Welcome to Bennett's Study

From the Author of No Land an Island and Unconscionable

Pondering Alphabetic SOLUTIONS: Peace, Politics, Public Affairs, People Relations




UNCONSCIONABLE: http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/author/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/book/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/excerpt/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/contact/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/buy/ SearchTerm=Carolyn+LaDelle+Bennett http://www2.xlibris.com/books/webimages/wd/113472/buy.htm http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/AdvancedSearch/Default.aspx? http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Unending loop of heinous acts breeds copycat character in America’s youth

A nation whose leaders praise and practice violence with impunity, adults’ hands-off parenting can only expect all-round violence
Commentary by 
Carolyn Bennett

My first thought is that America shows to the world, in its various sectors and in their interconnection, the face of impunity, barbarity, a broken criminal justice apparatus and an equally broken ethic (ethos, principled practice) imaged in relations between and among human beings. The young are without protection or essential principled guidance. Leaders ensconced in government, media, religious and other corporate sectors lecture others all the while harboring and justifying acts of killers, pedophiles and other violent criminals.
US Drone warfare

hether it is murder committed by target-list and or order of members of the US branches of government and carried out by military branches and mercenaries against people in countries outside the United States such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Mali, Yemen, Sudan, Congo, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza (or sanctioning such actions); whether it is domestic security and official law enforcement agents brutalizing US residents; whether it is US military personnel (or United Nations personnel) abroad violating or outright murdering other citizens and residents “for sport”; or whether violations are committed by “celebrity” sports figures or by college students—it is all of a kind. Impunity praised breeds the crime. Untreated it permeates the whole.
US endless war 

Impunity, barbarity, violence, broken criminal justice, broken ethic, failure of independence in  reporting, dismissal of the old principle of in loco parentis (as in the case of colleges), breakdown in regulation and oversight, failure to discipline and practice discipline amount to severe breakdown all round.

In the United States of America, among its people is a failure to care. There is a pattern of selfishness among individuals (my fellow Americans) that is wrapped up (as they wrap themselves in the flag) in a care-less-ness they claim as their “freedom”—a callousness through which they give themselves permission to abuse anyone, anytime, anywhere.

On point

“The Hunting Ground” 
The writers and producers of “The Invisible War,” a 2012 film and “investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military” have produced another telling portrait of American character, “The Hunting Ground” (2015), which is now showing at the Sundance Festival. “The Hunting Ground” is described as

…‘a startling exposé of rape crimes on US college campuses, the institutional cover-ups’ (of these crimes), and the resulting ‘devastating toll’ borne by students and their families. Weaving together vérité footage (conveying candid realism) and first-person testimonies, ‘the film follows the lives of several undergraduate assault survivors as they attempt to pursue their education, and justice— despite incredible push back, harassment and traumatic aftermath.’

es, but.

While investigative documentaries do great work in bringing to light ant to public consciousness important issues and questions, what underlies is often too much to handle all at once, or in a film. 

The critical underlying issue, as I see it, is that Americans en masse persist in a deliberately imposed vegetative state, a state of existential mindlessness, a condition of almost continuous distractibility, a madness-like preoccupation with nonsensical things, the superficial and immediate, vacuous pursuits to the extent that they have taken a hands-off approach to the young. There is an unconcern for the formative years, as if the young know best—when, in fact, the very definition of young is to know virtually nothing of substance. Young is synonymous with “unseasoned” and “unversed.”

The young are still the young and as such they are incapable of critical judgment and especially judgment concerning that which is outside their own undisciplined “I-want” selfish interest. Worse than animals, they are incapable even of caring for themselves. The young require mature uncompromised, unbiased mature counsel and instruction; not adults to be their “friends” or “drinking buddies” but adults to care and protect. The home, church, neighborhood, school and the academy (college, university) used to be sources of nurturing, protection, and counsel in good character, in right from wrong. However, these entities have shirked, thrown off traditional responsibilities, leaving the young and developing person with warped, crippled minds; without essential personal discipline, without seeds for developing a sensibility that sees self as other, cares for others as for oneself. 

Centuries have understood the principle, indeed the imperative of elders helping the young to grow healthy and strong—for the whole society, not to violate or in any way consciously injure others. First principle, “do no harm”; but the young also need to be schooled in “the nature of harm.”  

In loco parentis (1818), an adverb, means, according to Merriam Webster, ‘in the place of a parent’ (school officials acting in loco parentis); in loco parentis (1968), a noun, means ‘regulation or supervision by an administrative body’ (as at a university) ‘acting in loco parentis.’

Example is also essential. If the young observe or listen to their government leaders or images in mass media glorifying violence, harm, genocide, rape (and I am not talking about fictional dramatizations but real life figures doing this) —what exactly does one expect of the young? From birth they are fed a concentration of violence and the young copy their “teachers,” escalating with presumed impunity as they grow older.

Films and documentaries are important sources for reporting this reality as it plays out in various sectors of society; but violators will likely not be watching these films. 

They will be watching prime time “eliminators,” “torturers,” “snipers,” “destroyers,” “offenders,” “murders,” the “assassins” and “extrajudicial” slaughterers—all the while demonizing those whom they intimidate, torture and slaughter. 

They will see those who commit egregious wrongs praised in the public square, promoted in prime time—murderers whose alma maters are among America’s “best” institutions of higher “learning”, Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, UC Berkeley, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke, Stanford, and other Ivy Leagues—awarded Nobel peace prizes. And a female member of the US Senate, as heard today on Democracy now, calling those “other” people “savages.”
What are the young to think? 

What are they to do? 

How are they to conduct themselves when what they witness is an endless loop of prominent Americans, often together with expedient “allies”, committing heinous acts and endless wars; and hailing their wars as peace, their violence as humanitarian, their abuse of human rights as the right thing to do?

In order for society to expect the elimination of assault wherever it may be found, elders, teachers, parents, high-profiled personalities must set the “good” example—find another way instead of violence. 

Elders must reserve the right and responsibility to counsel the young and must diligently counsel them on the “true meaning” of harm; and to follow the “good” example of “doing no harm.”

It is a tall order. But as the youth are the future, it is vitally important that they be taught well so that they may create a better world. A better world is possible but not in the current character of current leaders nor on the current course these icons with cameras and microphones are taking us.

Sources and notes

“The Invisible War” was written and directed by Kirby Dick, co-written by Amy Ziering and Douglas Blush      


“The Hunting Ground,” exposing how US colleges cover up sexual assault and fail to protect students, was written and directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Amy Ziering with co-producers Bonnie Greenberg and Nicole Ehrlich, associate producer Ian J. Rose, and executive producer Paul Blavin; music by Miriam Cutler; cinematography by
Thaddeus Wadleigh, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4185572/

Sundance Film Festival Screenings remaining: Saturday1/31, 9:00 p.m.,
Redstone Cinema


“Rare example where students accused of sexual assault have actually faced punishment”

Democracy Now Wednesday, January 28, 2015: “As a jury in Tennessee has convicted two former Vanderbilt University football players of raping an unconscious student in a dorm room, we look at a groundbreaking new documentary about sexual assault on college campuses across the country. Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey could face decades in prison after being convicted of a combined total of 16 felony counts, including aggravated rape. Two other former Vanderbilt football players, Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie, are awaiting trial over their role in the rape. However, the court cases mark a rare example where students accused of sexual assault have actually faced punishment.

“Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, ‘The Hunting Ground’ shows how colleges and universities across the nation (the United States) are covering up sexual assaults and failing to protect students from repeat offenders. We speak with the film’s director, Kirby Dick, and producer, Amy Ziering. Their previous film, ‘The Invisible War,’ which exposed the epidemic of sexual assault in the military, won the Audience Award at Sundance in 2012 and was nominated for an Academy Award.” http://www.democracynow.org/2015/1/28/the_hunting_ground_film_exposes_how


A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

No comments:

Post a Comment