When tragedy occurs, Americans move quickly to assign blame and point fingers. The Sept. 27 editorial about the horrible death of Jonah Flores is just such an example. The editorial calls for an investigation of Pepco and D.C. Energy Office workers. But they are not to blame for the accidental fire. When I was growing up, we rotated utility bills that could be paid each month. It was rare to have the water, electricity and gas all turned on at the same time (we had no phone). Mom made electrical outages "fun" by serving cold food by candlelight, telling ghost stories and tucking us into bed -- with a flashlight.
It is not Pepco's job to see to it that everyone has power, and energy assistance is a wonderful privilege that we never expected or received. The cause of the baby's death is simply a tragic lack of judgment by a young and probably poorly educated mom. I'm sure she didn't realize the danger that candles pose. So instead of spending cash on an investigation, let's use the money to educate people about fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and kerosene heaters. Then maybe we won't need to point fingers.
-- Amy Chai