-state plantation is surely, without question, the land of the greed and the home of the slaves.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I'm Flood the Drummer® & I'm Drumming for JUSTICE!™