A Cycle of Injustice
[October 10, 2002]
By Nicholas Provenzo
Last week in
Milwaukee, a 14 year-old teenager threw an egg at a man. The man in turn
struck the teenager for throwing it, knocking out the teenager's tooth
with the force of his hit. Other teenagers fought back against the man, a
mob formed and the man was beaten to his death.
teenagers that formed that mob are now being held accountable before the
law. But as we hold these youths accountable for their actions, one can
only wonder how far back we have to go to discover the real source of
tragedy. What came before the egg? Why did the first teenager feel
compelled to strike an innocent man? Why was the man's initial reply to
the teenager so disproportionate that he knocked out the teenager's tooth?
Why did a gang of teenagers then take the man's life in revenge of a
The obvious reason
was no one involved made the effort consider their own interest and no one
involved made the effort to consider what the other honestly deserved. The
teenager attacked the man, without cause or provocation. Despite no real
danger to himself and instead of calling the police, the man attacked the
teenager in reply. Then, a group of teenagers murdered the man as their
reply to him.
Is self-interest so
alien a concept that undeserved violence against others seems justified?
Is the courtroom the only place where people are concerned about justice?
Left to their own
devices, the teenagers thought they were in their rights. So too for the
man who was murdered. Barely beyond childhood, or acting as if they were
children, they all lacked the wisdom needed to chose a course other than
their own self-destruction.
Now all have either
given up their lives, or had their lives taken from them. It’s enough to
make you stop and shudder.
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