Some thoughts on why they rioted.
It cannot be overlooked that the vast majority of the rioters are young – many teenaged – males. The same demographic that has been responsible for most violent crimes ever since record keeping began. They have the highest levels of testosterone they ever will have.
One hundred years ago, these young men would be out in the work force or raising families. If they did riot, it would be for higher wages or better working conditions.
However, in our modern society, we have created the “teenager” – a term that has only been around since the 1930s. Our high-school system and laws put them in a limbo state between childhood and adulthood. They live at home with their parents in suburbs that offer little or no productive/creative outlets. They want to feel like they have control over their lives, but they don’t.
As a result, they become frustrated and angry man-children.
I live in Vancouver now but grew up in Surrey. I was raised an atheist, in much the same capitalist, commercialized, media-bombarded world as these rioters – and those who rioted in 1994.
I was treated as a child by high school and society at large, but my parents treated me like an adult from an early age. Their approach made me feel empowered, and so I was only rebellious for a short time in my early teens. I felt a sense of control in my life and was trusted.
Thus, I put my youthful energy into productive activities.
Maybe the problem is not simply a lack of spirituality, an excess of capitalism, or bad parenting. Maybe it’s that our whole societal structure treats young people like children for far too long.
• • •
The damage is done, clean up begins. From the streets to our reputations, we will be trying to rebuild what was selfishly taken from us by those who forgot we live in the day and age of high tech.
People hurt, some severely. Cars destroyed. Businesses ransacked. Minor damage. Major damage. Millions in damage. Faces caught.
It will take time but we will survive. But now, it stings like a million scorpions crawling inside my heart.
I’m ashamed and embarrassed, and yet I’m an innocent, hockey-loving bystander caught up in the BS caused by others who lack class, respect and a true love of the game.
Try as they might to justify it as heartache from the loss of a cup we all so desperately wanted in our city, there is nothing that is so important to destroy the city you claim to love – except for your freedom, which has now been forfeited.
We can try to blame it on alcohol, drugs, emotion, mob mentality. But in the cold, harsh light of day it boils down to one thing – stupidity. Without being afflicted with that disease, people can control their alcohol consumption, drug abuse, emotions, and are self-aware enough to know the actions that happened last week were just wrong.
All this over a cup? I hate that this has tarnished the game even more. I hate that it has tarnished our city. And I really hate that it has tarnished the win by a well-deserving team who fought just as hard as ours did to earn the cup.
For myself, the tears will dry, my heart will mend and I will continue to enjoy playoff hockey, because I truly love the game, no matter who tries to destroy it for me.
My heart goes out to those who suffered.
Stacy Kish, Surrey