Thursday, 8 February 2018

Hard Baked Human Depravity

No Hope In This World

There is a growing "class" of people in New Zealand who give every indication they are beyond redemption.  The clay has been in the oven far too long.  It has baked into hard, intractable lines.  

The people found in the "baked clay" class have sometimes been referred to as the Underclass.  These are people who are locked into an endless cycle of destructive behaviour, including self-destruction.  In recent days a case was profiled in the media which illustrates what goes on in the thoroughly baked underclass.
He was the best boyfriend she ever had.  Kind-hearted, helpful and selfless, she said.  But seven weeks on, she was thinking differently – and irrationally. He was a snake, a snitch and spreading rumours.  Over four hours in a friend's kitchen, she tied his hands behind his back, stripped him and assaulted him with punches and kicks.   She then marched him out of the flat and took him to the desolate state house where she lived with her pregnant sister. There she wrapped a computer cord around his neck and strangled him. Police found his body the next day wrapped in a red faux mink blanket under a double bed.  [Stuff]
Zariah Jae Samson, 25, at her sentencing for manslaughter last year.
Zariah Jae Samson, 25, at her sentencing for manslaughter last year.
The events are horrific.  The crime deserved a severe sanction.  Yet there is a back story to Samson that goes a long way to explain (not justify) who she is and what she has become.

The court file seen by Stuff also reveals more of both Samson's . . . background. Samson was one of eight children. Her parents were affiliated to gangs and were both drug users. She claimed her father had thrown her from a balcony when she was only 2, causing lifelong nerve damage. Her mother, who spent periods in jail, killed herself when Samson was 14 and she helped look after the other children.

Her youth was troubled and violent. By the age of 15 she had several convictions for assaulting police and for carrying a knife in public. By 19 she had been admitted to a Child and Youth Mental Health Facility to be treated for depression, drug and alcohol abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.  By the time of the killing she had accumulated a long list of convictions mainly for dishonesty and driving offences. Her record showed a habit of thumbing her nose at the law. She committed numerous offences while on bail and failed to appear in court on 22 occasions.

A relationship with gang member Jason Hemaloto produced three children in short order. In early 2014, the relationship foundered and Hemaloto alleged she had threatened to kill him. Shortly before Samson began her relationship with Protos, Hemaloto took their three children to Gisborne without her consent. ​  The loss of the children caused a new crisis for Samson and her drug use escalated. She sank deeper into the drug world
Samson's inter-generational, gang dominated existence has cemented her into the Underclass and effectively puts her beyond redemption, beyond change.  She is one of many hundreds, if not thousands in New Zealand's Underclass.  If there is any hope it can only come now through a long, long period of incarceration, with appropriate support and educational services inside, until Samson elides into a much older age.

But the going wisdom is that people like Samson are actually good people whom life has afflicted with bad circumstances.  This is a half-truth.  The "bad circumstances" are evident enough.  But in fact Samson is not a good person.  She shares the same fallen state of all of us, the same depraved seed.  Her circumstances have helped bake the bad in.  For Samson, evil and and a life of crime are now hard-wired in her soul.  In that sense, she is much, much worse than many.

She is not beyond redemption--but it will not be redemption manufactured by any tool or device known to man.  It must needs be Divine redemption--and that does not reside in the Ministry of Corrections.

When Christians consider the sad, evil case of someone like Samson, they end up intoning to themselves that old, true proverb: "There, but for the grace of God, go I".   They also know that Samson is not beyond the reach of Divine redemption, although way beyond any redemption that can be ventured by man.

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