Cruel Granville Street Homeless Kicking Is No One-Off: Video of man paying to assault a panhandler fits a disturbing trend in abuse of the marginalized.
By Sean Condon (Megaphone/The Tyee)
I’ll fuck you up,” the man screams at the homeless panhandler as he rears back to kick him in the groin.
Clearly, he wants to hurt him. Badly. After all, he just offered to pay the panhandler $50 for the privilege of doing so.
But as the heavyset man’s leg goes flying, the panhandler flinches and the target is missed.
Dissatisfied, the man retrieves his money from the ground. Another low-income man offers himself up as a victim for the cash reward, and the violence repeats.
The disturbing video of a late night Granville Street partier offering two low-income men money to be assaulted was widely covered by the media and shared on social media last week.
Even though both men volunteered for the abuse, one has an awful feeling watching the video. That’s because the man inflicting the brutal kicks and verbal abuse is exploiting a vulnerable person’s desperation for his own entertainment. Indeed, the second victim told CBC he did it for food money.
We understand that this kind of violence is cruel, vicious and demeaning, but it’s also a growing trend in our cities. As homelessness has increased in Canada and United States over the past decade, so too has the number of violent attacks against them.
Pushed to the margins of society with few rights or protections, homeless people are increasing finding themselves prey, in particular to the aggressions of young men.
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