When I first heard about the 15-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped and beaten for more than two hours by as many as ten young males while another ten bystanders stood watching, laughing, and videotaping the violent attack, I had to stop and ask myself what is this world coming to?
Have we become so insensitive to violence? Where is our moral consciousness? Have violent films, video games, and virtual reality dulled not only the younger generation, but all of us – so much so that observing the sufferings of another human being is nothing more than watching a character on a flat-screen TV?
Where were the heroes that night? Where was that one voice that could have turned the tide? One voice that could have stood up and said, "Hey guys! Enough! Let her go – she could be your kid sister, your cousin, your niece." Yet….
….no one did.
Instead, one after another, they continued to commit numerous sex acts upon this young girl, they beat her, they robbed her, and the spectators continued to simply watch the attack. What about the classmate who invited her over to where the rape occurred? Did he have this planned? Was he the instigator?
When all was said and done, did anyone go up to the girl to see if she was all right? No! After their two-hour rampage, they left this young girl under a bench half-naked, beaten, and unconscious. The brutal assault on her required that she be airlifted and admitted in critical condition to a nearby hospital.
The articles that I've read quoted experts who tried to find excuses for why no one helped this young girl. They say the witnesses were probably afraid of snitching, or afraid of retaliation from the others. I say, if just one of them had an iota of morality, he could have very easily left that dark secluded place behind the school and gone back into the gym to alert the authorities, or a teacher or parent.
Instead, several did leave. Did they go back to the Homecoming dance as if nothing happened? No. Far worse than that. They went back to tell others to come out and watch what was happening.
Years ago as a kid I remember hearing about the Kitty Genovese murder. I could not comprehend how she was brutally attacked and murdered and no one did a thing. She cried out for help as she was being attacked in the street and was fighting for her life. Someone yelled from a window to leave her alone and the attacker fled. But when he saw that no one was coming to her aid, he returned to continue the assault into her apartment building. Although a number of people heard portions of the attack, no one picked up a phone to call police.
I can understand how people might be afraid to get involved for fear of losing their own life, but I can't understand for the life of me how people who would be in no danger picking up their telephone in the safety of their home, preferred to turn up their television sets or their radios to drown out the screams because as one coward said, "I didn't want to be involved."
What was so despicable in human behavior 45 years ago seems to have become the norm in today's society. Do we ask ourselves, if we continue to spiral downward, what will life be like 45 years from now? Something has to be done to stop the madness! A good place to start is with those guilty of this brutal crime in California. I say throw the book at all of them who were involved and lock them up for a long time!
Maya Muses: I'm not forgetting about those males who didn't physically participate, but participated as a spectator nonetheless. I say they too need to be reprimanded and held accountable for their behavior, and if they're not – then not only shame on them, but shame on us as a society to let that happen!