Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Head On Collision: Crisis of Character and Culture of Violence

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer announced his resignation today, due to allegations of his involvement with a high-priced prostitution ring. This is indicative of the continued crisis of character taking place at the highest levels of government, corporations, professional sports and even faith-based organizations.

Personally, I envision a metaphor where this crisis of character is a high speed train about to collide head on with another high speed train. Tragically, the other high speed train headed toward this crisis of character is the culture of violence.

Alongside the headlines of the New York Governor's demise and many other scandals are those covering the deaths of students from the University of Nevada, the University of North Carolina, Auburn University, and Los Angeles High School, student victims of violent deaths from coast to coast.

Brianna Denison, a 19-year old college student from the University of Nevada, was murdered and found in a field in Reno on February 15, 2008. She had been abducted on Sunday, January 20, 2008 by someone the community fears to be a serial rapist who has now turned to murder.

Jamiel Andre Shaw, 17 years-old, was a remarkable football star and considered an all around great kid at Los Angeles High School. He was shot multiple times in a random gang attack on Sunday, March 2, 2008. His mother, serving our nation in Iraq, had to fly home to bury her son.

Lauren A. Burk, 18 years-old, an Auburn University freshman, died on Tuesday, March 4, 2008 after being shot. Her body was found along an Alabama road before the discovery of her burning car in a campus lot.

Eve Marie Carson, 22 years-old, of Athens, Georgia was found shot to death on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 on a street about one mile from her campus at the University of North Carolina. She was an outstanding student complimented by her dedication to service of community as the student body president

Headlines continually highlight America’s crisis of character and culture of violence. The tragedy and pain they represent must inspire us to renew our commitment to the nation’s transformation through the instilling of character in its heart and vigilance in its communities.

Video Tributes

Brianna Denison (2:46)
Jamiel Andre Shaw (4:01)
Lauren Burk (4:17)
Eve Carson (4:52)
<A HREF="">Play the clip on YouTube</A>

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