We can’t walk away from the problems video reveals

From left, Haleigh Hudson, Ezzie Johnson, Kadari Booker
From left, Haleigh Hudson, Ezzie Johnson, Kadari Booker

We couldn’t just shrug, turn and walk away.

The infamous Facebook Live video of the sexual assault of a young woman shouldn’t exist. But it does. It should not have been shared dozens of times and viewed more than 100,000 times but it has.

The young people involved will be forever tainted by their behavior. There are those who actively took part. Police said at least three people kidnapped the young woman, held her against her will and forced her to perform a sex act. The video, apparently shot by one of the perpetrators, appears to bear that out.

Many more watched.

It is hard to imagine the mindset of people who seem to believe such evil is acceptable, entertaining even. Our hearts sink.

The internet brings people countless wondrous opportunities. And yet, too many among us see the internet as an opportunity for ruinous behavior.

That video likely will ruin the lives of those it depicts. They’ll carry that stain with them to their graves.

The trouble is, these people are no longer outliers. There are websites dedicated to sharing videos of fights. School children routinely share them. It’s not an epidemic, though, and we must prevent it from becoming one.

The easy route would be to blame the technology, to restrict it, to, in fact, punish the innocent along with the guilty. We must resist that urge.

We must look deeper, find the underlying cause. That will take all of the best of society: our schools, our teachers, our churches, our preachers and priests, and our political leaders.

And it will take a responsible media. As a digital media company, we will report, not exploit such events.

All must redouble their efforts to spread the message that this is reprehensible. A dead end.

We’re realists. We know there will always be sick people among us who will commit unspeakable acts. We intend to do everything in our power to keep that behavior in check, to help police apprehend the guilty and follow through as they are brought to justice in the courts.

Then there is the matter of the people who shared that video. Many who sent it to the Sun Herald said they did so in hopes of helping apprehend the guilty.

Others, though, did it for less noble reasons. They were entertained.

For them we have a simple question. What if the woman assaulted was your daughter, your wife, your best friend?

The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.