I don't know what has gotten a hold of news media lately but everywhere I go I keep seeing headlines referring to bullying when talking about the case in Georgia of a teenager who was beat to death merely for walking down a sidewalk too close to a bunch of thugs. Somehow, someway they are all working the word bully into the story.
Being close to the scene of the crime let me give you the basics. There was supposed to be a little party with about 20 people max in attendance. Word spread and soon over a hundred teenagers were partying hard. A fight broke out between a boy and a girl and the girl smacked the guy. The guy in some sort of faux chivalry said he wouldn't hit a girl but he would hit the next guy who walked by. Enter Bobby Tillman, who it still hasn't been determined conclusively whether he coming to the party or just passing by. The one wannabee rap singer jumped the kid and some of his buddies joined in. They beat, stomped, and kicked Mr Tillman until there was no more life left in him.
This was not bullying this was an out and out pre-meditated murder. While four youths have been arrested for the actual assault there are scores of punks who stood around no doubt egging on the beaters. How do I know? When the cops did arrive nobody would talk to them. You know that whole don't be a snitch thing. None of the dozens of people, over 50 of them were brought in for questioning, apparently saw anything. It was only after one of the kids involved in the actual murder volunteered the information were the police able to make some progress.
So take all of your high highfalutin talk of bullying and stuff it. Hold all of the feel good anti violence vigils and protest marches you want and go before the cameras and talk about how you are going to take a stand against violence and I will start building an Olympic size swimming pool using a spoon. I am pretty sure I will make more progress then you will because the simple matter is the culture these kids live in embraces, promotes, and condones this type of behavior. All I have to do is watch the evening news or even better the morning news to get 15 minutes worth of stories on who shot who, what robberies were committed and the other various criminal acts were carried out overnight. The news doesn't even bother to show pictures of suspects or victims anymore or even give the race when they are giving descriptions because it is not needed. Anybody who lives in the metro Atlanta area knows and it allows them to get more of the stories into their newscasts. Time is limited and the old adage that if it bleeds it leads holds true. The remaining 15 minutes of a newscast then is evenly split between weather, sports and either consumer news or investigative report.
No, don't talk to me about bullying. This case had nothing to do with that. Go find another poster child.