‘White Bear’ Shows us a New Form of Mob Mentality

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Dalton Burrows

While watching the “Black Mirror” episode “White Bear,” the viewer is in conflict. On one hand, you wonder what would cause people to act like mindless drones, and we believe it when we are told that the cause is a technological virus spread through flashing screens. There’s, of course, no way humans could sink this low without the force of an invisible enemy.

But there’s the opposing side that knows there’s no moral depth to which humans will not sink to. There’s no need for a technological virus when human selfishness and stupidity exist.

“White Bear” shows people in a silent, drone-like state recording a girl with amnesia, and we are meant to believe the cause of this is mind control is flashing screens and odd symbols. Setting aside the theme of justice and whether or not the sadistic theme park and daily electric torture is “just” for the crimes she and her fiancé committed, the question I have is: Are humans naturally this bad?

News stories in real life have shown us that this behavior is a frequent occurrence  combined with technology.

Ahmaud Arbery was killed by three vigilantes brandishing various firearms investigating a string of break-ins in their neighborhood. None of these men had any law enforcement background. The three saw Mr. Arbery in his own neighborhood and attempted to arrest him because he was an African-American man running in the day time in their neighborhood.

They chased Arbery by car, then on foot, brandishing shotguns to apprehend him. Arbery, fearing for his life, was caught by these men and beaten nearly to death, but the final blow to Arbury was three shotgun shells to his chest and face.

One of the three “vigilantes” involved in the murder of Mr. Arbery recorded the encounter on his cell phone. This video was later released to the public and was the cause law enforcement needed to arrest and charge all three men with felony murder, aggravated assault, and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Khaseen Morris was a 16-year-old high school student in Lido Beach, New York, who was killed in a violent altercation with another, older student over a girl. In the struggle outside a Chinese Restaurant, Morris was outnumbered approximately 6 to 1, and of course, since it was a pre-arranged spectacle, there were about 50 other students cheering and recording the altercation.

It seems that Khaseen fought back the best he could, giving one of his attackers a fractured arm, and others sustained minor injuries. After one of the boys who had stabbed him repeatedly fled the scene, he remained bleeding on the ground until first responders arrived, tended to his wounds and transported him to a hospital in critical condition where he died overnight due to his injuries.

According to the articles, there are many videos showing different angles and perspectives about how the altercation happened. This thought of multiple people recording a tragedy happening and doing nothing is similar to “White Bear.”

Carson Crimeni was a 14-year-old boy who died of a drug overdose in August 2019 in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. Carson was found in his grandfather’s house still breathing and was taken to the hospital where he later died from an intake of illegal narcotics.

The witnesses and possibly suppliers of the drugs that killed him recorded his drug-induced convulsion, laughed at him, then fled the scene. His father, Mr. Aron Crimeni, has contacted several local media outlets and is helping the Royal Canadian Mounted Police find those responsible.

The article also talks of the danger of the “mob mentality” and how seeing Carson as a spectacle was a direct cause of the negligence that led to his death. The mentality can cause people to “deviate in significant and extraordinary ways from their ordinary behavior and act in ways that are legally reprehensible…as they did in this case.”

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