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Kitchens: Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right, Or A Left

Posted: September 5, 2017 - 11:48pm

When I was teaching school, in the days when buses had square wheels, one of the hard and fast rules, which may still be in existence, was "NO Fighting!" Ever.

I sometimes thought it wasn't always a completely fair edict since one party often was the offensive side and the other was just defending himself.

However, generally, both, or all, kids involved in the spat ended up being punished, albeit not always with the same actions or results. The instigator of the tussle usually got the worst of the deal, as it should be. But the oppressed side was also expected to shoulder part of the blame.

Case in point. When my oldest son was in middle school, an obnoxious bully in his class, one who probably was old enough for a driver's license, had a perverse penchant for tripping fellow students - in the hall, the bathroom, even at lunch and especially if they were carrying a tray.

Eventually, he tried it on Cory, who didn't actually fall, but stumbled precariously and awkwardly as he attempted to retrieve his balance. The goon always laughed uproariously at his pranks, with his posse of thugs backing him up.

My son was furious, of course, and retorted with a socially unacceptable epithet, referring to the young man's sexual preferences. And ironically, it was at that very point a teacher just happened by and caught his words.

Both boys ended up in the office and though, as I've said, the bully took the brunt of the fight's causes, Cory was also given a disciplinary referral and three days after-school detention for his response to it.

As an educator, and parent, I've taught my children not to try to change others, just their reaction to them. Ignoring the foolish boy rather than stooping to his pathetic level would have probably hurt his pride equally well, or maybe even more.

Remember in To Kill A Mockingbird, when the lying, worthless, Bob Ewell spit in the face of Atticus Finch, a decent and kind man, merely trying to do his job, how the latter simply wiped off the mess with his handkerchief and raised himself even further in most folks' estimation?

I can fully understand how people can be so distraught over the tragedies and rioting in Charlottesville, Va.

The white supremacists, KKK members and other racial bigots were dead wrong, in their approach and behavior, because I think no rational person would ever support any kind of hate-filled actions.

However, the opposing side was wrong too. They came armed with bats and boards, and then acted stunned when they were met with resistance.

But the main cause for all the disturbance is what truly baffles me.

Not all history is lovely and decent. Much of it is downright shameful.

But does that mean we try to blot out everything that has happened in our past because we may not be proud of it?

Some are insisting we tear down all Confederate statues and memorials. Slavery was, and is, abhorrent, but it was part of our culture THEN. And the men and women who fought for the South were good and honorable people for the most part.

We aren't celebrating the institution of slavery. We're remembering and recognizing those people who often gave their lives, in large part, for a cause they believed in, primarily states' rights.

Some have said "Well, I guess we'll have to tear down the Washington and Jefferson memorials too. They owned slaves."

I've thought also perhaps we should demolish The White House. Didn't slave labor construct much of it?

And I'm not sure why we tolerate the standing of the Pyramids of Giza. I believe the Hebrews were captured and forced into servitude to build those.

Heck, if there's any chance of railroads left from long ago still existing, I'm pretty sure the Asian laborers who contributed blood, sweat and tears to them, all while under strong racial discrimination, might be upset at the sight.

I could go on and on, of course, but I'm sure you get the picture. People are sinners. They do very wrong things, but somewhere in the midst of all the turmoil, once in a while, something decent shines through.

And only one perfect person ever walked on this earth. We have to fight to keep even the symbol of his sacrifice around us as well. We don't treasure the cross because it was a horrible, painful reminder of how our savior died, but of how he chose to make us live forever, even when we break his heart.

 

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