Tuesday, December 04, 2007

When peace becomes a dirty word...

I've been meaning to get to this story that I picked up at Crooks and Liars a while ago. It's rather horrifying.

Students at Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School are waging a war on peace.Recently, sophomore Skylar Stains decided to hold Peace Shirt Thursdays at the school. Skylar and her friend, Lauren Lorraine, started wearing peace shirts and soon recruited more friends to wear them. Now, the “Peace Shirt Coalition” as they call themselves, has close to 30 students from all grades.

Students started approaching the group members, yelling obscene things at them, said Lauren.

And then it got worse. The posters they left on their lockers were being torn down or being defaced with swastikas and ‘white power’ slogans. Then ‘I Love Bush’ and ‘I Love America, Because America Loves War’ were taped over them. But even that wasn't the end of it.

Soon, a second group started to wear Confederate flag shirts to oppose the peace group, Skylar said. She saw shirts with sayings such as “This is America, get used to it,” and “If peace is the answer; it must be a stupid question.”

“Now there are even ’support our troops’ kids who don’t like us because I guess they think you can’t say peace and support the troops at the same time,” Lauren said.

The school responded by punishing the peace kids for causing trouble and denied them the right to have a peace club even though they submitted a written proposal and had a sponsor as required. Now all they have left is a My Space page where their detractors continue to leave threatening comments.

These kids weren't trying to make any kind of political statement other than supporting the concept of peace so what would cause such a violent reaction to their little club? I hear David Gregory blames blogs for creating such a polarizing public environment, but I doubt the student body of this little school is spending its waking hours poring over either Kos or Power Line. No, there's a simpler explanation.

The GOP spent years accruing power by planting hate in their base via their wedge politics. This sort of ugliness is simply the fruit of that poison tree.

Update: From racrecir in comments, more kids who hate peace because they've heard it has 'a liberal bias.' How sad.

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