by Mike Ferguson
(St. Charles, MO) – The dust has settled, what was a crime scene is back to normal and the victims have been laid to rest.
But the impact of what prosecutors say is a hate-based rampage continues.
A few weeks ago, according to investigators, a white supremacist from southwest Missouri known as Glenn Miller attacked people at two Jewish Community facilities in Overland Park, Kansas. When the shots were finished and Miller under arrest, three people had been killed.
On “Missouri Viewpoints”, Karen Aroesty from the Anti Defamation League says putting Miller behind bars doesn’t lessen the pain of the attacks on another Jewish target.
Aroesty says progress is being made in fighting back against hate-based crimes and thinking but there’s more to be done.
“If we, very broadly in this country, increased the honesty in which we talk about the bias that we all have that we created anti-bias education as a key aspect of reading, writing and arithmetic, you would start to see -over time – a shift.”
Aroesty says the way to address a societal issue like racism and anti-Semitism begins with individual attitude checks and personal conversations.
Those conversations can be with anyone, no matter how young.
Dr. Bart Andrews from Behaviors Health Response recommends that parents not allow their children to get all the information from the TV and social media. It’s better for them to get it from parents, even if they don’t understand what’s happening.
Andrews says children begin learning from and about tragic news before the first word of a conversation is uttered.
“I think a lot of times we as parents are concerned that we’re going to do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing. One of the things that’s important is that you’re aware that whatever reaction you have will impact your child.”
His recommendation, depending on the age and maturity of your child, is to let them lead the discussion by finding out what questions they have and what they are worried or confused about when it comes to what they see and hear.
For young children who may not understand the complexities involved with hate-based crimes, they may just want to know that they are safe. Andrews says that’s fine and may be enough until the child gets older.
On the web:
Anti Defamation League: www.ADL.org
Behavioral Health Response: www.BHRStl.org