Thursday, September 09, 2010

Where is justice?



I've been following the story in the Post-Courier of the young man who was charged with killing another young man about four years ago through that absolutely stupid male cult practice called 'skelim bros' and was shocked today to learn that the court has now ordered a four year suspended sentence on the perpetrator.


The newspaper did not report on the reaction to this sentence from the deceased's parents/family but I'm sure they must be feeling a real sense of injustice right now.


Where is justice being served for a boy, who was probably talked into skipping school that fateful day by boys older than himself, forced into drinking homebrew as part of the 'skelim bros' rite of passage nonsense, then held up against a wall and punched to death violently and repeatedly in the chest by the perpetrator, another boy, probably older and who was also drunk not just from the alcohol, but from the sense of power that all bullies possess when they target the weak.


And, bullying is what 'skelim bros' is all about. It's protectionism for male teenagers. If you don't get punched in the chest until your sternum/ribs snap or bend inward, at least, you are not considered man enough to be part of the crowd. You are an outsider whom others can ignore and prey on, because you are viewed as being different - and lord knows that is not a feeling you want to have when you're a teenager. It's not exactly a nice feeling when your peers ridicule you or, worse, belt you up.


Whilst following the articles, I thought the courts were presented with a good opportunity to send out a strong message that 'skelim bros' and bullying in general, which is, unfortunately, common place in most schools, is wrong and if you punch someone in the chest so hard that the impact collapses the chest cavity, snapping the ribs in the process and causing the broken bones to tear flesh, pierce the heart or lungs and thereby cause a very painful death, you, the bully, will go to jail because you have killed someone deliberately.  


But, alas, today, I read that the courts have imposed a slap-on-the-wrist sentence and you can just imagine the relief and happiness that the perpetrator would have felt as he was embraced by his equally relieved family as they walked out of the court room into the fresh air and warm sunshine. It was a beautiful day for them.


Meanwhile, the soul of the poor deceased boy, despatched so ruthlessly to the sheer blackness of eternity, roams the great void angrily, restlessly, eternally. And, somewhere, at a school in this country, some poor male student, the child of parents of have worked hard to put their son in school, is either preparing to undergo 'skelim bros' or is either being considered for 'skelim bros' by his peers. The cycle of violence rages on restlessly, eternally.   


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