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Rape is not a spectator sport.

March 22, 2017

Every generation thinks the younger generations have gone to hell in a handbasket. The parents of the Elvis screamers, the beatniks, the peaceniks, the hippies and all the other youth rebellion groups are sure the world will end when the “kids” take over.

For the most part, the brats grow up and become responsible citizens on one level or another. Some become the Bill Gates of the world, some just become your neighbor down the block, the one whose kids play Pop Warner football or T-Ball with yours and the ones you invite for a barbecue on lazy summer Saturdays.

Some don’t and they are the screwed up Unabombers or Hillside Stranglers or petty career criminals that we waste billions of tax dollars on, fruitlessly trying to rehabilitate them long after someone should have stopped them in their tracks.

But through all of that there has historically been a societal thread that recognizes and condemns anti-social and depraved behavior as an aberration.

Somewhere along the line that thread has frayed to the breaking point.

Somewhere in the recent past barbarism has taken on the persona of entertainment and sport.

Twice in less than six months Chicago area newspapers and TV stations have reported on behavior so savage, so depraved and so far beyond the pale of normal human behavior that it is almost unbelievable.

First there was the story of the four people who terrorized and tortured a mentally disabled person while streaming it live on Facebook, and now it has happened again.

A crime of gang rape committed against a 15-yr. old girl is in the Chicago area news again. It is being reported by the Associated Press reporter Don Babwin bylined in the story as an “apparent” crime.

OK, that’s just the news organization and Mr. Babwin  trying to keep from being sued, because that’s the kind of world we live in today.

In today’s world the rights of the perpetrators of this type of animalistic predatory attack are more important than that of the victims.

THIS CRIME WAS ALSO STREAMED LIVE ON FACEBOOK. That leaves damned little room for supposition.

Rape is not supposed to be a spectator sport, but this one sure was.

Far more disturbing  even than the rape itself was that some 40 people are reported by the AP to have watched the live stream, some of whom recognized the girl AND THEY SAID NOTHING to authorities or anyone else.  They just enjoyed watching the free show.

The mother of the girl is of course stunned by the crime, but she seems even more stunned by the callous indifference of the people who now blame her daughter or who simply take pleasure in continuing to cause the family pain.

We should all be stunned as well, but for the most part, stories like this just get a shrug or become a platform for some civil rights group to beg for more money for jobs or ads about anti-bullying campaigns.

Some seem to intimate that the girl did something to bring this on herself, just as they blamed the family member who dropped the mentally challenged young man off with people who then savaged him.

Let’s get something straight. Nothing either one of these victims did or didn’t do could have possibly made them deserving of this brutality.

It would be way too easy to call this some sort of indictment of the Chicago area, or Mayor Emmanuel, or the parents of the perpetrators, or even the parents of the girl.

This is not “bullying” and an emoji isn’t going to stop it. It is a total breakdown of the moral fiber of our times.

This is the result of a society that sees pure evil as something to excuse rather than condemn, and a segment of the population that allows no judgment of right or wrong by anyone.

The truth is, things like this happen all over the country,  in neighborhoods black and white,  rich and poor, as witnessed by the so-called “affluency defense.”

Any attempt to control it through law enforcement and the courts is immediately condemned as being racist or sexist or homophobic or some other such excuse.

The problem is not just the sociopaths among us, because we will always have those.

The problem is that we have ceased to care about reining them in.

Lest you are tempted to say that the media makes too much of these “isolated incidents” or to rationalize it by pointing out that most people are not monsters, think about this.

If this was your neighbor’s dog savaging people, you would have it put down and society would applaud you for doing so.

How far over the edge does society have to go, before we stop rationalizing and excusing human depravity?

When do we just say “enough” and put these predators away for the rest of their lives?

Why do we stand by while these people develop into monsters, afraid to say anything for fear of seeming culturally insensitive or prejudiced?

What’s wrong with a world that holds a dog to a higher moral standard than it does its citizens?

From → op-ed

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