The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Davis Clipper.
I have a list of words that are especially important to me. It is not a long list, but I keep it where I will see it almost every day. When I read that list the meaning of each word on the list reverberates through my mind. One of the words on that list is hypocrite.
As I have been reading the accounts of the tragic circumstances surrounding the murder of nine people in a church in North Charleston, S.C., the words of condemnation that have come from politicians, editorial writers, and the usual gathering of media pundits from New York and Hollywood torment my soul. Their words torment my soul because of their brazen hypocrisy.
Once again these pundits condemn the villains, including of course, the hapless young adult who committed the crime. No one cared to mention that he comes from a dysfunctional family. The only relative that the media could contact was a “former step-mother.” I have waited in vain for those engaged in verbal finger pointing to point to themselves. The newscasters and editorial writers who are condemning the racist motives of the gunman did not care to mention that in the same state there is an epidemic of Hepatitis C because of the use of “dirty needles” by drug addicts.
The weekend before the tragedy, the media fell all over themselves to announce that a just released motion picture had set a new record for a first weekend distribution by garnering $500 million in box office revenue. Of course the motion picture in question was filled with violence and overt sexual innuendo. So the American people in one weekend paid $500 million for two hours of horrific violence.
The generation represented by the 21-year-old gunman has been raised with constant exposure to violence. They have been deluded into thinking that love is nothing more than sex. Each offering from Hollywood in theaters and on television vies with its predecessors to be able to offer up more realistic blood and horror and loveless sex. It is no wonder that we have a generation who now evince no sense of sorrow or emotion because of the physical suffering that is explicitly depicted in these “entertainments.”
Our society struggles for moral survival amidst the backwash of teenage suicide, homicide, drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, pornography addiction, homosexual and lesbian seduction, and the alarming dissolution of families. As happened in the parable of the wheat and the tares, the servants asked the Master, “Who did sew the tares among the wheat?” The Master answered, “An enemy hath done this.”
In 1968, Walt Kelly, the cartoon humorist for the comic strip “Pogo,” modified the famous message of the War of 1812 sent by Captain Oliver Hazard Perry when he said, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” Walt Kelley had his comic strip character modify Perry’s message to say, “We have met the enemy and they are US.”
So who is the real enemy that murdered nine people in a church in South Carolina? We are! We did it by our silent assent and our failure to act. We were too busy enjoying the “good life” while Hollywood was systemically creating a generation of Aliens.
The result of our indolent and passive responses to the erosion of our heritage of dignity and morality was to produce a generation that has no understanding of the words that were once so vital a part of our common vocabulary. Words like decency, dignity, loyalty, virtue, purity, and love.
What are the words in your list? Do your children know what they mean?