There are a lot of Duggars. The family's size is reflected right there in the title of their TLC reality series: 19 Kids and Counting. In the nearly seven years that the show has been on the air, fans have watched the Duggars with a twisted sort of curiosity about these people who are so different from almost everyone. We are a group of TV lovers who became glued to the television to see what unusual thing the family would do next, and that detached fascination is what has me upset that, in light of Josh Duggar's alleged sexual abuse of multiple minors, some people have begun blindly hating his many siblings, implicating them in the horrific claims against Josh simply for being Duggars. Though Josh hasn't admitted to the abuse outright, he referenced "wrongdoing" in a statement to People, which reads, "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends."
You can disagree with the family's politics. You can fume over the overt sexism they practice in every aspect of their lives. You can shake your head at the methods Jim Bob and Michelle use to raise their children. You can certainly hate Josh for what he allegedly did, and direct as much anger as you would like towards his parents if you disagree with their handling of the situation. Which, according to InTouch, consisted of bringing Josh to the authorities a year after learning of his actions, speaking with church elders, and sending him to a "Christian program" where he received counseling and did manual labor.
However, to use this information and exclaim that all Duggars are evil is to indict a whole group of people, including children, in their brother's alleged crimes. Unfortunately, that's exactly what some people have been doing, taking to Twitter to condemn the entire family.
Absolutely none of Josh's alleged abuse reflects on the other Duggar siblings, who range in age from five to 25. The young kids we see running around and playing on 19 Kids and Counting do not deserve to be lumped in with their eldest brother simply because they share parents. Many of them weren't even born when the alleged incidents took place. If these Duggar children grow up to continue spouting the sexist, aggressively conservative beliefs of their parents, feel free to dislike them as much as you want for those beliefs. In fact, I hope you do harbor negative feelings towards some of the older Duggars and their spouses for their own involvement in offensive and intolerant speech and actions.
But right now, leave the rest of the Duggars alone.
Image: Josh Duggar/Instagram