Human dignity statement is a good start, but not enough

Position statements from our national leadership are helpful, but we must make culture change ourselves


If you ever doubt the decline of civility and manners, all you need do is read the comments in a social media forum. Read enough of them, and you’ll come to the inescapable conclusion that not only is nastiness the theme of the day, but that the movie “Idiocracy” was a documentary.

There have always been bullies, and there always will be, but the anonymity of an Internet connection seems to empower the cowardly and mean-spirited among us. Things people would hesitate to say in person, they type with impunity on a keyboard.

It is this growing culture of cyberbullying in social media that is the subject of the recent position statement from IAFC: Human Dignity and the Fire and Emergency Service. The statement, which reaffirms IAFC’s 2013 action, reads, in part:

“As an organization, we must take positive steps to ensure human dignity by avoiding any remaining vestiges of discrimination or unequal treatment including, but not limited to, a basis on race, color, spirituality, gender, age, national origin, ancestry, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status or any legally protected characteristic.

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