Friday, January 10, 2014


It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child. These days it may take a video to save a child. This week we saw a homemade video of a toddler being verbally abused by adults. The adults were getting a kick out of it and had the little boy flipping them off and uttering back profanities as best he could. This sad event happened in the nation’s heartland; Omaha, Nebraska. It so happens that those involved were black. And while the black community seems to suffer disproportionately from the “thug culture”, I think it’s fair to say that the “thug virus” has infected all communities regardless of color.

This is the same virus that leads young men to wander city streets in packs and video themselves “knocking-out” passing strangers at random. It is reflected in music, clothing, language, tattoos and attitude. Some say it is rooted in poverty and hopelessness. I would beg to differ. It may be fed by poverty and hopelessness, but its roots go much deeper. Poverty is nothing new. For most of human history, the majority of people have been poor and struggled to survive. Life is hard. Even with moral standards and belief in a Higher Power, we tend to kill each other. Take away morality and belief and you have barbarism.

Dostoevsky said it well: “If there is no God, everything is permitted.”

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