Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A DAY IN AMERICA'S JUNGLE


"What the hell is wrong with our society?"

As someone who has worked in broadcast journalism for more than 15 years,  I've
found myself saying that a lot lately. With all the crime, scandal, and a blatant lack of
respect for others, it seems our world's cess pool is turning into one big, toxic ocean.

There's been despicable behavior in frat houses on the campuses of Oklahoma and
Penn State, where they had the whole Sandusky child sex abuse tragedy a short time
ago. It all makes me want to get in the shower, lather, rinse, and repeat to make sure
I get all the grime that comes from just listening and reading about something like that.

I felt that way Thursday when evil reared its ugly head and made me wonder if I was in
a third world country where people have to kick, scratch, and even kill to ensure that
nobody treads on them or violates their territory.


Before leaving for work, I saw a the video of five girls ganging up on another girl and
beating her into near unconsciousness in a McDonald's restaurant. Even the most hardened
journalist would cringe at sight of this video. It was pure savagery and quite unsettling.

The person videotaping the encounter, held his cellphone steady as if he had seen this
type of thing before. I'm sure he had thoughts of the video going viral or receiving a big
paycheck from TMZ for the exclusive.

Forget about putting the cell down and preventing a homicide, this would be his 15
seconds of fame. Perhaps, he would become "trending". Sadly, in this social media driven
world, that's what it seems to be about these days.


I went to work with a dropped jaw and wondering about the pure hate people can have
for one another. I'm incredulous that people can have such little respect for a fellow human
being.

Those feelings didn't change much when I arrived at the morning news meeting and learned
I'd be covering the stabbing of a 52-year old man who got attacked outside of a
McDonald's in Stamford, CT. He was beaten with a stick by three-to-five people and
then stabbed in the heart.

When I tried to report on the story near where the confrontation occurred, a disheveled
and slightly deranged woman, perhaps in her mid-20's, went on a rant and used every
four-letter word known to man to in an attempt to distract and degrade me and my
photographer.

She was defending the suspects of the crime, one of whom was 15-years-old, in the
stabbing of the man
.
"F*#K my p*#-y!" she screamed repeatedly on one of the busiest streets of Stamford.
That's similar to the phrase that got Jameis Winston suspended at Florida State and
apparently one that is quite popular around the country.

How sad and sick is that?

I've  been around the block a few times and witnessed a few volcanic people in volatile
situations, but I was a bit uncomfortable listening to this woman rant as if she was on a
bad trip from LSD.
 
I said to myself, "Who is raising these people? What happened to respect, self-respect,
mature and moral conduct?" On one of the busiest streets in Stamford and in broad
daylight, this woman acts like she owns the town and has a right to drop nasty F-bombs
in the presence of children, the elderly, and other well-behaved people.

And yes, she played the whole, "Freedom of speech" card, which uninformed people
seem to use every time they want to voice their opinion in a profanity laced tirade.

Sweet justice came a few hours later when I was interviewing detectives about the
murder. That same woman was brought into the police station, arrested on a outstanding
warrant. I was tempted to laugh out loud in her face, but I was brought up better than
that and certainly far better than her. I just let it go.

It's unfortunate that those group of kids couldn't let go of what that 52-year old man
did to them. After walking out of McDonalds, he bumped into one of them and accidentally
spilled coffee on that person.

He was viciously beaten with a stick and then stabbed in the heart. The man, a native
of Guatemala, died in the hospital a short time later.

All because he bumped into someone and spilled his coffee.

How sad, how so very sad, things like spilled coffee can lead to death. What has our
society become?

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