I was watching a handful of news shows last night (all local, all with way too cheerful anchors) and one of them covered the story of a home invasion, in which two men apparently assaulted and potentially raped some young girls, then grabbed some valuables and left. Broad daylight, nice neighborhood, terrible thing to happen.
The interesting bit came when the camera followed the 19 year old who lives in the house–they didn’t specify if he was the brother of the girl who lived there, which I found interesting–as he was being questioned by police “who asked him some of the same questions as this neighbor: ‘Do you know those guys [the attackers]?'” The reporter went on to state that the teen had frequently had large parties in the home, with “underage drinking, drugs, maybe more,” and that his mother was charged earlier in the year with serving alcohol to minors. Thus, “neighbors weren’t surprised.”
I’m sorry–remind me again what the link is between having high school parties and having guys come beat and rape your sister and her friends?
Things like that make me so mad. Clearly what the reporter was intending to convey was that the neighbors don’t have a particularly high opinion of the kid or his mother, that they’re used to wild parties there, and that the kid is clearly in with “the bad crowd,” and they’ve made the leap from bad crowd to two violent black men. By reporting it this way, however, your average Joe Newswatcher sees the story and thinks huh, sure isn’t surprising that happened to those crummy people.