Thursday, April 18, 2013

First Stones

There is a phenomenon I don't understand.

It frightens me.

People put pictures of people on Facebook.

Then other people line up and say cruel things about them.

One was a picture of a large woman wearing tight bright clothing.

The captions said 'describe her in just one word'

And the words fell like acid rain ...






One was a picture of a young man with tattoos and piercings on his face.

Again we were asked to describe.

And the words like stones flew through the air.






Why do people put pictures of people up just to be mocked?

What kind of society are we?

I noticed yesterday something odd.

One of the people who put up a picture of a person to be pilloried.

Ranted and raved about the bombing at Boston.

Violence is violence is violence.

Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism.

Purposeful hurt is purposeful hurt.

There will be those who say there is no comparing the two.

I say, until we compare the two and worry about both, neither will stop.


Anonymous said...

Sadly it seems to be a truth that bullying makes people feel good- or at least better than if they don't bully.
But then they don't like being bullied.
Kindness and loving diversity is the way to go- this is maybe the counter message?
Bullying is bad for everyone.
It's simple??

Karry said...

I agree with you, Dave.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Bulling is terrorism on an individual level.

Princeton Posse said...

I worry too Dave. What does it say about us as a society if we engage in judging others on their appearance? Are we so insecure as to need to put other down in order to feel good? Or is there an even bigger issue hiding here?

Jeannette said...

I know exactly the kinds of photos that you're talking about, but I have been lucky: none of my FaceBook "friends" have posted them.
If that should happen, there are two responses:
(1) make a comment saying that posting or sharing the picture is offensive
(2) if it happens again, you can report it to FaceBook as offensive, control what you receive from the person who posted it, or "unfriend" that person entirely.

I hope this helps, Dave. It's small steps, very small, but in the right direction.

Kimberly said...

It's completely horrendous. I just recently read an article where preteen girls were doing this to their classmates on Instagram. It makes me worry so much for my girls that are currently 5 and under.

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

I absolutely agree. Violence is violence.

Where to go from here?


Deb said...

I saw the picture of the woman on FB. I hid it and quit following the posts of the person who sent it.

We were taught in World History back in the 1960s that you could see the decline of the Roman Empire in their entertainment. As the Empire declined the entertainment became ever and ever more violent, until "entertainment" was simply an afternoon watching 20,000 slaves be torn apart by lions. The casual observation of violent death of those deemed less than worthy without any empathy. Totally desensitized to the pain and suffering of other humans, and animals as far as that goes.

Facebook is the modern colleseum, where millions can watch and contribute to the suffering, and even to the deaths of others. Too many teenagers have committed suicide after being bullied on FB.

We need to stand up to bullying wherever we encounter it. Sometimes it means losing a friend.

Belinda said...

There are photos of the child who died in the bombing in Boston, little Martin, 8 years old, holding up a sign saying "No more hurting people."
Sadly, it took his death for that message to be on the front pages of newspapers. I pray that people read his words and are changed.

Mike Allen said...

I think it's worth the risk to post pictures of our children online. I want the world to see how beautiful they are. I would rather err on that side than live in fear. Why in the world would anyone want to live in fear? It's not as fun as it might sound at first.

Laurel said...

I think bullying is awful and terrible and unacceptable in any fashion. (I have been bullied as a child and bear the scars, and I have never been a bully.) But I am disturbed by your equation of bombings. Words can be cruel and awful but it is shameful exaggeration to compare this to blowing up an 8-year-old.

As a Bostonian born and bred--now in an adjoining state--I have worried for my family all day as they were all in the immediate vicinity of the goings on. They had to hide out from shootings and turn out their lights to avoid being vulnerable to gunfire. Not the same, Dave, as verbal abuse, no matter how cruel and unacceptable the latter is, and I don't appreciate this rhetorical approach.

Laurel said...

I left out some words above--"by your equation of bullying to bombings."

Dave Hingsburger said...

Laurel, I did not suggest they were exactly the same things ... I suggest they are part of the same phenomenon. Terrorizing one ... terrorizing thousands ... still terrorizing. I greive for the 8 year old child who was killed, and all who were killed by the act, don't think or suggest I don't. But I grieve also for the young maritime teen who killed herself a week ago because of internet bullying. Purposeful violence is purposeful violence. We can't react with horror to one and not another - we have to see that they differ only in the number of victims. I believe what I wrote and can appreciate the fact that others may not. I will not suggest that you shouldn't think what you do, please do not suggest that I shouldn't think what I do. We can disagree respectfully.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Follow up .. CDC estimates that young people commit suicide at a rate of 4400 per year. A more recent study shows that AT LEAST half of those will be as a result of bullying. That's over 2200 young people a year.

Tamara said...

I don't mean to tell other people how they should feel; but I don't think we can progress from the violent society we are to one that values peace and peaceful resolution to conflict until we categorize bullying as violence.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
In my office just outisde of Boston right now.
I do see your point. Hate is hate BUT Bullies often hate out of insecurity, ignorance and fear. I think they choose targets weaker than themselves to feel superior, just for a minute. Terrorists hate and kill without thought. They strike fear to destabilze goverments. Call me fat, I go home depressed (and probally eat some cookies to feel better, vicious cycle :) Blow up a pressure cooker next to me and take out both my legs.......PLEASE call me fat instead every day all day.
These 2 brothers were not "bullies", they were dangerous extremists, terrorists. BUT it all began with hate. The boy had it right. No more hurting people, Peace