Monday, February 25, 2008
Bullying, Genocide, and Vancouver's Pink Day
They have been holding all kinds of memorials for little Lawrence King who was shot in the head because he was gay.
A series of candlelight vigils have been held throughout the U.S. in the wake of the student's death (an estimated 1,000 people marched in Oxnard the weekend following the murder), in an effort to raise awareness of what many feel was a largely underreported case.
I'm glad so many people are remembering him now that he is dead. But where were they when he was alive?
And why is the bullying of gay children so underreported?
"For whatever reason, there's still a lack of willingness to address the anti-LGBT bullying that goes on in schools. We don't know why, but there's still sort of this sense of having our heads buried in the sand. What happened to Lawrence King is a much more isolated incident, but what happened leading up to his death happens to youth every day, all the time. He was just expressing himself, and we're seeing more of this — youth are being open at an earlier age, and they are proud of their identities, but that doesn't mean someone won't bully them for it. In this case, King was bullied to such an extreme ... you can't get worse than that."
The terrible thing is that because of bullying....yes it can.
As Barbara Coloroso, who has studied the horror of Rwanda points out, there is a clear link between bullying and genocide.
Coloroso draws parallels between behaviour exhibited in child bullying and that exhibited in a genocide. She suggests that both share common characteristics: the dehumanization of the victims, an unquestioning obedience to authority, and a routinization of cruelty.
“The premise I take on bullying is that it’s not about conflict or anger – it’s about contempt for another human being....”
Which is why I am so disappointed that even though Canada has a bully problem that is worse than most other civilized countries, so little is written about it in the MSM...or even in the Canadian blogosphere.
And why I am so happy to see what Vancouver is planning to do to drive home the message that bullying STOPS here.
Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan has recently announced that February 27 will be “Pink Shirt Day” in Vancouver. Next Wednesday, people in the city – and anywhere else, for that matter – can stand up to bullying in schools, in playgrounds, and at work. How? Easy. Wear something pink.
And not only that ......they're going to fly a pink flag over City Hall. Isn't that awesome?!!!!
I won't be able to write about it...as I'll explain soon.
But I hope with all my heart that the MSM and Canadian bloggers can pick up the story and help spread the great idea that these Canadian kids started.
Because bullying isn't something we can ignore.
If we don't stop the bullies in the playground, they'll POISON our tolerant society.
And haunt us ALL one day...