On bullying, let's first demand that adults be civil
The Kansas City Star
I recently heard a mayor of a big city say that we need to have more anti-bullying programs in schools so our children can learn to be more inclusive.
I laughed out loud.
And just who would we put in charge of these programs, adults?
First, Americans are rude to each other and if we are not being rude then we are being mean to each other. If you watch the talking heads on television or listen to the talking heads on the radio, these professionals who are all at the top of their game are rude, sarcastic and just plain mean.
We have become a nation of bullies. There I said it, I am not taking it back, and you can’t make me!
We yell, scream, we give each other the middle finger, call each other names. We are disrespectful to each other.
We’d like to think we are being intelligent, but really we’re just being contemptuous of each other. Sarcasm is everywhere, and it seems the more people think they are smarter than everyone else, the uglier their speech gets. If children are being mean to each other just where are they learning these behaviors?
On second thought maybe, we should just leave our children out of the discussion until we grown-ups can start acting like civilized adults.
Also consider that we as Americans are no longer on the same team. We now have this culture that if you don’t agree with me then you are against me, and if you are against me that means you are just a pinko commie, etc. etc.
We have become two nations rolled into one. We hate each others’ religions, cultures, beliefs, holidays, traditions, churches, political parties, skin color, gender, spouses, yes and even children.
We no longer believe we should care for the poor, the sick, the uneducated, the old (except for the old people who live in Florida), individuals who have lost their homes to mortgage fraud, lost their jobs to China or lost their careers to downsizing.
We resent feeding the hungry, and don’t even think about retiring if you don’t have 2 million bucks in an IRA account, you lazy senior citizens. Never mind the fact that you may have worked at minimum wage jobs all your life with no benefits.
We must first remember we are all Americans, and our elected government officials represent all of us, not just their constituents, not just a zip code and not just special interests. They represent all of us together as Americans.
So let us start showing each other a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T., as the great Aretha Franklin would say. Stop giving people whose only jobs are to spread fear and hate so much power.
As John Lennon once said “give peace a chance,” and then just maybe we can save our children and our neighborhoods from violence.
Until then we must stop being so ugly to one another. If not, we will always have Americans who will want to kill Americans.
But just remember, maybe the 10-year-old today is a 20-year-old mass killer tomorrow. So, just maybe we make them into killers with our free but very ugly speech.
Let the state of Missouri lead the national conversation about violence, guns, hate, poverty, the lack of good education, too many minimum wage jobs and mental health treatment in America. We have a great mayor, an excellent police chief, a willing and able City Council and statewide elected officials who can and will cross party lines to save our children from gun violence.
In addition, we have neighborhood organizations, churches and charity groups that can help us understand that one child murdered is one child too many. So, let us start the conversation with our hearts.
G.D. Granger is a unit supervisor for the Missouri Department of Corrections. She lives in Kansas City with her family. To reach her, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Midwest Voices, c/o Editorial Page, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108.