In Their Shoes

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I’m going to go out on a limb and share some things here.

I was in a similar situation as Dylan and Eric of Columbine, and Cho. I was the bottom of the pack. Even the kids who got picked on the most gave me shit. I had no support system. No one to turn to. Did I have fantasies of blowing the shit out of a lot of people? Yes. Did I do so? No.

I can truly understand the anger and rage that can cause someone to WANT to do this, though I could never, ever condone the actual act, even if I understand having the desire. I understood that being at that school was temporary and that I would eventually get away and be able to be around the people of my choosing. So, I hunkered down and endured it. I did try to talk to people, but no one would help. It was always the same advice: “Just ignore them.” That doesn’t work.

I understand that it wasn’t video games, or music, or movies or anything else that caused any of these people to do what they did. The cause was rich, white pieces of shit treating someone who doesn’t fit in with nothing but constant cruelty, violence, and humiliation. The teachers don’t give a shit. The counselors don’t give a shit. Nobody gives a shit. THAT’s the problem.

Imagine waking up every day with total dread, knowing that you are going to spend 8 hours in a place where no one likes you. In fact, they hate you. You’re different. You don’t fit in. You’re weird. Between classes you try to become invisible and hope no one will notice you, but they do. And they hit you and humiliate you and push you around. They insult everything about you. They pull practical jokes like throwing a glass of piss on you, or they pull your underwear up into your asshole so that you nearly bleed. They slap you around and spit on you. They do it in groups because they are cowards and won’t act alone. Teachers see it happening and walk right on by. You try to talk to a counselor but they don’t take you seriously. If you tell on the kids, you get beaten worse and the teachers just call you a wimp and a tattle-tale. You catch them laughing about you with the teachers. After school you try to make it home without getting the shit beaten out of you. This happens on a daily basis and you have no one to turn to because no one takes it seriously. It’s just “kids being kids”.

Imagine years of this. From elementary school up through high school. Twelve years of constant cruelty. It takes some seemingly superhuman fortitude to NOT snap.

Everyone wants an easy answer. Something outside of themselves to blame. It’s easy to say it’s videogames or some other “influence”. No one wants to admit that we’re all complicit and all responsible for allowing severe bullying to happen without any kind of valid or effective support system. We turn a blind eye, and because of this, more shootings will happen when other kids snap. If we do nothing to address the situation of privileged assholes getting away with treating people like they are less than human, then we are partly responsible the next time something like this happens.

Note: even the cruelty they experience is no justification for their actions. However, we must examine WHY these things happen. That’s not condoning it. That’s just common sense. We need to understand these things so we can prevent them in the future.

© 2015 William Suphan

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