Fear the Mob Mentality and Vigilante Justice

English: Anonymous Español: Anonymous

The internet hacking group Anonymous has posted a video showing members of the Steubenville (OH) High School football team laughing and joking about the rape of a sixteen year old girl by members of their team, and apparently individuals appearing in the video. And Anonymous has posted a threat to “those responsible” and school officials who supposedly protected some of the suspected culprits. Let me be clear Anonymous is threatening people who were not present and had nothing to do with the rape. 

The rape occurred August 22, 2012. The girl was drugged, sexually assaulted and transported by the group of football players from party to party where she was photographed and raped repeatedly. Two members of the football team were charged with rape of a minor. But rumors persisted that many more teen boys were involved.

We post the video here with the warning: This video contains extremely crude language. And you are advised that if you have a problem with the efforts by Anonymous to promote this vigilante justice, then you shouldn’t watch this video.

The problem with Anonymous is their efforts indict, at least in public opinion, almost every kid on the Steubenville High School football team whether they were involved in the rape or not. Anonymous and others who engage in vigilantism have made themselves Judge, Jury, and possibly Executioner. They are fomenting a mob-mentality that in the end can only be bad.

4_7_12 March for Justice for Trayvon Martin-12

4-7-12 March for Justice for Trayvon Martin

One need look no further than the Trayvon Martin case to see the ill effects of what a mob frenzy will do. I wrote a blog called “Trayvon Martin’s Killer Should be Punished, Right?” on March 28, 2012; a tongue-in-cheek effort to point out how the mob mentality drove police and local prosecuting attorneys to reverse their initial, and seemingly correct, decision not to bring murder charges to the teen’s killer George Zimmerman. As I wrote in my blog “Trayvon Martin beat his Killer” and as has become apparent through released photographs and doctor’s testimony since the frenzy that caused the arrest there is more than a little evidence to verify Zimmerman’s claim that he shot Martin in order to protect his own life.

George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman

I don’t know if Zimmerman is guilty or not, but I think NOT is far more likely. And since I took the heat for my earlier blogs questioning the mob indictment of this poor little man, Zimmerman, I won’t feel the least bit of problem proclaiming “I told you so” when his trial results in his acquittal.

I don’t know if more kids were involved in the Steubenville rape. I don’t know if the primary trash talkers in the video aren’t the two individuals who were charged in the case. I don’t like the laughing being done in the video by several other KIDS. I can’t emphasize enough I’m disgusted by the behavior of those in the video and I believe anyone who was present, eye witness to and cheering on the rape of the girl needs to face criminal prosecution. But regarding those in the video I know laughing is not against the law. Nor is being stupid. At least, it’s not currently against the law. The wave of ugly political correctness that covered this country like a blanket in the 1990s never fully went away. So laws forbidding laughing at crude humor may be just around the corner.

I’m sure Anonymous feels fully justified and righteous in trying to expose the guilty in this horrible crime perpetrated against a young girl. And I sincerely hope those responsible face justice. But I also pray innocents are not swept up in the wave Anonymous is trying to generate. I fear they will be. Just like before.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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