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Richmond, CA Rev. talks sense about alcohol’s role in gangrape.

with one comment

Yesterday, being off-line (not including a miniature and slow cell phone, without a keyboard), I reviewed some local newsprint.  In fact, lack of access to the internet has caused a variety of “bad hair” days, and some dashed off, ill-formatted posts.  I became a Mac fan, glad to learn how this works, and a real convert.  Then it went MIA, and it’s back to figuring out strange computers display/paste, etc. vagaries, on the fly.  Moroever today, as far as hair is concerned, for me it’s a bad hair day (literally) as well.  Consider yourself forewarned. 

Domestic violence (of which sexual assault by any family member would be part of, though not the case here) and/or child abuse are definitely crimes that involve enablers, standers-by, and those who fail to report.  As we know.  The Richmond gangrape shocked everyone, and shock was appropriate, however, what indeed are our illusions about the public school system to start with? 

While it’s appropriate to express shock at the number of passers-by that allowed this young lady to be gangraped after a homecoming dance, few articles have mentioned that she had been drinking underage, too.  While that’s NO excuse, I feel this article handled it sensitively enough.

I haven’t posted for some days.  While there’s no shortage of topics, I looked forward to posting this article, if no other.  Someone needs to say it.  And, seeing as I tend to ramrod religion from time to time, and may in a few minutes here, I was glad to see this Rev. at least brought up the topic of, what was this 15 year old doing drinking?  What was that context?  No, that’s no excuse — she didn’t provoke this.  However, it was an element of the vulnerability here, and deserves some press.


Perspective: Alcohol abuse at heart of Richmond rape case

Rev. Alvin C. Bernstine
Guest Commentary

Posted: 11/15/2009 12:01:00 AM PST

Tuesday Nov 3
Please know that I do not mean to minimize the crime nor suggest that the victim’s inability to physically repel her assailants makes the crime less horrifying. I do, however, believe that more attention must given to the fact that a contributing factor to this horrifying crime was the abuse of alcohol, and possibly other substances.

I also know that adults make bad decisions, use poor judgment and do stupid things when intoxicated, and that heavily stimulated youth on alcohol is a recipe for violent behavior.

The lack of attention to the presence of alcohol abuse in this horrifying instance does nothing to minimize that nearly 60 percent of all high school students are drinkers of alcohol, and that in 2005 more than half of all Americans age 12 or older reported being drinkers. In one report “alcohol has been tried by 41 percent of current 8th graders, 63 percent of 10th graders, 75 percent of 12th graders, and 87 percent of college students” (Drugs and Society).

Young people are using alcohol at alarming rates, and the use of alcohol or some psychoactive substance is present in nearly all violent crimes committed by youth.

Alcohol diminishes the capacity to engage in moral reasoning, which radically impairs one’s ability to make judgments. In a culture where women are daily objectified, young men impaired by alcohol are not likely to control their impulses and are more prone to herd behavior in regard to women. Alcohol has been a constant among teen activities, and the use of it is a kind of rite of passage into adulthood.

While we pursue the assailants of this brutal act, let us be mindful that there is also some irresponsible, sleazy adult, possibly a parent, who assisted in making alcohol available to youth.

It seems that children may have engaged in a horrible crime, but some adult contributed to this damnable behavior. I pray our outcry to this crime would include efforts at educating children about substance abuse, particularly alcohol, and making adults accountable who contribute to the delinquency of minors.

I pray more parents step up and serve as monitors for school activities, which would reduce alcohol use and curtail violent behavior among youth. If parents are afraid to attend youth functions, then we probably should not let our children attend. Our children should know that the use of alcohol among children is not something that we can tolerate.

Rev. Bernstine is pastor of the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond.


Meanwhile, same incident, a career public educator moralizes on the immoral status of our educational system, in re: this same incident.  PR key — never lose a chance to moralize (I try not to, right?). . . . .   I include this link for those interested in reading the 70 comments, including those who thought the author was a “blooming idiot” and another one who blamed — what else, single parents, father absence (not of the victim, but maybe we could go blame some of the rapists, then?) and them danged immigrants.  Notice the difference in tone from what’s above:


Paul White: Gang rape watchers a product of schools’ moral void

Full story: LA Daily News

THE refusal by dozens of students and adults to intervene in a two-hour gang rape at a Richmond, Calif.. . . .  [[(read it yourself…)]]
What are you “standing by” in your life these days? . . . . Think about it..

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

November 16, 2009 at 5:35 pm

One Response

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  1. Various of folks write about this matter but you wrote down some true words.


    November 25, 2009 at 7:52 am

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