Take this: Kick a Jew Day:
Last month, students at Florida's North Naples School decided to launch their own "Kick a Jew Day", asking children if they were Jews and then kicking them if they said yes.
The 10 high school students who participated in this vicious assault were given one day "in-school suspensions".
Nice eh? Interesting article though which seems to want to blame the Family Guy and South Park for giving the kids the idea in the first place. Actually, it looks like it came from a Facebook page called "National Kick a Ginger Day are you going to do it?", modelled after a South Park episode called "Ginger Kids". The bit I don't get though is how these kids made the leap from kicking a red-headed person to kicking a Jewish one. And that's the bit that has me rankled. (Not that kicking a red-headed person is ok! I am very partial to red-heads!)
I grew up in a house without censorship - mostly in terms of what we read, the TV was probably a lot more policed that I would have liked. But my parents knew what I was reading and they balanced the freedom to roam with open and frank discussion and with encouragement to be embracing of difference, diversity, opposing thoughts and view point and above all, tolerance. It seems to me that people (and maybe it's more Government than actually people) want to refer the role of "parent" to others - be that TV writers, internet content providers, librarians, whomever. What I want to know is, where did the kids in Naples get the idea to separate Jewish kids from others? How are they growing up in a community where that's a thought that occurs to them? Where are their role models to groom them to be the kind of people that the rest of us would like them to be? Why are they only being taught about sensitivity *after* this antisemitic attack? Why are the parents and community leaders not examining their roles in the upbringing of their own kids? If their kids watch shows like South Park, why are they not discussing the content and explaining how it's satire, rather than to be taken at face value? Just because it's a cartoon does not mean it is suitable for children.
It seems to me that the life lesson these kids are really learning is, when you fuck up because your default assumptions were flawed and you didn't carry out your role in society, blame someone else rather than looking within. After all, the punishment given to these kids by the supposed shocked authorities was a one day in-school suspension. Hardly a strong message being sent for what is actually a very abhorrent act.
ETA: I omitted the other act that occurred at the same time, not because it was unimportant but because these children followed the direct instructions "Kick a Ginger" and that was not the focus of my post. Kicking anyone is wrong and allowing that behaviour to go on is not ok. Noteworthy is that the kids who kicked redheads got booked by the police, the kids who kicked Jews got one day of in school suspension.
According to the Los Angeles Country Sheriff, seven red-haired boys and girls were assaulted because they were "gingers". The investigation revealed that the redheads were shoved, punched and bloodied; one 12-year-old boy was surrounded by 15 boys and was kicked in the stomach, groin and head. The boy is now scared to go to school. The offenders were detained and two were booked by police for battery.