The Columbine High School massacre: Letters from readers
30 April 1999
To the editors of WSWS,
I wish to add my voice to those who have already written commending your analysis of the Columbine High School massacre. David North's lucid and impassioned article is unlike anything that has appeared in the media bombardment of the past week. I have read perhaps 30 newspaper articles which groped for explanations for this brutal event; not one of them ventured to suggest (even hesitatingly) that the causes might be found in the condition of society. How pitifully off-the-mark (as well as viciously anti-human) the "explanations" of negligent parents and demonic children seem, when measured against the staggering weight of North's list of "social warning signs."
To the editor,
Just read a very interesting article by David North 4/27/99 ("The Columbine High School massacre: American Pastoral ... American Berserk"), and I fully agree with him.
I get very upset when my-my-my generation (38-65 year olds) whine about what's wrong with the children. It's the fault of the media, explicit song lyrics, MTV (created by my generation) etc.... That's been our problem for a long time ... not facing personal responsibility. I feel that we have been the worst parental units in all time. We have passed the ammunition and raised the double standard on everything. We have filled suburbia to capacity and wonder why there is still racism. ("Didn't we fix that in the 60's ... " I've heard by my Caucasian counterparts).
I am vexed that as an African-American, (even that bugs me ... when do we get to just be Americans?) that when I tell of an incident of personal racism (racism directed at me) I am told, by my counterparts, "That's just not true" or the ever popular "We've passed laws against that, are you sure that happened?" As if I am too stupid or black to understand how I am personally treated. I guess that was what Malcolm X was talking about, the humanity being taken out of our culture.
So now the karmic debt blooms in suburbia. It is very ugly, but America has a beautiful face and an ugly heart.
What can we do? Personally try NOT to pass on "isms" to your children. If you (in your day-to-day as a parent) make a frownie-face (casually around your children or within earshot) and say "white people ... they always....." and your child grows up hearing that, guess what, that kid hates "(insert race here) people." We all do that. We must stop doing that. We must expose our children to all cultures consistently. We must not be ok with any kind of ethnic cleansing. We must reach out to each other honestly.
concerned citizen of Earth