The Knockout Game Goes Viral, The Hunger Games It’s Not

Enthralled with the movie saga of starving and oppressed young heroes rebelling against brutal government tyranny? Then what do you make of gangs of inner-city teenage boys trying to prove their macho playing a one-punch knockout game, preying on innocent victims whose government obliges all of us to house, feed, educate, and provide medical care to these barbarians within our gates?

The good news is that mainstream media is finally picking up on the story, which has been simmering for years in the alternative press. Thankfully, attempts by the New York Times and others guardians of the prevailing narrative to dismiss this as urban myth or blame it on violent videogames are gaining little traction. Shining some light on this story may help combat the trend. The bad news is that until more forceful law enforcement measures are taken, increased media attention is more likely than not to produce a wave of copycat incidents, similar to reports of flash mob looting.

Underneath lie the forbidden issues of race and class. While the mainstream mediastudiously avoids identifying the race of knockout game perpetrators, an overwhelming number appear to be black males, with victims chosen specifically because they are not.

Unlike their quick involvement in the Trayvon Martin case, our unifier-in-chief and his attorney general have absented themselves from this national conversation, despite the increased federalization of so-called hate crimes. But perhaps they have a point. Judging by published interviews of teenagers familiar with or involved in these despicable games, they don’t fit the profile of most hate crimes. Rather, they appear to be manhood rituals designed to increase the esteem of attackers amongst their peers. Both the hoodlums involved and their laughing companions seem to accord no more moral significance to these violent attacks than they would to pulling the wings off flies.

And therein lies the horror of this trend.

Gilder’s appeal to the superiority of “maternal morality and futurity” was met with fierce hostility and derision by the feminist community, whose attempts to deemphasize the primacy of marriage and family succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. The upper classes successfully adapted as the institution of marriage changed from a lifetime commitment to a series of short-term contracts by an unremitting focus on education, allowing both male and female children to economically thrive even if they choose to live single lives. But inner city families, lacking such cultural capital and dependent on dysfunctional public school systems, largely collapsed. Instead, single mothers supported by a panoply of government welfare programs unleashed generations of fatherless boys on society, who grew up to become irresponsible, unproductive thugs. Popular entertainer Bill Cosby continues to make many of the same points.

These thugs-in-training have now brought us the knockout game, a cowardly version of the ancient manhood rituals that used to send a solitary young warrior out with a spear to catch a lion. At least tribal hunting rituals cultivated cunning, skill, and bravery.  Exactly what kind of character traits are cultivated by sucker-punching elderly, defenseless women?

If this trend continues it’s just a matter of time before vigilantes step in to fill the gaps left by law enforcement agencies too busy confiscating cash and cars in pursuit of their futile war on drugs to focus on public safety. The New York Times will surely be the first to condemn knockout game victims who shoot back, a trend that can’t start soon enough.