“I went to the police like a good American. The two boys were arrested. They were brought to trial. The evidence was overwhelming and they pleaded guilty. The judge sentenced them to three years in prison and suspended the sentence,” explained Amerigo Bonasera, a man who’s daughter was brutally beaten by two men, to Don Corleone in the novel The Godfather. The Don responded by asking him “Why did you go to the police? Why didn’t you come to me at the beginning of this affair?”.
During our book discussion today on violence and after hearing many students’ stories about friends who have responded violently to violence, I could not stop thinking about this scene. We talked today about the cycle of violence. How violence leads to emotional violence or other physical violence which -without intervention -leads people to respond with more violence. When the American legal system failed in giving Amerigo Bonasera justice (which probably would have allowed for emotional healing), he responded in the only way he felt he could -by going using the Italian mafia to beat the men who had committed the crime. When American Society in general fails its citizens in providing appropriate intervention and support after violence occurs, people will respond in other more desperate (most likely violent) ways in order to cope. It seems that formal government intervention to provide healthy support to people and communities after violence occurs is not only necessary in itself, but in stopping violence from repeating itself over and over.
On a separate note, I am getting very excited about our project ideas! Our team did a lot of brainstorming, discussion, and idea narrowing this week. Though it was exhausting, I believe that we are almost at our final decision for a great project.