Welcome Scribblers, these last few days I’ve had a lot on my mind, which is why my post is late. If you’ll allow me I wanted to get it all out here. A few weeks ago there was a big hubbub about a straight male actor playing an upcoming gay role. A few weeks before that there was concern over a straight woman playing a transgender role. I don’t want to underscore the importance of these issues to the people they affect nor do I want to offer my opinion on the subject because truthfully I believe we have more important issues to concern ourselves with. The issue I’m talking about is what I call out in the title; Bullying.
Some of you who follow me on Twitter and on Facebook saw my post about Jamel Myles, he was a nine-year-old child who was bullied for four days at school about being gay (how he knew he was gay is unimportant) then killed himself. I need to say this again because it’s important that you hear it. HE WAS NINE YEARS OLD!!!
Here is the link if you want to read the story.
Over the past several days I’ve kept coming back to this event. It break my heart the more I think about it. What is wrong with our society that this continues to happen? The saddest part this is that none of this is new. Bullying has been around forever. I know this because Eric, my father, and I talked about several times over dinner.
What I found out is in school someone bullied all three of us. All for a different reason, which don’t matter now and I’m sure it was no were near as bad as what is happening today, but we all went through it.
I never thought my father who at one point was studying to join the FBI before life took him in a different direction would be a victim of bullying. But he was. We all were. Why?
Dammit Why? Why do we allow this to happen? Why do we let our children do this? Why do we do this? Why do we burry our heads in the sand and not do anything to fix this? What is wrong with us? All of us. Is it because someone looks different? Because someone is poor? Because someone talks different? Because someone acts different? What the holy hell is wrong with us?
Yes, I’m including all of us… because you know what, when I was a kid, there was a little girl in my class who had cancer. We were in grade school and I wasn’t very nice to her. If I remember correctly, I made fun of her wig or something like that. One day the teacher pulled several of us aside and told us we needed to stop it and be nice to her because she was sick and that was why she wore the wig. I’m not sure my parents were ever told, but I remember that moment. It wasn’t a good feeling. Anyway, I talked to her and played with her when she was well enough to attend school.
At the start of the next school year, on the first day, we found out she had died because of complication from cancer. I remember her mother coming in to tell us. She cried and had to leave the classroom. It was awful. We were all upset. It still sticks with me to this day. I can see it all so vividly. How much worse would I have felt if I continued to tease her and heard this news? I think I would have been devastated because I caused her so much pain at the end of her life. That is a guilt I don’t think I would have wanted to carry.
My point. I was a bully, there was someone I was cruel to. Someone who didn’t deserve it. I picked on her because she differed from me and had to wear a wig.
We’re all bullies to someone. Maybe if someone around Jamel tried to do something, the school, the parents, classmates or someone, pulled these kids aside and told them to stop it Jamel wouldn’t have killed himself.
I want to know why we do this? Why we have to put other people down to feel better about ourselves. When will each of us stand up and say enough? This isn’t a new problem and I don’t think there are easy answers or solutions, but no child should every be bullied to the point where they take their own life. Ever. At times like this I often wonder if we are the monsters and everything around us are our victims. It seems like all we do is kill, destroy, or cause to be killed.
Again I ask, what is wrong with us? Why are we so broken?
Honestly, Scribblers I don’t know if I’m making any sense here. I feel so broken since I read the news about Jamel. He’s not the first and I know he won’t be the last which makes it even more heartbreaking.
I want to ask something of everyone who reads this. First, I want you to think about who in your life you were the bully to, cause you were. There is someone. Second, I want you all to take a minutes and just write a tweet, Facebook post or comment below and address bullying. Share your story about how you were bullied and how you bullied someone else. It’s important for us to not only admit we are the victim and also the perpetrator, maybe then we can affect some kind of change. Third, if you see someone being miss treated or being bullied please step in. Please stop it and say something. You know better. We all know better. Prove we are not the monsters under the bed or hiding in the darkness.