15 November 2006

Today's rant: Disturbing video, disturbing response

First, read this article:
The video is hard to watch and it's littered with profanity and racial slurs.

For nearly two minutes, adults, possibly even parents, cheer on two young boys to duke it out.

It was posted on the popular website, MySpace.com by a teen claiming to be from St. Petersburg.

Trenia Byrd Cox, President of the St. Petersburg chapter of the NAACP calls the clip shocking and disturbing. Titled "Jr. Ghetto Street Fights," the clip has gotten more than 8,000 hits. It's listed as a comedy, but Cox sees it as anything but laughable. “I'm almost speechless, I'm almost speechless. That is bizarre. You should not be encouraging children to fight, that's not how you resolve conflict and that's certainly not entertainment.”

Psychologist Dr Sidney Merin took a look as well, and says these adults, while seemingly having fun, could be causing irreversible damage. To change that, it takes a long, long time. By the time they're 17 or 18 years old it may take years in treatment to modify that behavior.

So what can be done? That remains to be seen. St. Petersburg authorities and Florida Department of Children and Families have been notified. Byrd Cox is asking someone to step up.

Trenia Byrd Cox, St. Petersburg NAACP President: “That's a case that needs to go directly to the abuse registry. I hope they do a serious investigation, maybe to track this down, because this is the kind of behavior, this is the kind of behavior that, later on, if you don't address it, a constant exposure to violence, and that kind of violent behavior, just leads to more violent behavior.”
Then, watch the associated video.

Now, read the article again, especially the responses by the St. Petersburg NAACP President, Trenia Byrd Cox:
“I'm almost speechless, I'm almost speechless. That is bizarre. You should not be encouraging children to fight, that's not how you resolve conflict and that's certainly not entertainment.”
...
“That's a case that needs to go directly to the abuse registry. I hope they do a serious investigation, maybe to track this down, because this is the kind of behavior, this is the kind of behavior that, later on, if you don't address it, a constant exposure to violence, and that kind of violent behavior, just leads to more violent behavior.”
If you watched the disturbing video, you probably know where I'm going with this. Ms. Cox makes repeated references to the violence and abuse, but is silent on race and the constant use of the evil "N" word. Of course, we all know the double standard here: Whites cannot (and should not) use the evil "N" word for fear of being considered a racist, but the slight variation "nigga" is apparently a term of endearment among some blacks and perfectly acceptable (even when you're fighting them!). Then again, if you listen to the audio again, the constant "N" word isn't even "nigga"; the distinct "r" is pretty clear just about every time they shout it. Either way, it seems perfectly acceptable to Ms. Cox and the NAACP by extension, because of their silence on the issue.
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