December 6th, 2007

Safe Schools

Sacred Cows

I am torn philosophically and emotionally. As a good liberal guy, I believe that there is a place for (more) correct thought and action. It is reasonable for a group or society to establish guidelines of respect and tolerance, however, too often the guardians of these behavioral expectations fault in the treatment of the individual in their eagerness to address larger wounds and issues. I've seen this in a convergence of recent news items and past thoughts:

1) An accusation of racial slurs against a school administrator quoting lines from "Blazing Saddles". There are calls for termination of the official.

2) In the Sudan, the calling for a death sentence against a school teacher who named a stuff bear class mascot "Mohammad". The naming was done with the agreement of the children in the class.

3) The accusation of willful and deliberate harm when fluffiness and plastic shamanism are called against newbies/solitaires/outsiders.

The common thread of these items is that the intention of the accused is largely misrepresented by those calling for blood. The acts may be stupid or disagreeable, but the acid response by the guardians of the sacred cows spoke to agendas outside of the incident at hand. There is assumed a level of hatred, evil and deceit that is not embraced by the intentions of the accused. In fact, there are examples of the guardians, or their ilk, demonstrating the same behavior while not facing the same level of response. The issues at hand seem to be emotional monsters that supersede and overwhelm the actual transgressions of those accused. I find this both very disturbing and very human.
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