|It should be no surprise why children are so crass to each other. Harry Reid demonstrates today's version of America civility and discourse.|
The article below is written by a guest editor:
Elections have consequences. Most people would agree that those consequences can be negative or positive. Most people assume that the consequences involve taxes, social issues, or national security. Many people are not aware of the negative consequences affecting our Nation’s youth. During the last two election cycles, both parties have expressed the importance of “targeting” the youth vote. I’ve recently learned firsthand that it comes with a cost.
The day after the election was a rough one for me as I had to come to grips with the fact that my Presidential choice didn’t win. I had spent a long four years attempting to raise awareness of the future consequences of electing a president who wanted to fundamentally transform America into something that in my opinion, was far from the America I had grown up in and loved. Like 49% of America, I woke up on November 7, 2012 and contemplated where I would go from here.
My sixteen year old daughter came home from school and was quite visibly upset. She sat down at the kitchen table and proceeded to tell me what had happened at school earlier in the day with regards to reactions to the outcome of the election. During election night she was on Twitter as was I watching for reaction and results. At one point, she tweeted “Go Romney!” Within minutes, she was bombarded with the most vile and hate filled Tweets, most of which came from kids her own age in different parts of the country. As a mom, I tried to tell her to just let it go and unfollow those which are really vulgar and offensive. At one point, her own local friends started to tweet degrading and nasty tweets simply because she didn’t have the same pick as theirs. Having been on Twitter during election night myself, I also saw firsthand how people were treating each other. I was shocked at how nasty, degrading and abusive the “youth” had become. She was attacked and told by one of her friends that she was a “gay- hater!” She was called a racist as well as other things that I cannot write in a blog. During the day at school she said kids were being so hateful and rude to each other and that the bus ride was almost unbearable. They were pitted against each other and at one point she thought the outburst might erupt into violence.
Later that evening she was Skyping a friend of hers who lives in Florida. They were talking about the election and soon discovered that they had made different choices. Her friend is a fifteen year old girl who comes from a pretty conservative family. She stated that during the school day, someone had asked her if she was happy with the outcome of the election. When she told then that she was, the other kids really started giving her a hard time. I found it interesting that the hatred did not simply come from one side of the political spectrum, but it was just as bad for both. She told me that she became really upset with what she was hearing in the halls and at her locker. Students were using racial slurs when talking about and referring to President Obama. There were calling him a n****r who wanted to take away guns. The worst part was the fact that all of this was taking place within earshot of teachers and no one would intervene! She told me that later in the day; some white students were talking about some African American students and saying they should go back to being slaves. After confiding in a teacher about what was happening, she decided to go tell an administrator. Simply put, she was told that there were a lot of “rednecks” in the community and there wasn’t anything the school could do.
I’ve been an educator for seventeen years and have never seen anything as bad as this! What have we as a Nation become? The past four years have done nothing to strengthen us as communities and Americans. In fact, people are more racially divided that ever before. Since when is it ok to completely eviscerate a person, especially a fifteen or sixteen year old girl or boy (yes, they are still children), simply because you don’t agree with him/her? As Americans, how have we allowed and condoned this type of behavior from our children? Does getting out the youth vote mean to completely radicalize our children and turn them into uncivilized humans that are so intolerant of anyone who dares to disagree with them? Has the far left succeeded in creating a new generation of voters that will faithfully follow their lead by inciting violence and tearing down anyone who dares to disagree? If Alinsky (or Harry Reid) type behavior and tactics from the left have become normalized in every day interactions, why are we surprised to witness the same type of behavior from those students from the right? Where are the adults? Why is this behavior accepted?
While watching post-election coverage, almost everyone mentioned the fact that the left has strategically “targeted” the youth for the past 5 or 6 years and in doing so has secured a group of faithful and loyal supporters. Excuse me! Those are our children! I have been fighting the government overreach into our states, schools, and lives for a while now. I am convinced that this type of “targeting” does nothing but breed hatred, racism, and cultural intolerance. I refuse to allow my children and the children of America to be used as pawns in this supposedly new bipartisan and transparent America! If this is what four years under the current president has done for the youth of our Country, I shudder to think of what the next four years will do. I have never in my lifetime seen people so racially divided and bitter. The part that is most shocking to me is what is happening to our kids as a result of this. Are we as parents not having crucial conversations with our kids about politics, elections, and civic responsibility? Have our kids become tolerant of so much, that they think nothing of using racial slurs and attacks for simple viewpoints?
As Americans, it is time to start having those crucial and sometimes uncomfortable conversations with our kids about what our own values and beliefs are and how we as a Nation need to conduct ourselves. I refuse to believe that this is it. All is not lost, but it is up to us as parents, Americans, and teachers to stop this “targeting” of our youth. We would never send our kids into the world without talking to them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and the consequences of use. Why on earth would we send them out into the world without having conversations about civic responsibilities and how to conduct themselves in a respectable manner no matter with whom they agree or disagree? As Americans, we can do better. We have to. Our integrity as a Nation is at stake. We may not be able to monitor every move our child makes. We may not be able to guide them 24/7. We can, however, make sure we arm them with the tools they will need in the future to begin to resist the propaganda being perpetuated in our schools, on TV, and in the mainstream media. Will you stand with me to reclaim our children from the grips of those who wish to simply use them as pawns in an attempt to fundamentally transform us into something unrecognizable to the rest of the world? If not us, who? If not now, when? The future of The United States of America is at stake. Don’t let it slip away on our watch!