Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We're not so different afterall

        We may be extremely advanced here in America. Our currency (though its weight not so heavy) may be the universal exchange currency. We may have opened our arms to immigrants in the past, allowing our lands to be a melting pot of culture and prosperity.

        We may be fighting wars in the middle east right now, in some vague attempt to stick up for what's right. We put down Muslim nations for treating their women poorly. We react with disgust and outrage at stories like the one of Sorya M., about whose stoning both a book and movie have been written. We're too blinded by the red-white-and blue banners, and luxurious freedoms in America, to ever think that situations just as pitiful as those in the middle east could occur on North American ground.

But they do.

        I just read this article about a young girl in Missouri, a special ed kid nonetheless, who was kicked out of school for accusing a boy of rape. She was forced to apologize to his face for her "finger-pointing." A few years later, the former incident recurred. She was afraid to speak up and say something, afraid of being dismissed from school again. After investigation, police found that she had been assaulted sexually by the same boy, twice. And as far as I can tell, no one is taking the blame for this scenario.

        Now this doesn't just happen to girls and women. Just over a decade ago, Matthew Shepard was tortured and murdered in Wyoming because of his sexual orientation. Two years ago, Dr. George Tiller was shot down in his church, because he refused to stop performing abortions.

The list goes on, I'm afraid.

        This post isn't meant to be cynical. I don't intend to step on the integrity of America in any way. I merely want to recognize the fact that culture doesn't define behavior, as much as human tendency does. I don't know why we're so mean or cruel to one another, but I know that as a global society, we let these injustices slide. Genocides happen. Murders, homicides, theft, and assault happen.

        I'm not sure how we can squash these problems. I guess one start would be sympathizing with the victim, hearing their side. This could have prevented the Missouri case, and the Sorya's case as well. We preach freedom of speech, and so we must ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to exercise his or her voice. The other option, I guess, would be a world-wide law...just be nice. That would do the trick. Now just how to go about enforcing it....

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