It comes as no surprise to anyone that there are cameras everywhere. My 2-year old daughter is a pro. She cheeses for every camera she sees. So she is always smiling. We carry cameras around with us every day. We see them in stores, at the bank, at street lights, in bedrooms (not mine, unless my wife isn’t telling me something), and even in elevators. There isn’t an aspect of our public life that isn’t at risk of being filmed. If you throw a fit in a restaurant, 30 people in there with you are pulling out their cameras. You throw-up from drinking too much, someone will be there filming. It is the time we live in. What’s even worse is that in one click what we did to embarrass ourselves is on the web for everyone to see.
That is why I do not understand this whole Ray Rice thing. If there is any place that would have total coverage of an area, you would think it would be a casino. I’ve been to casinos, I’ve seen more camera’s there than I’ve seen anywhere else. Did the NFL and Ray Rice think there wouldn’t be a video showing exactly what happened in that elevator? Did they expect us to believe there wasn’t a video? They are trying to hide behind their legal shield by saying they did everything they could to get the video. But apparently they did not, because TMZ was able to get it. Now they want us to believe that TMZ has better resources than the National Football League? A league that made 9 billion dollars last year. You can’t tell me TMZ has more power.
I wrote earlier in the year that the NFL wasn’t doing enough about Ray Rice. And the reason was because he wasn’t costing them money. Why would they care about what was going on with him and his wife if we didn’t? The shame was that we should have cared. Just like Donald Sterling in the above link, Ray Rice was the same human piece of trash he was before the video was released. Why did we have to see the video to understand that?
I think people are used to seeing everything so they lack imagination. We know that something happened in the elevator, but as long as we didn’t see a video we were able to believe that Janay Rice somehow was the cause. That maybe she provoked him. That maybe just maybe he was just protecting himself from a wild out of control woman. What’s worse is she actually took some of the blame. She got on stage and apologized for her part in it. I can understand how everyone could be fooled. But we shouldn’t have been. The NFL, the Ravens, the media, the fans, and anyone serious about women’s rights should have stopped what they were doing and said, ‘Show me the film’.
We knew there had to be film. Why didn’t we all demand to see it? You don’t want to impede on the privacy of others? That’s bullshit. I believe in a person’s right to privacy, but the minute you commit a crime, that privacy is forfeited. I understand that we’re a society that prides itself on ‘innocent until proven guilty’. That is why someone who is on trial should want the video out there. If Ray Rice believed he hadn’t done anything wrong (I use that loosely because he admitted fault but allowed his wife to share it) he should have wanted that video out there. What better way to show what happened than a video of what happened. Dr. House taught us that everyone lies. But video is the equalizer. It is hard to lie when faced with video evidence.
I’m glad the video is out there because now we can open up about what violence against women is. We can learn from this. We can educate our daughters, sisters, and even mothers as to what abuse looks like. I feel sorry for Janay who is acting like Ray did nothing wrong. She is standing by her man. And that is just what battered women do. They make excuses for the man who hit them. They get angry when someone says something bad about their man. No one who watched that video would say that what Ray Rice did was reasonable. To see her say he is a good man, that he just made a mistake, gives us all a window into what abuse looks like. He abused her. He battered her. He punched her out because she had the audacity not to be spit on. And now we see the aftermath. Her coming to his defense. Her acting like she did something wrong. This isn’t something new. This is something that has gone on since the beginning of time. It is just now we have a real window into. I personally like the cameras. I’m guessing Ray Rice, not so much.
That is what I’m left with when I think about the roller coaster the last couple of days has been. We are seeing a new way crimes are handled. Instead of a jury of 12 of our peers deciding our fate, it is coming down to the country. Because if you’re crime is on film it is going to be shared. And I think that makes the justice system just a little better. No more lies, no more deceptions. Here’s the film, now explain it. And we get to see some of the other problems facing this world. Battered women sticking up for their men, bosses covering up for valuable employees, a nation desensitized to facts, and a country being watched (for better and for worse).