Bullying, Hate Culture and Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I was browsing my Facebook newsfeeds today when I came across with a publication that made me jump from my seat (fine, I was actually laying on bed…lazy Saturday…but I did jump a bit!).

The above-mentioned publication focused on an alternative to passing anti-bullying laws:

First of all… Yes, unfortunately, we will probably always face bullying in some way or another. Even though, it would probably stop being labeled as bullying if the cases dropped dramatically and it became an isolated event.

And yes, we should always encourage people to stand up for themselves; even thought I doubt that’s something we teach (unless we’re of the mean kind) and rather something people learn, eventually.

However, advocating that we should stop passing anti-bullying laws in favour of ‘kids standing up to their bullies’ is an altogether different matter. And I strongly believe that that’s not the way to go.

‘An eye for an eye will make us all blind’

The fact that someone would choose to stop pre-emptive measures for violent/reactive ones, makes me wonder what we’re doing wrong as society.

Just take the same philosophy to any other aspect of our lives:

  • Domestic violence: ‘Oh, I’m sorry, no domestic violence specific regulations but…hey, here’s a voucher for self-defence classes’ 
  • LBTQIA+: ‘Oh, I’m sorry you got beating for holding hands on the street with your same-sex partner, we can give you some classes to teach you how to stand up against them next time!’

And this goes beyond individual forms of discrimination and violence.

Because, guns. Yes, guns.

‘Should we regulate and remove guns altogether? No! Let’s give people guns to defend themselves from the other guns!’

In this same note, it didn’t come as a surprise when I visited Steve Reichert’s Facebook wall (which took me a while, I was busy whining) and saw all the pro-guns posts. ‘It’s our right!’, ‘We need to defend ourselves’…and all that jazz.

 

Bullying isn’t something that occurs naturally. Bullying is something that kids learn from adults. And how sick is to encourage them to battle the violent vices that they’ve learn from us with more violence?

And this is vital.

We probably won’t be able to vanish bullying altogether. But if we want to see it wane, we, as adults, have to assume our responsibility as the origin of it and, indeed, develop measure to eradicate it.

And this is done: individually (educating our children and relatives at home…even our friends!) and as society (passing the necessary laws).

Unfortunately, it seems that there will always be someone who thinks that the best way to go, is to perpetuate a growing hate culture.

And this, dear friends, this is why we can’t have nice things.