A Cycle of Injustice: Mob of Teenagers Beat Man to Death

by | Oct 15, 2002

On September 29th, 2002 in Milwaukee, a 14 year-old teenager threw an egg at a man, named Charlie Young. The man in turn struck the teenager for throwing it, knocking out the teenager’s tooth with the force of his hit. “According to police, a mob of boys as young as 10 set upon Young and […]

On September 29th, 2002 in Milwaukee, a 14 year-old teenager threw an egg at a man, named Charlie Young. The man in turn struck the teenager for throwing it, knocking out the teenager’s tooth with the force of his hit. “According to police, a mob of boys as young as 10 set upon Young and bludgeoned the 36-year-old man to death with broomsticks, folding chairs, a milk crate and even a stroller on a porch where he had tried to take shelter,” reports the Associated Press.

Appropriately, the teenagers that formed that mob are now being held accountable before the law. But as we hold these youths accountable for their actions, one can only wonder how far back we have to go to discover the real source of tragedy. What came before the egg? Why did the first teenager feel compelled to strike an innocent man? Why was the man’s initial reply to the teenager so disproportionate that he knocked out the teenager’s tooth? Why did a gang of teenagers then take the man’s life in revenge of a tooth?

The obvious reason was no one involved made the effort consider their own interest and no one involved made the effort to consider what the other honestly deserved. The teenager attacked the man, without cause or provocation. Despite no real danger to himself and instead of calling the police, the man attacked the teenager in reply. Then, a group of teenagers murdered the man as their reply to him.

Is self-interest so alien a concept that undeserved violence against others seems justified? Is the courtroom the only place where people are concerned about justice?

Left to their own devices, the teenagers thought they were in their rights. So too for the man who was murdered. Barely beyond childhood, or acting as if they were children, they all lacked the wisdom needed to choose a course other than their own self-destruction.

Now all have either given up their lives, or had their lives taken from them. It’s enough to make you stop and shudder.

Nicholas Provenzo is founder and Chairman of the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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