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drdigi420 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-26-03 11:04 PM
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Are we getting meaner as a culture?
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It seems to me that the US has become a culture of mean people. There are many exceptions to this rule, but I believe the majority of Americans have become mean. Granted, most people are nice to each other, but, given the anonymity of an automobile or an electoral vote, they lash out at what they do not understand. And, as our world gets more and more complicated, there is more and more that they do not understand.

People that call themselves 'Christians' support the murder of children that don't look like them by voting for a lunatic. Mild-mannered housewives watch the bombs fall on innocents in Iraq and feel proud to be an American. Children learn hate from the President right down to their crazy redneck uncle that swears all drug dealers should be shot while drinking a beer, and, of course, completely misses the irony.

When did we become such a mean-spirited, hateful society? Were we always like this? A case could be made that the 50s and 60s were a very mean time if you werent white. The late 1700s were not very nice if your neighbors thought you might be a witch. Is violence an unremovable characteristic of being an American? This is the image that more and more people around the world have of us. In the words of an unlikely prophet: "can't we all just get along?"

We declare war on Saddam Hussein, we kill children in the name of this war. Then our leader have the audacity to claim our troops are risking their lives to protect our freedoms, even as they work behind closed doors to erode those very freedoms.

We declare a war on drugs, which is really a war on people. We ignore the damage it does to our cities and our children. The war on drugs is very mean. War is mean. Why don't we declare war on things that need to be fought, such as homelessness, undereducation, poverty, starvation, or domestic violence?

Maybe people arent really mean, maybe most are just stupid, or maybe ignorant, just waiting for someone to show them the light. Are the enlightened among us willing to inform and educate and enlighten those around us that need it? Won't we be met with the same mean hostility that runs through our culture?

It's not the guns, it's not the weapons. It's the culture. A culture of reactionary violence that permeates every facet of our society. We trade our education and humanitarian resources for the implements of destruction and hate. Is it ignorance? Is it evil?

I think maybe it's fear. Fear outsells sex since 9/11/2001. Fear is what makes nice people hate. Fear is what makes otherwise peaceful people accept the murder of innocent children as an unfortunate side effect of war. Fear stems from ignorance. Can we cure fear with knowledge and understanding?

I've raised more questions than I have answers for, what are your thoughts?
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