The above video of a bullied kid beating up his tormentor has been making the rounds. In response, Ta-Nehisi reflects on the "seductive righteousness that comes from being victimized":
This kid--who shouldn't have put his hands on anyone--gets power-slammed on a concrete driveway, is stumbling out of the frame, and for all we know could be concussed, and you read the comments, and everyone's yelling "Damn right." This is a world filled with people who've been bullied--but no people who are, or ever were, actual bullies.
I watched that video wondering where that boy's parents were. That kid--the aggressive one--was out of his head, and there was no one to put the right kind of hands on him. And now he's famous. And I say this as a Malcolmite, as someone who believes in the sacred right of defending your person, and has told his own son as much. But you don't do it because it makes you feel "good," because it makes you "right." To the contrary, defense is usually the best of a bunch of really awful options.
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