Thursday, June 21, 2012

This Is Bullying and We Are Responsible

I have been trying to post to Twitter and it won't let me. It is just as well. I have a lot to say and I might have left too long a comment at Lynette Young's G+ page. I want to put in my two cents about what happened to Karen Klein.

This woman is a school bus monitor who was subjected to ten minutes of abuse by kids, pre-teens, teens it doesn't matter. The little haters let their mouths run wild and free.

I can't get past more than three minutes of it. It get's worse.

I'm going to incorporate some of my comments that I posted on Lynette's page and more thoughts as well.

I know everyone is extremely angry and rightfully so. There is no excuse. None. But who wants to take a bet that some of the little demons go to church? Get good grades? Present one face to mom and pop and another to their friends? There is a lot of stuff happening in that video. Crowd mentality, No internal filters, playing to the crowd.
Pre-teens and teens are not good at considering anyone other than themselves. They are still growing up. Short term thinking. If not for the video they might not even remember that they did this.

You hope the lessons parents try to drill in their skull take hold. For some parents it is all they can do to get their children to wash themselves and not stink up the room. Parents do the best they can but sometimes normal kids do profoundly stupid things.

Yes, there needs to be discipline, as in invoking a personal discipline as a life long tool, not necessarily invoked with a switch, belt or whipping stick. Empathy, which seems to thought of a sissy skill or weakness in our culture needs to be taught.

Again, in no way am I condoning what these proto-terrors have done. They need to be held accountable. Seriously accountable. Wanting to beat the snot out of them is understandable. We have a sustained culture of bullying. What do we choose to do about that?

We caused this. We allowed this. With every politician demonizing the other. With our behavior in the mall or supermarket. In our television programs, games, media we have said the other is lessor and it is okay to "beat them down."

Last week Anita from Feminist Frequency was attack by people claiming to be gamers that she had no right to voice an opinion on the female tropes in video games. To say she was cussed at would be an understatement. It was nasty.

What makes it okay to do this? What makes it okay to spew this level of hate? I don't even think hate is the right word. It is the wicked side of power and control being implemented by people who have none.

 The MarySue has a good write up and summary of what happened and the positive result.

The video below is of the real Karen Klein. She talks about the experience and you can tell her spirit operates on a much different plane. Get over the gray hair and get to the person.

Nobody should have had to have endure what she did.

I was bullied as a kid. It was hell. I do know there is a part of our culture that loves the idea of fairness and the exchange of ideas. But when you are bullied you begin to wonder what is so good about living?

Life is not easy but bullying adds a dimension of hell that is not necessary. If you can survive it (and please do) a piece of you goes into an internal witness protection program. Takes a lot to want to be around people.


It is almost a quaint notion. It doesn't have to be but we can't go on this way. This means we will need to change how we talk about politics, other people, gender, sexuality, religion.

There will be some that will state that they hate political correctness. Not talking about that at all. If I feel that you are full of shit I will continue to tell you so.

I am just saying we have to model different behaviors. We just got to.

Because I ride the bus too.


  1. HEAR, HEAR!!!!

    I wish we would return to worrying if people thought we were rude. Why can't we do that? I have always told my daughter it will bode better for her with me to drop the f-bomb than to insult someone for being different. The punishment will be way harsher for being mean. Everyone worries so much about sex and not enough about violence.

  2. I know! Violence has many forms. These kids were teething on verbal violence. They got off on it. It was fun.

    Again, no empathy, no thinking of the other person and "bonding" in attacking the other.

    We are doing this on a national level. Why would we think kids would not emulate that behavior?