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A Thoughtless Generation

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Recently, a group of kids decided to wear peace sign shirts to my local high school, claiming that they wanted to “spread a little peace around the school”. The group was quickly met by opposition in the form of confederate flags, swastikas and white power symbols. An article was recently published in my local newspaper concerning the issue at my high school. The article astounded me. It was a mere glance at the issue and was written as though the issue wasn’t important, making me think that this is all another fashion statement. I found it irritating that the high school student that wrote it did not answer many important questions. These questions, important to the betterment of society as a whole, must be addressed fully to understand the importance of this issue.

1.
Why did the group in opposition to the peace activists choose the Confederate flag, swastikas and white power symbols as icons of rebuttal?
It is interesting to look at the symbols chosen to oppose the peace group. Peace signs, generally meant to promote love, unity, and inclusiveness, were matched against symbols that historically have represented hate and greed for power. What is the reason the Confederate group chose to use these symbols? Was it because they wanted to be inflammatory, to stir up conflict? It is interesting to look at how the Confederate group chose to react to the Peace Shirt Coalition, and I think it is vitally important to address this.

2.
What are the convictions the peace group hold for their argument? Do they honestly have deep feelings for promoting peace or is this another example of a fashion statement in which teenagers contribute ideas to society that are turned right back around and sold to them in the market?
The author of this article stated, “But what started out as a light-hearted gesture soon started to be taken out of context.” What is the context that is mentioned in this quotation? It is essential for this article to tell the reader what motives drive this peace group. If no convictions are offered, the reader is left to question whether these students have reasons for promoting peace or if these kids simply are giving in to a fashion statement that makes them appear to have good ideals and intentions. The reason the students “wage peace” must be addressed or the issue becomes flippant. In turn, matters of significant consequence such as peace and war, life and death, will continue to be cast away, leaving a blank society that thrives on quick, fast and vacuous news.

In public education today, information is fed to students and expected to be regurgitated. There is no room left for discussion and reasoning; anything taught is fact and is expected to be believed as so. I, however, will not submit myself to the atrocity of it all and will continue to question belief systems until I come to my own conclusions and form my own opinions of the world. Journalism needs to be a representation of the few willing to search for the essence of an argument, question it, and seek out their own truths. This is what journalism should be about, and I sincerely hope my generation will uphold that ideal, and will not submit itself to a life of meaninglessness.





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