Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bullies Part 1

Good cold and breezy morning to all. Yes, it is a chilly one today as Tink and I tried to attend the 6:30 a mass across town. She had a babysitting date with Lil A since Dr. G had an early morning surgery. As we arrived at church 5 minutes late for 6:30 am mass, we realized that we were actually 25 minutes early for the 7 am mass. It was pretty obvious when there was no one in the pews. I guess that I read the online schedule wrong....oops.....Chalk this one up to age, perhaps? 

On to the big guy....he reports that he did not do well in the Spanish test on Friday night. Oh well, can anyone say 'no, problemo?' He has three weeks left of Spanish and here's hoping the he can squeeze a passing grade out of the course.

Now that we are all in our relaxed state on this crisp morning, I will comment on the Miami Dolphins hazing goes....

It is assumed that this big linebacker, Incognito and his pals have been mercilessly bullying an offensive lineman. Apparently, this is an unspoken activity in all team locker rooms. The bullies prey on the newbies and the weaker ones. They get their kicks out of the victims responses and therefore, get some type of testosterone rush. When I asked my girl friend if her son who is a NFL quarterback was hazed this year, she said probably, but he won't talk about it. Further, the starting QB sat with him at lunch and introduced himself on the first day of practice. This seems somewhat civil.

Back to the Dolphins, it all started when the victim, had to miss two weeks of a voluntary practice (which are never really voluntary) to take his final exams. When he finally arrived in Miami, he began to be harassed and bullied. People ask why someone who is so big could be a victim of bullying? My answer is anyone could be bullied. I witnessed a number of times when Tink and Buddy were bullied and they were devastated. I, too, had been bullied in grade school. These things are not easily forgotten, but the taunts that we received were much different than the Miami Dolphins acts of retribution.

The victim is obviously a sensitive guy. Why can't a big guy be sensitive? I remember Big M's room mate from college who was also an offensive lineman. The last time that I saw him, he was talking about growing blueberries as his wife baked them into a pie. Blueberry bushes? This guy would have torn the head off of any defensive player and now he is talking about cobbler?

Yeah! he is....and he is a really nice guy. And so, appearances can be deceiving and this victim is still being bullied in the press as they say: "He should have punched him. He should have stood up to him....and so on..." We now live in an age of 'no tolerance' and this guy has been told over the years that  he is not to fight especially since he could kill someone with his size. Tuna, my nephew is one very big kid who plays foot ball and rugby. Oh, by the way, he has a black belt in karate. He is not allowed to fight either. With his size and skills, he could kill someone.

And so, there is a double standard...stand up for yourself...and use your words.....but don't hit. If you don't, you are a coward. If you do hit, you are a coward and a bully. These guys are in a no win situation. How does a person respond?

I remember when the big leftie made the varsity baseball team as a freshman in high school much to the displeasure of the upper classmen. These older guys tortured him until they graduated. One third baseman told him that when he pitched, he was not going to run for the ball. I am pretty sure that the coach did not know this...also, the kids would call him a 'terrorist' because his skin was a shade darker than the fair haired blue eyes guys. With his heritage, he has Spanish and Italian lineage as well as Slovak, Irish, and Scottish (a true mutt). Any way, they would scream at him about his looks resembling someone who would bomb a building in the name of his religion. one called this bullying, did they?

With that said, we have an odd and very screwed up society in which we worship athletes and the Kardashians (Really not sure why, o why?). There are rules that no one abides by and because of someone's status, they can get away with saying or doing abhorrent things to the innocent.

Here's the way that I look at it....when you see something happening of significance to someone who is weaker, stand up for the guy or girl who can not stand up for themselves. The kids, marginalized, and most vulnerable need our help, support, and vigilance. There will always be bullies and victims, but it is our responsibility to assist and advocate for those who cannot. With that said, I hope that this incident sheds light on something that has happened over the ages. When will it stop? Probably never....but as my friend, Big Girl says to her boys who are really big guys and football players "if you stand around while someone is being taunted or injured, then it is just as if you are doing it."

Don't be a what is right. And remember, the right decision is usually the hardest thing to do. It is way easier to turn your back on the powerless.....

Time for Zumba!

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