Folding, spindeling, and mutilating lauguage for fun since Aug, 2004
Tuesday, 22 March 2005

    I just got a call from my cousin regarding the school shooting on the Red Lake Reservation.  It is described as the worst school shooting since Columbine High School.  Red Lake is roughly an hour’s drive from Bemidji, the town where I lived from mid-third-grade through graduation.

 

     He was shocked by the events there, but what really surprised him was how, on the national news, they described the area as “not a rough, urban area”.  To be sure, Red Lake, and the surrounding area are not urban…but to describe them as “not rough” is – well – incredibly ignorant.

 

     The violence, graft, corruption, and general brutality of the area is legendary. My sister and her husband were once driving through Red Lake and their car died.  A car full of people pulled up behind them and stopped.  The car just sat there, the people in it appeared to be waiting for something.  My sister and her husband didn’t know if they were bad, menacing predators or good Samaritans keeping an eye on them until the police arrived.

 

     The police did arrive, and the tribal police officer walked to their car and the first words out of his mouth were; “What are you thinking, driving through this area at night?  Don’t you know it’s not safe?”

 

     It’s not just the reservation.  People like to blame the three reservations roughly surrounding the Bemidji area for the violence and crime.  That would be really convenient, but it’s just not the case.  Across the board, the area is rife with violent crime and drug-related crime.

 

     I know a former Bemidji Cop who is now the chief of police of a Twin Cities police department who has expressed his relief, on numerous occasions, of being away from that area and in a nice, relatively quiet department.

 

     So yes, I am shocked, but not that surprised that a high school in this very rough, economically depressed area had an incident like this.

 

     And as long as people continue to react to and assimilate events like this on the basis of their prejudices and assumptions, stuff like this will continue to happen.

 

     Here’s a clue, people, you are continually surprised and confused by these events because you do not understand the causes of them.  In fact, much of the time, you contribute to the causes by enacting harsh, repressive measures and fostering a witch hunt mentality.  And when people tell you what causes them, you denounce them as “freaks” and “liberal whiners” who “just need to get over high school”.  It's easier, I know, to just think of this as the work of the devil, or the spontaneous generation of "monsters" in our midst that have no explanation other than the demonic magic of Marilyn Manson.  It's easier, but it's not getting you any closer to a solution.

 

     Maybe you should start listening and thinking rather than just reacting and maybe administrators should think more about actual prevention, and less about simply doing something so that they can cover their butts with memos and policy changes that proved they “were doing something”.

Tuesday, 22 March 2005 10:09:36 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [3] | #
Tuesday, 22 March 2005 11:13:49 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
What can be said about events like this? I can say this: They always have deeper explinations than the punditry in the media would have you believe. I can see some, well, disturbing, things in this case. Some disseperate facts I've nticed in the reports: The boy was reputedily a neo-nazi. He got the guns from his grandfather, a local area policeman. His grandparents were his first victims. Some of these factors remind me powerfully of the big case before Columbine - I think the kid was named Kip Kinkel (I saw a movie about him that was intereting and scary).

But the neo-mazi thing is either utterly gratuitous and thrown in only to offer a pat excuse for the public (because you know, neo-nazi's...'nuff said). Orelse is a sign of a much deeper influence. Why the grandparents, and not the parents, unless the kid was living with the GPs. If that was the case, where were the parents? And not to say that police forces tend to attract neo-nazis, but police forces often attract violent racists. And a family background of violence and racism would be an intersting factor.
The Evil Cub
Tuesday, 22 March 2005 12:35:01 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
The boy's father comitted suicide, and his mother is in a long-term care facility (nursing home) due to the effects of a car accident.

Trees
kemaris
Tuesday, 22 March 2005 19:33:21 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
You said it better than I could have Trees. Ill probably comment myself but for now, both of you might want to avoid my LJ if you're sick of listening to me bitch about work. I just got fucked by my boss and the CFO. Im quitting the minute I find something that pays what Im making now and doesnt require I work every frikkin night shift.
Bob Wagner
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