i rarely get a chance to watch the show, but i remember you from your years on jerry springer. usually i appreciate the way you confront folks with difficult questions, but i have to call you out on this one.
it's painfully obvious that alicia abraham is not mentally well. she behaves like someone with severe depression, maybe a personality disorder.
going after her as you would, say, an abusive spouse, is ineffective. it's something of a feel-good moment, but it smacks of a complete lack of understanding of the issues surrounding mental health, motherhood, etc. calling her a "selfish bitch" and hoping she "rots in hell" were reprehensible and unproductive actions.
maybe you were trying to get alicia to break down in an effort to make her seem more "human", but it's kind of sad that we have to see someone show what we think qualifies as genuine emotion before we can sympathize with them.
where was the sympathy when her child was alive and she needed help mothering? what kind of prenatal support did she have? who could (or would) have helped her when she needed to make good choices in choosing a mate?
there are LOTS of people out here who were never taught to feel, who, while adults to the naked eye, never came into their own as fully actualized, sane human beings. of course the extremes of child abuse, battering and neglect don't always happen in their lives, and you may never notice until you try to be a friend or spouse to them. but they're out there. in droves.
we have no way of knowing what alicia's childhood was like, what got her to the mental state she's in now, whether or not she was on medication at the time of the interview, if she was on and/or off meds when all this happened to her baby (she was 28 at the time). it's not about her being selfish, it's about painting an entire picture of her life, the lives of her children, and what led up to those moments where she was a passive witness--or participant--to these horrific happenings to her child.
i appreciate your background in law enforcement--my father and grandfather were in that field as well. my mother's an educator, so i know what it is to grow up with people who love & value children. i adore and value children myself, and it breaks my heart that this happens to any child, anywhere. having it happen to a black family makes it even more personal.
i remember reading about a toddler who was killed in the last year or so because a grown man--stepfather, i believe--thought he was "gay". all of this opens a totally different can of worms regarding the ways homophobia and compulsory heterosexuality work in our society.
i'm not even going to TRY to digress into the many, many levels of race, class and gender issues inherent in your judgement of this woman and her situation.
my point is this: you are not a therapist. that fact is painfully obvious when you handle topics like these. you also don't appear very sensitive to the needs of those who might need that sort of help unless they fall into the narrow confines of your moral code. i understand not wanting to waste your time and studio money with folks who aren't ready to receive a helping hand, but you berating alicia abraham felt like watching fish being shot in a barrel.
i'm sure it makes folks feel good to know that they're "better" than the people they see on your show, but to someone like me, this kind of foolishness simply serves to perpetuate the stigmas around mental illness, the myth of the perfect parent--particularly the perfect mother, and disregard for the vast range of human experience and emotion.
i'm glad you can afford to be so righteously right and wrong, but, to me, being able to acknowledge and process nuance is what makes us human.
if your only intent was to make alicia look like a monster, i suppose you succeeded in the eyes of some, but i never met a bully i liked.
one caveat: i ain't excusin shit. alicia had an older child who was also abused and probably wasn't in any state to have another.
she mentioned not knowing that her 4 year old had bruises and burns because he was "old enough" to give himself baths. wtf?
but the fact that she could not articulate feelings when asked questions like, "what did you feel when you gave birth to your son?" highlights that there were a slew of issues an almost-trash tv show, however backwardly helpful, could not or would not touch on.
they just wanted a witchhunt.
but this reminded me a little too much of sethe and schoolteacher...