If you want to understand how our kids could be so cruel to each other, one needs only to take a look at our culture at large. All those ingredients that go into bullying - power, domination, disregard for others, lack of empathy, win at all cost attitudes, blame, shame, discrimination, bigotry, group harassment, the persecution of those seen as different - all these memes can be found in ample supply throughout our society.
Our culture of no compassion
It seems that everywhere you look, compassion is being squeezed from life while hostility and judgment is being glorified. Getting “tough on crime” is exalted whereas daring to point out that these policies don't work, cause tremendous collateral damage and impede society's interests in the long run will earn you the label of being “pro-criminal.” People who have lost their jobs and now draw on food stamps are labeled by politicians as lazy deadbeats who are leeching off society. A presidential hopeful brags about how his state has killed the most prisoners under his watch (including some who were later found to be innocent) and is met with cheers and applause as if he had just scored a touchdown pass. Showing compassion for hard-working immigrants is regarded as almost treasonous, but tearing kids away from their parents and shipping teenagers away to countries they've never known and haven’t been to since they were 6 weeks old doesn't seem to bother our senses much. We can hear radicals from the right and radicals from the left, but calm, unbigoted, compassionate reasoning is becoming practically extinct. Watching the views expressed by many politicians and laypeople alike these days, there are times when one can feel deeply ashamed to be an American.