Overwhelmingly, bullies see their behavior as justified because the target of their bullying is in need of correction and worthy of scorn. That justification creates a loophole, in their minds, in the social contract. Once a target is identified as such by a group bullying will continue, increase in frequency, and worsen in its nature.
While the experience is not unique to my hometown, the city where I live has been targeted as worthy of scorn and in need of correction. There was an interesting juxtaposition this week between the response both of the media and its parasitic trolls to two currents of news. On one hand, after a very quiet February in terms of incidents of criminal violence in the city of Springfield there were 5 such events, or events interpreted as such, on one night; a son stabbed his father, a man was quickly arrested for having assaulted a food vendor, a bank was robbed, a suburbanite was assaulted in an attempt to purchase drugs, and gunshots were recorded without victim.
The usual hyperbolic response included a breathless reporter standing in front of city hall saying that there was no response from the mayor regarding what he would do to “prevent another night like this in the future.” Son stabs father, addict attempts drug buy, a bank robbery, a speedy arrest made in a hold up, and shots fired; “Run for your freakin’ lives people, it’s the purge!” Banks get robbed. There have been bank robberies for as long as there have been banks, and they happen everywhere, why is the mayor of Springfield somehow responsible to put an end to them? Family violence? Tragic, but with tens of thousands of families in the city, many of them struggling financially and otherwise, a few are going to get into conflict, ’twas ever thus. The drug deal? Didn’t I read that there’s some sort of crisis going on regarding opioids? Yeah, yeah, get on that, Mayor Sarno. Fix it, and while you’re at it, what’s the deal with world hunger? Oh, the police caught the guy who assaulted the food vendor? Because they were nearby? Sounds like just about all the municipality can be called upon to do.
On the other hand, there’s the tragic story of Amy Lord being the focus of a documentary. The story could be, would be, the poster child for everything that’s wrong with Springfield. Oh, how it could be pulled out to justify the fear of the city, to justify the excoriation of its people, and, in the end, to justify quarantine. Except it happened in Boston. A city where banks get robbed, sons stab fathers, meaningless shots get fired, and food vendors get pistol whipped.
Not a troll in sight.