It must make you feel pretty big to verbally abuse a child.
Hey everyone, it’s been a while since millions of adults have mercilessly bullied a child and thought it was okay. Jeez, that must be a couple years gone since the entire world jumped on the bandwagon and taunted, teased, berated, dehumanised, and despised little Rebecca Black.
So we’re about due for that again, right? Why don’t we all get together online and lay a litany of horrible things to a little girl who is trying her best to start a music career. Why don’t we all show our ugliest sides and spew vile, hurtful things at a little girl who is singing about something sweet and innocent and make her feel really bad about herself.
A couple of days ago BuzzFeed took the reigns on this one and tore apart a music video by a little girl named Alison Gold singing about how much she loves Chinese food and the rest of the internet followed. The song shares a producer with Rebecca Black’s YouTube video that everyone interpreted as a giant ‘Kick Me” sign.
What they did — and you probably did to Alison Gold or Rebecca Black — is wrong.
There is actually a name for all of that, all of those horrible things said; all the taunting, teasing, berating, dehumanising, despising, insulting; all of the horrible things directed at these little girls. It is called bullying and it is wrong.
The strangest thing happens when the internet gets involved here. All of the people who would be the first to denounce the bullying that caused the the suicide deaths of Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons become different people. These same folks have no issue when it comes to piling on the abuse towards these other little girls.
This is why we even have a special designation for bullying that uses technology: cyber-bullying. When it is a computer or cell phone screen that is between the bully and the person they are hurting, for whatever reason, a lot of people’s consciences magically allow them to be cruel. They don’t have the same empathy and hesitation because they don’t have to see the person they are hurting when they hurt them, but the impact the words have doesn’t degrade once it goes through a modem.
If we can all agree that what happened to Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons was wrong why on earth would we think that it okay when the magnitude of the abuse expands to include millions of people?
It is a miracle that these internet punching bags like Rebecca Black or Alison Gold haven’t been driven to their breaking point — but just because the collective abuse of the internet doesn’t have a body count doesn’t mean it is okay by any stretch of the imagination.
The only answer you can think of as to why bullying Rebecca Black is more okay than bullying Amanda Todd or Rehtaeh Parsons is that you didn’t take part in bullying those two little girls who killed themselves.
This is a real little girl, and the song actually isn’t that bad. She likes Chinese food. She likes dancing around and being silly. She doesn’t know that geishas are from Japan, not China. Oh my god, she’s a tween-age girl!
So, you who thinks it is okay to bully a child, why don’t you pause for a second before you hit send on that abusive comment? How about you get over yourself. What exactly are you doing that makes you so much better than this little girl? Why are you rushing for a chance to get your kicks in?
Is it because BuzzFeed told you this song isn’t cool and you can’t make up your own mind? Is it because you are some kind of musical prodigy who can only express their knowledge by calling a twelve year old a bitch? Or is it because it makes you feel just a little bit cooler and better about yourself to dismiss something and you never stopped to think that there is a real, actual, living and breathing human being who might be hurt by the comments of a stranger?
Bullying is bullying and you can’t expect kids to stop doing it in hallways if it is considered completely acceptable towards people like Rebecca Black or Alison Gold.
Grow the hell up.
You can follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.
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