Look at our political process. Much of our television broadcasting is filled with negative, angry, name-calling political ads that seek an attack platform instead of common ground. In many local and regional races, where there’s less oversight, these candidates don’t just want to win an election. They want to destroy their opponent.
Our kids digest this behavior as part of a steady diet.
Incredibly, the news media gave a little ho-hum back page coverage to the October 2011 revelation by the FBI that membership in gangs has increased 40% in just two years as the national economic picture declined and more young people gave up on the idea of being a contributing member of a society that leaves them out.
But let some of those expanding numbers of gang members take each other out, and even more newsworthy, do some collateral damage in a drug related shootout, and it’s a different story. One that actually gets some coverage.
Our news media now puts its 24/7 offerings together on the news placement priority of “if it bleeds it leads”, an approach deemed more likely to attract the less than attentive eyes of most viewers. Or worse, even the media gets jaded with so much violence and manages to transform some celebrity divorce or the latest update from the people in a reality TV show into a major story despite the domestic war zone going on all over America.
Bobby Kipper and Bud Ramey have co-authored two books and numerous articles on the crisis in youth violence plaguing our culture, addressing “best practices” for making a difference in the gang crisis and bullying epidemic that is impacting an entire generation. Over 4,400 young people committed suicide last year, largely due to the bullying epidemic. Their books, No BULLIES : Solutions for Saving Our Children from Today’s Bully and No COLORS : 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities, offer advocacy for at-risk youth.
Bobby Kipper, Director and Founder of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, is a career law enforcement officer with extensive experience in the area of preventing youth and community violence nationwide. His background includes working on a number of key national initiatives with the White House, Congress, and the Department of Justice.
Bud Ramey is the 2010 Public Affairs Silver Anvil Award winner of the Public Relations Society of America—the highest public affairs recognition in the world. His grassroots public affairs and humanitarian successes and advocacy for at-risk youth stretch across three decades.