Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Homecoming Gang Rape - Perspective

Before I begin tearing at this subject in the usual way (which will require brutally examining the behaviors of all involved), let me clarify up front that anything I say does not excuse the perpetrators or bystanders, nor does it imply that the victim deserved this.  In the end, the victim needs all our thoughts and prayers as she begins to rebuild a shattered life, those that stood by should be haunted by the memory of their failure for years, and those who are guilty of this horrific crime should spend many many years in jail where they too may be raped.  I also have just spent hours reading on the Free Range Kids website, and I see some correlations in how we raise our children and the horrifying results that can spring from our desire to make our kids "safe."  So all this is on my mind as I write.

For those of you who have not followed the story so far, here's the local coverage.  In short, a 15-year-old girl left her homecoming dance early.  She went off with an acquaintance, allegedly to drink.  She was then assaulted, robbed, and raped over a 2-hour period, with at least four active participants in the rape.  In addition, there were at least a dozen bystanders that may have snapped pics or video of the crime.

So that brings me to things that occurred to me:

Too Much Sex, no Responsibility - One problem that led to this whole mess is our ass-backward view of sexuality.  Parents can't get the balls to talk about it, schools teach based on agendas, and every form entertainment that the naturally horny teen set seeks out is drenched in consequence-free fuckfests.   It's what I sought out when I was that age.  And with the voyeuristic nature of our current younger population (EVERYTHING'S on YoutTube), seeing some chick getting banged is not out of the realm of possibility.

The second problem is that kids are responsibility-free for the most part, relying on their parents to make the important decisions.  It's what gets kids that never really drank really blasted (and maybe drugged).  It's what lets a girl get into trouble and not see it coming., or see it coming and not worry.  It's what turns what might have been thought of as fun initially into the beginning of a violent crime.  In the end, you have kids that, when pressed with a real moral, legal, or ethicla dilemma, there's no well of experience on which to draw.  This means the base instincts take over, and judgment is damn near nonexistent.  Combine this with the amped up sex mentality, you have a recipe for disaster.

Until the videos/pics and the stories of the victim, the perps, and the witnesses are all gathered and disseminated, we're not going to know what people were seeing and why it happened the way it did

Where Were the Police? - The reason I brought up the consequence-free atmosphere of youth was because it plays into what the school officials and police did and didn't do that night.  This is found in the typical responses:

A student: “We need more security or something. I don't know. I don't think I'm going to be coming to any dances. I think I just want to move from Richmond High and go to Vista.”

A parent: “It's not safe. I think they should have more security. The people that work for security, they are not doing the right thing.

I'm going to call BS on this attitude.  I don't do so lightly.  If they had been swarming cops over every inch of the school grounds, maybe they would have found the girl and stopped the rape sooner.  Or maybe, with the prying eyes of adults everywhere, they would have ended up miles away, and she would have died in a ditch after bleeding out for hours upon hours from her injuries as well as an attempt to cover up what had happened.

This is the reason you arm children with knowledge, not fear.  With common sense, not dismissible dogma.  Arm them as best as you can to be adults.  It may be the difference between life and death, between escape and tragedy.  Because the truth is that no amount of watching and no amount of police and no amount of GPS camera tracking of every move they make will ultimately protect them every second. 

March of the Counselors/Lawyers - Now in the rush to "deal" with the situation, there will be two relatively useless forces.

The first is the predicable bunch called counselors.  These are people whose purpose is to deal with the fragile emotions of pussified kids who heard about the violent crime and can't seem to either talk to their parents or their priest/minister/whoever or otherwise deal with anything.  There are about a dozen and a half people who might need some kind of psychological treatment.  That includes the victim (absolutely), the perps (perhaps, depending on the specifics), and the spectators (and mainly to get the whole story).  Beyond that, grow a spine and realize that horrible shit happens all the time without scarring whole populations.  And that's in countries where rape gangs roam.  It's called perspective.

Then there's the boil on the ass of tragedy, lawyers.  Not the ones who will prosecute the scumbags, and not those with the distasteful task of defending the vermin.  They are necessary.  I'm talking the assloads of lawsuits someone will bring over this because they can't accept that no one can cover everything.  Sadly, these useless creatures will descend to sue somebody just after the the counselors finish the wet nursing.  And the result is often laws that make situations worse.

Final Contemplations - Sadly, there will be lots of stories that will come out, with the most salacious of details.  We're going to hear the tragic story of the victim.  We're going to hear from the perpetrators, at least one of whom will have made a "terrible mistake" (I'm skeptical, but I'm betting it will be the story).  Much of what we will hear will trace back to the parents and families and the community.  And in the end, too many people will learn the wrong lesson from a senseless and horrible crime. 


Anonymous said...

I am totally honest with my children. Maybe a little too honest, by some's standards but I always felt they should hear it from us and we should take the time to explain things. They ask us things they don't understand because they know they will be told the truth. I know there are a lot of people that don't feel comfortable talking about things like sex, and even rape. You can't shelter them, they will see it in movies, tv and video games.

Anyway, I'm rambling.....I wonder about the people that have this on video that just stood there and watched it????????

Pamela D. Hart said...

I'm with Jennifer. I talk to my sons all the time. I have a soon-to-be 17 yr old and a 12 yr old. There is NOTHING I won't discuss with them. I am not embarrassed, afraid or too cool, as in I want to be their "buddy", and neither is my husband-- their father.

I also discuss consequences with my kids ALL the time. For example, something silly, but still, my 12 yr old wants to "Ding-Dong-Ditch" on Witches Night. It means ringing doorbells and running. I told him "No". I suffer from chronic migraines; which he’s very much aware of, and what if someone else was lying sick in bed and he rang the doorbell and that person had to get up to answer the door and no one was there? Doesn't he remember how horrible I feel when I have one of my headaches? Does he want to do that to someone else? I brought it up so that he would THINK. I know he's a kid and "Ding-Dong-Ditching" is FUN. But there are other FUN things he and his friends can do without disturbing the neighbors. He needs to realize his actions cause reactions.

I think if more parents gave real life scenarios, made their kids THINK, made them responsible and ACTED that way themselves, we wouldn’t have half these problems today. It’s very sad. I fear for my sons; for their futures; because they will have to live among these disrespectful, irresponsible people when they are adults.

And yes, I am wondering how those who filmed this horrible tragedy could just stand there! I know I could never stand and watch something like that without helping! What has happened with our world when people are numb to the suffering of fellow humans?

Name: Soapboxgod said...

We have complete cities and neighborhoods in this very country that are bastions of complete and utter lawlessness; chaos and the like. And yet, here we are trying to police Baghdad and Kabul and whatever else. It's completely surreal.

dmarks said...

"We have complete cities and neighborhoods in this very country that are bastions of complete and utter lawlessness; chaos and the like. And yet, here we are trying to police Baghdad and Kabul and whatever else. It's completely surreal."

Well, at least in Baghdad, we can solve problems without being obstructed by crooked attorneys, rabble-rousers like Jesse Jackson sticking up for violent criminals, and Democratic Party mayors who get rich while the cities rot.

Dee said...

These cases are always so difficult for me to hear about. I can't fathom how anyone can be evil enough to commit the crime and how bystanders aren't outraged enough to get help.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

Well, at least in Baghdad, we can solve problems without being obstructed by crooked attorneys, rabble-rousers like Jesse Jackson sticking up for violent criminals, and Democratic Party mayors who get rich while the cities rot.

Right. In Baghdad, they just blow your ass to Mars.

That being said, I just can't even cope with this story because it's just one of those things that hits me in all those places I just can't cope with. I'd like to, because I feel like I could probably say someting about it, but I can't.

dmarks said...

Good point, SDD. And it will only get worse, really, as we now have a President who campaigned on his ignorance and disdain for middle-eastern matters.

One whose misplaced priority is on a speedy rereat (surrender?) and not completely defeating the terrorists.

rockync said...

We must first acknowledge that rape is not just an act of taking sexual liberties, it is an act of depravity and violence.
They showed their violent propencity by Not only raping her but also beating her horribly.
The organizers could have done more to ensure security. When my youngest son graduated high school,there was a school sponsored party at a large facility. They were provided with food and music and an indoor pool among other things.
The rule was they had to have a signed permission slip from their parent and they were bussed to and from the facility to the high school. No one could leave either the facility or high school unless a parent or other responsible adult was there to get them.
Another deterrent might have been more lighting. This took place in some dark courtyard - a couple of lampposts would have taken care of that.
As for all the coddling of the nonparticipants, I agree with you, all the pysch crap encourages unwarranted drama from attention seekers. If this was 1st or 2nd graders there might be a purpose but by high school they can use a wake up call - they need to be careful out there because "it" can happen to them in the space of a heartbeat; rape, assualt, murder, we live in a violent world.
This girl behaved in an irresponsible, unsafe manner and has paid a terrible price for her youthful mistake.
I hope she finds a way to come back from it - the pustulant toerags that participated will hopefully find out what it's like to be on the receiving end of rape in prison.
Those who watched and did nothing? Disgusting, cowardly bastards that one can only hope find their karmic payback.

dmarks said...

I watched the Lou Dobbs show tonight and saw him talking about it. Curiously lacking was his demand that native-born Americans be deported, because the rapists were native-born Americans.

He likes to report on crime stories involving immigrants in America all the time, as part of an overall argument for the deportation of immigrants.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

When my daughters were in their early teens, I knew I could not possibly warn them of every possible contingency, whether imagined or not, that a parent or person in authority might not always be there to catch them if they fell. What I told them was to have an "inner voice," one that said "danger" or helped them distinguish between right and wrong, that there comes a time in everyone's life when they must make these decisions for themselves.

I don't know if these words served them well, but I do know there were no incidents.