In the light of the most recent bullying related suicide the Mother Monster [Lady Gaga to the rest of you] has decided she's had enough and wants reform and a law passed making it so that bullying carries the same weight as a hate crime. Wikipedia states the following on hate crimes:
In crime and law, hate crimes (also known as bias-motivated crimes) occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender,gender identity, social status or political affiliation.On bullying it states this:
Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior, which may manifest as abusive treatment, the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when habitual and involving an imbalance of power. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed persistently towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or abilityThere are many parallels to both behaviors. Whether bullying is the same as hate crimes or whether they are truly two separate behaviors is a very volatile and debatable argument. Regardless of your opinion on the matter we as a society need to be more aware and active about the abuse.
Earlier this year at a White House conference on bullying prevention Obama said that he hoped to "dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up, its not." At this conference it was also stated that bullying affects about 1/3 of school kids. I feel that the number should be higher, in fact another source says that 77% of students have been bullied and that cyber bullying just increases the numbers. It makes me sick to my stomach that a society and culture that many kill to be a part of chooses to neglect such a serious topic.
Yeah every couple of years a situation occurs and it becomes the trendy topic and everyone just sits there and points fingers. From Columbine even up to last years trail of Gay suicides it just shows that nothings changed but the names and faces. Maybe the motives for the bullying is different, but its peanuts, cashews and almonds... its all nuts in the end.
But back my intended point. I was browsing through comments about Mother Monsters call to action and was appalled by the amount of stupid on my screen. While I totally agree with her that when bullying escalates and becomes a motive of death that it should absolutely carry some weight like a hate crime. I think we as a society need to understand what is happening.
The problem with being "American" is that we're too absorbed of our culture to the point where we start to shutter ourselves back into this safe bubble. Anything and everything that is different or unique has somehow become the enemy and a threat. Those very traits are the reason this country was even founded, its what we're fighting for isn't it? The right to be free? The right to be different?
Apparently not. One comment struck me in my core and is the reason I sit here writing this.
One reader stated
Lady Gag-me is a freak. She's the last person that should be standing up for bullying. No one takes her seriously and its not like her fans are the problem. We need to target the "gangstas" and the "metal" kids.The commenter went on to say that metal kids are trouble makers and that they're all closed minded bullies. Excuse me, but I believe you just called the kettle black. Have we not learned from the West Memphis three?
To speak against bullying yet in the same comments, you go and group music fans as devil worshiping delinquents because of how they look and for what they like? That is what we call counter productive. I think the worst offenders of the "hate" mindset are lying right amongst our herds and sadly they don't even realize that they are the wolf.
Ugh. But anyways, besides the minor rage I wanted to say this:
I've been bullied for most of my life. For reasons ranging from having a cooler lunchbox to not being "Asian" enough to just plain being different. Bullying is a serious thing, and from what I've seen its only gotten more severe as each passing generation. It needs to stop, make them stop, its the only way that it'll get better.