Symbols Don’t Stop Violence

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photo: flickr member junkbyjo

Today is apparently Spirit Day in the gay community, during which we’re all supposed to have a little pep rally and wear purple to show our solidarity against bullying.

I’m not wearing purple. American culture has become over-saturated with meaningless symbols like this purple t-shirt affectation, “donating” our Facebook profiles against hunger for a day, “Showing our support” by adding a little bit of flash to our Twitter icons.

Education and training works wonders that symbols never can. Teach a gay kid what part of his hand is strongest when he throws a punch. Teach a little girl how to break someone’s nose if she needs to. Show the kids how to make a big show so their bullies think they’re crazier than they are.

Stop talking about stopping bullying and help the kids step up on their own terms.

They’ll learn the power of their own personal space, the validity of their own inner strength, and they’ll be less afraid, every day.

A symbol is a nice show of support if you don’t have anything else to offer. But without anything backing it up, you’re just wearing a purple t-shirt.