No longer the ‘…Home of the Brave’?

Necessity does the work of courage -- Geroge Eliot1

Brave“. What does that word even mean anymore?

Yet again, behavior which was once the hallmark of our nation is being eradicated. We’ve touched on this in the past (in “Land of the Fearful; Home of the Meek), but the examples keep coming, with no end in sight. In a different time, the people listed below would be considered “brave” or “courageous” by almost any measure.

But today?

Well, do you recall the story of 20-year-old volunteer EMT Stephen Sawyer? He was the only one around when a call came in about a 4-year-old who was having a seizure:

(via Fox News) – “…After making several unsuccessful calls for ambulances, Sawyer said he made the decision to drive the ambulance to save the child – violating the rule that only people age 21 or older can drive the emergency vehicle…” 

And what was Sawyer’s reward for saving the child?

“…Ellenville board of directors suspended Sawyer and revoked his title as an advisor from the Youth Squad. He subsequently resigned…” 

Thanks, and you’re fired. Yeah, that seems to make sense.

Hero 8556

Or maybe you recall the story about Virginia Beach sixth grade student Adrionna Harris, who grabbed a razor blade from a fellow student who was deliberately cutting himself with it:  

(via the Daily Mail) – “…Instead of applauding her heroics, administrators suspended the sixth grader and are even threatening expulsion…”

Surprisingly, after the community erupted in outrage over the potential punishment for young Adrionna, her suspension was lifted and her record cleared. Of course, deciding not to expel her isn’t exactly the same as a “thank you”, but it’s a sight better than what the school’s initial intentions were. 

And it’s certainly better than what just happened to this Kroger manager who was confronted by a knife-wielding man in the store parking lot:

Once again, the hero is punished and his actions are disavowed. Way to go, America.

And of course, there was the incident last year where a 16-year-old high school student disarmed another student who was wielding a gun:

(via The Blaze) – “…The student said the suspect, a football player, threatened to shoot a teammate because he had been arguing with his friend.

Authorities confirmed to WFTX the weapon was indeed loaded, and the arrest report stated the suspect, identified by WVZN as Quadryle Davis, was “pointing the gun directly” at the other student and “threatening to shoot him.”

That’s when, the teen told the station, he and two others tackled the suspect and wrestled the gun away. The next day, all three were suspended…”

The suspended hero’s offense?

The school’s referral slip said he was given an “emergency suspension” for being involved in an “incident” with a weapon.

Never mind that the only reason he was “involved in an incident” was his desire (and ability) to keep it from actually becoming an “incident”. Stuff like facts don’t matter anymore, apparently.

Brave Man

We are being programmed, ladies and gentlemen, or perhaps the better word for it is “re-programmed”. Because throughout our history, our citizens repeatedly exhibited the very courage and sense of honor which landed all of the above folks into so much trouble.

In its place, we now label as “brave” illegal immigrants, or a couple who has an abortion, or an actor’s performance on television. And no one says anything about it, because we are forgetting what actual, demonstrable bravery is.

Which means that we have a choice, as we so often do:

  1. We can refuse to be cowed this way; we can refuse to accept this deliberate redefinition of valor. We can continue to applaud people who think more of others’ safety than their own, and take action when it’s required.
  2. Or we can meekly acquiesce to our new societal masters and permit them to condemn such acts. And finally, eventually, those acts will stop occurring.

Some might consider choosing the second option to be “smart”, or “enlightened”. Possibly even “pragmatic”.

But we shouldn’t, we mustn’t, call it “brave“.

6 responses to “No longer the ‘…Home of the Brave’?

  1. Hear, hear!

    “We are being programmed, ladies and gentlemen” … that is exactly what is happening, and one day, we will all wake up to the boot on our throat and there will be none who are brave anymore.

  2. Reblogged this on News You May Have Missed and commented:
    No longer the ‘…Home of the Brave’?

  3. Pingback: The Hollow World of “1984″ | Two Heads are Better Than One

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