I end up with a lot of thoughts a lot. You may have picked up that having contributed to four blogs, two of which are my own, and having multiple social media accounts across several platforms. With my thoughts today I thought it’d be best to go back to the beginning with my first public consumption blog. Because today’s post doesn’t really fit anywhere else.
So. You all know how strongly I feel about Fark. I write about them. A lot. They’re the crew that introduced me to Twitter. I tweet at Drew Curtis (the founder of Fark) a lot (because he’s amazing). Fark also happens to be where I get a lot of my current events. Those who submit to Fark help weed out what should actually be news as opposed to what those out to make a buck are saying is the news. For example. A lot of times my email contains headlines outlining the penis contest that the international relations field currently is (“We’ll do this for them so we prove ourselves better!” “But we’ll do THIS for them so we’ll show WE’RE better!” ad nauseam), but Fark shares the things that often get buried under the same headlines over and over.
For example, today I saw a headline on Fark that stopped my heart. “Kids are losing their childhoods…You can see the stress on their faces as they get ready. It’s like, you know, they’re suiting up for battle.” As opposed to many Fark headlines that twist the subject matter or point of an article to show the absurdity of said article, this is a direct quote. From a parent. A parent who lost their child due to unchecked gang violence.
Many of those in a position of legislative and legal power are pointing the finger of blame at anybody else, but themselves. I think they’re missing the point though.
Ultimately it shouldn’t matter where the issue started, it should only matter who’s going to stop it. And – newsflash Washington, New York, every legislator everywhere – unchecked gang violence isn’t a new issue. Republicans, this isn’t something that started five or twenty years ago. Democrats, this isn’t something that started four months or fifteen years ago. It’s not something that started in city halls or on Capitol Hill. What’s going to make the difference is who stops it. And it’s been well proven that parents scared for their childrens’ lives aren’t going to stop it. Teachers scared for their students’ lives aren’t going to stop it.
This has to be a cohesive effort where parents. And kids. And educators. And law enforcement. And flipping EVERYBODY gets together to say, “Yeah, no.”
I don’t remember when or where I wrote it, but I know at some point I wrote that kids shouldn’t be afraid to go to school. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask a teacher to go to the bathroom. They shouldn’t be afraid to join sports teams, go to the library or get on the bus. Our communities shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for their kids so they’re not scared of any of those things.
No. I don’t have an answer for how to strengthen our communities and schools. I do know that putting the kibosh on immigration hasn’t, at any point, stopped reprehensible outfits from getting into our country. And saying, “Yeah, you can’t come in even though you’re twelve and have a family at the receiving end of your trip,” hasn’t done anything to stop the violence. I do know there are a lot of people smarter than me who are trying to do things to change the world. Who are studying and working hard to make a difference. Let’s not impede their abilities to do so.