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Beaten Teen & Dr. King: Mom Talk

What would Dr. Martin Luther King say about the six youths who brutally ganged up on another guy? Are parents to blame?

While much of the country was getting ready to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, a group of hoodlums jumped a 17-year-old boy in a Chicago. They called him the N-word and Asian slurs. Someone recorded Sunday's 3-minute attack, then posted it on YouTube.

This is bullying to the extreme. I can't help but ask myself "where are the parents in all this?"

First of all, we don't know yet how old these thugs are. Still, that doesn't seem to sway my opinion if they are 16 or legally adults.

Where did they learn that it was OK to call people racial slurs? Where did they learn it was OK to hit defenseless people in the face with shoes, knees and chunks of ice?

Maybe the parents didn't outright teach these things to their sons. Yet, they aren't off the hook, either. We have a responsibility to teach our children, among other things, basic decency.

Sure, there comes a point when we are no longer culpable for our children. Still, if your teens do this, moms, you blew it.

Society is getting more and more violent. Perpetrators are younger and younger. Unlike ever before, we have to pay close attention so our kids don't become assailants or victims.

As I've written before, TV and are a huge contributor to social violence. If you have in your house, you are fooling yourself.

Children aren't born hating. They are very loving, trusting little beings. Violence is learned.

Dr. King's legacy for peace has had tremendous impact in our society and around the world. Then again, in some ways, we haven't come very far at all.

Erin Gallagher January 18, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Seven teens were charged Tuesday. The 17-year-old, Raymond Palomino is being charged as an adult with robbery and aggravated battery, both felonies. Other boys' ages ranged from 15 to 16, and one 15-year-old girl. Should they all be charged as adults?
Richard Cortijo January 18, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Yes!
Jeanne Hall January 19, 2012 at 11:51 AM
I heard on a news report last night that at the court hearing for the suspects, some of their parents requested an interpreter because they only speak Cantonese. Whatever happened to those Chinese "Tiger Moms"? I thought Asian parents were very strict on their kids! Have those kids become so Americanized they're rebelling against their traditions? I don't know.
Avelino Vela January 19, 2012 at 03:58 PM
I had this conversation with some of my FB friends about parents to blame. I take issue with the question 'where are the parents?' In most cases, the parents are there and they're trying to do their best but the children still make poor choices and succumb to peer pressure. Of the six offenders, I believe one - maybe two - have parents who just don't care and don't pay attention. The others were just weak to the peer presure. And I strongly disagree wth the comment that parents are just fooling themselves if they have Call of Duty in the house. We do. It's a matter of perspective. My children play the game. My children would also give the shirt off their back if they saw someone that was cold. They would give their meal to someone they saw hungry. A game is a game and life is life and we try to teach our children that distinction. They play online, with the TV muted (by their choice) because they don't like listening to the vulgar language of the other players. As soon as they discover someone using 'cheat' codes they turn the game off because they understand the value of fair play. Parents can do everything they know how and still, their children may make extremely poor choices. We always gravitate toward the negative. Why aren't there more stories about the young man who did the right thing and took a beating for it. How do we, as a society keep him believing in doing the right thing. Because the right thing is the right thing, no matter the cost.
Grasshopper January 19, 2012 at 04:02 PM
They each should get 50 lashes with a wet Cantonese noodle and 1 year in jail.
Jane Enviere January 19, 2012 at 05:55 PM
The whole thing is a shame. As for the comments on "Asian parents" and "Tiger Moms", nothing like a stereotype. There are variations in parents and children of all cultures and nationalities. There are criminals in all parts of this world. And even the best parents can have children who do not exemplify that values with which they were raised. I wouldn't spend too much time tsk-tsking the parents since one of the parents turned in his own son. Generalizations don't solve complex problems. Violence is one of those. The whole thing is a shame. And that includes the racially-oriented comments here.
Edward Andrysiak January 19, 2012 at 06:39 PM
I thought one had to speak ENGISH in order to become a citizen!!!!
Spencer D. Smith January 19, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Beatings such as this have been happening long before video games existed. In any given decade a different scapegoat was used to whitewash blame away from the perpetrators and their parental figures. It wasn't long ago that comic books were to blame. Before that, it was crime and mystery shows on the radio. The list could go on and on until at some point, we're talking about sanskrit carved into rocks. The human race has a history of violence. It is in our nature. Most people have the intelligence and ethic fiber to resist acting out on these primal urges. Some do not. Don't take the easy way out and blame extraneous sources. There are deeper issues afoot here, both with the parenting that cultivates this sort of behavior and the lack of self control exhibited by these hoodlums. For every incident such as this where video games are blamed, there are hundreds, if not thousands of kids playing the very same games who have never hurt another person in their life and do not intend to do so. In fact, violent crime such as this is way, way down across the board when compared to other decades. Let's just give credit where credit is due. These kids broke the law in a heinous fashion and deserve punishment and hopefully counseling in the hopes they do not become lifelong criminals.
Long Dong Duck January 19, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Edward Andrysiak 12:39 pm on Thursday, January 19, 2012 "I thought one had to speak ENGISH in order to become a citizen!!!!" I think one should learn to spell ENGLISH before busting someones "chops"
Spencer D. Smith January 19, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Edward, speaking/reading/writing English is not a requirement of citizenship, whether you agree or disagree. If it were, many people (including yourself, considering your poor spelling and grammar) would not be considered citizens.
Andre Salles January 19, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I've deleted a couple of comments for vulgar language. Please keep it clean, folks.
Spencer D. Smith January 19, 2012 at 09:04 PM
If we want to turn these kids (and that is what they all are, even the oldest among them) into life-long criminals, then we should certainly try them as adults so that they may enter gain their bachelor's degree in crime after graduating juvenile lockup. A better solution would be court enforced therapy, community service, and victim recompense. Throughout this process of rehabilitation, evaluations should me made at set intervals to insure milestones are set in both treatment and service. This would not only help all parties involved, but in the long run would help society for a number of reasons. One, it would be cheaper. It is far cheaper to truly rehabilitate than it is to incarcerate. Two, ideally in the not so distant future, all of these kids who did such terrible things could perhaps be decent members of our society, paying their own way instead of living on the system.
Ethan Klabunde January 21, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Most definitely

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