main idea: Murder and Mayhem – A Cautionary Tale in South Carolina (on the three year anniversary of the death of Mallory Beach, what lessons have we learned about wealth and privilege, and how are we using this story to teach our children to choose their friends carefully)
Unless you have been living under a rock you have likely heard the name Alex Murdaugh and/or Paul Murdaugh. On this day three years ago, a group of friends took to the water of the SC LowCountry in the Murdaugh family boat, headed to an oyster roast with friends. Little did they know that night would set off a series of events that would leave multiple families devastated, numerous people betrayed, and the nation stunned. If you have not already, we would encourage you to go check out Mandy Matney’s podcast “Murdaugh Murders”. She has done an incredible job of telling this complex story. The publication Fits News has dedicated an entire section to this story.
On February 24, 2019 Paul Murdaugh and five of his friends were attending an Oyster Roast, traveling by boat. After stopping at a gas station to purchase booze with his brother’s ID he and his friends took his family’s boat. After a few hours at the Oyster Roast they took to the waterways, stopping in Downtown Beaufort for a beverage at a local bar. An allegedly already intoxicated Paul Murdaugh was served shots before heading back to the dock. He and his friends hopped in the boat and took to the water. Shortly after he ran the boat into a piling near Archer’s Creek Bridge just off Parris Island.
Years of corruption, drugs, fraud, malpractice, and death have come to light after the accident as Patriarch Alex Murdaugh, despite all his efforts, could not stop the unraveling that began that night.
The Murdaugh family holds a lot of power in the South Carolina LowCountry, and they have for generations. People are drawn to power and privilege, so much so that they sometimes look past shortcomings of those who hold it and the dangers created by the illusion that by association they are “untouchable”. The truth is that all the power and privilege in the world can’t make any of us invincible.
The thing about “power” is that the holder only has so much as those around them will allow them to have. The community allowed the Murdaugh family enough power and privilege to escape accountability at every turn. Sounds a lot like a certain government we all know, huh?
- How do we talk about “power” with our kids? What responsibilities accompany it?
- How do we talk about “privilege” with our kids?
The story that is being written in our own backyard has opened the door for many conversations with our kids. Every new piece of information in the story sets the scene for a new chapter to be penned. Privilege and corruption are prevalent conversations out of the story, but most importantly is the conversation around the importance of choosing your company wisely, and how the decisions of the company you keep can have serious consequences for you.
- Eventually the bad choices of the company you keep will have a direct impact on you.
- How are you talking to your kids about resisting bad influences and making sound decisions?
In Libertarian circles we talk a lot about voluntary association, and if nothing else comes out of this story it has certainly provided a strong cautionary tale for parents to use in conversations about the importance of being careful when choosing what company you keep, and the importance of resistance against negative influences.
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