The Sound of Social Media Silence

In my last post, I posed a somewhat tongue-in-cheek question that’s been ringing in my head ever since:

If a crime happens in Trinidad and Tobago and no one films it, did it happen at all?

Turns out the answer is… nope.

A few weeks ago, the nation was in an uproar over a video of a man kicking a woman across a barroom floor. Weeks before that, it was a video of a man slapping a toddler to the floor over a bottle of milk.

This week, we got the double-whammy. A man not only killed his wife but slit their toddler’s throat before killing himself.

And yet… No uproar. None.

This actual meme was posted in one thread. [Image:]
Yes, condolences and shock have been expressed in comment threads under various stories about the tragedy. Lots of folks called for the immediate return of the risen Lord (and a few actually tried to defend the perpetrator against judgment), but the outcry that followed the last two incidents? Nope. Nada. My Facebook newsfeed is shockingly empty of indignation over yet another example of the brutality that is disturbingly common in our society.

One wonders if the fact that he pre-empted the usual cries of “hang him” has something to do with that. In the absence of a perpetrator to bring to “justice”, the Facebook Division doesn’t seem interested in investigating yet another domestic violence situation that spun out to its tragically logical conclusion.

Or maybe the lack of an accompanying video has something to do with it. This time around, there were no gruesome visuals to share. None of the murder and certainly none of the frequent abuse that naturally preceded it. As we say online, “pics or it didn’t happen”.

But it did happen and, lack of video evidence aside, there are people who knew it was happening. Not only was his family aware of the situation, they knew he had at least thought about killing his wife. In response, they “pleaded with him to end the relationship”. Surprisingly, that didn’t work, and now a little girl is lying in a hospital bed asking for her mother and father.

We don’t know the details of this case. We don’t know if the police were ever called, if Aarika ever tried to leave, or if anyone ever tried to get little Aarti out of the abusive situation. Odds are we won’t ever know.

What we do know is that – like the previous case – this is only one of many domestic violence situations playing out across the nation at this very moment and it’s only a matter of time before another one makes the news. The only question is:

Will it be in the form of a video prompting outrage or a much quieter report of yet another murder-suicide?


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