Toddler Only Defender of Attacked Woman
On Tuesday in Salem, NJ, a McDonald's worker, on duty and in uniform, followed a 27-year-old woman outside the establishment and violently attacked her. The victim states that the suspect, Latia Harris, 25, accused her of spreading rumors about Harris and her manager.
Harris punched the woman repeatedly, kicks her, and spits at her.
And it was all caught on video. (Warning: graphic content.)
Out of numerous bystanders, the only person to come to the victim's aid was her two-year-old son. The toddler, crying 'Mommy, mommy,' approached Harris and kicked her several times in an obvious attempt to protect his mother. Harris tells the victim, 'You better get your son before I kick him in the face too.'
Even after Harris threatens the toddler, nobody intervenes.
On one hand, I suppose it's great that there is video evidence of the attack, so that Harris can be successfully convicted on the charges of aggravated assault and terroristic threats she now faces.
But the bigger issue here is obviously the lack of a single person over the age of two who is willing to pull somebody off of a woman who is being beaten. Instead, onlookers pull out their phones and film the incident. Judging by background noise in the video, some of them even seem to be enjoying themselves.
Typically, I hate listening to people complain about the prevalence of phones, the internet, and social media. My generation has access to some incredible technology, and we take advantage of it. Yes, we need to stop texting and driving. Yes, it would be nice to put the phones down and enjoy dinner with a family, and many of us frequently do. But I love the other side of technology. I have a very good friend that I have never technically met, but chat with online. I can keep up with my friends at school without having to hope that our schedules line up for a phone call. I can keep my parents updated on where I am throughout the day. Etc, etc.
But this incident truly disgusts me. There is no reason that anyone's first reaction upon seeing an attack such as this one should be 'let's grab a phone and film it.' Anyone who is capable and has a sense of decency should be trying to stop the attack, or at the very least calling the police.
If this is what social media is turning my generation into, I may have to concede that it's one of the worst things to ever happen to us.