COMMENTARY — Video of teens beating up other teens is disgusting

If you haven’t yet seen them, they’re disturbing. Last week, videos from several social media platforms — including Twitter, Discord and Instagram — surfaced and it of clips of several teenagers savagely beating up other teenagers.

This wasn’t a series of videos from Newark, or Jersey City, or the South Bronx. No, these videos were right here in Kearny and in Harrison.

It’s not just the physical brutality that is disturbing, either. The language some of these kids use with each other has no place in any discourse in 2024. And yet freely, kids uttered the “N” word freely as they cheered people on as they threw punches.

Some of the videos include vicious sneak attacks on kids. One of the videos was captioned by a man who proudly boasted the culprit was his son.

Interestingly, the reaction to us was virtually non-existent, at least publicly. Privately, many said they wouldn’t comment because they were afraid their kids would become victims of retribution were they to say anything.

But what is perhaps most disturbing about all of this — not to mention several of the videos showed adults who were present, virtually defenseless — begs a question: Is this what our community has become?

The brutality was witnessed by many bystanders, many of whom celebrated it. Cell phones and cameras were abundant because, of course, what kid wouldn’t want to be the only one not to capture this on video?

And yes, we know, and believe, this is likely a small sampling of the kids who live and go to school here. But that just one person, let alone scores of them, sat by, idly, and watched these brawls — encouraging the combatants in some cases — makes one wonder: Why? How?

We debated whether to air these clips, but decided to do so, 100% uncensored, with the hopes parents would become more aware of what is happening. Not one person, to now, (March 4) has called us, emailed us, or posted on social media, saying “Oh, yeah, we already knew about this.” The person whose site the videos came from did, however, message us, saying this was “old news,” but old or new, it’s still very serious — and we forward that note to police.

Every parent deserves to know it has happened — and likely could happen again (Though we were told some of the videos were not recent.) Regardless, these disgraceful incidents were real.

We can only hope — pray, frankly — steps have been taken to ensure this kind of nonsense never happens again. Ever.

You may watch the clips at Discretion is advised.

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.