Are we regressing as a culture?

I was going to do a vlog about this subject but decided that was kind of a cop out. Vlogs are so much easier to do and maybe half of the people who read my blog watch them so I decided to write my frustrations instead of speak them. I am told this is very therapeutic. I have been told that I am a ’causer’ the definition I assume was meaning I have highly evolved opinions on social issues and have no problem stating them. I prefer the term humanitarian. We all have to live on this planet together so why can’t we at least try to be civil to one another no matter our race, religion, or sexual preference?

This week a thirteen year old boy committed suicide, and not one, but two college students also died by their own hand. The one thing they all had in common is the fact that they were bullied because they are gay.

We teach this hate to our children, sometimes unknowingly. We say “That is so gay”, or “You are such a fag” as a joke. These jokes aren’t funny they are derogatory and future generations pick up on if something is ‘gay’ or a ‘fag’ it is the equivalent of something that is not good. This has to stop.

Books are being banned, books that could be helpful to young women and men. Books that can help them understand that even though it seems like it. They are not alone.

I just want to repeat that: no matter your religion, your race, your sexual preference, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I want to see more, no I demand to see more community based programs for those of sexual minority. I want to see the community band together to protect these children and this literature instead of condemning them.

When you ban a book about rape you are taking away a resource for a child who may go through the same situation. We do not live in a perfect world where rape never happens. Let your children educate themselves, and you know what? If you want let your children educate themselves, at least let mine.

Teach your children to love and be tolerant. Even if you do not agree with the fight for gay rights please take an active role in teaching your children it is not okay to bully, push, pull, tease or do anything else to another kid.

I for one am ashamed at how my fellow Americans have been acting lately. I have no political affiliation but I understand that I am very left-ish. I also understand that not everyone can agree with my liberal thinking. I however cannot understand this recent need to ban everything, to regress as a society, to go back to the middle ages in opinion. I will tell you right now, there is no way in heaven or hell I am going to transform into some June fucking Cleaver.

In the words of the famous Rodney King “Can’t we all just get along?

19 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    I’m on the right, and I agree with you.

    Just because I don’t agree with something doesn’t mean it should be shoved into a closet or someone should be bullied about their choices or lifestyles.

    I grew up with the belief that we are to love everyone and, I admit, it’s a struggle at times, but it’s something I’ve really challenged myself to do and do well. I’ll continue to speak out against banning books that deal with difficult subjects and the bullying against people who do something that you may not agree with. It’s not how we are supposed to be.

  2. Gravatar

    I am so glad that you have posted this–I lack the cojones to post much that might be ‘controversial’ on my blog right now because I’m applying to PhD programs, but the way our culture is headed really is so infuriating that I am happy to know other people are noticing.
    As someone who’s been bullied for being bisexual (and for being raped, among other things), I get what those kids went through, and the fact that some idiots are teaching their children to treat others in this way is so sad. We have fought so hard to be treated like humans, and it’s simply a lie to think that we live in a post-racist,-sexist,-whateverist society. Thank you for venting the things that I too have been venting about–let’s hope our culture decides to start moving in a more accepting direction soon.

  3. Gravatar

    I love this.

    I am not sure we are regressing though, I mean, people committed suicide before, people were racist before, etc.

    However, I don’t exactly think we are improving by leaps and bounds either.

    We live in a culture that promotes violence. We promote sexism. We promote homophobia. I think that sucks. I wish people were more accepting of others.

    Also, IDK if you ever watch documentaries, but the film Tough Guise addresses this whole issue of violence in media, and how we teach men to use gay as a pejorative term, etc. It’s very good and eyeopening.

  4. Gravatar

    Well said, Pam.

    Unfortunately, until those who make the final decisions about what young people will be permitted access to get enough backbone to stand up to the squeaky wheels, this fight is going to go on.

    Nor can we absolve the media, who shower attention on those who rant and rave without doing their job and providing balanced reporting, from their responsibility for the increase in bullying. If all young people see on TV day after day are racists and gay-bashers, how can they be expected not to assume those are acceptable stances?

  5. Gravatar

    This has been a really, really sad week. Caitie from Pub Writes also wrote about this topic today, on six different suicides this week from gay teens. :(

  6. Gravatar

    Amanda can you provide the link to Catie’s post? I can’t find her blog via Google.

  7. Gravatar

    Beautiful, fantastic post – wish more people thought like you (and I) did.

  8. Gravatar

    I, too, cannot understand the bullying of kids who are different. I come from a culture that is very conservative, but we are all taught to be tolerant and to love one another, no matter the other’s color, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

    I may lean toward the right in politics (though I’m not a Republican), but teaching tolerance is imperative to civilized society, especially in the melting pots we all live in today.

    The only part of your post I don’t necessarily agree with, is setting up after-school programs that cater to only one demographic. To me, it is a self-segregating action to do so and does not teach tolerance. I think that setting up programs for black kids or white kids or purple kids or brown kids is a dangerous thing. Excluding anyone from any group based on a characteristic that is out of their control is wrong. I realize that a lot of the kids and teens are not tolerant and that is why we feel the need to set up special places for those who don’t fit into the mainstream, but I think teaching tolerance and increasing adult supervision with a focus on eliminating bigotry is a better way to approach the subject, especially in schools. I realize it means more public funding would be needed in the form of bonds and taxes for the schools, and that means that property owners’ taxes and sales taxes would increase, but I’d rather see them increase for tolerance’s sake than increase to pay for a new sports stadium.

    Just my two cents. Thanks for the well-thought-out post. :)

  9. Gravatar

    Shesten, I have to disagree, there are plenty of programs available for all kids. We need specialized groups as well for kids. Bookish kids, gay kids, kids who like ponies. Groups that let you know there is someone else who does what you do and who likes what you like. I for one don’t mind paying more taxes if it prevents an tragic end for even one child.

  10. Gravatar

    You could never become June fucking Cleaver! That would be horrible.

    For a country that’s supposed to be the land of the free and all that crap, we’re not very tolerant of one another. I really wish public schools would start acting like schools instead of prisons, and show that they care about well-being of their students. That alone would help tremendously.

  11. Gravatar

    Agree about bookish kids, kids who like ponies, kids who want to live on Mars, etc. as long as they’re likes and positive.

  12. Gravatar

    Hear, hear! The power of language can not be ignored. Common terms that connote negativity, such as those related to mental handicaps and alternate sexualities, reinforce biased, prejudicial, and downright ignorant opinions regarding those not seen as mainstream. And the easy use of such terms teaches those who are different that their difference is wrong somehow. In other words, I agree. :)

  13. Gravatar

    Shesten, why can’t you have an after school group for kids who are gay that is positive? Kids who like ponies can go to a group and learn about ponies and have a great time. Kids who are gay could go to a group, learn about their sexuality and learn ways to combat bullying in a fun environment and have a positive experience too.

  14. Gravatar

    I agree with you so much Pam! As a country we complain about the dumbest shit instead of progressing forward with the things that are of the most importance. Schools need to implement zero tolerance when it comes to bullying. They do it already when it comes to weapons. Bullying is a weapon that’s used against students all the time and can be just as fatal. It’s obvious that we’re not teaching all that we can.

  15. Gravatar

    I wish I knew how to embed a video of a rousing, standing ovation that lasts and lasts and lasts.

    Cuz that’s how I feel after reading this post.

  16. Gravatar

    I read your post and the comments and I applaud your message. What I feel that needs to change though is the adults that pass on their message of hate to their kids. Everything starts at home and while I think that a club or group that helps minority groups deal with bullying is a great start, stupendous start really, what we need to be doing is sending the message to the parents that this bigotry and hatred has no place in this world.

    We need more groups that promote tolerance, not defense mechanisms. We need more people to speak out about all of the things we have in common as opposed to the things that divide us.

    Also, I come from the right on business issues and welfare type issues but have very leftish ideas when it comes to the rights of woman and issues of sexuality. Aren’t we dividing ourselves when we say that we are left or right? (sorry pet peeve)

  17. Gravatar

    I just don’t get the bullying, whether b/c someone’s gay or straight or fat or has a big nose.

    I only graduated from HS 15 years ago (wow….holy cow) and it seems the ease of using the Internet makes the bullying that much worse now. Some guy who was hassling me in HS quit after I kicked him in the balls, but what would I have done if someone secretly taped me and put it on the Internet? It’s there forever. Sad.

  18. Gravatar

    I’m glad you posted this, but there is one detail that bugs me (don’t feel bad, all details bug me). Not all of the kids who committed suicide were gay. A student at my school did last Thursday, and while he was made fun of because he acted and dressed a little girly, people who knew him well said he wasn’t gay. Just something to think about.

  19. Gravatar

    Katie, I am so sorry that a kid at your school decided to end his life. The links I posted and the suicides I was specifically talking about were all bullying due to sexuality. There is a lot of different kinds of bullying happening at the moment and this is just one side of the coin, cyber bullying is a big issue at the moment as well.

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