Friday, April 16, 2010


There's now a name combining two things that have been around from the beginning of mankind: bullying and suicide.  "Bullycide."  The term wasn't coined by a doctor or a scientist.  Nope, a journalist came up with the name.  "Bullycide."  It's the new "-gate."  Just add "-cide" to something to make your theory valid.

Here's the thing that rankles me: Since the beginning of mankind there have been bullies.  And there have been suicides.  Terrible, but true.  No one - and I mean no one - can make you kill yourself.  No one.  They can make your life a living hell, but they cannot make you kill yourself.  They can literally kill you, but they cannot make you kill yourself.  Frankly, calling it "bullycide" is the coward's way out.

Yes, we have more technology than cavemen.  They wrote on walls.  We sext.  But the truth is (as someone who was both the bullied and the bully), when you're humiliated, it doesn't matter if it's 2 people or 2 million people who witness it.  It feels like the whole world. The emotion is universal and the emotion is timeless.  There is nothing new about the emotion of humiliation.

Calling it "bullycide" takes all the blame off everyone involved and lays it squarely at the feet of the bullies.  Yes, bullying is despicable, but do bullies deserve the entire blame for a suicide?  Chances are good that if someone's gone to the extreme length to kill themselves, there's more going on than just bullying.  Where are the parents?  What's going on at home?  Where are the teachers?  The school counselors?  The friends? The relatives?  The bullied one has a whole story that only partially includes the bullies.  

Taking the blame from those who should have known something was amiss is part and parcel of where we're going wrong as a country.  No one is responsible anymore.  No one bears their own burdens anymore.  It's someone else's fault.  It had nothing to do with me.  I couldn't stop it.  I'm weak.  I'm a victim.  Someone save me and fix it for me.  "Bullycide" is emblematic of what's happening to our country.  

Extreme?  Probably.  But does it strike at some truth?  Probably.

~ G

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