Today, the local news was bombarded by a story out of Lakeland, my hometown. The story was revolting - six teenage girls kidnapped and severely beat another teen girl. The gang of girls videotaped the assault, allegedly to make a video for YouTube. While I am very disturbed by their behavior, I found the reporting of the incident to be so egregious. Over and over this morning, the news channel talking heads reported how terrible these actions were, and how sad it was that these girls decided to become insta-celebrities via YouTube. THE WHOLE TIME THEY LAMENT THIS THEY ARE PLAYING THE VIDEO ON THE SCREEN. How 'bout NOT showing the tape? Over and over I have to watch the video of this poor girl getting smacked around, while some blond robot woman regurgitates meaningless dialogue.
I know Lakeland is not as sophisticated as other cities, and Polk County just sounds a little "back-woods-y". However, I believe this just cements that Lakeland is the home of mostly white trash families raising the worst excuses for children - selfish, bratty, stupid kids. I never felt so bad about admitting my heritage before, but now I feel like this latest episode has forever tainted my hometown.