I dislike having to get political. Generally, banter and blunders, are not my style. That being said, I am an American. Further yet, I am Native American. And, until the situation in the United States changes…There will be no rest of my unrest.
Authority and Conformity…
Stanley Milgram once produced a wonderful piece of research that related to: How we as persons, and how far we as persons, are willing to go to be obedient to authority. Milgram had been chastised by many.
Had the research promoted illusions?
Deception(?) – the participants actually believed they were shocking a real person and were unaware the learner was a confederate of Milgram’s. However,Milgram argued that “illusion is used when necessary in order to set the stage for the revelation of certain difficult-to-get-at-truths.
This experiment had been conducted shortly after WWII. The intention had been to display just how easily those who followed, bowed down and executed for Hitler…may be no different than persons who walk among us. Neighbors, friends, co-workers.
I just wonder…
“Had more been down to promote Milgram’s study. Had it been pursued further? Had we not been so afraid of our own ‘character flaws”…Would we not be where we are today?”
A transgender teenager was murdered in Texas County, Missouri, in a horrifying case in which four have been arrested and charged. This is believed to be at least the 21st murder of a transgender person this year in the United States alone.
The body of 17 year-old Ally Steinfeld was found over the weekend, after a frantic search by her family that began earlier this month when she went missing. Her remains were discovered near a mobile home 24 year-old Briana Calderas.
Calderas has been arrested for the murder, along with Isis Schauer and Andrew Vrba, both 18. All three have been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and abandonment of a corpse. In addition, a fourth suspect, James T. Grigsby, has been arrested and charged with abandonment of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Steinfeld was last seen with Calderas, Schauer, and Vrba, and the family felt they were lying when they claimed not to know anything concerning her whereabouts. Police obtained a search warrant to look through Schauer’s phone, finding Facebook messages from Vrba telling her to “stick to the story” and “quit talking.”
Vrba admitted to police that he stabbed Steinfeld repeatedly, after first attempting to poison her, but offered no motive. He said he, Schauer, and Calderas then burned her body, and placed some of the bones into a garbage bag, placing it in a chicken coop near the residence.
Schauer and Calderas said Vrba told them he also gouged out her eyes and stabbed her genitals repeatedly.
Calderas admitted Steinfeld was killed at her home and that she helped burn her body. She led police to the knife used in the murder, as well as to Steinfeld’s phone.
Local authorities have so far refused to label the killing a hate crime, saying the motivation wasn’t Steinfeld’s gender identity. They refused to release a motive that could support such an rage-filled and vicious attack that wasn’t motivated by emotion.
“I would say murder in the first-degree is all that matters,” Sheriff James Sigman told the New York Post. “That is a hate crime in itself.”
Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.
EARL'S PLACE: "AN OPEN & RESPECTFUL ONLINE SPACE TO DEBATE OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES FACING THE GLOBE," CURATED BY AWARD-WINNING COLUMNIST, EARL PLANTE, AN UNFLINCHING ADVOCATE FOR SOCIAL & ECONOMIC JUSTICE