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Manhood in America

Today marks the eightieth anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass where Nazi’s destroyed thousands of Jewish owned businesses in Germany, leaving numerous Jews dead, injured and incarcerated. It also marks only thirteen days since the Pittsburg synagogue shooting in America where a ninety-seven-year old woman, who remembered a time when Nazi’s ravaged Europe, lost her life for being Jewish.
I sit in front of a blinking cursor trying to figure out what to write next. How can this happen in our country, the leader of democracy? What was going through that man’s mind? Why do we have people who carry so much hate? But nothing I say can express my utter disgust for what is happening in our country today.
As violent hate crimes continue to rise in America, fed by the rhetoric of one Donald Trump, I feel the beauty of American ideals being crushed by a very loud, and bold minority, namely white men.
Mass shootings conducted by white men in America have been increasing at an alarming rate. While I believe we need to address the issue of access to the weapons of hatred, it is more important to address the cause of all this hate.
White men clearly are losing their grip as they lose the power to control the rest of us. Sensing a growth in diversity and finally being held accountable for their actions by movements such as, Me Too and Black Lives Matter, some white men no longer welcome the ideals set forth by our forefathers, like equality and justice for all.
I am not referring to all white men, in fact, I know many white men who do not feel threatened, and even welcome the opportunity to relinquish some of the responsibility of a social position of power, but many reluctantly accept these changes.
So, what can we do to change the way white men react to their changing social position? How can we teach them their position of power over the centuries has been unjust, yet prevent them from reacting with greater injustice?
We need a different model of manhood in America. We need to raise our boys to empathize with the suffering of others. We need to nurture our boys more instead, of expecting them to achieve. We need to stop glorifying violence in the movies made for boys and teach them that it is okay cry. We need to teach them to understand their humanity.
Remember Mr. Rogers? What if every boy in America grew up idolizing someone like Mr. Rogers instead of, oh I don’t know, any character that KILLS the bad guys. You name it, Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, the Avengers, Batman, Spiderman. They all kill people. Violence is deemed okay, if they only kill the bad guys. Boys are inundated with images of idols who kill, but Mr. Rogers displayed a sensitivity that we do not view as manly. Why can’t that be manly? Must manly mean killing the bad guys?
Maybe as our society changes, we can develop more male role models with greater sensitivity for humanity, I just hope it happens before more lives are lost.

One comment on “Manhood in America

  1. Chris Ahearn says:

    As the next generation grows older, maybe things will change by seeing all of the violence that is happening now.


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