I've enjoyed, well maybe "enjoyed" is the wrong word, appreciated? the responses to Dan Savage's movement: "It Gets Better." I sincerely hope that angry, hurt, bullied kids will hear this message and believe it. I tried to trace back to when the suicides started. The first one I found in the news was Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, but others date bulling in general as a cause of violence back to Columbine. Carl was 11 years old and from Springfield, Massachusetts. But there's more. Jaheem Herrera was an 11 year old boy from Atlanta who hung himself after being bullied. Eric Mohat was 17 from Ohio. There's too many: Lee Simpson, Phoebe Prince, Billy Lucas, Tyler Clementi, and more. Is this a quiet genocide?
That may seem over the top, but these people brag about it. Look at this article on Phoebe Prince. They bragged that they killed her. And then there's the stories of the parents who created fake MySpace/Facebook accounts to bully their children's enemies. What is wrong with people?
I just hope there's more of the good kind of people than bad. People like these:
Dan Savage to Gay Kids: "It Gets Better"
Chris Colfer from GLEE
Even more so, I appreciate this message from various religious groups to stop the bullying, and to let kids know things will get better for them. There aren't enough messages like that.
The BBC has links to several other celebrity and political videos on their site.
Not everyone sees this campaign as a good thing, or at least not doing enough. One blogger has a lengthy monologue here on why Dan Savage's campaign is overly simple. And truly, all one need do is look to the Don't Ask Don't Tell issue to see how much of a problem adults have with accepting someone as different. There was a Supernatural episode that dealt with more generic bullying, and took a good look at who is the bully? Sometimes it's a sympathetic figure; sometimes it's a victim who crosses over to being the bully. This is a vicious cycle perpetuated by our reluctance to accept those who are different.
It's not a new issue. Once upon a time, if you were born with a cleft lip, you would have been left in the woods to die. Leper colonies. So we've evolved a bit, but not enough. We still make life very miserable for those who can't or won't conform. Is it so hard to believe that one way could be right for some, but not for another? Must I beat down anyone who disagrees with my view of life so that I am validated? I hope not.
More on Bullying
Bullying Bill Okayed in the House
Why anti-bullying programs fail
Campaign Offers Help to Gay Youths