The events of the past several days have left me almost speechless. I was dumbfounded watching as four young people were shown to have live streamed the torture of a mentally challenged teen. I wondered how anyone who saw that stream as it was being broadcast live didn’t contact authorities. I wondered how anyone watching could not have taken action immediately. And I wondered what could possible be wrong with those four young people. How could they think that any part of this was an acceptable way to handle anger and frustration ~ and on an innocent person? and live stream it? and not one angry person, but four, working together and all agreeing that this was okay? How did we get here?
One way I think we got here, is by everyone feeling they have the right to do and say whatever the hell they want. Tote guns around willy-nilly, shove past you and saunter through intersections. Decorum and civility have been left to the wayside and trolling, slamming, and denigrating others is commonplace. Many of us have ceased to hold children to a high behavioral standard and expect that they learn things like that in school when, at five, it is almost too late.
The tragedy in Florida seems almost acceptable… the alleged shooter was obviously mentally unstable and had tried to get help… it does not make the horror or loss any easier to bare because it was a senseless horrible crime… but the torture in Chicago, it was not done by four mentally unstable people who all happen to know each other. It was done by four people who knew what they were doing and didn’t care about the pain and hurt they were causing. It was done by people who thought there was an audience for their actions.
We have created a climate where someone (many someones) think that being hateful is acceptable, even encouraged, and is part of our freedoms as Americans. You see it when people post horrid things on the internet, when people shout at you for riding your bike, when people forget to check themselves, and when people do what these four young people did. It is not. Freedom should mean that we are free to live our lives without fear, where people treat each other with kindness and respect, and where a difference in opinion is not punctuated by violence. We are all better than this and we must stand up to this hate… this action does not need to be condemned by one particular group… it needs to be condemned by all of humanity… Violence and hate are never the answer… believe it, teach it, stand up for it… and when someone strays… believe it, teach it and stand up for it that much more
What can we say? Enough is enough!