The Thinking 

Were the Krim Children Destroyed by Envy?

October 30, 2012


AT Galliawatch, the writer Tiberge theorizes that Yoselyn Ortega, the Dominican nanny who killed two children in New York last week, was acting upon powerful, partly subconscious feelings of envy that emerged in sudden violence against the two children. In that case, the murders would not be, as I said, “incomprehensible” psychotic or demonic acts. Tiberge speculates that the nanny’s envy may have been worsened by the kindness of the Krims, who even went so far as to visit Ortega’s family in the Dominican Republic and gave her expensive gifts.

Tiberge makes an interesting comparison. When she worked as a city public school teacher, her students, whom I believe were largely nonwhite, had more, not less, hostility toward her when she was especially kind to them. She writes:

One thing I learned in the public schools is that the kinder and more familiar you are with the kids, the more they hate you. They hate your kindness because in their mind you are supposed to hate them so that they can hate you. When you remove any justification for their hatred they may get even. Crazy, but true.

—– Comments ——

Jane S. writes:

Tiberge is onto something. A lot of people never figure this out. I only figured it out after years of experience with people from the Third World, and Third World immigrants.

People in developed Western societies have unshakable faith in the idea of abundance. There’s plenty of everything and you should be able to have it all. If you encounter an obstacle in pursuit of your desires, why, then, knock that obstacle out of the way. Nothing should stand between you and what you want.

Third World societies are dominated by the idea of scarcity. There is never enough to go around—not just material goods, but happiness, good fortune. And so envy is part of all social interactions.

I once went to a gathering of the Third World immigrants I associated with. A friend of mine was there and I complimented her on her outfit, and told her “every time I see you, you look like a million bucks.” A chill went around the room. There’s only so many compliments to go around, you see. She just got one, but the others didn’t.

I once heard a story about a couple who took a non-Western friend of theirs out to dinner for his birthday. They surprised him by having the waiters bring out a cake with candles, singing Happy Birthday. The guy was extremely embarrassed. He assumed that everyone else in the restaurant would be jealous because they didn’t get a birthday cake, too.

Some people, if you’re nice to them, they will treat you worse. It took me a long time to figure that out. If the Krim’s nanny came from a society where envy is a necessary part of all social relations, it’s easy to see why their niceness would cause her to hate them.

Kevin M. writes:

“One thing I learned in the public schools is that the kinder and more familiar you are with the kids, the more they hate you. They hate your kindness because in their mind you are supposed to hate them so that they can hate you. When you remove any justification for their hatred they may get even.”

Replace “public schools” with “society at large and the university system,” and “kids” with “feminists” and see what fruit that bears.

Terry Morris writes:

Yeah, so much for “winning the hearts and minds, eh?” And you don’t want to “kill ’em with kindness” either, ’cause they might kill you back. But not with kindness. And I especially like “I’m just trying to be the bigger person.” Do people not realize how insulting that sounds?

Rule no. 1: If it isn’t genuine, then don’t try any of the above. Even Third Worlders can have their intelligences insulted. The difference being the way they react to it.

James P. writes:

The non-whites envy the white members of the sophisticated elite.

Yet Victor Davis Hanson notes that members of the sophisticated elite – not all of whom are rich – also envy the productive.

For some, especially those who are well-educated and well-spoken, a sort of irrational furor at “the system” governs their political make-up. Why don’t degrees and vocabulary always translate into big money? Why does sophisticated pontification at Starbucks earn less than mindlessly doing accounting behind a desk? We saw this tension with Michelle Obama who, prior to 2009, did not quite have enough capital to get to Aspen or Costa del Sol, and thereby, despite the huge power-couple salaries, Chicago mansion, and career titles, felt that others had far too much more than the Obamas. “Never been proud,” “downright mean country,” “raise the bar,” etc., followed, as expressions of yuppie angst. The more one gets, the more one believes he should get even more, and the angrier he gets that another — less charismatic, less well-read, less well-spoken — always seems to get more.

So do not discount the envy of the sophisticated elite. The unread coal plant manager, the crass car dealer, or the clueless mind who farms 1000 acres of almonds should not make more than the sociology professor, the kindergarten teacher, the writer, the artist, or the foundation officer. What sort of system would allow the dense and easily fooled to become better compensated (and all for what — for superfluous jet skis and snowmobiles?) than the anguished musician or tortured-soul artist, who gives so much to us and receives so much less in return? What a sick country — when someone who brings chain saws into the Sierra would make more than a UC Berkeley professor who would stop them.

And thus the bottom and the top naturally team up against the middle.

Mrs. Nelson writes:

I have written before and enjoy your writing very much.  Thank you for the time and effort you put into your writing.  Your thoughtful explanations have changed the way I think and speak about many daily things (just one example is calling myself a “wife/housewife” as opposed to a “stay at home mother”).  I am a daily reader of your blog.

After reading about the heartbreaking murders of two of the Krim children by a paid employee, I said a prayer for the Krim family.  Some of those who left comments at The New York Post stated that the wife should have watched her own children, or something to that effect.  I agree wholeheartedly that wives should care for their family, but wanted to say I do not think it was the Krim parents “fault” that Ms. Ortega murdered two of their children.  Ms. Ortega is described as a “nanny” and/or a “maid.” It sounds like she was more what we used to call a mother’s helper.  I couldn’t know for sure without more information but it doesn’t sound like Mrs. Krim worked out side of the home or that Ms. Ortega was only responsible for childcare.  I do wonder if Ms. Ortega has children of her own.  If she is not a mother, it lends weight to the theory that she murdered the children because of envy.  Maybe the lack of her own children drove her to insanity.  The murders of the Krim children are solely and entirely the fault of the murderess Yoselyn Ortega.  I cannot imagine the anguish of having your child(ren) murdered.

I agree that hiring those from the Third World or those with values vastly different than your own to care for your flesh and blood is dangerous (this includes eldercare as well as childcare).  Thinking about it further, it seems a very common thing.  How many have left ill family members in the care of nurses or doctors who can barely speak English?  There is at least one openly homosexual doctor and I suspect several homosexual male nurses allowed to treat children in the emergency room of the hospital closest to us (who we have disastrously butted heads with on one occasion).  If anyone has ever hired a cleaning service, landscaping service, or contracted for renovation or construction services they have likely hired employees from the Third World – many involved in crime.  If you eat out or stay in hotels, a large percentage of the staff are immigrants and most are illegal.

In summary, I am trying to point out that many of us everyday are in a situation similar to Mr. and Mrs. Krim prior to the murder of their children.  They are not to blame if there were no warning signs or “red flags.” Yoselyn Ortega is to blame.

Laura writes:

Thank you.

I agree that whatever the Krims did or did not do, they are not to blame. They may have disregarded warning signs. They may have been foolishly and blindly trusting. They may have been wrong in hiring Ortega at all. But they could not have imagined such consequences.

By the way, Mrs. Krim did not work. One story mentioned that she taught an art class for children once a week, but I assume that was a volunteer job. Also, Yoselyn Ortega has a 17-year-old son.

Terry Morris writes:

Whenever I think of the numbers of young girls who have been abducted, raped and murdered while walking ALONE from point A to point B over the last couple of decades, Mrs. Krim’s negligence, if that is what it was, pales in comparison. After all, how often do such murders occur?

Aditya B. writes:

Your thoughtful commentators have addressed many aspects of the green eyed monster, and I hope you’ll allow me to address one more.

I’ve noticed an unhealthy and barely disguised envy of whites within the Indian community which cuts across religion, caste, and class. I don’t know if you have ever come across the Indian obsession with fairness, but it exists, and its quite sickening. Proof of that obsession is the popularity “fairness creams.”

There’s also this odd inferiority-superiority complex within the Indian community. They innately believe they are God’s gift to America and look down upon the historic American nation. At the same time, they envy these very people for their accomplishments, their attitude and their looks.

This envy is sick and real and has devastating consequences. The envy and lust for whiteness leads to the rape of white women in India. See here and here or the formation of “grooming gangs” composed of Pakistanis in Britain.

There is, and always has been, envy of whiteness. It will never go away. The safest way to deal with it is by acknowledging it and keeping the envious as far away from white communities as possible.

In the particular case of the Krims, I am afraid that the family may have exacerbated this by their closeness to the nanny. Increased intimacy only reinforced and reminded that woman about the stark difference between herself and the Krims. She couldn’t but help realize that the closer she moved to the Krims, the further she was, materially, morally, and physically. Who knows, maybe that drove her over the edge.

The only lesson to be learned from this is that ever since the non-white races stopped living in fear and awe of the white man and whiteness, it’s safer for whites to remain at a safe distance from non-whites. But that would require racial consciousness and (gasp) discrimination.

And so we’ll have more Krims. More “White Girl[s] Bleed[ing] a Lot.”  At least until another monster that doth mock the meat it feeds on (Liberalism) is interred in its grave.

Mrs. H. writes:

This isn’t a comment on Ortega’s mental state specifically, but more a general observation.

You say, responding to the speculation that Ortega acted on envy, “In that case, the murders would not be, as I said, “incomprehensible” psychotic or demonic acts.”

I would like to comment that we human beings are made of both body and soul, and sin pervades both.  Sin is a kind of insanity, incomprehensible and demonic, whether it manifests itself chemically through psychosis, through real demon possession, or in rational and cold-blooded decisions to harm others or our selves.   I’m sure most awful and violent crimes are a combination of all three.

Legally, I understand a court will consider Ortega’s sanity to reach a verdict and determine punishment.  And this is fine.  However, from a theological position, we should not separate chemical imbalances from culpability.  On one hand, some psychiatrists and the secular world in general will dismiss what Christianity defines as sin as just a chemical imbalance, with no culpability or personal responsibility–a sort of determinism.  In their view, laziness or despair is a simply symptom of depression.  And that depression is only caused by the brain malfunctioning, not by any number of sinful consequences.  Of course this is not true.   On the other hand, well-meaning folks try to counter this false view with the equally false idea that the suffering person should just “do what’s right,” and that there are no physical reasons for the person’s mental state.  This is especially vexing when the suffering person knows he/she is doing wrong, but can’t “snap out of it.”  The second view also seems to ignore the fact that outside circumstances, beyond the individual’s control, can affect him or her.

In a nutshell, a Christian can not separate his actions into categories of “[psychological diagnosis]” and “sin.”  You can’t say “my bipolarism made me do it.”  It’s all inseparable.  And so the depressed or psychotic should receive help from doctors and medicine.  But he should also (and especially) receive spiritual counseling from his pastor or priest and regularly receive the means of grace, the Eucharist and Absolution.

Laura writes:

Yes, absolutely.

I did not mean to suggest that her actions would not be demonic or psychotic if she was motivated by envy. However, they would be more comprehensible to us.

A person who is insane should still be punished for his crimes for all the reasons you mention.

The process by which courts consider the insanity of the accused is often based on the false idea that someone who is insane and commits a crime is not guilty. The emphasis should be on whether the accused committed the crime and then punishment should be meted out with consideration for mitigating factors, such as insanity.

We are all at some points like the insane person who commits a crime, or like Oedipus who kills his father without realizing it, in the sense that we do things without realizing they are sinful. The fact that we may not willfully and knowingly sin does not mean we have not sinned, though the absence of willful intent is a mitigating factor.

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