Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Girl Fight

Over the last few days there has been a lot of discussion regarding a group of teenage girls who posted a video on YouTube of the beating of another girl. "Should the parents be held responsible?" "What is happening in our society that kids think this is an appropriate way to solve differences?" "Where they just trying to be 'famous' for their 15 minutes?" "What do we need to do as a society to address this behavior?"

It seems clear to me that the answer begins at the top. We have a president whose first answer to any problem is violence. When he felt that Iraq was a threat or not responding appropriately to international demands, a preemptive strike and a prolonged military occupation was the solution. When he talks about Iran, threats of attack are the norm. When the situation between the Israelis and Palestinians is raised, diplomacy is ruled out with important groups virtually insuring that the violence will continue.

And it doesn't stop with the current president. When John McCain speaks about the situation in Iraq/Iran, he shows a profound misunderstanding of the differences or relationships between the various factions and seems to have little interest in learning those differences. Instead, his default position is to joke, "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" and to assure us that "we will have more wars."

When the default answer for the leaders of our country is to resort to violence, how can we expect anything different from our children? Wouldn't it be wonderful if the default reaction was to have a diplomatic surge rather than a military one? Wouldn't it be wonderful if the first reaction to an enemy was to work to make friends or at least to find areas of common interest rather than saber rattling? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could point to our leaders and say to our children, "look how they solve conflict and follow in their example"?

2 comments:

angela said...

at the same time it is hard for me not to hold the parents responsible on some level. i heard one of the mothers blaming the media and television for her daughter's abhorrent behavior. however, if the mother knew it was wrong why didn't she try to teach her daughter otherwise? ultimately we are each responsible for our own actions. i just wish most people understood that one idea.

roy said...

hey Angela!

no question that there is lots of responsibility to go around, not the least of which is for the girls involved themselves. All I'm saying is that the problem is endemic and goes all of the way to the top.