If it is stated in Washington state that a vulnerable child has been abused and it has been witnessed by responsible adults, then it is the duty of those adults to mandatory report it! Otherwise, it is a civil rights violation. I think all vicious attacks that constitute bullying need to be classified as abuse. Abuse has been studied enough to know what the telltale signs are before a physical assault is made. Russell Dickerson's abuse first started with name-calling with epithets and derogatory slurs against his person in junior high school. He never recovered from that and NO responsible adult, such as a teacher, counselor, leader that get paid money from the State of Washington STOPPED IT!
Washington State may think it is open-minded, liberal and welcoming, but it has the signs of bigotry and racism seen in the deepest parts of the South of the United States. I have experience that and I lived in Atlanta, Georgia and marched against the Klan as a young person. So I know what the real face of bigotry looks like and have had ancestors lynched. Moreover my own mother was water cannoned and my own father was arrested for integrating a lunch counter in Tennessee during Civil Rights.
We can bullshit ourselves in this false security thinking that now we have elected a Black Man as President of the United States that there is racial equity or we have gotten beyond race. And let us not forget our brother and sisters who are sexual minorities, because we have lost that, too... But seriously, Washington State do not pass yourselves off as a beautiful place like you can then stab us with hate-filled incidences as what happened to Russell Dickerson III!
Aberdeen, a way station between beautiful places, like Ocean Shores and Gray's Harbor. Stuck in the 1950's. Very little development. Last famous person who rolled through there was Tom Cruise and his wife. I don't think they were comfortable. Not much has changed and I bet the entire city has asked to keep it that way, opining the lost industry than re-creating a new one. Lack of evolution--simply because they doubt science and their Faith in a false God who thinks punishment is fitting to a young multi-racial man is a befitting enlightenment.
Why Russell Dickerson was there is not a question. He was and as adults we are responsible to him to maximize all childrens' education! But no one stepped in and said, "STOP"!
So what if Russell Dickerson committed suicide? Would we be bereft? Would we cry?
I doubt bigots cry when they dominate in their warped power of abuse. This is what evil looks like...
And who pays?
All of us who are different...
How do we fight? Dr. Martin Luther King style? Reach out in love? I really do not know. Because bigots do not understand logic and people like me cannot ALL be martyrs. Something has to change and fighting fire with fire does not ecologically unfriendly.
In Dr David Burn's "Feeling Good" book for mood disorders, he states: When encountering someone that is combative, the following steps can be taken:
- Fight back - but one may lose that battle and is not good for managing mental illness
- Fright or run away - but battles may have to faced again without proper redress
- DISARM - study the surroundings, hear the opponents claims and give reassurance then dismantle the argument logically
Disarming is a practice that is taught in martial arts. One cannot go half cocked into battle or it is a way to quick death. Same holds true in non-combative, but scary situations. Fear can be dealt with and managed. Fear can be overcome by knowledge and study. Disarming is a part of that study to alleviate fear. An assailant KNOWS fear, in fact knows how to sense it. And abuser bigot is like a top apex predator: Ambush or otherwise - fear can be turned against the prey. We humans have evolved our abilities to be more subtle, but the behavior is seen throughout the animal kingdom. Making bullying a primal desire thing of power and control. It is intelligence without fear that supersedes bullying.
My grandparents were bullied, my parents were bullied, but they dusted themselves off and kept moving on... I cannot begin to fathom how my grandfather must have done it, knowing he was much more intelligent than those in the seat of power and he was limited because of the color of his skin. He could be stopped at anytime, arrested and killed simply because he was smart. That stress alone causes physical illness!
Same for my father. Same for my mother.
And today we have young people who have lived in the absence of government controlled legalized racism and they still suffer this insanity? And let us not forget our brothers and sisters who are sexual minorities... They ARE under government controlled legalized homophobia...
I think what folks are doing is making a rallying cry to find community that is welcoming and that is why social media has taken off. Fact is I am not into hate so that would not be a community I would surround myself from.
But I have been called a bully by a person who broadcast my real name and called me a "bitch" and told me to go to Hell. I have the screenshots to prove his wrath and he scares people because this person suffers from borderline personality disorder as a narcissist, combined with psychotic anxiety, where he indicated to me that he attempted suicide. I have that conversation.
I told him I could not help him as a peer, that that was beyond my expertise and that was when he lost it.
So you see, all people can get bullied both in real life and in cyberspace. Fact is how we respond to it. Physical harm ought not be done: but if you live by the sword, you die by the sword and taking hits is not fun. I was physically threatened and pushed to a limit I did not want to go, and I picked up some scissors - making me be seen as crazy dangerous... I hate having to be physical to defend my beliefs. But now after "training" I can be more judicious. Why I did not get this "training" as a child, I do not know. But I have it now and I have some basics I can practice.
Mental aggression, especially as it relates to cyberbullying is a new one for most people. How crazy can you be? Essentially, best rule is do not respond to it. Why? Second if there is 20-30 posts of teasing, screenshot, block and keep the URL's if you want records. If posted it is a matter of public record. Having a back and forth with someone you barely know to win an argument without knowing what logic fallacies are is pointless. Let these be right, so what if you are wrong? Dust yourself off and hold your head high. At least it is your ideas that could be wrong, and you can change them, versus your birth, sexual identity, or skin color!
How can you let it go when the bullies attack?
I like the old Southern Black Woman strategy and say: "Bless Your Heart" and leave it at that...
"God Bless You" works also...
If you do not believe in God, try - "Sho Nuff?" (Sure enough)
And then add a bit of onomatopoeia to it: "Wow", "Gee", "Hmm?", "Good for you!"
And keep it moving...
Unless you are trained to talk someone down, how would it best serve you to fight when someone wants to dominate over the conversation even with the "sound bites", because really, it is a matter of power to sway public influence and people feel a rush to rule over it. With you get enraptured with it? Or will you become...