There’s a standard truism we’ve heard in various incarnations and formats.
It goes, generically,
“You can tell a lot about a person by the way he treats those who can do nothing for him.”
This can be extended, in some fashion, to explicate the manner in which society treats it elders. Those unglamorous octogenarians with bad clothes, alarming hairstyles and untimely traditional beliefs are the antithesis to each generation’s batch of youth and middle aged.
An old person cannot make you feel sexy, get you into a club, hook you up with the latest foodie pop-up, much less serve as an ego stroke.
Old people offer nothing material to young people (other than an inheritance maybe in which case everybody loves the old person); our treatment of elders is the barometer of our innate sense of compassion and humanity we possess (or don’t) and express collectively. Culture innately leans into youth culture’s vibrancy but fends off its drive to disregard that which elders do offer: a link to the past, to the foundational knowledge that courses through mankind’s temporal march. Elders offer us the soul our society imbibes. If we refute this, we enter the realm of societal perdition.
American culture has not typically been one that treats elders with deference or interest. This is a degrading cultural trait that has grown worse as the familial sense of cohesion has disintegrated along with America’s middle class.
The year 2019, when COVID by the same name was born, was not kind to old people. The virus barreled through the senior population like a fire in a field of dry brush. Seemingly intent on purging and sickening as many of the elderly as possible, the little SARS-2 bugger harnessed the opportune viral dynamics for efficiently furrowing into the immune and respiratory cells of those who were advanced in years. Everyone whines about naming viruses by geographical origin because we just live in that type of soft-bellied era, but COVID-19 could easily be named the “Boomer Flu.” Sucks getting old and now the geriatrics had to worry about a microbe that had them in its sights.
And before COVID-19 first came floating along in search of some warm nasal lining, there was another “geronticidal” killer that was one step ahead: Billy Chemirmir.
He’s likely the greatest mass murderer of seniors in American history (with the possible exception of Andrew Cuomo). Yet, if you polled most Americans, they’ve never heard of him because he is a black immigrant who overstayed his visa and all his estimated 18-24+ victims were white seniors. Now, Dallas prosecutors, in shocking news that will escape national scrutiny, announced they will not seek the death penalty.
In a most heinous murder spree that has gone unreported outside Dallas, health care worker Billy Chemirmir was charged in 2019 with murdering 18 seniors ranging in age from the 70s to the 90s over the course of at least two years in north Dallas. He is believed to have used his access to seniors as a health care worker and smothered his victims to steal their jewelry. Civil suits name him as a murderer in at least six other cases, and given the age of some of the potential victims, there is no way of determining who else might have died at his hands.
The Blaze spins a racial angle in explaining the leniency of Texas prosecutors, which is not unfathomable, really. If the killer and victims were to flip races, the outcome and coverage would be quite different.
But I would argue the leniency is not owing to the race of the killer and his victims; it’s the age of the victims that indirectly caused this leniency.
It’s America. Our post-capitalist hedonistic degeneracy is unaffected by harm inflicted on old people.