Thursday, October 21, 2010

55 - ignorance knaws my bones

your shoes are gay.

who's gay

he' gay

eric is...



whispers (rumors)
coarse wind across stiff lips
grey skin


boy in the ditch
black & blue, torn
won't see morn


ignorance
feeds on the weak
saving the world
from yet another
sinner


no questions asked
until life's snuffed into
hereafter


what the
hell

end bullying
now


Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a shot or just read more, go see G-man.

This spilled out of a post by a blog friend, whose son was being called gay by some kids at school, so his friends would not play with him. It reminded me of an similar incident where another boys friends actually beat him to death, because of a rumor of homosexuality, that was not true. Lori wrote a great post on it today too.

It makes me angry. I was a victim once too.

It makes me sad. They learned it somewhere.

101 comments:

Giulia said...

Thank you, Brian.

Daniel said...

I read that a big part of the problem is that most adults don't step in when they see a "sissy" boy being picked on because they actually feel that he is getting what is deserved. Plus, a little taunting might make a man of him before it's too late.

5thsister said...

So terribly sad.

I was victimized and bullied as well. There are no boundary lines when it comes to bullying until the bully him/herself is stopped.

Titanium said...

Thank you for saying this, for speaking out. They do learn it from someone, from somewhere.

I moved my daughter out of a school because she was being violently bullied and her teachers did nothing about it. This hits home. Hard.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

WOW, this one is visceral!

BeMistified said...

I still cannot believe in the time that we are in that this stuff still goes on. Sad thing is the adults are just as bad as the kids.

Tragic, very tragic. We as a world and society need to really grow up. Some of us have, but unfortunately, a lot of those still have a long way to go.

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

Remember that song, Brian...

"You've Got To Be Taught" from the musical South Pacific

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

Thank you for this

Miss Nikki said...

That's a mighty powerful little collection of 55 words. Thanks Brian.

Mighty M said...

I wholeheartedly agree!

Lori said...

This is great Brian. Thank you for speaking up. In the comments left already you can tell most of us have been touched in one way or another by bullying. Thanks for the link up. XX

secret agent woman said...

They learn it somewhere and it is often tolerate within their schools. I've worried that the "It Gets Better" campaign puts too much emphasis on getting though the bullying and not enough on ending it.

Bossy Betty said...

So powerful and timely too. Thanks.

Monkey Man said...

Very sad. But it also angers me. I used to have a saying I would repeat - Too bad ignorance isn't painful - but I doubt even that would deter most.

Thanks for stopping by my 55.

Jen said...

The fact that schools tend to punish children for defending themselves these days doesn't help.

G-Man said...

Son....
This was an awesome Social Commentary 55.
Thank You for the message.
Thanks for playing, thanks for your Fantastic support.
And please have a Kick Ass Week-End...G

Heather said...

Thank you for posting this.

n. davis rosback said...

that stone throwing
has been around
for a while

along with the
plank in the eye

grace and forgiveness
is bigger than we know

and one day hate will die

moondustwriter said...

when will they learn Bri???

Great 55 with a message


Moonie smiles

ethelmaepotter! said...

Chilling tale...too real to reread. Your title is perfect - gay bashing is one of the last 'ligitimate' prejudices, and as long as we have parents, peers, and yes, even religious leaders preaching ignorance, this type of prejudice will prevail.

gayle said...

It makes me sad too because they do have to learn it somewhere!! I am so glad that I was raised by such wonderful parents and that I have raised my girls the same!! I watch 5th graders this year during their lunch and already their is one or two girls and boys sitting a little off my themselves. It breaks my heart and I always ask them don't they want to move over and join the others..sometimes they will and sometimes the won't. It's hard to know what to do because if the kid doesn't want to join the others then I don't want to force it! Great post!

Lorenzo said...

A bone knawing poem for a bone knawing problem

Myrna R. said...

It's such a problem. Bullying and bigotry learned where?
Nice that you wrote about it.

Me said...

I love that you wrote this.
-C

Jerry said...

Ignorance well placed...thank you

CM said...

So sorry you had to go through that. And you are right, they learned it from somewhere.

I was bullied all growing up because I was always the new kid, the poor kid. Junior high was the worst. That's why now I try to reach out to every teenager possible so they know it's not the end of the world.

Very meaningful 55.

Cindybrown said...

Good strong message!! I work in a High School, kids can be cruel, so can adults....but most of the problems stem from homelife or the lack of...

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

ignorance + intolerance = recipe for disaster. "Beat on the brat with a baseball bat, oh yeah" catchy lyrics... sad,very sad and disturbing reality.

lime said...

well said. my heart aches for the poor kids who endure so much.

Teresa said...

I applaud you for tackling this issue! It is something we need to change our entire society before it will get better.

Jannie Funster said...

Un-freaking-real that goes on.

I saw an anti-bullying petition floating around the blogosphere, gonna look that up again. Or maybe there's a link over at Lori's blog. Will check out her link you leave, thanks.

xo

kkrige said...

"what doesn't kill you makes you stronger", not an adage that anyone should have to test out. I am sorry that you had to go through that Brian. There are better ways than being a victim of bullying to be a strong individual

Kathy's Klothesline said...

When I was a young, fat little girl; my mom would always recite that little diddy about sticks and stones braeking my bones, but words can never hurt me!! What???? Words can cut you and leave you with a much deeper scar than a knife could.

PattiKen said...

Looks like you and I both had steam coming out of our ears about this today. Take a look at my post here.

adeeyoyo said...

It is up to parents to teach their children about prejudice in all its forms. It is so sad that this sort of thing still happens despite the world in general being more tolerant... prejudice and bullying are still rife in schools the world over and, I think, the blame lies squarely at the parents' feet!

Thom said...

Bravo my friend. You told this well. Sad world we live in sometimes. You are the bomb and I really appreciate you for writing this. Have a fantastic weekend.

Matty said...

Big topic lately. Bullying of any kind must stop.

signed...bkm said...

We are all examples - day in and day out in everything we say and do....let us all continue to speak out and make a difference....great write Brian..bkm

KB said...

Thank you for sharing this sad piece with us. Bullying seems to be more accepted than ever or maybe it's just that we hear more about it now. Tragic.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I take my hat off to you-- Well said, sad, but well said.

Just back from vacation. Off to catch up on your older posts. Hope life is good for you and your family.

Cheers, jj

Stranger said...

It makes me angry and sad too, Brian.
Hate is not innate. It is learned.
And violence?
Breaks me up inside.
Timely and eloquent 55.

TALON said...

Hard to read this because it's so sad...hard to believe that being different in any way, shape or form (and aren't we all different in some way, shape or form?) is an invitation to abuse and kill...I don't get it...I don't think I ever will.

Deidra said...

The bullying makes me sad. Thank you for these words.

Bernie said...

I think these kids have been bullied by others so it is the only tool they have and some use it and hurt so many others.
I don't like rumors, bigots or bullies.....it is just wrong.
.......:-) Hugs

Mona said...

that is so poignant. Bullying is a crime and should be punished. In India they Bully the newcomers in colleges which sometimes lead to them committing suicide. Ragging is banned now, but it still goes on , on the sly!

RNSANE said...

Excellent, timely post...all too sad that this kind of thing goes on in our world.

Zuzana said...

Beautifully candid and sad...
I have experienced being picked on too, when I was a living in the former east bloc. Being child of well to do parents, it was at times hard. Strange but true.
I will be off line for the rest of the weekend but will be back on Sunday.;)
Have a lovely weekend Brian,
xo

ladyfi said...

Yep - they learnt that attitude from adults!

My reaction is - so what if he is gay? Over here in Europe, we are wondering what is going on in the US - is it becoming less and less tolerant?

Great poem - so sad.

MorningAJ said...

It seems to me that ignorance is spreading rather than being conquered. More and more people speak hate out loud - whether it is homophobia, racism, sexism or just plain nastiness. Kids will pick on anyone they perceive as "different" and too many adults brush it off by saying it's just part of growing up.
And it shouldn't be!

(Sorry - you hit a nerve there!)

anthonynorth said...

I echo the final hope. Bullying is always terrible.

joanny said...

Every school has one or two or three,or more and play ground, and office, and neighborhood, like weeds they spring up every where.

Thought provoking 55er

Joanny

Belinda said...

Brian, really important 55. I can't imagine how horrible it must be to be young and taunted/harrassed for being lgbt. I just came home from a Mother Jones dinner and then watched Secretary of State Clinton's "It gets better" youtube piece. Needless to say, the activist within got activated which shows in my 55.

Valerie said...

Ethelmaepotter said it all and I entirely agree.

BLOGitse said...

Sad indeed.
In Finland Finnish Christian Democrat's party leader said on tv how homosexality is banned in bible and they are not allowed to have sex because it's banned by bible.
More than 30.000 people has resigned from 'church' because of her opinions.
Church and state should be two different things plus no religion should not be mixed with politics.

slommler said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! We must end all bullying now!! It is urgent. The lives of too many are being destroyed. It is time we all take a stand and stop it in it's tracks.
Thank you Brian for speaking about this and so eloquently too!
Hugs
SueAnn

Susan Deborah said...

55 oozing wisdom and agony. Peers sometimes cause ruin.

Joy always,
Susan

TechnoBabe said...

True or not, the hate must stop. Thank you for writing about bullying in particularly and about kids using the word gay with derision like their parents teach them.

Keith said...

Hello Brian,

Let's stand against hate. Any hate that somehow demeans another humna being in any way.

I'll stand with you Brian. :-)

sage said...

Good post, Brian. Yes, bullying needs to end and you're right, they learned it from somewhere.

Lorraine said...

Oh hell YES it has to end...superb writing , as always, you're a star...

Lyn said...

We can't let cowardice win..we must stand up before all the battered victims go to the hereafter!

forever lost said...

it is sad, all violence is a "hate crime", no need to discriminate. and oft hatred is taught by peers not at home...i was hated and bullied because i was fat, poor, and quiet. One kid needed to get a "cooty shot" as soon as i walked in the classroom, the rest soon to follow, and my school life was more miserable than my home.

Tracy said...

How did things get so out of control? This is not the world I grew up in, and it's not the way I was taught to treat people. I think most of us here would say the same thing. So what gives? Nice 55.

drybottomgirl said...

yes, how sick it is that fear can rule minds to do horrible things. Ignorance and fear are a terrible combination. Thank you for reminding us all to do our part to stop bullying and to teach our children to do the right thing.....

Claudia said...

things like this make me sad as well. love that you write about such a topic and also love the title - ignorance - yes - way too much ignorance around

Candie Bracci said...

Ignorance pisses me off too!!Those kind of things piss me off.I could say a lot of things but today I just say,piss off ignorants!
Have a nice weekend,see you in about a week!

Kim A. said...

A painful 55 for me but if we don't acknowledge the real truth of bullying, we will never be able to stop it. I'm glad you are voicing the reality of it all.

♥namaste♥

Eric Alder said...

Events like these remind me of wise words that I took to heart a long time ago:

"Quick to judge, quick to anger, slow to understand.
Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."

(from the song "Witch Hunt" by Rush, lyrics by Neil Peart)

Harming another is also harming yourself.

Thanks for a thought-provoking 55, Brian.

Flea said...

Great post, thank you for speaking out.

Anonymous said...

It is such a sad (Disgusting) mindset which provokes one person to shove his/her view on another. One of the Ugliest form is bullying.

The problem is with this mentality, they always pick out some one to bully- fat, thin, different skin colour, different sexual preference- its really, really sad thing and MUST be stopped at any cost.


trisha
mydomainpvt.wordpress.com

natalee said...

Thank you for posting this...sometimes just speaking about it makes the world of difference.....

Mama Zen said...

Brilliant and tragic.

AmyLK said...

It is sad. We just had an incident where college kids harrassed another until he killed himself. good lives wasted because of prejudices.

Grand Pooba said...

Wow. That hits home with me. I don't know what to say after that.

deb said...

Brian , this sort of thing makes my skin crawl.

so sorry for anyone being on the receiving end of judgement.

I think in general there seems to be a lack of empathy in today's youth. I see it more and more at the kids school, sports, neighbourhood kids, etc. It's all about their own wants, needs, ideas, fears, likes, dislikes. No compassion or walking in the shoes of fellow man at all. I don't get it.

and my heart goes out to you in your experience.
I've had a couple of scary incidents, but nothing like what some suffer. Can't imagine.

Melissa Campbell said...

Probing words, dig deep, cause one to search the soul. The solution won't be found in political campaigns and agendas, or the demand of equality of rights, but in love--I know one who can teach us. His name has been linked with a religion that is, for the most part, nothing like Him. His name is Jesus. He loves the unlovely, unconditionally. And so can we, with His help. Thanks for writing poignant words, Brian. Blessings to you.

Akelamalu said...

I was a victim of bullying too a long time ago and it is the most heinous thing. I cannot ever stand by and watch anyone being bullied, I just have to step in and do/say something. :(

Alice Audrey said...

Actually, that sort of thing does happen here. Just last year they found the body of a transvestite woman in the hills. Her attackers are in jail now.

Hilary said...

Insecurity.. ignorance.. cruelty. It so needs to stop. As long as governments reinforce that it's not ok to be gay, the crueler, less secure, more ignorant will take away the message that it's ok to bully. We have to be a louder voice to our kids. Beautifully expressed, Brian. Your thoughts always are.

quilly said...

There is nothing that makes me angry faster then a bully -- and then I want revenge, which I know really won't help in the end. violence breeds violence. Anger breeds anger. Hate breeds hate. How do we make it end?

Melissa Campbell said...

What a gift you have--to see and hear with the heart of the Father, the injustices of life, and to be able to write in such a way that people are moved to...stand up and say, "no more!" Have you considered publishing these, taking them out to the streets, so to speak? I wish everyone could read them, especially my teenagers. May God open a door!

mairmusic said...

Yes, this is everywhere now, and I am so glad. Nice write!

william said...

you are who you are :) good post mate

Goofball said...

so tragic that these things still happen so frequently. We cannot speak up enough, we cannot educate enough. Ignorance is killing

Baino said...

Yeh they learned it somewhere which is the horrible thing.

Ana said...

It IS so sad and so true that they must learn it somewhere.

hope said...

It's tough enough being a kid without being bullied...nicely written about a sad subject.

clean and crazy said...

thank you, thank you, thank you

Bimbimbie said...

I agree with Ethelmaepotter - ignorance and intolerance has long been rooted in religion*!*

Betsy said...

Is it my imagination or is bullying getting more violent? Very sad!

Syd said...

I don't like the idea of hurting others. The old saying " pick on somebody your own size" rings true.

Anonymous said...

Hope will never be silent - Harvey Milk

it's always good to have an anonymous lifeline in this world who shares the same sentiments with you. thank you for this piece =]

-KYOGAKURA

Kavita said...

Bullying is a sign of weakness and insecurity... period!!
Great poem, Bri... and en even superior message!
I am glad to be back in Blogosphere, and to resume my reading spree with this super-powerful poem! Thanks for this one, B..

Jill said...

Ignorance that leads to a death? And why is it on the RISE in a time when information is so readily available?

Such hate and cruelty. I hate bullies for ANY reason.

They DO learn it from somewhere...

Liza said...

"your shoes are gay."
what an opener!
makes me think of how many times I have blindly used words in my life.

"It makes me sad. They learned it somewhere."
There is hope. Believe. Love.

blueviolet said...

I wish it were that easy to stop it...

BrightenedBoy said...

As a young gay man surrounded by accepting family and friends in a liberal environment, I sometimes forget how harshly the world judges those who vary in any way from the ideal form that someone constructed for us.

Things like this make me angry and sad, make me feel weary though I am only 22.

I take hope when I see how much more tolerant society is today than it was thirty years ago, and pray that we can continue progressing in the right direction.

Pat said...

Prejudice IS a learned response. It makes me sick.

Magpie said...

The world can sometimes be such an ugly place with no compassion or understanding, just fear and ignorance. We need to lead our children in a better direction.

Lydia said...

This is so powerful, Brian. Ripe with hurt and rich with meaning.

JStar said...

Brian, this post hits close to home...My brother was bullied and beat up his entire life...It was obvious he was gay from day one...Once his jaw was even broken...The tourments he suffered here on this earth were horrifying...I am glad he is in a better place now...This world is too mean...

Marla said...

It makes me sick, sad, scared. When did we forget how to love?