EDITORIAL: You can disagree without insulting

Staff Editorial

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Leave Greta Thunberg alone.

Thunberg, a 16-year old climate activist from Sweden, delivered an emotionally charged speech on climate change at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, and the speech went viral.

Politicians, celebrities and just people in general, came to the support of Thunberg following her speech, praising the teenager for standing up in front of some of the world’s most powerful people and essentially reprimanding them for the state of the world’s climate. But where there was praise for her, there were also those who took to the internet to attack the 16-year-old for her views.

We at The Daily Eastern News do not believe it is wrong to disagree with Thunberg; everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs on climate change, but bullying a 16-year-old girl on the internet is embarrassing.

What is particularly concerning is the number of adults, grown people, in their 30s, 40s, 50s and so on, that have taken to the worldwide web to bash on this child. And yes, while Thunberg may conduct herself like an adult, she is still a 16-year-old child. It is baffling to think that an adult would consciously write something making fun of a 16-year-old all because of a difference in political beliefs.

What kind of social climate has devolved into what it is now when adults will verbally bash a 16-year-old girl with Asperger’s syndrome on the internet for the sake of political argument? Have these people no shame? No conscious?

A tabloid newspaper in Australia called the Herald Sun referred to Thunberg as ‘deeply disturbed.” What kind of newspaper, writer or any person in general would publish something like that about a child because she believes in climate change?

We do recognize that Thunberg put herself in the spotlight and that she is actively seeking cameras and press to spread her message, but she is not an elected politician, not a movie star or celebrity; she is a girl who wants to see change in the world. It is truly disheartening to see adults speak about Thunberg in the manner they do.

Next time you want to ridicule Thunberg or bash her online, look in the mirror first and realize, you are an adult about to take time out of your day to speak ill of a 16-year-old on the internet.

That is sad.