As of late, bullying has received much light in mainstream media and among peer groups. This includes instances of children and young adults committing suicide because of what seems to be constant attacks by bullies, both verbally and otherwise. The popular disposition is to eradicate the world of bullying to create better conditions for those who are victims. Even stars, such as 50 Cent and Lady Gaga, have joined the fight.
Origins Of Bullying
The sad truth is bullying is taught to us as children. We are constantly fed the idea that we need to somehow gain the upper hand over others. This is taught when parents “let kids know who’s boss,” convincing kids to respect authorities such as teachers, coaches and law enforcement officers. This is further reinforced via textbooks describing in detail the methods governments use, particularly European empires and the United States, to manhandle others for the purposes of increasing their power. It is extensively driven into the minds of American students whenever curriculum turns to the Cold War. It is actually taught that the fight was over dominating the world and obtaining the title superpower.
Problem With Methods Used To Combat Bullying
The problem comes when the methods of combating bullying of school-aged children are explored. The first method mentioned is usually for the child to let someone of authority know so they can step in to mediate or alleviate the acts. That isn’t always the best solution, considering the fact people that people in positions of authority are often bullies themselves. The cases of Gerald Sandusky & Penn State and the South Carolina forcing her six-year-old students to give her foot rubs are clear examples. Beyond the extreme examples, the prevailing concept of dominion over the weak is an integral part of our upbringing and present mindsets.
Bullies continue to engage in those acts because they perceive their victims as weak because the victim lacks the ability to display a reciprocal or greater show of power. It is similar to the final round of the game show Jeopardy!. A constant with little points to wager is of little threat to the constant overwhelmingly in the lead. The leader wages mores to set himself up for the bigger win.
Bullying And Non-Violent Protests
Today, we see non-violent protesters–who actually profess their allegiance to the ideology made popular by Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.–facing an armed force. This only exposes the hand of the protesters to that violent force, the local police departments in charge of bullying the protesters–forcing them away from the ground on which they stand. Crackdowns on protests continue to happen because those authorities do not see a reciprocal or greater show of power. Yes, it can be said that thousands of people in the streets is a great show of power, but 10,000 soft-fleshed bodies is not reciprocal to 10,000 bullets and hundreds to thousands of Billy clubs. This sad reality has been shown to us by what happened in Selma, Alabama at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday in 1965 to Dr. King, other civil rights leaders, and hundreds of other marchers.
I think it is indisputable that a racist air still lingers over Alabama. Furthermore, I believe it is contestable that racial equality has not been achieved due to the courageous acts of that time. The point is, the bully is still in power in Alabama and the rest of the nation. There has been no force to combat the bully practices of the institutions that reign around the United States.
Necessary Show Of Force To Mitigate Bullies
In the 1960’s, the Black Panther Party–most notably in Oakland–emerged with a show of force equal to, and sometimes greater than, local authorities who terrorized their communities. The group of law enforcement officers confronted by the Panthers found themselves in no position to simply overpower, or bully, a reciprocal power. The local authorities were only able to re-emerge as the superpower of communities of Oakland once a greater show of power–the legislature of California, backed by violence–used its force to change gun laws. In turn, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was bullied into once again being bullied by the Oakland police department.
Greatest Challenge To Overcoming Bullying
The greatest challenge to overcoming the power of bullying, including down to its simplest forms (on the playgrounds, etc.), is removing ourselves from acceptable forms of it. Subjecting ourselves to the authority of oppressive violence through the passing and acceptance of laws is detrimental to us. It starts with a government establishing power through war, and sustains itself by the existence of a military. Then, it filters down to weapons-toting agencies like the FBI and DEA. The agencies ensure the power of State and local law enforcement. The people are then bullied by their local police departments, and protests are squashed. People may feel a bit more powerful once they go to higher authorities through the courts who can then bully the local authorities, but the power of the police departments remain due to the asssurance of dominance over communities by violence of the federal government.
Little Johnny sees this–driven by his desire to be a police officer, or a teacher, or even a parent–and emulates the actions of his idols against poor Michael during recess. All of this is brought to you by pieces of paper protected and upheld by not non-violence, but by a strong show of force of violent might, the military. The call of the day is for self-defense. You can either die simply taking a beating, or you can die fighting back. You can die a helpless bullying victim, or you die fighting the bully. Don’t say “no” self-defense; say “no” to violent authority.