The Bea Line
Editorial Note: These thoughts were written prior to the tragedy in Orlando on June 12.
As I have watched local and national news this past couple of weeks, I am saddened by the things our news media focuses on, and the things that outrage people.
For example, the stories about horrific abuse perpetrated on another human being tends to get short shrift, while the killing of a gorilla incites all kinds of hate mail and passion aimed at those who had to make a difficult and tragic decision choosing to ensure the safety of a child over that of a gorilla. How does this make any sense? When are we going to start caring as much about other human beings as we do about our animals? Don’t get me wrong – I think it was horrible to have to be put in the position of having to kill such a magnificent animal. But as a mother and human being I would not have expected the zoo to take a chance on losing the child. I consider myself an animal lover and abusing an animal is horrific. However, there was no abuse occurring in this instance. The situation demanded swift action and a difficult choice had to be made.
There is however, abuse perpetrated on small children and adults every day that is performed by other human beings – and that does not seem to engender the same type of outrage. When are we going to stand up and say that we will not tolerate this abuse anymore? When is winning a football game so important that you don’t want to hold accountable the star players for rape? When will we stop excusing destructive and devastating behavior that humiliates and ostracizes others as “teenagers being teenagers”?
Our children learn from what they see – from what they see as acceptable behavior based on the news media as well as our reaction to events and I think it is time we started modeling the behavior we expect to see in them. This includes holding our peers accountable for behavior we know to be hateful and hurtful. This will take courage, but together I think we can make a difference in our community, creating a more supportive and inclusive community for all.
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