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False Icons

The recent fury to honor the late musician Roger Nelson, know more widely by his stage name Prince, has confirmed two facts of American society: one, we as a nation love our entertainers and two, we fail to recognize those who truly deserve such honor.

On April 21st, the number one story of the day concerned the “untimely death of Prince.” Social media was flooded with posts, tweets and tributes. Major television networks interrupted programming to inform viewers of the loss. It became the top story for almost every evening news program. In the days that followed,* President Obama would state he and Michelle were “in mourning” and lawmakers in Minnesota (his home state) had sing a longs on the Senate Floor, introduced resolution to recognize his achievements and are even considering changing the state color to purple in his honor. A state representative in my home state of Pennsylvania (Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, D-Philadelphia) has even called on Keystone state lawmakers to pass a similar resolution, although she fails to explain the PA – Prince Connection.

Prince GuitarAs a child of the 80s, I understand that Prince was a large part of many lives. I understand the mourning of his many fans. What I do not understand is how the death of ANY entertainer rises to the level of national mourning and honoring by our elected officials. I know that Prince is not the first celebrity to be honored in this manner and certainly will not be the last. But I find it interesting that society is willing to overlook negative social choices simply because someone can sing, dance or act.

Meanwhile these same officials are silent when LEOs, service members and other emergency service personnel are gunned down or assaulted almost daily. There was a time when these were the true heroes young men and women thrived to become when they grew up. Often when an entertainer was honored, it was because of their portrayal of soldiers or police officers. Today’s youth are told it isn’t culturally sensitive to play “cops and robbers” or “war,” instead encouraged to emulate thugs who promote drug dealing, police murders and a wide range of other illegal activity.

These same leaders who place drug users, gangsters and those who would target real heroes simply because they wear a uniform claim today’s youth are being led astray because they lack role models. I would argue that part of the problem is they have role models; they are simply the wrong ones. Young people have a tendency to follow in the footsteps of their idols. If we want future generations to grow into respected, law abiding members of society, we need to encourage them to look up to those who are worthy to be heroes.

It’s a sad time when heroes become targets and criminals become martyrs.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell

1 thought on “False Icons

  1. I understand someone, somewhere loved his music and will look forward to the
    “Vault music”. I hope that music brings you peace.
    Our Nation stands on freedom. But to be honest I did not know he was even still alive. Did not care for his lifestyle, or music. Before someone get mad; I was in the military giving him the freedom to live that lifestyle in high heals, and produce the “vault music”. My jungle boots, went where his heals dare not follow.
    To all ( Even Prince) thank you for giving this Wonderful Free Nation your best!
    PS. That is not a endorsement of “Purple Rain”- just a strong endorsement for “Our Nation’s Earned Freedom”. It was not cheep, or purple but red.

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