Why CNN’s Fat-Shaming Piece Regarding a Victim of the Oakland Fire is Tragically Noteworthy
Ezinne Ukoha

I think that concluding that this is about the victim in terms of the statement that was made by Mule is ignoring a reality of human psychology. That is, people are self-centered. This wasn’t about fat-shaming the victim or putting blame on him, but about dealing with guilt by giving a reason why he (Mule) couldn’t help. Mule doesn’t want to be appear to others or to himself as being too weak to pull a person out of a fire. He’s likely riddled with guilt at what he sees as a failure that cost a life so he has to add a layer of difficulty when offering a narrative so that he can unburden himself for that failure. He is to be pitied as he experienced a trauma that likely will haunt him for the rest of his life. Can you imagine what it is like to be in that moment of trying to save a life and not having the capacity to do so? Can you inhabit the reality of the moment in which you are so physically overwhelmed and terrified of your own death that you leave someone to die? I realize he spoke poorly, but he deserves our empathy, not our condemnation.

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