Kelly Bernero, daughter of Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, wrote the following on her Facebook (October 21 at 2:50pm) Wall.

Kind of depressed about the bullying of gay students here in Michigan and around the country. Praying for Corey Jackson’s family, and that we all learn to be more loving and accepting.

While I appreciate the sentiment of her sympathy towards individuals in this whole perceived trend the participation in a growing trend is troubling. Recently some suicides committed by homosexuals have become prominent (as opposed to prevalent, as these actions are not) which have been linked to bullying of these unfortunate people. This has unfortunately caused a trend in the media and on the social networks of a meme linking bullying, suicide, and intolerance towards homosexuals, as one combined problem.

This is irritating, frustrating, stupid, and potentially destructive, not the least of which is that these respective individuals simply get their lives summed up as “gay”. I would never want my life summed up in such a monosyllabic fashion.

Bullying is a serious problem in our schools that has not been originally or adequately addressed. Intolerance towards homosexuals, who are children of God (as am I, and their sins are equal to mine), is a facet and manifestation of man’s sinful nature. Expressing hostility towards individuals or groups because of differences is hard-coded into humanity, if one discounts the spiritual component. Suicide is a selfish immoral individual choice. People should stop killing themselves as that individual commission of selfish impulses hurts others. Those are different problems in our society to be addressed with respective solutions.

One problem with the memetic trend is that what is either (depending on the case) typical bullying or someone being a jerk to someone else is being wrapped into “bullying towards gays” which is meant to be a subset of “persecution of homosexuals” which is a subset of “intolerance towards homosexuals or gays”.  From that point we have a real problem (bullying in our children’s schools) being ignored or untreated or maltreated so we can teach people to be “tolerant”.  Bullies are bullies because they desire power and see the mistreatment of weaker or more vulnerable individuals as a way to get power.  Generally that is true; inducing fear into a person is a way of gaining power.  Beyond gaining power through fear or intimidation (among other methods) bullies do not operate in an ideological manner, at least in the role as a bully.

Various theories on how to eliminate or mitigate the bully problem will be addressed in the coming months.

I noticed two or three instances on Facebook of Facebook Groups or Facebook Events where participants were wearing pink- or purple-colored garb to spread “awareness” of this trend, in a impotent attempt to mitigate the perceived trend.  “Awareness” does not stop bullies in the same way it will not stop violent criminals’ violent acts.

“Awareness” movements by themselves are worse than useless because it provides the illusion of actions and the feeling of solutions when in fact nothing is happening except the continuance of the problem.  But what this really does is gloss over the broad dilemma of bullying, preventing us from disciplining the bullies and shoring up the psyches of the suicidal, by chalking it all up to identity politics and victim morality.  Instead of orienting ourselves towards right or wrong, or even just correct direct action our collective sociopolitical axis revolves around the victims.  When someone mistreats anybody the failure is where we fail to protect people from villains and the villains were not provided disincentive from doing harm to others.  Instead we look for motives linking the bad guy to the target as if he was a generic target with a specific link that triggered the horror.  In point of fact a victimizer needs a victim but we should not confuse an agenda with an excuse.  It is easy to enter into my Matthew Shepherd spiel.

People and the media focus on the victim and cry that a gay man was tortured, murdered, and hung on a fence.  Too few people insist that murder is wrong regardless of the victim.

That was an extreme case but lessons of tolerance towards others was drawn from it, easily ignoring that we should work harder to prevent murder.  Matthew Shepherd was murdered but he did not die because he was a homosexual; he was murdered because two villains believed they could and still prosper.

ABC worked very hard to promote the idea that bullying and homosexuality are linked, but they worked harder to link bullying and suicide with their October 14, 2010 episode of 20/20; the feature was entitled “Bullied to Death”

This was promoted through e-mail and television advertisements and all through it the action of self-termination was unmistakeably linked to bullies, ignored that what bullies do is not a direct cause of suicide, despite being a likely contributor in the motivation. One of the top media organizations in the country pushes the meme and creates a notion of a trend where none exists.

I wonder if so many people would commit suicide if others’ respective suicides were not so widely publicized.

The simple summary of why people kill themselves is because they consider their respective lives to be their own and do not wish to continue. Each persons’ reasons and motivations are their own. Obviously a teacher or moral role model should have taught them otherwise.

The fact is we should not work to stop bullies to prevent suicides; we should protect people because that is the right thing to do.

The simple summary of why bullies bully homosexuals, as an example, is that people will not usually defend homosexuals. Bullies do not hate gay people; bullies choose their victims based on power. If someone cannot fight back the reasons for the weakness are circumstantial but as long as someone is a socially acceptable target a reliable bully will take advantage.

Obviously we need to address the age-old schoolyard condition.

People wanting to end the suffering are commendable in their sentiments but their words and potentially their actions are misplaced.