Unchallenged Violence Damages Communities
I write in response to questions posed (May 11 Community Essay by Elena De Vos Binder, “No One Came Back on the 911 Line”) concerning a beating: “What’s most terrifying?” the author asked. “That it happened? That 911 put us on hold? Or that we were afraid of getting shot so we kept our distance?”.
Those living in ghettos have a warranted fear of shootings, a ubiquitous threat in their daily lives. Though it’s not the norm for Redondo Beach, if you genuinely fear for you safety, fee. But do not turn a public assault into just another violent spectacle.
Our communities become controlled by the lawless not because we are outnumbered but because we have abdicated our sense of responsibility to each other. And in so doing have created the very society we most fear. The ubiquitous them have not done this to us. We have.
It has been my privilege to provide therapy to victims of violent crime for the past 10 years. As I sit with these brave souls who, having withstood senseless acts of violence, strive to reconstruct their lives; I am struck by what is one of the most disheartening aspects of witnessed assaults. These victims who are left with a pervasive despair and loss of faith in humanity. They are most scarred not by the physical blows, but the fact the blows were executed, shamelessley, in full view of others--who merely stood and watched.
CELIA ANN BROWN