It’s On You

‘Personal responsibility’. I often cringe when I hear the phrase. It’s not that I have a problem with the concept. The necessity of accepting responsibility for my actions was a major part of my upbringing, and one that I’m drilling into baby girls’ psyche as well. However, the term has been so used and abused as a dog whistle by shady politicians and commentators that it has a noxious air to me.

Yet the opinions shared about the abominable actions of Cleveland killer Steve Stephens remind me that I can’t throw the baby out with the bath water. The fact that a person took the time to make this meme and others actually agree reinforces our need to demand responsibility of ourselves and others. I’m weary of excuses being made for unacceptable behavior and deeds, of the rush to shift blame to anyone other than the perpetrator. 

When Stephens woke up on Sunday morning there were a variety of choices available to him. He chose to accost and murder a stranger in cold blood. That isn’t the fault of his ex-girlfriend, his mother, or anyone else. Those who would seek to assign blame to anyone other than Stephens show how warped their minds are and reveal their disturbing mentality.