Air travel opened up the possibility of travel around the globe. Initially it was for those few privileged who could afford the cost. Eventually travel became more affordable allowing more and more people to move between countries and continents creating what became recognized as global citizens. Then came the Internet, further connecting individuals and cultures. This led to American pop music, fast food and culture being exported globally, from major cities to developing countries.
McDonald’s Golden Arches, for example, brought not only “big macs” and “fries” to other cultures, the franchise transformed neighborhoods by creating leisure centers, offering a place for after-school meetings, teaching people how to stand in lines for service and even offering access to a public toilet.
In a book edited by James L. Watson entitled, Golden Arches East, McDonald’s in East Asia, a number of scholars reflect on the cultural phenomenal of McDonalds in Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul, and Tokyo. Published by Stanford University Press in 1997, it’s a fascinating read.
Of course, it would only be time before the dark side of America would also be transported to other cultures.
On Wednesday, 10 October an eighteen-year-old, who was said to be obsessed with the school shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado killed twenty people and wounded forty-seven in a shooting at Polytechnical College in Kerch, a town on the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine’s territory that Russia annexed in 2014.
The student, Vladislav Roslyakov, was, according to media coverage, wearing a white tee-shirt and dark pants, in strikingly similar likeness of the Columbine gunman Eric Harris.
Unfortunately, school shootings in the United States have become routine and many, if not all, are referenced, in one way or another back to the Columbine shooting in April 20,1999, eighteen years ago.
Americans have never had the political will to deal with Columbine, that is taking a look at the role of mental health in schools, incorporating social and emotional learning and conflict resolution training into schools, passing new gun legislation.
Nurturing Inclusive Community Environment (NICE) is a program developed by We Oppose Violence Everywhere Now (WOVEN) and Creative Response to Conflict (CRC) to play a role in solving the epidemic of school shootings and violence. More about the NICE program can be found at: nicesystem.org
NICE is working to institutionalize their programs in schools across the United States and across the globe. It’s time to stop Columbine style school shootings across the globe.
Click here to read the New York Times article “Crimean City Turns to Mourning 20 Victims of School Attack.”