Driving Away With It

Driving Away With It

This last week was another week for gross social injustice.

As it has now been widely reported, a wealthy drunken teen stole 2 cases of beer and then plowed into a stranded motorist and 3 bystanders who were trying to help–and killed them all.

The teen was 3x over the alcohol limit!

What an irony: 3 people stop to help a stranger in need and they are killed by someone who cares nothing for human life.

And the flagrant injustice of it all is that the kid was let off on 5 years probation and will attend a $450,000 a year private school rather than going to prison.

On the news this week, they interviewed the husband and father of 2 of the dead, killed by this teen. He is broken.

The defense teen argued “Affluenza” — like a disease, the kid should be let off the hook because…he is unbelievably wealthy and therefore was not given proper parental supervision–in effect, he is a victim of having too much–too many things, too much opportunity, but too little parenting as well.

I guess I never realized that justice meant if you had too much you could murder 4 people and walk!

While others that have too little–education, jobs, money, 2-parent families, and so on–must take the rap and go away for their crimes.

Too much–you can buy your way free.

Too little–you get sent up the river without a paddle.

Wouldn’t you think it should be the other way around–if you have more, then more is expected of you. While if you have less, your challenges are greater and so we take into account extenuating circumstances?

But no, money talks, and the guilty walks.

It is a shame on our society–and what we inappropriately call a justice system.

Whether the money buys you a top-rated defense attorney, paying off some officials or jurors, or provide alternatives to the the same punishment and rehabilitation that others must face, there is no denying that money influences the outcome.

Sort of reminds me of the infamous O.J. trial–another travesty of justice. How many more?

Funny, how art imitates life and life imitates art–in Season 2 of Homeland, the son of the V.P. drinks and drives and also kills someone and gets off with nothing but a slap on the wrist.

You see it’s not whether you’re black or white or yellow or whatever, it’s plain hard !!power!! and $$cash$$.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Exposing Rape

Exposing Rape

On the Metro in Washington, D.C. there is a sign that warns people about sexual harassment.

In the crowded rush hour trains, people can take advantage and try something.

But the advertisement reminds people that if they do the wrong thing, they are the ones who will be exposed–and punished.

This is in contrast to a story today in the Wall Street Journal about a gang rape of a 16 year-old girl in Kenya.

She was attacked in June–while walking home from her grandfather’s funeral!

Six men ambushed her, took turns raping her, and then threw her unconscious body in a toilet pit–as if to say that she was just a thing for their sexual satisfaction and nothing but a proverbial piece of sh*t herself (excuse the directness here).

But to make matters worse, the horrific act was not punished, but mocked.

The rapists were “told to pay for some pain medicine for the girl and mow the grass at the police station”–I am feeling sick again!

I write this blog for this victim and for women everywhere to try to do my little part to expose the continued injustices against them–from inequality and unsafe conditions in the workplace to sexual harassment and rape in society.

Perhaps, if we all expose the injustices, we can finally make it unacceptable and rub it out of existence evermore.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Attacked And Then Some

We watched this week the riots in London–the chaos, the anarchy, the destruction, and ultimately the fear brought upon the everyday people.
But nothing was more chilling than the video of the Malaysian student who already beaten and bloodied is helped to his feet by what seems like a good samaritan only to be taken off-guard by what turns out to really be a second attack, where they steal his wallet, phone, and Sony PSP playstation.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said about this incident: “When we see children as young as 13 looting and laughing, when we see the disgusting sight of an injured young man with people pretending to help him, while they are robbing him, it is clear that there are things that are badly wrong in our society.
But what is wrong with society and how are we going to correct them?
Clearly, there are feelings are social inequality and injustice around the world and this has sparked protests, riots, and war.
This last week we saw the gamut from peaceful protests in Tel Aviv over the rising costs of living, to the riots in the UK leading to over a thousand arrests and estimates of hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, and ongoing warring battles for the Arab Spring occurring in the Middle-East in Libya, Yemen, Syria, and more.
And while protesting and even demanding change in the face of injustice is sometimes necessary, the brutal attacks on innocents is not a fight for social justice, but rather of those who would take advantage of the times for their own greed and malevolence–it is sick to loot, burn, and attack just because they can.
Unfortunately, we saw similar mob mentality in Egypt when CBS reporter, Lara Logan was brutally raped by a crowd celebrating the resignation of Hosni Mubarak.
So what is wrong? There are some people who lack a clear sense of right and wrong, and who are not inhibited from doing horribly wrong and violent things.
I remember as a child growing up, my father used to tell me, when there is no one to stand up and be a man, you be the man–you be the example!  
This was not a lesson in masculinity, but rather of morality–no matter what others do, no matter how egregious, no matter how many, you must have the conviction to stand up and do what is right.
To me, we need more fathers in this world like mine, who teach and demand responsibility from their children.
Similarly, we need more nurturing mothers, enlightened educators, genuine models of religious piety, as well as wise and inspirational leader–who can bring out the best in our young people and give them hope, but also guidance.
Both the London riots and the attack on the student that happened this week, could happen anywhere next, if we don’t continue to address the basic needs of the people (from freedom to human rights, economic prosperity, etc.), and ensure a society that is governed by law, but also driven by ethical behavior and a sense of duty rather than entitlement.