Saturday, July 14, 2007

What is wrong with our youth, today? Florida teens gang rape woman

What makes a group of young boys, from 14 to 16, turn into a pack of barbaric animals? We witness acts of barbarism in 3rd world countries almost on a daily basis, but when it happens in our own back yard, you have to question why? We live in a supposedly civilized society, all our children are privy to an education and yet some of those kids harbour, within themselves, the capacity to inflict such incomprehensible horrors on others, without any remorse, that you have to wonder what evil possesses them to do such vile things? I don't know if you read about the following absolutely horrifying act:

On the evening of June 18th, in the Dunbar Housing project in Palm Beach County, Florida a group of about 10 masked teens knocked on a woman's door and
According to police, the assailants tricked the woman into opening her door by saying her tires were flat, then forced her back into her home. They allegedly raped her repeatedly, smashed a plate over her son's head, poured household chemicals into his eyes and forced them at gunpoint to have sex with each other. Friends say both are still in physical pain from their injuries. [snip] The woman's father said the attackers poured ammonia on his daughter, a suffocating chemical whose gases alone can burn the eyes and lungs, in an attempt to destroy DNA evidence.
Avion Lawson, 14, and Nathan Walker, 16, have been arrested, and a 3rd, Jakaris Taylor, 15, was arrested on Thursday. Taylor actually smiled when reporters asked if he had participated in the gang-rape of the 35-year-old woman. As if this was something to be proud of. All the boys will be tried as adults, rightfully so, and they are still in the process of trying to find the others involved.

Mother and son have since moved out of the projects, and have been unwilling to let family and friends know where they are.
The woman is afraid because her attackers said they would find her and set her on fire if she told police what they did, her brother said.
I find it terribly sad what is happening in our poor, predominately black and Hispanic urban areas. Blacks (and Hispanics) in those areas live in constant fear, but the challenge with trying to eliminate black on black crime etc. is the whole culture of silence that pervades those communities. Like the situation with Muslims, good people are afraid of saying or doing anything for fear of retaliation. According to neighbours, who refused to be identified for obvious reasons, the raped woman kept to herself and did not allow her son to go out because of the dangers. And yet, look what happened.

West Palm Beach Mayor, Lois Frankel, invited Dunbar Village residents to discuss what might be done to prevent crime in those areas. Frankel felt there was some progress made with suggestions that residents start taking responsibility for their children and creating mentoring programmes.
But Dunbar resident Nakisha Smokes said nothing useful was discussed. "What they need to do is what they did in a community north of here: Tear it down and start over," Smokes said.
Sure, we can blame it on parents who take little or no responsibility for their children, but what about those parents who have supposedly raised their children in a loving, nurturing environment? Youth violence and crime has no color, class or creed. A rich, white kid is just as liable to rape and/or kill someone as a poor Black or Hispanic kid. Witness the Colombine Massacre and all the others that followed, the kids who kill their parents (usually white males), the date rapists. We're raising a generation of conscience-less kids, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason. Or is there?

According to Lt Col. Dave Grossman, a retired Army Ranger, West Point psychology professor, and an expert on the psychology of killing, there is a definite reason for all the violence. He has some very interesting articles on his website

In his article "Teaching Kids to Kill" A Virus of Violence he explains, in detail, how TV, Movie and Video Game violence is contributing to the increased violence in society today.

Something very similar is happening to our children through violence in the media. It begins at the age of 18 months, when a child can begin to understand and mimic what is on television. But up until they're six or seven years old they are developmentally, psychologically, physically unable to discern the difference between fantasy and reality. Thus, when a young child sees somebody on TV being shot, stabbed, raped, brutalized, degraded, or murdered, to them it is real, and some of them embrace violence and accept it as a normal and essential survival skill in a brutal new world. [snip]

Today the data linking violence in the media to violence in society is superior to that linking cancer and tobacco. The American Psychological Association (APA), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Surgeon General, and the Attorney General have all made definitive statements about this. When I presented a paper to the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) annual convention in May, 2000 (Grossman, 2000), the statement was made that: “The data is irrefutable. We have reached the point where we need to treat those who try to deny it, like we would treat Holocaust deniers.” Kids watch vivid images of human death and suffering and they learn to associate it with: laughter, cheers, popcorn, soda, and their girlfriend's perfume (Grossman & DeGaetano, 1999)."

After the Jonesboro shootings, one of the high school teachers told me about her students' reaction when she told them that someone had shot a bunch of their little brothers, sisters, and cousins in the middle school. "They laughed," she told me with dismay, "they laughed." We have raised a generation of barbarians who have learned to associate human death and suffering with pleasure (Grossman & DeGaetano, 1999).

Simply put, we need to work toward “legislation” which outlaws violent video games for children. In July, 2000, the city of Indianapolis passed just such an ordinance, and every other city, country or state in America has the right to do the same. There is no Constitutional “right” to teach children to blow people’s heads off at the local video arcade. And we are very close to being able to do to the media, through “litigation,” what is being done to the tobacco industry, hotting them in the only place they understand--their wallets. Most of all, the American people need to be informed. Every parent must be warned of the impact of violent visual media on children, as we would warn them of some rampant carcinogen. Violence is not a game, it is not fun, it is not something that we let children do for entertainment. Violence kills."

Another potential catalyst for violence in our children is the amount of drugs we are pumping into them: from Ritalin to Xanax.

"Psychotic episodes and violent behavior are associated with chronic Ritalin abuse. Ritalin is the amphetamine-like drug widely prescribed to children for the contrived mental disease, "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" (ADHD). Even Ritalin's manufacturer warns that "frank psychotic episodes can occur" with abusive use. And even the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists the major complication of Ritalin withdrawal is suicide.

Psychiatric drugs can cause violence; they can kill. These are facts that psychiatrists and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) are not comfortable with. Psychiatrists for obvious reasons-- they could and should be held liable for a crime committed by their drugged out patients -- and NAMI because it "is awash in money from drug companies" -- $3.2 million per year from nine such companies -- that manufacture these often crippling drugs."

I think parents need to take a closer look at what is influencing their children. It's as important to be cognizant of what you are feeding their minds as what you are feeding their stomachs. There are many holistic alternatives to the drugs we give our children that are safe and efficacious. It just takes work and research, but it's obviously worth the effort. We are over- drugging, overfeeding, overstimulating our kids and it's going to take its toll, at some point. Our children are our future. Make sure they are raised well.


MUD said...

Isn't this a lot like the BF Skinner observed results from rats when they were crowded into little boxes? Why do we expect less when we allow society to cram 10 lbs of people into 5 lb boxes. Having substituted even a big guy like me found it intimidating sometimes when the students would meet and block the hallways. Drugs, parental neglect and lack of discussion of right and wrong all added up to this. Shame. MUD

Frasypoo said...

Really chilling post.....
Its scary.We live in a county that is second highest in crime rates in GA and it is normally committed by young men across all races.
Dont really know what the solution is but it infuriates me to see mothers defending their sons after they killed 5 people.It may just get worse

Liberal White Boy said...

Gosh, this sort of post makes me want to be a reactionary just like you. I always let my kids play violent video games. And we watched crazy stuff on tv and the movies like Charles Bronson's Death Wish I,II and III. We thought those simplistic notions of good and evil were pretty funny.
My oldest daughter now manages an art museum. The second daughter will soon be a partner with a very large law firm. I have a son who will soon graduate from one of those fancy liberal arts colleges. I bet he is going to be a communist. He wants to teach inter city disadvantaged children. And my two younger ones have recently found Jesus. I think it is their way of rebelling against their father. I just don't think that things are as simple as you want to make them incog. But I think I will stick with my approch.

Panhandle Poet said...

Black Rap and their music videos doesn't help the situation.

Incognito said...

MUD: Yeah, but it doesn't explain the white rich violence/crime. Though there obviously has to be some parental neglect when kids are allowed to play these violent games etc. I think parents these days are far more permissive than they were in the past. But we do need to do something about poverty in this country. And I still think parenting classes should be mandatory.
There's also the mob mentality, but these kids obviously pre-planned this which makes it even more heinous.

FRASY: Most mothers do defend their children, whether right or wrong. If we continue down the road we are already on, it will def. get worse.

LWB: Hello, Liberal White BOY. If you are a father of however many you say you are, I am Julia Roberts. I would venture to say that you are under 30, though I can believe you probably spend all your spare time playing those video games and watching those kinds of movies. Partic. in light of the content of your blog. Silly, you. Why did you feel the need to fib about having kids? You could have put forth your argument without feeling the need to lie. But you go ahead and share those with your *grandkids*. ;-)

PAN: I'd agree but there are as many "white groups" with as vile lyrics.. "Twisted Sister" etc. Sad.

Ugly Naked Guy said...

You brought up the fact that people don't want to cooperate with the police. I am not up on (or is it down with) the hip hop culture, but I recently became aware of the "don't snitch" movement that is pervasive among innner city youth. Apparently it is a popular t-shirt and a large part of black culture is that you DO NOT cooperate with the police.

Not just in light of what I just wrote, but in consideration of the situation in your post: it all boils down to one thing: no respect for authority, rebellion against authority--it is the original sin and the common denominator to everything that ills societies. yneb and similar li

Pat Jenkins said...

unbelievable and that is all i can say!!!

WomanHonorThyself said...

OMG INcog,..they should all be hanged in the public square..I mean it!

Strawberry said...

Not only violence against others - but also against themselves! We have had multiple teen-age suicides in our area just in the last 2 years. It is extremely frightening to see a 14-17 year old believe that the only solution is to no longer exist! How families and friends suffer afterwards, with guilt and intense grief!

Our children were not even allowed any kind of video game until our son was in 5th grade. Then we picked games that did not involve killing or trying to destroy the other person (Yes - there are some fun ones out there - we still play occasionally). The game we have is an Nintendo 64 - we have refused to allow anything more because of the games they promote.

Liberal White Boy - You are certainly allowed your opinions but you need to learn how to express them without the arrogance and sarcasm!!!

Incognito said...

UNG: Yeah, sadly there is a "don't snitch" movement. It's crazy.. but I think there is a general distrust of cops.. and, I can almost understand that. They often are unfairly singled out because of their ethnicity.

And all youth seem to have that lack of respect for authority, but it seems to be getting worse, these days. Kids don't get spankings anymore, and they should.
I still believe that this lack of respect is exacerbated by videos, music etc.

PATJ: I know.. it is such a vile thing to have done. Partic. what they made her do to her child.

ANGEL: Well, they will be tried as adults. Hopefully they'll be in there for a very long time.

STRAWB: That is so sad! I know the suicide rate it very high. Depression during one's formative years is quite usual. I suffered terribly with depression. But now they pump kids full of anti-depressants and that can cause aggressive behavior, suicide and violence. Scary.
Your kids have been very fortunate to have both of you as parents!

Tank said...

The mothers and fathers of this kids should be trialed too.. this is partly their fault.

If you cant take care of your kids... don't have any. Its called responsibility!

Karen said...

It is a sad state of affairs. When the don't snitch policy is observed as a matter of honor among the black community, when young men wear 'gangster wear' clothing with pants hanging below their rear ends, when a constant stream of violent videos has taken over the music video channels with a music genre that is disrespectful to women and decent society, well, this is what is reaped.

It is the least common denominator and it is embraced by communities around the country.

Incognito said...

TANK: I absolutely agree.... they are actually instituting curfews in certain areas, and I read that parents will be liable for any crimes their children commit, so perhaps they will start taking more responsibility. Thanks for stopping by. I have been following your cocmments and others on Caracaschronicles..

KAREN: But the problem goes way beyond class, religion, and race and encompasses all.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

This is beyond horrific. I just can't comprehend how any human being could do this to another, especially teenagers. This is the type of crime so heinous that the death penalty is too good for them. I feel defiled just reading about this.

Frasypoo said...

Hi again,
Last night we were watching this on the news and realised that we stayed at a motel in this area!the neighbourhood was rough.We saw lots of flashy cars in an obviously poor neighbourhood.Drug/crime money.They need to get tougher.To see one of those boys grinning like he was so proud of himself made me want to get up and got hit him hard.I hope they deal with him in jail !

Incognito said...

LMC: I know... I think so many kids of today are so desensitized to violence etc. the enormity of their actions just doesn't seem to register. It's truly sad and scary.

FRASY: I know they just seem to not have a clue. And what is equally horrifying is that her neighbors refused to help. The woman had to walk a mile, with her son's help, to the hospital. Shameful.

FeathersMcGraw said...

Oh horrible and tragic news... agree with tank into taking the parents for trial as well.

Incognito said...

Hi Feathers. Thank you for your comment. I agree, they should be held accountable, perhaps then they would be more careful how they raise their kids.

Kenneth Udut ( - Collier County Communities Wiki Server) said...

my thoughts on these three:

Additionally: I think that a lot of the problem is also the BROKEN WINDOW syndrome.

Basically, a neighborhood goes bad the first time there is a broken window that never gets fixed.

The attitude of the community is at that point, "Who cares? Not my problem."

One broken window leads to two. Littering. Mischief. People care less and less. Teasing. Bullying. Violence. Rape. Even riots.

All stemming from a broken window. Some grass that doesn't get cut. It doesn't take much but an attitude shift.

Kenneth Udut

Incognito said...

Thank you Kenneth.. I will check it out now.

"Who cares? Not my problem."
I'm afraid that's the problem with most people in all communties.

We need to care more.