- The Washington Times - Friday, April 29, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

One of the last things I saw on television last night before I went to bed was raw video footage of transgender prostitute Chrissy Lee Polis being brutally beaten by two girls at a Baltimore McDonald’s restaurant.

The first thing I heard this morning when I turned on my car radio was the hosts of a popular Washington-area radio talk show discussing the Polis assault. They went on and on, dissecting every detail of the attack and discussing whether it should be prosecuted as a “hate crime.” As they discussed the punishment that should be meted out to the perpetrators, I began to feel weighed down and then irritated, so I turned off the radio.

As I considered my reaction, I realized that I had been feeling exploited. I understand that this “bad news” is the stuff of higher ratings, but there is only so much that can be wrung out of a story like this. At some point the story stops being news and becomes a trek through raw sewage. Why is it that we are so riveted by stories like this?

The issue we should be debating isn’t so much whether this was a hate crime or how severely the attackers should be punished, but rather how barbaric our society has become that we are no longer repulsed when we see this kind of barbarism. We have degenerated into the modern-day equivalent of Romans watching gladiatorial combat, gesturing our thumbs up or down to the demigods of American media by our viewing habits so they will give us what we want to satisfy our bloodlust.

Unfortunately, it is we who empower behavior like that of the attackers in this case. We do this by tolerating the expungement of God and prayer from every sphere of public life. We send our kids to schools where moral relativism is gospel and the state is god; we elect liars who promise what they can never deliver and preach venom and bitterness. We pit group against group, and in our society, everyone is a victim and no one is culpable for his own actions.

Sadly, it seems that acts like the one I saw on television and heard about on the radio are the inevitable result of what we as a society have become.

WILLIAM COOK

Round Hill, Va.

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