Saturday, November 3, 2012

Yes, It Happens Here in Sanford...

Last Saturday, some moms and kids participated in "Wave your sign" event.  Some of you read about it on Facebook.  And some of you read about it in the Herald this week.

Anyway, you may have seen them between 4-5 pm on several corners on Horner Blvd.  This was originally started by Rick Santorum and several Saturday events were previously held.  It was a way to show patriotism and to become involved.  And let's admit it, kids are never too young to learn.

If you did see them, I hoped you honked your horn for the young patriots.  But reports are out that some of our fellow citizens were, well, as we expected...just like the Occupy Wall Street or Raleigh participants were - vulgar, and disgusting.

Reports came in on Facebook from those who thought the sign event was an excellent way to teach their kids about the importance of elections.   Instead, they learned a lesson  The vulgarity used towards kids, the notions, the rudeness and even one Facebook commenter making reference to abuse and that DSS would agree.  What?  This wasn't abuse.  

One person thought WE were being rude in talking about what happened.  In  her eyes, Sanford wasn't like that.  Sorry, Ms. is.  And it's time to fess up to it.

But that's Facebook...there's no telling what you'll get.    I applaud the moms who spoke up.  You better speak up for the rights of others or your children will grow up in fear and suppression.  Stop being afraid.  They depend on you and me.

That being said, the Herald had a good editorial this week concerning one mom's reaction.  Read it folks.  Incivility is everywhere.  We are not immune.   Here are excerpts from the Herald Editorial.  You can read the entire opinion at the link below:
EDITORIAL: Respect is everyone's responsibility

During an election season, even the most innocuous of acts can turn explosive.

Case in point — a situation involving underage Romney/Ryan supporters, which has generated considerable community interest on The Herald’s Facebook page — garnering more than 600 likes and 140-plus comments at the last count. According to the original poster, the young girls were stumping for the candidates when they were introduced to the ugly side of politics.

“As they were proudly holding their signs with smiles on their faces, adults who were driving by honked their horns, giving the finger, cursing and calling these girls ugly names,” wrote the poster, identified as Nancy Parker Williams. “It does not matter who you are for or not for. They should be encouraged to be an active participant and for being proactive in learning about the democracy of this great nation we live in. Shame on these people!”

The story sparked a social media debate about the limits of freedom of speech, whether the girls should have been holding campaign signs to begin with, and whether such rude behavior is unique to Sanford

As one poster pointed out, ignorance lives everywhere — so does incivility.

The problem of bullying in schools has received considerable media attention of late. These girls learned the hard way that this issue isn't limited to adolescents; plenty of grown ups harass people who look, believe, act or think differently than they do. To suggest that this kind of nastiness exists only within one particular group, political party or geographic area is disingenuous.

This encounter points to a larger problem that exists in our society. We want our children to grow into conscientious adults, but what sort of example are we setting? If we'd like to know why our kids think it's OK to torment a school bus monitor (as happened recently in New York), or make a classmate so miserable that he dreads school or takes drastic measures, perhaps we should look in the mirror.


That being said, add this incident to the growing list of uncivil exchanges documented during this election season. The climate can only improve if each of us decides to be part of the solution, not the problem..

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