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“Can we claim as a nation that we’re altogether there, letting them know that they’re loved and teaching them to love in return?”

President Obama asked those words on Sunday night in his remarks to the grieving town of Newtown CT. His remarks weren’t meant to comfort the people of Newtown who lost 20 children and six adults in a school shooting. In his remarks, President Obama implored the entire nation to look at ourselves and look at what we as individuals are doing to protect our collective children.

His words made me think about a trip to the barbershop on Saturday. I was there for a holiday giveaway. It was supposed to be a community event to help those who are less fortunate. Unfortunately, it didn’t start out that way. As the DJ blared tunes in the parking lot, a man sashayed and shimmied to the music in the parking lot.

Of course, it didn’t end well. A gay man. A black barbershop. An altercation ensued. A couple of punches were thrown, expletives exchanged. Children watched in the parking lot as these grown men exchanged words and blows.

A little more than 24 hours after a young man chose violence to solve whatever demons that haunted him, grown men couldn’t find a peaceful way resolve their differences. Even with impressionable children watching, they didn’t have sense enough to simply walk away. Psychologists are offering kinds of advice about how parents should talk to their children about the violence that happened in Newtown CT. Maybe they should be talking to them about the violence happening everyday in their communities.

“Can we claim as a nation that we’re altogether there, letting them know that they’re loved and teaching them to love in return?”

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