What Have We Become? When Being Popular on Social Media Overrides Compassion

I saw this story this morning in my feed. I subscribe to several newspapers, the Washington Post being one of them. This is the beginning of that story:

Armed with a crowbar, a man in a black tank top approached Joslyn Allen on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles just after 2 a.m. on Monday, spewing hateful slurs. “He literally grabs my hand and pulls me,” Allen, who is a transgender woman, told KABC. “He’s like ‘We’re going to find your friends because I’m going to beat y’all up.’

Allen got away. But the man soon found her friends, Jaslene Busanet and Eden Estrada, who has a large following on YouTube as Eden the Doll. He hurled hate speech at the women, who are also transgender, and hit Busanet over the head with a bottle, knocking her to the ground, according to police.

All the while, a crowd of onlookers stood by, watching and recording the repeated verbal and physical assaults, with many yelling their own transphobic insults at the women.



“When I saw the video, like anyone who has seen it who believes in human decency, to see this level of violence celebrated gleefully, so much so that the perpetrator himself posted on social media, is like a sucker punch to all of us who believe in civilized behavior,” (Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch) O’Farrell said.


What is happening to us as a society? We elected a horrible man as President and our morals and empathy seem to have gone out of the window with his inauguration. There were always pockets of incivility or meanness in the world, but in the last four years, it seems to have been unleashed everywhere.

Social media is part of the problem. People seek more “egoboo” by posting things online and saying things they never would to another person’s face. I experienced a dose of slander this week by a person who seems to think she is the next best thing to God. Why would she make stuff up and post that about me when she doesn’t even know me? “Egoboo” on social media.

Before Facebook or Myspace, I saw it a bit when I wrote at Epinions. People wanted everyone to think they were “cool” so they said and did things they believed would cultivate that perception. One time we were writing “get to know you” posts. One writer actually copped to being “a very popular pot and coke dealer” in the Boston area. He obviously thought that made him “cool.” When he experienced backlash for this admission, he tried to backpedal, but it was too late.

Why would you be more interested in filming someone being beaten up than getting help? Obviously, with the insults spewed, they take issue with people who aren’t heterosexual. There’s a bit of transphobia and homophobia involved as well. Even so, shouldn’t we be acting out of kindness? Shouldn’t someone have called the police? With a group that big, why didn’t they try to stop what was happening? The answer is, because somehow in their twisted mind, it was okay as long as it wasn’t happening to them and they could get “egoboo” from it.

There has always been a bullying culture in the world. The difference is now it has a new platform. The one good thing is there will probably be backlash against the people who filmed this incident, just like there was backlash against the writer who thought he was “cool” because he dealt drugs. Will it involve legal charges? I hope so. I hope there is something they can be charged with such as failure to render aid. It won’t change them morally. They will see themselves as the “victim” if that happens. Maybe it would make a few other people stop and think, though.

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me.

2 replies »

  1. I weep for the victims and pray that God will judge the attacker with righteous fury. I guess the current political climate has given the green light to those who hate. We live in strange and troubling times….