By L&T Managing Editor Larry Phillips
Something that bothers me terribly is how we, as humans, have come to treat one another. I don’t know if it’s the Internet age or what, but people nowadays go off on one another at the drop of a hat.
The other day, a woman called me wanting to know how I messed up her “free” news brief. I realized after the call, I had been typing up several public service announcements and had glanced back down at a different one during typing and put the day (Saturday) correct, but had erred on the May date (indicating it fell on a Sunday).
Regardless, I tried to apologize. She claimed she had received two calls chewing her out when she told them the correct date. I offered to call those people if she had the numbers and apologize for any inconvenience – even though the event was 18 days away. I told the woman I’d fix it in the next day’s edition.
She continued to rant and rave and said myself and the entire staff at the L&T were a bunch of screw-ups.
When I finally said, “Yeah, I guess your right, we’re just all screw-ups,” she hollered, “Well, just fix it – now!”
Little does she know, I am not required to run any “free” news briefs for anyone. We volunteer to do it out of dedication and love for our community. We discovered years ago there are some non-profits that are short on cash and can seldom afford regular non-profit advertising rates. That is why news briefs or “Happenings” came about.
For some reason, there are some out there that think the L&T is a welfare publication owned by the government, and they can demand anything and everything they want printed.
It's not that I mind criticism. When we take a stand on an issue, we know there are two sides, and one side will not be as happy about our view as the other. But there is a way to discuss differences, or even mistakes, in a civilized manner. We abhor any mistake, and we are quick to correct them when we find out.
Most people who call us are very polite and thankful for our contribution to their cause. This rare instance seems to be a sample of a larger issue.
After the call, I sat there remembering my mother constantly telling me as I was growing up that you treat everyone – including strangers – with decency and respect.
“Treat others as you would wish to be treated” was not only a saying, it was something we lived by. She constantly preached of always being considerate of others’ feelings.
I wondered out loud, “This woman knows nothing about the good, hard-working people here,” and I realized she has issues that go far beyond a mistake in a news brief.
But that kind of reaction – how people treat others – is worrisome in and of itself. And what’s even sadder is how we tolerate it, or look the other way when people abuse others. We see it daily in crime reports – people being robbed, assaulted, raped, maimed and killed.
What do we do about it?
What can we do?
Barack Obama misguidedly thinks banning “assault rifles” and high-capacity magazines will reduce crime. I believe rational people know better.
How do anti-gun proponents explain the man who knifed 14 victims at Sam Houston College in Texas?
Please explain the Boston Marathon bombings to me.
Do we also now push for bans on certain size knifes and perform extended background checks on those buying pressure cookers at Walmart?
No. We, as a society, have to demand government entities and officials, including those who appoint judges, to get tough on criminals. It sounds easy, but it is a long-time proposition, and it takes a willingness and dedication from everyone to fight for what’s right.
It takes years to remove people from office that cater to only the criminals’ rights. And it’s not like killers have no rights – they have plenty. But real judicial reforms take time and need open debate from those who are tired of watching the country’s daily mayhem and slaughter.
Another sickening case – and God knows there are plenty across the country daily – involves a 15-year-old girl that attended Saratoga High School in California.
Writing for www.policymic.com, Areej Elahi-Siddiquiin reported this: “Last fall, 15-year-old Audrie Pott posted on her Facebook that her life was ruined, and that she was having the ‘worst day ever,’ shortly before hanging herself.”
Audrie was attending a high school party at a friend’s house in early September 2012. According to reports, there were only 8 to 10 teens there and they started drinking Gatorade mixed with hard liquor. Audrie got drunk and passed out in a bedroom.
While unconscious, three male teens “performed various sexual acts on her without her knowledge or consent.”
Not only does this assault violate everything decent in a civilized world, it only gets worse.
The boys managed to use their smart phones and take photos of the assault and her nudity during those sexual acts.
You guessed it, they then had the disgusting gall to put the photos online on social networks where they went “viral.”
The following day, Audrie was getting teased and bullied at school and expressed her final agony online and hung herself on Sept. 12, 2012.
The three 16-year-old boys were finally arrested a couple of days ago – seven months later – and have been charged with “suspicion of sexual battery.”
Where is the outrage of society against this kind of treatment of fellow human beings?
When are we going to say, “Enough is enough?”
We sit around on the sofa and cuss when he hear things like a student getting arrested for wearing an NRA T-shirt at his high school.
We wince with shame every time we hear about the attacks on the Bible and religous freedoms.
We moan listening to reports about school books being used that proclaim Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are not terrorist groups, but respectable elected parties.
But do we write, call or e-mail our representatives and senators?
Do we condemn assaults against humanity on the Opinion Page?
Do we get out and help elect people that share our values?
Not as often as we should.
Until we get up and get going, attacks and assaults on our civilization will continue unabated.
I find that unacceptable.
How about you?