Seventy-six miles from my home, an Australian ball player was brutally gunned down by three black youths who admit to killing the man because they were “bored.” The youths had Facebook profiles that showed them holding guns and huge stacks of money. It was not a secret that these kids were very bad people.
Every single “friend” on their Facebook and Twitter accounts has some degree of culpability in the murder of an innocent man. Every violent song lyric by some rapper has a hand in this. Every violent video game programmer and marketer does also. The parents who gave up on disciplining these teenagers share in the blame for the monsters that they created. Every teacher and principal that touched the lives of these kids is connected to their wrongdoing. Society ignored an evident, growing menace and turned a blind eye to it. Now an innocent man is dead.
Some will demand harsh and swift justice, but that will not restore that which was lost. Some will point fingers and lay the blame on racism, white privilege, or poverty. There may be some truth there, but ultimately it was lack of human empathy that allowed these children to transgress the most fundamental laws that respect life itself.
Kahlil Gibran wrote:
What penalty lay you upon him who slays in the flesh yet is himself slain in the spirit?
And how prosecute you him who in action is a deceiver and an oppressor, Yet who also is aggrieved and outraged?
And how shall you punish those whose remorse is already greater than their misdeeds?
Is not remorse the justice which is administered by that very law which you would fain serve?
Yet you cannot lay remorse upon the innocent nor lift it from the heart of the guilty.
Unbidden shall it call in the night, that men may wake and gaze upon themselves.
And you who would understand justice, how shall you unless you look upon all deeds in the fullness of light?
Only then shall you know that the erect and the fallen are but one man standing in twilight between the night of his pigmy-self and the day of his god-self, And that the corner-stone of the temple is not higher than the lowest stone in its foundation.
Urgent intervention is needed in every home, school, and community to rescue children who are so far gone as to commit such a crime. If your Facebook friends are displaying weapons, money, glorifying drugs, abuse, and violence, then step up and intervene. Say something. Do something before someone else dies.