Friday, November 22, 2013

A very cruel game played by some (black?) teenagers in the USA

America is a huge and diverse country and sometimes we hear about very strange things that happen in the cities here.  These days it seems that some teenagers in many cities are playing a terrible game called "knockout."  Some of the newspapers in America have stated that 'black' or African American teenagers are primarily playing this game, although an Arabic teen was arrested recently in Brooklyn for doing this.

What does 'knockout' mean?  If two men are boxing and one hits the other one hard enough, he can knock him out. Here is an example of a knockout.

So how has this become a game for teenagers?

Basically a small group of teenagers will walk down the street looking for someone who is 1) old or 2) white/Jewish or 3) Asian.  One of the guys in the group will then walk up to the person and hit him/her as hard as he can.  The goal of the 'game' is to knock the person out with one punch. 

In New York it looks as if some black teenagers have been targeting Orthodox Jews. There are 3 types of Jewish folks in America: 1) Orthodox, 2) Conservative and 3) Reform.  It is easy to spot or see an Orthodox Jewish man because he will always wear his yarmulka (pronounced yah MUH kuh):

So several Orthodox Jewish men have been attacked in a part of Brooklyn that is half black and half Orthodox Jewish.  But this 'game' has been played in a few other American cities and not just Orthodox men are targeted.

Here is an article about this 'game':

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

a sucker punch - this is when one person hits another person, but the person who gets hit doesn't know he is going to get hit.  A punch is when someone makes a fist and hits another person. The word 'sucker' kind of means the same thing as 'loser' or 'victim.'

A fist:

an assault - an attack, a violent attack

a trend - something that is happening more and more often

fatal - deadly

assailant - attacker, aggressive person wishing to cause harm to another person

onlookers - people watching

a rash of s/t - a bunch of something, a lot of something

cowardly - to be cowardly is the opposite of being brave; they say these attacks are cowardly because the person getting hit doesn't even know he/she will be hit - the person who is attacking is a coward who will not fight fairly

mean-spirited - malicious, wishing to cause harm

the craze - the trend

a slap is a bit weaker than a punch. A slap occurs with an open hand and not a fist.

to deploy - to place into the public, to post

to stiffen penalties - to make the punishment more severe

a sick game - a disgusting game played by people who are not mentally healthy

twisted - not good, wrong, not right, psychologically ill

a thug - a criminal, a person who likes hurting others

preying on - attacking

bystanders - people minding their own business

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