Someone needs to update Plato's Republic. We are no longer the man in the cave. We are the nation in the toilet. I invite you to climb out with me.

In January the world saw video of Alan Haywood, a DC florist who was attacked on the Metro Green Line by a bunch of thugs…for minding his own business. Less than one year later I had the unfortunate experience of writing about a run-in with a Green Line low-life, although it ended quite differently since thugs don’t like it when their victim becomes the aggressor.

Today there is the case of Scotty Mandingo Strahan, who it appears is the young man responsible for cold-cocking a homeless, elderly man along Chicago’s Red Line. We can thank WorldStarHipHop for bringing this incident into the light, where it can now be examined (and possibly used to ensure that justice is served).

Some people despise sites like WorldStarHipHop and its glorification of a culture that finds entertainment value in treating homeless people as a punching bag. To me, WorldStarHipHop is whatever you make of it. For me, it’s a mirror that simply reflects American cultural decline. It serves as a wake-up call for those caught in the cesspool created by decades of moral relativism. Are we too close to the waterfall to prevent ourselves from going over a cliff? Are we stuck in an undertow and only gasping for breath before it all goes black? I don’t know, but the image of a homeless elderly man lying unconscious on the cold concrete, while his hand rests on the American flag on his chest, is powerful for all the wrong reasons.

Listen to the audio, and in between the hoots and hollers and laughs and giggles someone asks why the perpetrator didn’t go through the man’s pockets! The response: He’s homeless! (i.e., I would have robbed him too, but I knew he didn’t have anything on him).

When it’s not psychoanalyzing our political process, the world wonders why a Penn State coach can get away with robbing children of their innocence for years on end. The world wonders why it’s ignored or under the radar until it blows up in our faces (at which time everyone gets up on a moral pedestal and pretends like they would have been the Knight in Shining Armor if only they were there to rise to the challenge).

The truth hurts: We’re like the man in the cave Plato speaks about in The Republic, but instead of a deep dark cave we’re the Nation in The Toilet. We’ve been in the toilet so long that most of us don’t even realize it because we’ve never looked up. Most people think they live in a pretty porcelain palace until they get hit in the head with a big piece of crap (e.g., The Penn State scandal).

Sad, isn’t it? Instead of swimming in circles, try climbing out of the toilet and helping a few others on your way out.


  1. What are the actual statistics for crime? individual anecdotes mean nothing and can easy be cherry picked to support almost anything.

    1. Hi Erislan,

      Do a little research on the area I was accosted at (if that’s what you’re talking about). The crime stats are readily available.

      Regardless, the broader points that I make about cultural decline are rather self-evident. All you have to do is take a look at the success of websites like WSHH…

  2. First I’d like to apologize, your comment gets cut off after WSHH so I don’t know what you said entirely. No amount of clicking could reveal the text, or I’m just an idiot who can’t figure out this site.

    If it’s a societal problem a microcosm shouldn’t matter all that much, and the statistics (according to Bureau of Justice Statistics) show violent crime having peaked in the early 90’s and property crime to have peaked shortly after. both showed stark decline in the late 90’s that plateaued during the 00’s.

    I also question the use of an internet community to gauge the decay of society, and if you want a more stark example just visit 4chan. The anonymous nature of the internet leads to great callousness and exaggeration, tell me you’ve never laughed at a youtube video that involves grievous injury?

    I also question the use of the word relativism, western culture has never had an absolute moral stance. Bits are taken from absolutist ideologies, divine command, utilitarianism, Kantism, but the end result has always been some form of cultural relativism. Are you suggesting we stop thinking of the consequences of our actions, or their intents, and just look it up in a book? Or ditch the book, damn the consequences, and focus on intent? What moral theory should we enforce in society?

  3. erisian,

    There’s really not much of a point in going back-and-forth with you. You come to a blog that has hundreds of posts, with links to all sorts of news organizations, think tanks, and government statistics and then essentially tell me my blog is useless to you. I’m perfectly fine with that. Perhaps one day I’ll find your blog – the one that only cites Department of Justice statistics — and use it to buttress a point I’m making. Until then, I hope you find a WordPress blog that’s to your liking.

    PS: I was in Prince George’s County in Maryland when I had my little incident. Chew on its crime stats for awhile if you get bored one night.

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