Toxic Comments: Normalizing Atrocities, a Resistance Post

Bomb-Cool-iconHave you ever been in a public place minding your own business when a stranger makes a rather loud offensive statement?  They didn’t make a statement pertaining to you, but it was a sexist, prejudice, or propagandist statement.  It’s a statement so offensively toxic that it even offended you!

Words were on the tip of your tongue.  You wanted to tell them their rhetoric was hurtful, wrong, and disrespectful of those around them.  Yet, you didn’t say anything.  You think they had a right to voice their opinion.  Besides, if you confronted them, something bad could happen.  Then you have the worst thought of all:  It wasn’t your problem.

Guess what.  It was your problem.  Furthermore, if you’re an American in the age of 45, it’s most definitely our problem.

As it happens, I heard an educator (unrelated to my academic institution) talking at a Starbucks and she made a horribly disagreeable comment:  I make students stand for the Pledge since my husband fought in Vietnam for their right to say it.

I forced myself not to comment, and yes, it was the worst thing I could have possibly done.

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In the current climate of highly charged hateful rhetoric and actions, I’m learning from my inaction, and I encourage people to calmly and logically shut down ignorantly toxic comments.  Call them a gateway drug to homegrown terrorism (or for a man to stab their fellow countrymen and call it Patriotism).

~Continued after video~

While the educator’s comments aren’t hate speech per se, it’s still a dangerous comment specifically for pure ignorance, which happens to lead to dangerous nationalism, authoritarianism, indoctrination, and even brainwashing.

Paraphrasing from the above Huffington Post video, Americans let those comments slide, we are helping to normalize such thinking.  Kids who hear it will think that toxic perspective is fine, or normal, and we encourage those few of like, small-minds to voice the same opinions.

Here is why that educator’s comments are so disagreeable.

First, the part claiming her husband fought in the Vietnamese war so American students can say the Pledge of Allegiance is revisionist history and has absolutely no basis in fact.

France-Flag-iconThe Vietnamese War had nothing to do with American freedom nor the Pledge of Allegiance.  America entered the war to help the French retain control of their Indochina colony.  When the French lost control and Communists took over Northern Vietnam, the American government found the situation disagreeable and stayed to help Southern Vietnamese take back the North.

Second, anyone who claims they, or their spouse, fought for the American right to say the Pledge drank the crazy people Kool Aid.  Our government’s Enlightenment Era Creators in the American Revolution were those who truly fought for our freedom.  They fought for the colonists’ right to have an equal say in government as part of a living document that also includes instructions for two methods of revolting against those in power.  Not of the idiocy to say a simple Pledge.

Hypothetically, in some bizarre dimension the Vietnamese War had been about American freedom, that freedom would encompass a wide range of freedoms we enjoy in the real world.  They would include the freedom to choose to say or not to say the American Pledge of Allegiance.

As Americans, we take pride in our First Amendment:Paper-icon

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

These days, Americans refer to the First Amendment as freedom of speech or freedom of religion.  In the 80s and 90s, I remember it was referred to as freedom of the press.

The original Thirteen Colonies were formed on the promise of religious freedom and a haven from political upheaval.  Basically, their own countries persecuted (i. e., imprisoned or penalized) them because of their beliefs either in religion or politics.

Even today, there are countries – a few more liberal than America – that still penalize people for criticizing their leaders.  Here are twelve of them:

  1. Azerbaijan
  2. Lebanon
  3. Venezuela
  4. Poland
  5. Turkey
  6. Netherlands
  7. Cameroon
  8. Bahrain
  9. Kuwait
  10. Thailand
  11. Iran
  12. Indonesia

The American Constitution was written so all American citizens have governmental say without the threat of persecution, which is also covered in the First Amendment (…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances).

We have the right to protest peaceably.  If Americans wish to take a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance, they can without penalization.  Hell, even in the 20th Century, people burned the American flag at protests without legal repercussions.  Why?  Because that is also covered under the First Amendment.

When I substitute in a classroom, I don’t force the students to stand and recite the Pledge.  Any students who choose to sit, respects the rest of the class by staying quiet through the Pledge.  Those who choose to say the Pledge, respects the classmates who choose to sit – as in not shaming those who sit through the Pledge.

Personally, I stopped saying the Pledge because I disagree with the under God part, which wasn’t added until the 1950s as a convoluted way to combat the political concept of Communism.  (Anyone else confused by that?)  Plus, I don’t recite the Pledge as a protest against the current political stupidity in the White House and Congress.  Although, I still stand and face the flag out of respect for my family history.

(By the way, anyone else think it’s overkill to say the Pledge everyday in school?!  Why don’t we say it once at the beginning of the Academic year or each semester?).

Typically, I resume working after the Pledge and ignore the moment of silent reflection.  I think taking a moment to silently reflect – which is code for pray – is a waste of time when people should do that in the privacy of their own home before going to school or work.  In addition, the Pledge of Allegiance is a prayer since it incorporates under God and was originally written by a minister.

I’m not saying the misguided educator was a follower of the Far Right, but I’m going on the assumption based on her comment.  Aside from the confusion over the term freedom, the Far Right (who proclaim themselves Patriots) get a lot of things wrong.

The Far Right likes to take their Nationalism to the extreme.  Perhaps, they believe the Pledge was always recited by school children at least once everyday across the country dating all the way back to America winning independence from England.

bag-books-iconActually, the Pledge wasn’t a classroom ritual until 1892, and America didn’t have an official pledge until the first half of the 20th Century.

It was not until 1942 that Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance. One year later, in June 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to recite it. In fact,today only half of our fifty states have laws that encourage the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in the classroom!

Forcing children to say the Pledge in school is not Patriotic since it’s considered a form of authoritarianism in a country that’s supposed to be a Republic.  While forces are attempting to change the foundation of our government to an oligarchy and 45 treats his position as a dictatorship, I believe wholeheartedly that this country will always remain a republic, one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

I wish I would have said something to that educator, yet I would have done more harm than good.  Unfortunately, I would have yelled at the woman instead of calmly explain to her the wrongness of her statement with logic.  Perhaps, it would have been a futile attempt.  At least, I would have demonstrated that there are Americans who won’t stand for a dictatorial revisionist history.

However, I’m mainly writing about this experience to encourage other fellow Americans with cooler heads to curb both hateful and blind nationalist propaganda.  The more we make these comments abnormal, the less we have to deal with open hate, Patriotic stabbings, and the fear of homegrown terrorists.

Gender Typing Emotions, Words, and Inanimate Objects

cry-iconI’m an emotional person.  My mom likes to make fun of me and my propensity of wearing my heart on my sleeve.  Occasionally, she’s even called me weak.

Yet I choose not to listen to her opinion and that’s all it is:  An opinion.

I’ve been in and out of counseling through my life.  When I started, my high school made it mandatory that I go.  Perhaps it was noted in my student files that I was bullied in middle school and had a few issues because of it.

It doesn’t matter why or what was written in my files to instigate the counseling sessions.  I’m just happy they did it.

Adults are complex in their feelings, children even more.  With adults, they’ve lived long enough to understand, at least, the basics of their emotions.  They don’t do anything about their emotions because they’re mostly stubborn when it comes to change.  A few people come to mind as I think about it now.

Children have no idea that their problem doesn’t stem from one specific emotion.  They’re a cauldron of mixing, steaming emotions.  When they’re teens, they’re powder kegs of volcanic emotions.  It doesn’t have to be this way.

If they were allowed to readily express their emotions, talk about them, and grasp a better understanding of what they’re feeling and why they’re feeling that way, it would help their development.  They would become better well-adjusted adults.

In my journey of emotional discovery, I’ve noticed I’m a chronic cryer.  I cry when I’m happy, sad, and angry.  When I read or watch anything remotely heartwarming, I cry.  Sad moments in books and movies will make me cry buckets.  I purposely stay away from tearjerkers because I know I’m going to cry an ocean.

Stories in the news regarding animals are especially tear inducing.   They remind me there are great people in the world who go into garbage dumps to rescue an emaciated dog covered in mange, sores, and insects.  Then they take them to the vet, clean them up, and nurse them back to health.

Those stories also remind me that people suck.  Just today I read a news story about an injured otter in Norway that was out of it’s mind with pain wandered into a restaurant and terrorized the customers or went on a rampage.

That otter didn’t terrorize anyone.  It was in pain and in protection mode.  The otter was cut up from a propeller and breathing heavy.

Wildlife officials were called to the scene, and officer Hakan Sunde was bitten on the finger by the marine mammal…

Sadly, the otter’s injuries were so severe that it had to be euthanized. Rest in peace, little otter.

All that crying I do when it comes to animal stories, movies, and anything else labels me as weak.

Yet, I would disagree greatly.  I’m not weak.  My abundant tears and ready emotions make me strong.

Why is crying considered weak?  Why are any emotions considered weak?

An emotion or act isn’t weak or strong.  It’s something we do.  It’s who we are.  Male, female, young, or old either cries or has the capacity to cry.

Crying is considered weak because humans label it as such.  People give a natural inclination a negative connotation.  There are many things in this world that’s just a feeling, a word, or a thing.  Yet, they’re labeled in an attempt to make them something they’re not.

the-dianthus-flowerThe color pink is what we call a colorful visual representation we find in nature.  Pink is made by mixing the colors red and white.  The color is named after a flower.

Yet, people label it as feminine or a color only women should possess in any capacity.  The color is not male or female, it’s simply considered feminine because people label it as such, making it way more than just a color.

People give things masculine and feminine connotations.

A boy in South Carolina chose a My Little Pony lunchbox for school.  He likes the cartoon show and it’s message of friendship.

In my opinion, his parents are doing a fabulous job of encouraging this positive influence by allowing him to express his preference in television shows with a lunchbox.

Unfortunately, not everyone sees it this way especially impressionable children with a gender label obsession substantiated by their parents and school officials.  The poor boy was being bullied by his classmates for having the lunchbox.  Furthermore, it wasn’t only verbal abuse.  These kids physically abused him.

The school’s response?  They instructed [him] to start bringing his lunch in something else because school officials believe the bag — not the bullying — is the real problem.

The school responds by blaming the victim.  He invited his classmates to bully him by bringing a My Little Pony lunchbox that’s so obviously a girl’s lunchbox.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?  The mother thought so.

Grayson’s mom, Noreen, is also defending her son, calling the school out for excusing bullying rather than taking action against it. “Saying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape. It’s flawed logic; it doesn’t make any sense,” she said.

Perhaps, the way to tackle the world’s rape epidemic is to first tackle gender typing.

Why must things be male or female?  We are people, we are equal.  That boy should be able to bring his lunchbox to school and not be harassed.  I admire him for his strength.  I sincerely hope this moment will not set him back in freely expressing himself and I hope that he grows into a wonderful adult.

Letting People be People on Facebook

Bully-Scholarship-Edition-1-iconBullies come in many shapes.  Some look fierce and others look innocent.  Bullying styles also vary.  Most bullies are blatant with their physical and mental torture.

Yet, the bullies who truly fly under the radar of society are invasive with their mental torture.  I call them parasites.

Bullies pray upon the preconceived weak for pleasure.  This goes back to my shallow happiness theory.  In the post, I explored religious zealots and their aggression towards those who don’t share their faith.  Most, if not all in my humble opinion, religious zealots can easily fall under the category of bully.  Religious zealots use many forms of bullying.

Yet I digress.

The blatant bullies are preferable.  If a potential victim had the choice (they never do), blatant bullies are the best choice.  With blatant bullies, they’re always angry and physically violent.  A victim can see them coming and they have time to brace for impact or hide.

Parasitic bullies are worse.  They infiltrate the minds of their victims with precision.  The victim will feel worthless, lifting the spirits of their so called parasitic bully friend in their self-loathing diatribe.  Specifically, the victim thanks the bully for being such a good friend even though the victim doesn’t deserve the friendship.

The victim thinks their low self-esteem is their fault and no one else’s much less their very dear friend.  Sometimes the victim commits suicide and blames their preconceived short comings in the letter they leave.  They also leave behind the preverbal friend who gets loads of sympathetic attention from society for trying to be such a good friend to the recently deceased.  The parasitic bully gets what they want – adoring attention – and no one ever realizes their manipulative machinations.  Success.

The worst bullies are the combinations.  They are a combination of parasite and blatant.  Their talent is infiltrating the mind and then physically abusing the victim.  Combination bullies are the worst because they want to keep their victims alive to feed off the misery from their victims.  They’ll hit their victim and the victim will think they deserve it.

I’ve only mentioned three types of bullies when there are several.  The newest being cyber bullies that torment their victims through social sites and cell phone communication.

Recently, I discovered that I was previously victimized by parasites.

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I’ve grown to like Facebook.  It wasn’t always that way.  There was a time that I was tempted to delete my profile.  Then I found a use for it.  Facebook helps me keep in touch with friends I’ve made at conferences.  Later, I discovered I could express myself with little social editing and no one could reprimand me for being me.  If they tried, I could delete them as a friend.

In certain environments, it’s necessary to alter one’s personality to suite the environment.  It isn’t appropriate to act like I’m at home at work.  Cursing, listening to certain music, and sarcasm pertaining to sexual innuendoes are inappropriate.  A person always must show their best while at work for the sake of professionalism and advancement.  It means constantly social editing.

Social editing means adjusting thoughts and actions before…acting, curbing instinct and erring on the side of caution.  Instead of automatically saying “sh**,” I say “snicker doodles.” Instead of saying exactly what I’m thinking, I will find better words to use.  The new words would soften the blow while retaining the same meaning.

I work at a high school.  That means I always have to watch my every thought and action.  Kids need a roll model.  If they can’t get it at home, school is one of the few places they can find them.

facebook-iconEditing isn’t as physically tiring as changing personalities every time someone steps out their front door.  Yet, it’s still exhausting and I still need a place to be me.  Facebook became that place for me.

I love it.  I can be my awkward self in attempting to post silly statuses.  Otherwise, what’s the point in posting a status at all?  I can make mistakes and not get reprimanded for them.

What I love most are the pictures with sayings that often mirror my thoughts and feelings.  I share those with my Facebook friends as another way to share my personality or because I think it’s something some of my friends would enjoy.  There are also articles that I find interesting or I’m passionate about that I share with my friends.

One day, I shared a picture that made fun of Republican logic.  I found it funny and close to the truth so I shared it.

A Facebook “friend” commented on the picture and felt victimized by my sharing of the picture.  That comment brought a cacophony of thoughts, feelings, and gave me a disturbing realization.

Going to college right out of high school doesn’t mature the incoming Freshman.  That is something they must do on their own not through any crazy coming of age ritual.

In some respects, college is a lot like high school only without the parents.  The high school drama follows the students like a bad plague that spreads to the rest of the collegiate population.  There are popular students, there are social outcasts, and there are bullies.  Since blatant bullies can easily be arrested in colleges whereas they only had to deal with high school officials, they have very little success victimizing others than their highly successful parasitic counterparts.

College parasites thrive off the plague that is the high school drama, they find it easy to move among and latch onto unsuspecting victims.  That’s what the Facebook comment made me realize, I was a victim of these parasites and never knew it till now.

In my early years of college, I was amazed at how much it reminded me of high school.  Before I knew it, I was in a clique and trapped in all the dramatic feelings associated.  That’s when I was targeted by parasitic bullies.

It was more than one parasite, sometimes they converge upon a victim in groups.

They were very subtle in their mind games.  I would say something, often exactly what I was thinking.  One of them would act hurt by what I said and they would force me to apologize.  This would go on until I rarely said anything.

This was detrimental to my academic studies and damaged my fragile self-esteem.  Yet, the bullying didn’t stop with that particular group.

It took me three years to reverse the damage that parasitic group cause.  The last few years of my considerably long undergraduate existence, I managed to bounce back.  I was sure of myself, I spoke up in class, and I was happy.

In graduate school, I ran into another group of parasites.  Their tactic was much different.  Instead of pretending to be hurt by my words, they didn’t allow me to say anything.  Whenever I wanted to contribute in class, they would talk over me, drowning out my words.  This continued the first year of graduate school and I learned fast never to speak.

In the beginning of my second and final year of graduate school, I went into counseling to build my assertiveness.  By then, I had been in and out of counseling to know when I needed to go back when I’m in a slump.  These parasites were partially successful because I didn’t realize what they did to me.  I thought the entire problem was my fault.  The parasites were a failure because I immediately sought help.

I am grateful to my Facebook friend for helping me realize these things, to put parts of my past in a different perspective.  What I don’t appreciate is their ineptitude on the workings of Facebook.

Foolishly, I assumed that she would know about the hide button.  A user can hide specific friendly posts or all posts from a particular friend.  That’s what I always did.  I didn’t comment to a friend that I didn’t like their posts.  I simply use the hide option.  If I didn’t like any of their posts and still wanted to keep them around for contact purposes, I would hide all of their posts.  Other times, I would simply defriend them.

There are people in this world, even in Facebook, where their personalities violently clash with mine that I would have to let them go.

This is the message I have for that specific friend:

Obviously, you don’t know me that well if you thought that picture was for the express purpose of insulting you.  I didn’t even know you were a Republican.

I have to be less than who I am in my daily life.  Facebook is where I want to be me, where I don’t have to worry about repercussions from my friends.  That’s because Facebook provides services so that I or my friends cannot be offended by each other.

There are many posts from friends that offend or bore me.  I’m offended by the religious posts.  I don’t care that “Jesus loves me,” I don’t care that you think “Christ is the ‘Lord’ of everyone,” and I don’t care that you go to church every Sunday.  The posts with cute little pictures saying that your daughter loves you bore me.  The posted pictures of your daughters and sons doing supposedly cute things sometimes interest me, but I mostly think they’re stupid.  I don’t care that your house is a mess and the only person that cleans it is you.

To me, the fact that you’re the only person that cleans the house with the husband, two kids, and menagerie of animals is your personal problem.  Instead of whining about it on Facebook, do something about it.

Perhaps I would find more appreciation for the family posts if I were a wife too.  Yet, that doesn’t interest me.  I like not having kids.

Personally, I consider the thousands of kids that occupy the high school where I work to by my kids.  Every week I tell them to put their garbage in the trash, I have their lost items delivered to them, I help them with their homework, I’m constantly reminding them of the rules, etc.

Being forced to do that at home is abhorrent to me.  I don’t care how fulfilling children make your life.  They would keep me from doing what I love the most: scholarly work and writing.

In the future, when I post something that you find unharmonious to your wellbeing, I suggest you exorcise your right to use the hide option like I do to every post I dislike.  If you find my whole personality completely perpendicular to your own instead of parallel, then feel free to defriend me.

Above all, don’t ever tell me to stifle my voice.  I will perceive it as a bullying tactic and I will take vital steps (defriending) to make sure you don’t do it again.  Call it a shell shocked reflex to avoid history repeating itself.

The Socially Acceptable Secret: Bullying

Perhaps it’s because I work at a high school, but bullying isn’t far from my mind and I found it particularly prevalent today.

I had no interest in Pretty Little Liars.  Since Netflix has not updated the seasons to my favorite shows, all of which I’ve watched numerous times to the point of reciting each line from every episode by memory, I felt adventurous.  At the same time, I was reading a Salon.com article concerning a bullied gay teen who committed suicide in Oregon.

Pretty-Little-Liars-iconIn the Pilot episode of Pretty Little Liars, a stylishly troubled teen named Hanna lives in a posh home with her recently single mother.  She does something exceedingly stupid by shoplifting at a local mall and is arrested for it.  After mom bails her out of jail, the mom turns to Hanna and says, “Why would you shoplift?  I give you everything to keep you popular!”  (Roughly paraphrasing from memory.)

Around this time, I was reading the aforementioned article where Jaiden Bell joined cheerleading to make his dreams come true and gain social acceptance.  Not that Jaiden felt that joining cheerleading would gain him social acceptance.  He was incredibly passionate about cheerleading.  Jaiden felt he would somehow gain some social acceptance as a result of his passion.  It was a reasonable deduction.  In many towns, cheerleaders are still the pinnacle of high school royalty.

Unfortunately for Jaiden, his sexual orientation superseded his success at cheerleading.  He underestimated small town mentality and their notion of football symbolizing the summit of masculinity.

Hanna’s mom and the mentality of Jaiden’s small hometown reminded me how society protects – in some cases celebrates – the bullies and repeatedly victimizes people who are different.  When Hanna’s mom reminded her klepto daughter of her social wealth as a result of her material wealth, she was effectively saying that the mom turned Hanna into a packaged replica of society’s typical high school girl.  This was to keep Hanna from feeling the need to shoplift for social acceptance and to keep the family’s good name.  Otherwise, Hanna and her mother might be ostracized from high school and town society.  Ostracism, in social terms, is a euphemism for bullying.

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My Master Thesis concerned independent others in American minorities.  I analyzed the treatment of people who were different from the American minority group of which they belong in American literature.  The thesis demonized notions of community because of their penchant for ostracizing those who are different.

A professor in my thesis committee asked if I was being too harsh on community, if I couldn’t spare one kind sentence.  I came up with some lame line about the fear of writing a tangent.

What I thought was something completely different.  The professor that asked me to spare a kind word for community didn’t go through the type of hell I lived through.  At the hands of community, I was bullied.

I didn’t grow up in the ideal American family.  My parents divorced because my dad was a less than ideal man.  He was good at pretending yet, in reality, was highly lacking.

Raised by a single parent came with a social stigma I never understood.  I tried to make friends, but had a difficult time.  There were unspoken rules of fashion, accessories, and behavior that I didn’t learn.  The girls in grade school strove to be the perfect Barbie doll with all the trappings.  Since mom didn’t have the money for frivolities, in the eyes of those girls, I was lacking.  To compound the problem, I didn’t know how to act.  I didn’t know someone should not act as they are or say what they’re really thinking.  Everything seemed like a highly problematic song and dance that was too complicated for me.

I was lucky in Catholic grade school.  The boys and girls mostly ignored me unless they caught me looking at the jumpers on the second-hand wrack in the hallway.

It was worse in middle school.  In the middle of 7th grade, mom and I moved.  I went to public school and suddenly, I wasn’t ignored.

The first two weeks were wonderful.  I believed I made friends with the popular kids, sat at their table, and conversed with them.  One day, a very disturbed girl with sexual identity issues, stood on top of a table, pointed at me, and screamed that I was a lesbian in the middle of a packed lunchroom.  The lunchroom monitors did nothing, the teachers did nothing.  That was the beginning of absolute hell.

I was completely visible to the public.  In Catholic school, I thought being ignored was bad, but this was worse.  Labeled as a lesbian when I went to junior high was as bad as leprosy in the middle ages and committing murder at the same time.  Everyone stayed away from me and they scrutinized me under an unrelenting social microscope.

The kids made fun of my family situation and my clothes.  I wasn’t used to dressing in casual wear for school everyday hence I had no clue what clothes were socially acceptable and most of my clothes were men’s wear.  Men’s wear fit my frame better and were more comfortable than women’s wear.  I didn’t know that a girl wearing men’s clothes was a social taboo.  The more uncomfortable you were, the more fashionable.

There was more than pointing and laughing.

Ironically, English class was the worst.  There was a girl that made sure to sit one seat behind me.  She made sure that seat between us was empty, which was easy since no one wanted to sit behind me.  During class, she would prop the desk on the top part of my chair and proceed to shove the desk into the middle of my back.  I would have to stay that way, uncomfortable and sometimes in pain, for the entire class.  The teacher did nothing.

I didn’t want to tell my mom what was going on.  She had her own demons to battle, and I thought I had to battle mine on my own.  It wasn’t until I was caught plagiarizing my mom’s name on a report card that the school finally stepped in to help.  They placed me with a counselor I wasn’t entirely comfortable with, but was better than nothing.

My situation didn’t get better until I entered high school.  The high school began a program where they brought in a social counselor, and no one seemed to care or remember me from that hellish middle school.

Though I was no longer bullied, the mental damage those kids unleashed would take years to fix.  In some ways, I’m still working on it.

A few times I thought about suicide.  It’s easy to fall into that train of thought while tortured on a daily basis and told repeatedly in varied ways how worthless you are.

community-users-iconThat’s what society does to different people.  First, community isolates those who are different.  They make sure that the different person has no one in their corner, or they don’t know how to ask for help.  Second, community wears down its victim.  It’s easy for the strongest person to cave under a daily wave of mental and physical abuse.  Last, after wearing away their victim’s defenses, community puts on a hollow show of sadness and sympathy when their victim finally commits suicide.

I’ve heard all the arguments while reading articles about kids who weren’t as fortunate as I.  Community idiots point the finger everywhere but themselves.  They blame the family situation, the victim’s low self-esteem, the victim’s weakness, etc.  What they don’t say is, We could have done something.

There are even those idiots that make arguments for bullying.  I’ve had people tell me that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it.  That bullying instills strength.  Perhaps they’re right, but we don’t know that for sure.  The personalities of people are molded by a combination of genetics and environment.  Half of my DNA was procured by incredibly strong people and I was raised by those incredibly strong people.  I would have been the same without bullying.