Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Heart Goes Out to Kardin Ulysse

When will it stop? Another case where a Brooklyn 8th grader, Kardin Ulysse was bullied to the point of potentially being blind in one eye if it cannot be corrected. The kids were harassing him, calling him antigay slurs and attacking him physically. On Good Day New York, Kardin stated, "They were calling me such horrible words, like being gay." Instantly I thought, wow, progression hasn't really taken place as far as acceptance for the LGBT community. More so, being called "gay" is seen as horrible, as Kardin described it. Nobody should be harassed for who they are or who they aren't -- my point is, these kids have the mindset that "being gay" is a terrible thing. Even Kardin said it was a terrible name to call him. Even if he's not gay, regardless, the word itself or description is certainly not of a negative one, unless used in a derogatory manner. I'm hoping by him describing gay as "horrible", was meant by derogatoriness.   The two kids who beat him up were arrested and the school system is being investigated for proper supervision.

Back when I was in middle school, in fact, 8th grade, I was being bullied and taunted every single day because I had a terrible argument with a friend who had an entourage of approximately 20 girls. Every single night, I would get a phone call saying, "You better not come to school or you're dead you fucking lesbo!" I'd stay up all night, worried that morning would come too fast. I would play sick or cut out. If I was forced to go on the bus, where my bullies were, I was cornered in the back of the seat, being called awful names, having books being thrown at me and having to hide when the bell would ring, leaving me late for class just to not get my "ass kicked" as they threatened. They walked in a pack of girls practically hunting me down. I'd come home and get the threatening phone call again. "I"m going to kick your ass if you show up tomorrow!" (With a few other choice words.) I hated school because of this. I hated anything that had to do with going on the bus or going into that school. It meant my life was at risk. And finally, one day, I carried a huge doubled edged hunting knife that I had taken from my dad's room. I even showed a few people who were on the neutral side of the klan.  Their eyes bulged out and of course, they ran to tell them what I had. Luckily, the teachers didn't find out. But more so, I would have never used it. I just wanted to show that I was protected. But if I think long enough about it, what if I was being physically harmed in a way of defending myself? I'm not sure if that knife would have stayed in my coat pocket. It came to the point where I tried to kill myself by drinking an entire bottle of scotch in my iced tea. I was saved, thank God, but my intention was getting out of this mean world.

So whenever I hear about a story where a kid is being bullied, I cringe. I can't imagine what it's like to be a student today going into a school with so much technology to be used against you and so many kids 'offing' themselves due to the aggressive bullying. I know I tried, I'm sure we'll hear more and more of this unfortunately. To be completely honest with you, if I were Kardin's parents, I would remove him from that school or homeschool him. After a traumatic experience such as that, I'm not surprised if he has PTSD. He's not well enough to go back to school. They have every right to sue that school for 16 million because there should have been more supervision on every single corner of every hallway and security guards surrounding the cafeteria. It angers me and tears my heart out because I was there. I was forced to go to school. I was frightened for my life on a daily basis.  I will say that it got better once I got into high school, but the memories of being in middle school still haunt me till this day, especially when I see someone innocent get the shit kicked out of him for no reason at all, or for a misassumption of him being "gay". It's just wrong. My heart goes out to Kardin & his family.

And you're right. I'm angry.

Chosen Tweets: 
Unaware of HomophobiaMeet Kardin Ulysse14blind in his righteye after thugs attacked him for being gay.

Roxanne LapeƱa ‏@roxanne_amanda
I almost teared up watching that segment on Fox 5 about KardinUlysse who was left blind in his right eye after being bullied atschool.

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joan said...

I'm a teacher, 7th grade, and I get so damn mad that they toss around "gay" so effortlessly as a slur. Everything is "so gay", every damn thing! ARGH!!!

I start the year with a talk, and we discuss diversity. They still don't get it. But I call them on it every single time. At the very least, my classroom can be a safe place. Right now, that is all I can offer.

Keep fighting.

Mikey D said...

To answer the caption, NO, bullying can never be stopped. When I was growing up my family moved a lot and in addition were not so well off, they also had "standards" of dress etc that were not in keeping with most others in the various communities I ended up in. This made me an outsider and a target. I was beaten up regularly, stuffed in lockers and the butt of may cruel pranks, I even ended up in the hospital a couple times as a result of the bullying. There were times when my father went after the kids or the parents but that only ended up making things worse. I remember once going to the parents on a kid to talk to them about the problem and they were worse that their kid. This is one of those dirty little problems with no ready solution in a world where people move around so much. Anyone who is different or an outsider or who does not fit in is a target and the larger groups use these targets to make themselves feel more powerful, more important, more popular and even teachers will not step in because once you have a teacher step in than you are a winner, a squealer, a rat fink, a teachers pet, and so on... it only makes things worse. I went to 15 different schools before I graduated grade 12 and it was the same everywhere, no difference so you either learn how to live with it or you don't. If you don't than you are at risk of offing yourself because even when parents or teachers do believe you they are helpless to do anything which leaves you feeling abandoned by those who should be protecting you and the police are no better. I remember once being beat up on the street by 3 bullies only a couple blocks from the police station, once the boys left I went to the police and was even able to tell them the names of the boys and where they lived etc... the police were sympathetic and helped me clean up the blood but guess what I was told... because the guilty parties were juveniles they, the police could do nothing, that if I wanted to solve the problem that my only real solution was to catch these boys one at a time in a dark ally and beat them senseless with a baseball bat BUT that if the police caught me than they would be forced to take me into custody and deal with me as a criminal so DON'T GET CAUGHT... some help when the boys always moved in gangs and I was not the type to pull such a nasty prank on others when I hated it being done to me. Try to solve the problem if you want and keep spouting all those sure fire cures to the problem that your wild imagination comes up with but you are just blowing smoke and playing with mirrors. Unless you have been the victim you know not what you are talking about. Nobody will do nothing to stop this because most don't want to get involved when it comes down to lawsuits. Our kids are in trouble!

Deb said...

It's so unfortunate what kids have to go through in order to survive while getting an education. And the sad part is, Kardin was a low key soft spoken guy - never rattled anyone's cage before, but that's the target these bullies are looking for. An easy target. Why? Because they're cowards. Sadly, this will probably affect him for the rest of his life. I just hope he has a great support system, as his family seems to be and that he can pick up, dust himself off and be strong. I'm so glad I don't have kids in this day of age.

the walking man said...

The loss of an eye while tragic, one does adapt. I lost my left one 30 years ago and have done ok since. The reason for losing the eye--naw that shit just isn't right.

What I know from experience is that f one by one each of the little pricks show up at school mauled the harassment will stop. I had to eat the shit from 4th grade to 10th but that last year I put on 12 inches and lost no weight.

No way was I going to kill myself but there were a couple of guys who came close to being killed, mean is learned. I had to learn it and so did the pricks who tortured Mikey D and Kardin Ulysse.

The hard part is after a time it is fun beating the snot out of people and when you've run through your list then you look for more. Anyone will do. Unlearning mean though...that is a difficult soul searing proposition just as losing your anger over another homophobic incident created from ignorance and unwillingness of the parents to teach their kids you ain't got to be a prick to make it in this big bad world.

Lubna said...

It's just wrong. My heart goes out to Kardin & his family. essay