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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Harder Questions - Audrie Pott (RIP)

Black Bedouin

On this beautiful Saturday morning in the southwest, I am truly troubled and disturbed by what I am seeing and hearing.  As a true member of the Community Village, I have to wonder, are we the only souls trying to do right, or has the rest of the country lost its mind? It seems that since last year, we have learned absolutely jack about the consequences of mistreating our youth.  Enter Audrie Pott (R.I.P.). 

I look at her and wonder if she would have been the next bombshell to light up the music or theatrical world, or the next scientist to teach us about the 8-finned fish that has existed for ages.  Unfortunately, she won’t be doing either….she committed suicide last September. As best as anyone can tell, all because she was allegedly sexually assaulted by three of her high school classmates.  And please don’t think Social Media didn’t play its part – pictures of the incident appeared on Facebook.

We can take up the rest of the day discussing who is really at fault, but what the boys did was totally unacceptable on every level. Yes, when I was a teenager back in the 80’s we did some dumb crap.  Band camp always consisted of someone bringing shaving cream, spraying it in front of some unsuspecting clarinet player’s room and waiting on them to come out, or toilet papering the wall around our school on Seniors Day. Yes, I went to parties (when I was allowed) and watched my friends drink until they threw-up, helped the host to clean up, pass out water and aspirin and cook Hamburger Helper.  Now if you go to a party, even your friends leave you hanging, much less clean up afterwards.

I have to wonder seriously now, if this is not more than just a trend, but a counter-culture among many of our teen/young adult males. Start with Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris and the Columbine tragedy and more recently, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond and the football rape case in Steubenville, Ohio last month.  While tragedies on opposite ends of the spectrum, there is something there that is causing this level of violent desperation and nervous anxiety among teen/young-adult males, regardless of race.

And I wonder further if all of the national debates going on about gun-control and 2nd Amendment rights are predicated upon the wrong ideas.  At some point we have to start asking why someone so young would buy or steal a gun, why they would build a bomb, why they would kill their mother and her co-workers, and why they would have any kind of sexual contact with a girl who was unconscious, in such an indifferent and uncaring manner?

A story from Canada/Nova Scotia appeared this week too. Very similar in nature…heck, almost identical. Audrie’s parents would like to start “Audrie’s Law” at some point, which would call for harsher penalties for cyberbullying.  Support it when it comes up.  And let’s start asking some harder questions about our youth and what we're teaching them.