Children need to be educated, not brainwashed

By Renee DiPietro
September 20, 2001

by Renee Di Pietro
perspective editor

On my way home from school last week I stopped in my car at a corner where a bunch of school children were let off by their school bus to walk home.

When the bus pulled away three children did not walk home. A young boy stood there yelling and pointing to two Indian children across the street from him.

The Indian children’s father came running up the street like the speed of light to protect them from the harsh accusations of the boy. The father yelled back to the boy but the boy just continued to point at the children and then began to laugh when he succeeded in upsetting them.

The little boy was yelling and blaming the children for the attacks that occurred Sept. 11. The children were younger than he.

I could feel the weight of the words falling on the brother and sister who could not be rescued from the hate of this boy.

Their father had arrived to help them but he could not heal the situation.

I wanted to hit him. I never have wanted to strike a child before, but I would have grabbed this boy and scared him enough for him to urinate in his pants. I tried to see the name of the school on the boy’s uniform but it was hard to tell from across the road. Drivers behind me seemed not to witness this event or if they did, they seemed not to care. Cars were ready to plow through my car as I sat in astonishment.

I continued on my way home.

When I pulled into my driveway I thought about what I had heard and saw. I was so angry. I did not feel a tingle of anger all last week about the attacks. I was full of sadness and empathy for the people who were directly affected by the terrorism. But now I am furious.

The little boy is not why I am mad.

I am angry at the response I received when I shared my story about what I saw. I do not want to hear that I have to expect this, that it is bound to happen everyday, or that the boy’s parents must have influenced him to act like that. I am around young children all week long and I would never allow them to act so ignorantly and neither would their parents.

I understand that the way I pictured the world and the values that I believe in are not in agreement with the way others prefer. But please do not let me be the only one who still believes in respect and the simple concept of using a brain.

Those children did not deserve to be treated like that. They are not to blame. Those children and others of their race who are American citizens are in the same boat as the rest of us.

What is wrong with the lunatics who think that they are being all patriotic by dressing up in their American flag clothes and harassing or killing innocent people in retaliation for the attacks? The victims of the attacks were of all races and religions and I want those acting like they are the only people who lost something to start pointing the finger in the mirror.

You want to blame someone; blame yourself for being an idiot. You want to add to the terrorism, the violence and the hate then you might as well walk yourself across the war line and do it from the other side.

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Renee DiPietro

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