It's becoming more and more apparent that there is an insidious mental disease gripping our nation. On the weekend that saw America transfixed on the Super Bowl footbal game, the grieving parents of 14 year-old Todd Brown tried to make some sense out of the senslessness of his murder inside a middle school in Alabama. Shot dead while changing classes by another 14 year-old.
As we become more and more obsessed with all things media; from football games to reality shows to sharing crass pictures of ourselves on the social networking sites, more and more children are committing murder right in front of us in real-time. Only we are so clouded and absorbed with the pursuit of all things trivial and care only about self-gratification, that we either don't pay any attention or worse, just don't care. Like someone commented on a blog when a kid got shot once: "As long as it is black kids killing other black kids, who the hell cares".
It seems that we Americans have lost our collective minds. We drool over any of the latest salacious gossip spat out by the network news, but barely raise an eyebrow over the increase in kids incarcerated in our prisons. Instead of setting a good example for our young, impressionable children, we adults, for the most part, act just as childish as they do. We've become obsessed with looking and staying young and cool. Instead of allowing ourselves to age gracefully, we chase the many "fountain of youth" products advertised so we can feel good about who we are. So when we look in the mirror, we only see the things we want to see; not the person, but the mask.
Our children aren't stupid. They see the void in leadership and they see the fewer and fewer mature adult role models out here. And this is probably why they are acting out--because they know that what we are experiencing today in this country is not natural. And our kids are crying out for help in basically the only way they know how--acting out. While adults anesthesize themselves with drugs and porn, our kids are doing the same thing with T.V. and video games. They rarely play outside anymore and this is a big reason why Michelle Obama is spearheading a "Fight Child Obesity" campaign. But where is the national "Fight Youth Violence" campaign? Isn't this just as important as child obesity?
The bottom line is we have failed our young children and are too blinded by the arrogant "culture of me" to even notice it. But all is not lost. More and more I am seeing adults waking from their stupor, realizing what's happening and fighting back. And that gives me hope. For as long as there is hope, there can be change.
Teen shot at Ala. middle school dies; student held
MADISON, Ala. -- A ninth-grader was shot by another student during a class change at a north Alabama middle school Friday has died at a hospital, officials said.Todd Brown, 14, was shot about 1:45 p.m. and taken by ambulance from Discovery Middle School to Huntsville Hospital, where he died, said hospital spokeswoman Kristen Bishop. She wouldn't release any other details. The suspected shooter was arrested inside in the school, where police are regularly stationed. Police did not release the name of the alleged shooter, also a ninth-grader at the school, citing their ongoing investigation. No one else was injured, school officials said. It wasn't immediately clear what prompted the gunfire.
"This was a singular incident," said Dee Fowler, the city school superintendent. He said churches are working with the school system to offer counseling throughout the weekend and counselors will be at the campus Monday They said a 14-year-old suspect taken into custody by a resource officer at Discovery Middle School will be charged with murder. The newspaper said the suspect is being held at the Neaves-Davis Center for Children, the juvenile detention center in Huntsville. Witnesses told the Times the suspect fatally shot Brown during a Friday afternoon class change.