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...That's not what I'm saying. Of course bullies need help. They need therapy. Any kid who needs help deserves to have access to it. But it's not a perpetrator/victim issue that I'm addressing here. I'm not trying to weep for one and condemn the other. I'm just baffled by the idea that someone can be so vile as to verbally bully someone like that and damage them beyond their own sense of self preservation. How does someone do that without a conscience? How do they not have the mental capacity to know when they've crossed the line? Yes, they were kids. But most kids have an even more moral outlook when it comes to fairness and decency than most adults I know. So what is going on in their heads?
Now, if someone is under ATTACK, or they're in immediate danger, or involved with some sort of threat or emotional assault...then yes. People lash out to defend themselves. If someone has directly done something to hurt or offend you, one on one...you have the right to push back. There are plenty of reasons for kids to feel angry, or scared, or alone, and if someone does something TO them, and they strike back...I think there are better ways to deal with your emotions, but I get it. I understand. You were under attack. It's like, "All this person does is hurt me and make fun of me and I didn't do anything to him to deserve that. I've had enough. I'm putting a stop to this, right here and now." I understand that reasoning. There's a deliberate emotional trigger that inspires an appropriate reaction. Often an unpredictable one. Lord knows, I've been guilty of it many times myself. And that's WITH me practicing some level of restraint. So that makes sense. This person pissed me off by hurting me first, now he can deal with the consequences.
But do you have any idea how unstable, how emotionally volatile, you'd have to be...to just be mad at the whole world for whatever reason, and then just target the most vulnerable kid in the room and channel all of that hatred into him instead of dealing with whatever it was that made you angry in the first place? The kid didn't do or say anything to trigger you at all. It's just, "He's gay! And gay people make me sick! So the world's not big enough for the both of us. I have to hurt him and bully him and harass him and punish him until he's so miserable that he KILLS himself." That is a seriously psychotic off ramp from average sane thinking. I really think that's something that needs to be discussed when it comes to issues like this. Because this kid is dead now, and whatever was making that bully angry is still eating away at him. It didn't go away. Jamel being gay didn't have anything to do with his disgust and his nasty comments. So what happens? The kid dies, the bully stays angry, and he eventually goes searching for another vulnerable target because he's too weak to handle his own issues. How many lives is he going to ruin before the rage goes away? Two? Five? Ten?
Who knows? Maybe he was physically abused at home. Maybe his older brother picks on him. Maybe he was molested by a creepy uncle, or he has a scar or a facial tick that kids make fun of, or maybe his parents argue night and day and it rubbed off on him. There are tons of reasons for a kid that age to feel angry and helpless and alone. His feelings could have been triggered by any number of things. His anger might be justified. But...my question is...when that kid was feeling angry and full of hatred, what makes him target someone who had absolutely nothing to DO with it, and want to leave him so 'broken' inside? That's absolutely insane. Do you see what I mean? What makes anyone, much less a child, want to assault and attack somebody for no logical reason, hurt him beyond belief, and then sit back with a sigh and think..."Yeah. That helped. That did the trick. I feel so much better about myself now. Looks like I'll be sleeping peacefully tonight."
That's like somebody saying, "I didn't have any money, and I was super hungry. I needed to eat something. So...I bludgeoned some innocent guy to death with a brick and took his wallet! Problem solved. Now I'm happy." WHAT??? I get that you had no money. I get that you were super hungry. Both understandable triggers for feelings of helplessness and desperation. But how was that your 'go to' idea for solving the problem? There's no justification for that. There are other ways to get help. You know? You didn't solve anything! So what happens the next time he gets hungry? Is this going to be the way he deals with things from now on? That's psychotic.
Whatever that social disorder is, whatever that psychological short circuit is that would justify that kind of behavior, it needs to be diagnosed and addressed so whoever needs help can get help. And we can at least cut back on tragic situations like this. Every time I hear one of these stories, it's just plain breaks my heart.
But what do we, as a civilized society, do to improve on this sort of thing?
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