Posts Tagged ‘cyber-victim’
Ever since I saw the ‘follow-up’ video interview of Casey Hines bully Richard Gale, I have been bothered by the ‘what next’ question. What is the next step for the bully?
Richard Gale is not initially sorry, and claims to be as much of a victim of bullying as Casey.
This honesty on his part cuts both ways:
On the one hand, it makes it easy to take sides, to continue to find fault with Richard, and to understand the “I hate Richard Gale” websites vilifying the young boy.
On the other hand, it creates complexity. He wasn’t sorry―as many bullies are not.
Should Richard (and all the other bullies) repudiate their actions anyway?
(I can already hear the automatic, unfelt “Sorry” ringing in my ears.)
Which value do we emphasize in this situation―honesty (which seems inappropriate, as attested to by Richard’s interview) or civility (you must go through the motions of apologizing even if you are not sorry).
Surely we expected Richard to apologize, perhaps weep, become self-deprecating―even if only to get out from underneath the ‘most hated kid on the internet’ status by repenting―and providing us, his judges, the option to forgive him. But he gave us little satisfaction on this front.
Is he not sorry because he simply does not understand that what he did was wrong―because we, as a culture, have turned a blind eye to it for so long?
Is the subsequent cyber- vigilante justice we all mete out to him OK? Are we all now entitled to become bullies ourselves, targeting, and harassing someone else who did not live up to our expectations (Gale himself) ? Aren’t we, the BYSTANDERS around the world, ‘speaking up for the victim’ here? Isn’t this what all the ant-bullying experts are encouraging us to do?