An ugly attack is made on boy thought to be gayThe message has to be clear and consistent: Prejudice of any kind is wrong.
The suit of prejudice looks most ugly on children. Such hideous dress set against young faces reminds us that hate survives because it gets passed down through generations.
In Augusta on Sept. 4 four boys, ages 11 through 13, spit upon and taunted a boy of 15 because the older boy was perceived to be gay. This incident follows one in May in which the same victim was chased down and punched and kicked, again by boys who perceived him as gay.
It takes more than ignorance for such acts to occur. To hate someone based on their perceived sexual orientation requires a bombardment of negative messages about what it means to be different.
The only way to combat such prejudice, then, is for society to send clear messages about tolerance and acceptance. Sexual orientation is not a reason to hate, scorn or reject any individual.
Unfortunately, the grown-ups do not always speak with one voice on this point, and some children, as children are apt to do, act on the messages they receive from the adults.
If our society is to put a stop to the kind of ugliness that was on display in Augusta, then it has to send the message, clearly and consistently, that prejudice of any sort suits no one.
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