The discussion on bullying is a very important conversation going on right now in our society. Recently, there have been many headline grabbing cases of teens taking their own lives due to bullying as well as teens being put into the hospital after horrific beatings, etc., by their peers.
Hazing is no longer completely a face to face entity, nor is it just pushed along by slow moving word of mouth rumors. These days, the bubble the school once created is nonexistent, and "public" information is now truly public, on the larger scale of things, thanks to the internet and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Now, the rumor mill is open for everyone to see and hazing can be done with a few clicks of a mouse or through text messages that can reach people a lot faster than leaving a note in a locker for somebody to get in between classes.
The fear of being confronted physically is somewhat lessened as people turn to their technology to bully, because it takes less guts to spread hate speech when the comfort of hiding behind a screen of some kind is so readily available. Thus, because that comfort is there, the more and more hateful the speech can be.
On the flip side of the coin, this new generation of children has never lived their lives without some sort of advanced technology readily available to them. Cell phones are now smart phones, computers with Internet access are in most homes, libraries and schools, and interactive video game play with others through networks is pretty standard.
All of this leads to kids doing less and less real communicating, which arguably leads to them being less equipped emotionally to deal with real life situations. In my estimation, this is how you can go from one generation using fists to settle the score, to the next having kids that think setting another child on fire is acceptable retaliation.
Bullying is of course nothing new, but it will always be tragic, and it is the topic of bullying (by peers and in the home) that sparked the idea for a new song by teenage emcee Que.
Que is 16 and is a young man that has already been through a lot in his brief life, leaving him a bit more grizzled than his peers. He is a good rapper and often prefers to tell street tales in many of the songs that I have had the
opportunity to hear, but in this new song "Can't Keep Running Away," which features singing by Patrice Downey, Que explores the reality of millions of children out there that have to deal with bullying and domestic violence day after day.
It's very mature of Que to understand the issue going on and to write a song that attempts to rally the downtrodden and affected, and I think that since it's coming from somebody of their generation, it's much more poignant of a message and something that may help to lift the spirit of a kid going through a tough time. Yes, it's just music, but in the end, music to many people is something that can fill the void left behind by whatever they're lacking.
Whatever the case, let's hope that more 'tweens and teens find ways to endure being bullied instead of turning to tragic and fatal acts, but more than that, hopefully the culture of bullying ENDS so that there's never again the temptation to give up on life.
Here's the song:
Born in Milwaukee and raised in the Milwaukee suburb of Brown Deer, Concordia University Wisconsin alumnus Poppe has spent the majority of his life in or around the city and county of Milwaukee.
As an advocate of Milwaukee's hip-hop community Poppe began popular local music blog Milwaukee UP in March 2010. Check out the archived entries here.
Though heavy on the hip-hop, Poppe writes about other genres of music and occasionally about food, culture or sports, and is always ready to show his pride in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.