Saturday, August 12, 2017

Surprising how many people think this is funny...

This is what happens when you "been caught stealing..."

A little mood music for this post.

Last night, just as I was about to go to bed, I noticed that one of my cousins "liked" a news story.  This particular cousin, while quite politically conservative about a lot of issues, is generally pretty cool and doesn't get into ridiculous debates with me over politics.  For that, I am extremely grateful.  However, I am kind of troubled that he and so many other Americans think it's funny that three guys in Charlotte, North Carolina decided to string up a would be thief they caught trying to raid their truck.

In the video, you see a young black guy wearing what looks to be Army ACU pants.  Two other black guys and a guy who appears to be of Hispanic origins have the young guy in hand as they tied and taped him to scaffolding.  An onlooker taped the whole scene and sent it to Fox News, where the video quickly went viral.

First off, don't get me wrong.  Of course the thief should have been stopped from committing the crime.  Theft is a crime and tools are very expensive.  I don't even have a problem that the three construction workers detained the guy, who was later arrested, as he definitely should have been.  My problem is that those guys were behaving in a way that wasn't a whole lot better.

Was it really necessary to tie the guy up in a way that was both publicly humiliating and probably very painful?  I see one of the guys is hyperextending the would be crook's arm in a way that I'm sure caused pain.  Looking at the post my cousin liked, I see that a lot of people think this video is funny.  They think the crook got exactly what he deserved.  It does appear that the crook wasn't actually hurt in the incident.  However, what if he had been hurt?  What if it was three white guys tying up the same dude in a way that was humiliating and painful?  How many people would think that was funny?  What if the same three guys in the video were treating a woman that way?  What if someone did that to an animal?

As I was watching that video last night, I had an immediate and visceral reaction to it.  I couldn't understand exactly why it made me so uncomfortable at first.  I know there was a time when I was younger that I would have laughed right along with my cousin.  But somehow, I have changed in the past twenty years.  I think the video reminded me, on some level, of humans watching dogs fight each other.

This may sound strange, and some people may not see it, but I was reminded of living in Armenia and watching teenaged boys circling around dogs who were either fighting or fucking.  It was a sport for them to watch the barbarity.  Those boys saw themselves as higher beings than the dogs.  They enjoyed watching them in action.  And...  I guess I just got the same sense when I looked at the comments about this incident in Charlotte.  A whole lot of people thought this video was very funny.  What is funny about a man being caught committing a crime and then being tied up in a cruel way?  What's funny about three hardworking construction workers potentially losing the instruments of their livelihood to someone who apparently feels compelled to steal?  What's funny about the legal system taking on yet one more case?

I am not a fan of double standards.  While I agree that the construction workers had the right to take action, I think it's a shame that they did so in such an uncivilized and barbaric way.  I think it's more of a shame that it ended up going viral on Fox News.  While the workers claim they saw the guy raiding the truck and-- let's face it-- he probably did, that hasn't been proven in a court of law.  But now this dude's face is all over the Internet.  Some would argue that if he didn't want the notoriety, he shouldn't have been trying to break into the truck.  But the vast majority of people looking at the video were not on the scene and don't know what actually happened.  All they've seen in a video with three construction workers tying up and taping a guy to scaffolding.

While the video itself made me cringe, what was even worse were the ignorant comments people left on the Facebook post.  When a few people objected to the way the would be thief was being treated, there was a torrent of comments from people who were quick to fire back with a torrent of support for the vigilanteism.  Below are a few choice comments left for one guy who said the scene reminded him of "slavery" and said the workers didn't have to torture the guy.

If this was slavery, then he wouldn't be stealing in the first place because his racist master would keep him fed and clothed, this ain't slavery, he is a slave to himself, a slave to his actions, he chose to comity a crime and steal from someone else and that someone else took action, ain't nobody whipping him telling him to pick cotton and he has jordans for fucks sakes? Most slaves wore fucked up shoes.

Nigga shut yo ass up! Slavery? Fucking punk was trying to steal and they caught him so they tied him up. How is this like slavery?! Stay in school and eat your vegetables so you can build that fucking brain of yours dumbass

One guy tried to agree with the poster who objected and wrote this...

Wow! I thought the same thing but I guess I'll keep my opinion to myself....not! The act of using ropes to tie him to something reminded me of a lynching. THAT'S ALL! No, they didn't choke, hurt or kill him. Yes, he should suffer the consequences of being a fuckin thief.  The image of someone being tied up like that remind me of slavery type shit too.

So it's slavery even when the black brother in the construction crew is keeping him contained while the Mexican is tying up the dumb fuck. Yeh dude your brilliant bruh. Maybe u should join in dipshit

...exactly what's wrong with society nowdays always feeling bad for the criminal screw all that don't be so harsh on the criminal crap he's lucky they didn't beat his punk ass.we need harsher penalties for criminals

I could add a lot more comments to this because there are literally thousands of them.  The vast majority come from people who apparently have no compassion for other human beings.  Either that, or they simply enjoy watching someone being brutalized and publicly humiliated.  Maybe I'm wrong to think this, but it seems to me that the guys who decided to tie up and tape the perpetrator in this way are not any better than the alleged thief.  They aren't people I'd want to know.  

Maybe this makes me a bleeding heart, but I don't support cruelty or barbarism.  I found that video pretty sickening and the comments that followed it even more so.  


  1. I would consider it barbarism, vigilantism, and a whole lot of other bad things. Were this to become common, it would soon start to happen to people who were wrongly accused as well as to those who were actually caught in the commission of a crime. We have law enforcement and do not need this sort of bullshit. It's on par with Mr. Pres encouraging cops to rough up suspects.

    1. Yeah... I need to add a little to this post. I was having a hard time understanding exactly why I found it so distasteful and uncomfortable. Since I talked to Bill about it, I think I know what it is.


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