OPINION: Rated R for reality

Asia Porter | Online Editor

Dear parents,

We, your children, are not too young nor our minds too innocent to face the realities of the real world.

Too often we are sheltered from the ugly truth of society. In a world where terrorism, racial discrimination, sexism and crime fills the entire programming schedule, us youth are often only exposed to the PG-13 broadcast. The broadcast where we are notified of the attacks but not showed the gory graphics that come as a result. The broadcast where we are notified of the major disputes regarding gender wage gaps but not the continual incidents of women being subjected to abuse, drug rapes or sexual harassment.

The idea is embedded into society that watering-down these harsh realities will improve our well-being, that allowing us to be oblivious will make us happier. This is a dangerous misconception. From the time we first learned to read, we were given books that told of the good guys always prevailing and the villain being defeated time and time again.

As we grew older, the conflicts within the plot became more intense, but there was always a happy ending, but for too many people, such an ending is impossible.

In the Middle East civilians are beaten and battered to death unable to escape the terror that has taken over their home. Bombs and shouts of fear are their daily reality.

On August 28, 71 decomposing bodies were found locked in a semi-truck after they were abandoned while attempting to migrate into European countries. Evidence suggests the victims struggled strenuously to break free but ultimately died of thirst or suffocation.

In 2013, a Missouri couple pleaded guilty to violating their neighbors’ civil rights after setting their house on fire and drawing swastikas and other racially demeaning signs on their driveway.

These stories come with 18 or older only restrictions, for they ruin the image of a perfect world that our elders try so hard to depict. While it may be appropriate to spare the graphic language for a five year old child, your twelve year old – and certainly your senior in high school – is not too pure to hear these things.

Supposedly protecting us from these realities is doing us no good. We have seen the bad guys are more than capable of traveling to our schools and theatres and churches and recreational facilities. The attack on the Ohio State University campus marked the closest major attack to the Mason community, and its effects are easily recognized.

I beg you to not sugarcoat the bad. We need to get to know the real world and not the fictional one described in our childhood books. To my fellow peers, try to read about the events making headlines. Take a break from Buzzfeed, and check out an article on the news.

Get to know the ugly truth, because it will not be too long until we are out on our own living in it.