Perhaps I’m wrong, but the first time I recall hearing the phrase, “Get a life” was back in the ‘70’s. At that time it meant that an individual was not “living up to potential” (a phrase from the ‘50’s). In 2013 it has taken on a totally different meaning.
On Friday, August 16, 2013 a twenty-two year old Australian man, Christopher Lane lost his life in Oklahoma as he was out jogging while on a visit to his girl friend and her family. Three teenagers shot him in the back and killed him.
When the oldest of the three assailants who were arrested was asked why they had done this, the 17 year old said, “We were bored and decided to kill somebody – for the fun of it.”
It’s hard to make sense of an accident that results in the loss of life. It’s simply impossible for me to make sense of something like this. It’s beyond my understanding to comprehend the kind of a mind that considers another life so trivial that it can be snuffed out to remediate boredom. This taxes my feelings about civility and charity toward others and giving a person a second chance. I know that is a failing on my part.
There is no need to foment the issue of racism which has already been brought to the boiling point by the media. And I know that in this case Al Sharpton and other racists will be totally silent. Nor is there any need to bring up the “stand your ground” laws and whether those deter or encourage crime. Chris Lane was white, unarmed and the victim and, like Trayvon Martin, nothing will bring him back to life.
But it is time to ask some serious questions. “Why have the news media barely paid attention to this murder? Does it not meet their profile of the violent racist agenda that whites have for our black brothers? Is that the same reason that the incidences of black on black violence are so frequently glossed over by them?”
Until those in the media fulfill their responsibilities of providing news that is even, balanced and complete, we will have more Trayvon Martins and more Chris Lanes. Perhaps, in some of those cases, the only ones who will mourn them will be their friends and family. There will be no organized marches to avenge the deaths of those slaughtered.
But if the editors of our papers and those who produce our news programs don’t themselves, “get a life,” we will continue to live in a society where three bored teenagers, just for fun, will continue to take them.