warning from colorado

Mike Steindel (CLaw7MAn@webtv.net)
Mon, 26 Apr 1999 12:58:59 -0700 (PDT)

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A Warning from Colorado 

On April 20, Adolph Hitler's birthday, at least two students went on a
search and kill mission through Columbine High School in Littleton,
Colorado. They massacred 12 of their classmates and a teacher before
apparently ending their own lives. Denver's chief of police sadly
commented, "We live in a sick society." 

Yes, something is wrong in America. But what is it? And how are we going
to save our children from future massacres? 
People the world over are asking "why?" 

The usual suspects have been churned up: parents, school officials,
access to guns, and the youth themselves. 

No one, out of the mass of specialists, psychiatrists, public officials,
and police officials, has given an answer that didn't blame someone for
this massacre. 

The youth are becoming more and more disfranchised and alienated from
society. For years they have been sending a cry for help - suicides,
drive by shootings, violent acts, etc., - these cries have fallen on
deaf ears. What's happening to our youth is a reflection of the
destruction of society going on all around us. 

Good-paying, blue-collar jobs have disappeared and been replaced with
low-paying jobs, temporary jobs or seasonal work. The institutions that
provided some kind of stability during hard times - including welfare
programs, public housing and financial-aid programs to pursue higher
education - are being obliterated. Layoffs, downsizing and dog-eat-dog
competition have been the hallmarks of 1990s America, along with
fabulous wealth for a few and a spreading poverty for the many that is
reaching even middle-class America. Is it any wonder many youths feel
isolated and hopeless? 

Our youth see what the future holds for them. They know that a society
based on a market economy holds them valueless. What other conclusion
can they draw when in America one out four children go to bed hungry,
when children are the fastest growing sector of the homeless, when 11
children under the age of 20 are murdered each day? 

The value of life is being cheapened. Our youth see that when someone
loses their job, they're evicted from their homes because this society
refuses to guarantee anyone the necessities of life. Our youth see that
the unemployed are destined for homelessness, eating from garbage cans,
and dying in the streets of America. 

The slaughter at Columbine High School, one of a number of such
incidents in recent years, is another warning that something has to be
done. The ruling class has no solution. President Clinton's words ring
hollow when he says, "We must teach our children to settle their
differences through words, not weapons," while he continues the daily
slaughter of human beings in Yugoslavia. 

We share the sorrow as Littleton mourns its children. But we must turn
our grief into a commitment to change the world. If we don't offer our
youth a new ideology and morality, many of them will turn to the fascist
ideology that motivated the young men who killed their classmates in
Colorado. The people must build a real democratic movement to eradicate
all that is wrong in America. 

We need to fight for another set of values - not the "free market"
values that say you're only worth what you can produce, but values that
engender a society based on community and cooperation, where every child
is everyone's responsibility to take care of, to nurture and guide. 
To book a speaker, Email: speakers@noc.org. This article originated in
the People's Tribune/Tribuno del Pueblo, May, 1999; P.O. Box 3524,
Chicago, IL 60654; Email: pt@noc.org; http://www.lrna.org or call
773-486-3551. Feel free to reproduce and use unless marked as
copyrighted. The People's Tribune/Tribuno del Pueblo depends on donation
from its readers. 

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