Seven Bridges is a name I want you to sear into your brain. I want you to remember the name Seven Bridges, every day, for the rest of your life.
Seven Bridges was the name of a ten year old boy, from Louisville, Kentucky, who committed suicide after being repeatedly teased, at school, for wearing a colostomy bag. Seven Bridges was a child who endured twenty-six surgeries to try and correct a medical condition that made this colostomy bag necessary.
Seven Bridges was a ten year old boy who liked to dress up as a super hero, and who hung himself last Saturday, while his mother was grocery shopping.
Seven Bridges is dead.
What killed Seven Bridges? Different people will point to different things. Bullying will certainly come up. An unwillingness of the Jefferson Public School System to end repeated bullying against Seven Bridges may well become the charge of a civil suit against the school system – bullying that including choking the ten year old child until he nearly lost consciousness.
I became aware of Seven Bridges after a Facebook friend posted a news article covering Seven Bridges’ suicide. I thought about it for a while, and realized that our country has, and has always had, a major problem: we don’t judge people by the behaviors they demonstrate so much as by the group(s) they belong to.
America has always had this problem. As British colonies, we allowed slavery. When the country was formed, we allowed individual states to continue enslaving African Americans, and even after slavery was forcibly ended with a civil war, we continued to allow Jim Crow laws.
It wasn’t just slavery and Jim Crow. We also allowed lynchings, burnings, shootings, and all kinds of other horrendous things to be committed against African Americans. And it wasn’t only against African Americans. We also have allowed all kinds of unspeakable behaviors to be committed against Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and other minority groups.
Today, such celebrities as Kathy Griffin, Jack Morrissey, and Ron Perlman, have called for high school students to have their identities and addresses made public so that people can feed them ‘screaming, heads first, into the wood chipper’.
Is it really strange that the same society that would call for teenage boys to be thrown head-first into wood chippers, might also bully a ten year-old boy until he commits suicide? We condone, and in some cases even glorify, violence committed against the right groups. We’ve always done this. We used to condone violence against black people for damned near any reason at all, and now we condone violence against white high school students who stand smiling in red hats, while being heckled by liberal activists.
And too many of us cannot see that both of those things are wrong.
It isn’t just white high school students in red hats that get attacked, either. Liberals condone, and in some cases even glorify, violence against African American conservatives, for the sin of having political views that differ from what our nations’ white liberals have decided are acceptable for black people to hold.
There was a time, after the Civil Rights Act, when our nation began trying to overlook what group(s) people were a part of, and began gauging people based on how they behaved. It did not take long, however, before the Democrat Party – the same party that had previously condoned slavery, Jim Crow, and the Klu Klux Klan – began to condone abhorrent behaviors against other groups.
Why is it so hard for liberals to simply say that the initiation of violence is abhorrent? How is the question of who is violent against whom even relevant? How is it that Democrats can agree that wearing short skirts is not asking for anything, and yet can then turn around and say that wearing red hats is asking for violence?
I want Kathy Griffin to know that she is an abhorrent human being, with abhorrent beliefs, who behaves abhorrently. I also want those who agree with that statement to agree that Kathy Griffin’s abhorrent behavior does not condone others to commit violence against her.
From helping start the anti-Obama birther movement, to talking about ‘grabbing women by the p*ssy,’ President Donald Trump has said, and tweeted, his share of abhorrent things as well, but that does not condone others to commit violence against him, or to commit violence against those who choose to wear red hats with his slogan emblazoned across them.
The initiation of violence against another is abhorrent, always. If we cannot all agree with that, then our society is dead.
I don’t pretend that this opinion piece is going to change anything. Conservatives will read it, and other than some conservatives taking exception to my calling Trump out for having said abhorrent things, conservatives are generally going to agree with me, and call violence abhorrent. Some Democrats will agree with me as well, but I suspect most will call me abhorrent for comparing the Covington Catholic High School Students’ media treatment to the bullying of Seven Bridges, and while I think we can all shed a tear for Seven Bridges, I am not convinced that everyone would shed a tear, should Nick Sandmann hang himself (Nick – if you read this, please don’t!)
It is really a fairly simply equation: if you believe that abhorrent behaviors are abhorrent no matter who commits them, and no matter who they are committed against, then you are one of the good guys, and if you believe that group affiliations determine what behaviors are acceptable, then you have the blood of Seven Bridges on your hands.
Update: You can donate toward Seven Bridges’ funeral costs at the following GoFundMe site: https://www.gofundme.com/rest-in-paradise-seven-bridges.