I saw an edited version of the video on the early national news this morning. I searched out this link on the internet to get more details.
A young thug who boasts of being 6'8" tall thinks beating up a homeless man and videotaping the assaults is funny.
Imagine the person who finds humor in pummeling a poor homeless man and then stealing his bicycle against his anguished pleadings of needing his bike, all the while smiling into the camera and saying “Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever the (expletive) you are.”
Then, according the story I linked, they sought the man out again for a second assault and
In a second video, the young man is seen attacking the man from behind as the cameraman records the assault and cheers him on to “Go, go, go!” The victim is punched, kicked and knocked to the ground. He slowly gets up and looks directly at the camera.
“Oh, my God, you’re bleeding!” the cameraman says sarcastically. “We didn’t mean to do that. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Wipe off the blood.
The cameraman then directs the young man to give the victim a hug. The bleeding victim reaches out to hug his attacker, who then rams his knee into the homeless man’s stomach or groin.
The homeless man begins to scream, prompting the attackers to leave, but not before the young man runs up and delivers a flying kick to the victim’s head, knocking him to the ground.
“You gave him the big boot!” the cameraman exults. “The big boot!”
This young ruffian thought this unfortunate homeless man was just "a bum," one of the dregs of society, totally worthless and apparently expendable. I suppose he thought that feeling was widespread enough that others might find it humorous as well.
It made me stick to my stomach. It made me sad. It made me angry. And it made me think.
There is widespread outrage over this incident, as there should be. But here is the metaphor: Our elected representatives in Washington D.C. do this same thing all the time, blatantly, on video (just watch the news), all the while showing the same disdain for our most helpless citizens. They do it and smile into the camera as they do. They do it proclaiming their patriotism and devotion to God. They do it and wish us all a Merry Christmas. They hug us and then kick us in our collective groin.
And whereas the ruffian in the above story is now in the hands of the justice system, our representatives in Washington are free to continue their assaults on the poor. It's perfectly legal and apparently widely acceptable. The political conservatives have done a good job of making the poor and defenseless into villains. They have become, in the words of Dickens' Scrooge, the surplus population.
Thinking on these things is certainly enough to dampen the holiday cheer.