Sunday, June 19, 2016

Is Bullying Antisocial?

There are many people who regard bullying as an antisocial behavior. They are wrong. In most cases bullying is highly social; and it is engaged in, not by a narcissist or a sociopath, but by groups of regular people.

In school situations it is the same story repeated time and time again. Someone starts picking on someone else; he gets away with it; other people join in. Soon it becomes the thing to do – a form of “cool” if you'd like - and it draws in all sorts of children, including the better-natured ones.

So far my little miss sunshine has avoided that scene; but her stepsister has not been so lucky. She got bullied by her whole class. The administration blamed her for the problem; so we had to take her into homeschooling and then enroll her into a different school. Right now she has no such problems in the school that she is presently attending. Which means that the problem was not with her but with her previous school.

I have a friend named David who got bullied badly when he was a child. At one point he'd had enough, so he grabbed one of the kids who were picking on him and started smashing his head against the school bus window. He was no longer bullied after that. Kids were afraid of him. Now he was a dangerous, antisocial individual. Which brings me onto the next topic.

The people who are described as dangerous and antisocial are typically the people who normally would be bullied who refuse to be bullied any more. Case in point: Hurricane Carter. He was seen as a dangerous individual since he was a child. Why was he a dangerous individual? Because he was a black person who was not a loser. Specifically, he was a black person with strengthening qualities; and that was dangerous indeed to those white people who wanted their children to grow up believing that black people are an inferior race.

The people who describe bullying as an antisocial behavior blame it on people like David and Hurricane Carter. This is the case of a criminal hiding his tracks. These are not the people who are responsible for bullying. These are people who choose to fight it.

Bullying is not an antisocial behavior. In many cases it is a social ritual of which many perfectly normal people partake. Only when this is acknowledged can anything of merit be done about bullying; and only when this is acknowledged can this ugly problem finally be solved.


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