White Student Beaten On School Bus; Crowd Cheers! Still, Doesn’t Look Racist

At the top of Drudge right now is a story called: “White Student Beaten On School Bus; Crowd Cheers.

The implication there, of course, is that this was a racist event. The story, which is from St. Louis today, also points in that direction. Here’s an excerpt:

The 17-year-old victim was white and the teen assailants were black. Police released a video of the beating, which shows the victim being punched repeatedly while other students on the bus gather to watch, some cheering. It doesn’t appear that the victim did anything to provoke an attack and tried only to defend himself. Police said it all unfolded in a five-minute span.

The victim was trying to find a seat and was told by two students he could not sit next to them, police said.

As he walked to the seat, someone shouted, “Beat his @ss.”

When he did sit down, one teen tried to push him out of his seat then began grabbing the victim’s neck and punching him in the face.

With each punch, some in the crowd chanted, “Boom, boom, boom.”

The victim eventually returned to his seat, but another student began taunting him a few minutes later. The victim was then struck in the face.

…”In my estimation, it’s racially motivated,” said Capt. Don Sax of the Belleville Police Department. He said one reason he had formed this opinion was that many of the students, most of whom were black, yelled their support for the beating.

“There was absolutely no justification for the beating either time,” Sax said. (Hawkins’ Note: If you want to actually watch what happened, there’s a non-embeddable video at the link, so you can actually watch the whole thing.)

After reading the article and watching the video, there’s nothing in it that strikes me as racist. I know it’s a black kid beating a white kid. I know that the other black kids were cheering him on. You know what that is? To me, it’s just the “bus experience.”

Early on in my high school years, I was kind of mousey. I got picked on. I once even got into a fight on the bus for no more of a reason than that kid did. There were no seats left and I had to sit down in front of the biggest bully in the entire school. He started smacking me on the back of the head just because he thought he could get away with it. That’s how it started. It ended with a flurry of punches and my busting his lip — although I think I would have to give him the victory on the judge’s scorecard. The good guys don’t win them all.

That bully was white, but was the scene significantly different? Not really. High school kids are amused by fights — even very one sided fights. Getting excited, yelling out “boom,” or saying “kick his @ss” are just par for the course. It’s all very Lord of the Flies — and I tell you that from experience. As I got older and meaner, if you count the minor scuffles, I probably got into 8 or 9 physical altercations during high school and my first year of college.

In fact, I never really stopped fighting, ironically, until I started taking martial arts. After enough practice and sparring, I got confident that I could handle myself in a fight. Once you believe you can kick someone’s @ss if it comes down to that, unless you have no self-esteem or you’re a jerk, you don’t feel a need to throw hands over every little thing to defend your honor. Just knowing that you could is enough.

That’s a bit of a winding path, but back to the topic at hand. I don’t know what’s in anybody’s heart, but what you saw on that bus probably wasn’t about race. It was about high school trash acting like animals when they can get away with it. My guess is that across the country today, when kids go home from school, the rough equivalent of what you saw in that video will happen a dozen times with kids of all different races involved.

The bullying? The school should use a firm hand to deal with that. But, I don’t think the bully needs to be sent to some tedious tolerance class because he behaved the same way with a white kid that he probably behaves every day of week with other black kids when he can get away with it.

PS: Let me add that the primary reason this sort of bullying goes on is that schools refuse to effectively deal with the thugs, losers, and troublemakers in their ranks. Public schools are simply not properly equipped to deal with hoodlums. That’s why they should treat public education like a privilege instead of a right, so they can get more of these disruptive students out of the schools. Instead of worrying what’ll happen if that 2% of the population doesn’t get to go to classes they’re flunking out of anyway, they should be much more worried about the other 98% of students whom they’re harassing and slowing down.

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