The Bully - The Coward

A report this week came out that Asian Americans are the most bullied of any ethnic group in the United States. Some reasons given in the report are that Asian Americans suffer through the language barrier (which is puzzling since many ethnic groups suffer this malady), and the view that many Asians are mistakenly thought of as Muslim. Amazingly, 54% of the Asian Americans are bullied right in the classroom. This bullying does not limit itself to the schools. There is also cyber bullying. I'm not smart enough to understand how one gets bullied sitting behind a computer monitor. But, then again, I'm not a teenager.

I find this to be very sad news. I know what it is like to be bullied. So, my heart goes out to these kids. When I was in school bullying was not usually because of your ethnic background (or I didn't notice it). Bullying was usually toward the overweight kid, the kid that is shy or, in my case, someone who was smaller than average. I suffered in silence from the 6th grade all the way to the 10th grade. I was pushed, punched and mocked. There was always one guy that did most of the bullying. I'll just call him Thomas. Thomas was a bit bigger, he was known to come from the wrong side of the tracks and enjoyed bullying kids smaller than himself. Nothing was ever said to Thomas about the way he bullied kids back in the day. I was not a snitch. That is a bad reputation in school just as it is in prison. So, I endured the taunts, the pushing and the threats from Thomas and others over the years. A couple of the reasons for my being reluctant to fight back was because I was shy and small for my age.

Things starting changing toward the end of the 10th grade. I started getting bigger, stronger and became more self-confident. Thomas noticed this change in me also. He still taunted me. But, I noticed he had stopped pushing me and shoving me in the gym. One day, we were playing softball during the PE hour early one Monday morning. Thomas was starting his crap as usual. This time it was other kids he was bullying. I got enough of it. I told him to leave the kids alone. You could have heard a pin drop on the softball diamond. He dropped the bat and walked over to me. He got right up in my face and yelled "What the f*** are you going to do about it, piss-ant?" I snapped. I punched him in the stomach. Down goes Thomas! I was prepared for the fight of my life. While I had gotten bigger, so had Thomas over the past year. But, you know what? Thomas got up, looked at me and walked back to the batters box to continue playing. I realized something at that time that has stuck with me forever. I realized bullies, for the most part, are cowards. They don't like to be challenged. They don't like for you to stand up to them. Most, certainly not all, are just plain, to the core cowards. Thomas never even spoke to me again after that confrontation.

Bullying is something that I personally abhor for reasons stated. You have to walk a mile in someone's shoes before you know what they are enduring. If you ever see some kid bullying another, don't just sit still and let it happen. Make yourself known to the bully immediately. An adult is a bit intimidating to most bullies. Contact parents, teachers or school administrators about it. I hate that I had to suffer in silence for so many years as a child. There is no reason for kids today to suffer the same pain I did as a child.

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