Social media has made it easier to stay connected with people from our past.
Unfortunately, that includes everybody.
Even the bullies.
Being forced to be subject to everything that people from our past post can be a small form of torture. Is it wise to engage?
Redditor whereevenami11 went on the popular subReddit "Aim I The A**hole?" or "AITA" to see if how she chose to engage with a past bully's Instagram post was out of line:
"AITA for dming a girl who bullied me relentlessly in high school regarding her instagram post?"
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Our original poster, or OP, began by outlining the relationship between herself and this bully:
"So I'm (21 female) Asian. I went to a predominately white high school full of rich kids who were racist and super snobby."
"This one girl, we'll call her B, bullied me relentlessly in high school and would make fun of my eyes (she would pull her eyes back when she saw me), call me Ling Ling, ch*nk, ask me if Kim Jong Un was my dad, tell me to stop eating dogs, etc."
"All unprovoked, and I never said anything back because my Korean parents always told me to swallow my pride and take it. She's basically the worst human I know and she is part of the reason why I resented my asian heritage for so long."
When she was scrolling through Instagram, she came upon something yet again racially insensitive:
"I don't follow her on social media because I don't follow people I don't care to keep up with. She's trying super hard to be an 'influencer,' and there has been this trend going around called the 'fox eye trend' where girls will pull their eyes back just like they would when they mock asian eyes in the attempts to look more 'chic'."
"While this trend has made me upset because the feature I could not control and was teased for my entire life is now being considered sexy when non asian girls do it, I realize I don't have much control over things like this so I just ignore it."
And then when seeing her post, it certainly triggered a memory:
"B posted a picture in this pose, pulling her eyes back, with some caption along the lines of 'am I bella hadid yet?' This pissed me off (admittedly more than it should have) because she looked no different from when she pulled her eyes back to mock me."
And she replied in kind, but wasn't sure if she did the right thing:
"I saw the post because my friend, who was always there to listen to me when I was hurt by B, sent it to me, and we had talked about the fox eye trend a couple days ago. I then in the heat of the moment dmed B saying 'no, you don't look like bella hadid, you look like the racist you are.. but like.. chic!'"
"She read the message, said 'what the f*ck..?' and took down the post (I should make it clear that there were some comments NOT FROM ME on her post about the fox eye thing being problematic. I wasn't the only asian she bullied). Now I feel bad for making a big deal out of something that might have been nothing. AITA?"
Redditors ascertained where guilt belonged by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- INFO - need more information to decide
"NTA- You're never the a**hole for calling out racism and she deleted the post because she knows it's true. Honestly I would have been a lot meaner."~ItsNotFunny420
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"NTA, call that sh*t out, especially now. It's not like you publicly humiliated her. She needs to learn that her casual racism isn't okay."~pandab00p
"NTA-So not the a**hole. You called out a racist bully. You were classy enough to do it via private message instead of leaving it in the comments for everyone to read. Good for you."~GothPenguin
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"INFO: why do you feel bad? You didn't even admonish her publicly, you simply called her out. Even if you HAD called her out in the form of a comment and not a DM I cannot see how anyone would judge you the asshole here."
"While it's always up for debate as to whether online arguments are worth the emotional investment and potential stress on you, that's a cost that is entirely for you to decide."
"Choosing to call someone out for their legitimate bullying is never 'the asshole' move and I honestly can't see how you think it may be (unless you more or less wanted to tell us a 'Murdered by Words' story)."~DoreyCat
Calling out racism is never an a**hole move.
"NTA Holy hell, I just checked #foxeye on twitter and Instagram and so many people are pulling the skin by their eyes back or mimicking the motion. Seriously, what is wrong with them? Heavy eyeliner and wings are a make up trend but they all know where the eye pulling motion came from."~TheDarkYarnArts
"NTA- love that you had so much power over her that she took down the post. Good on you."~teeny_gecko
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"NTA. Reading this post made me so angry. You are not an a**hole for calling out racism. Plus she sounds awful. An influencer with only 2,000 followers. My ex had more followers and she had 3 posts lol."~rollins152
"Nta, Asian here and I was you at some point. Don't hate your asian heritage due to bigotry and yes call out their racist antics always."~Ohnoistayinhole
"NTA. This trend is mighty stupid looking and as an African American I can relate to your frustration. Call her out. The same girls who called my lips huge in elementary are the ones over lining their lips today. Literally putting lip liner on their face like we can't see the real lining of their lips. Clowns."~boibyepls
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Calling out racism is something that should be on all of our dockets and provides the a**hole immunity that we all seek.
Especially if we are addressing racist trends on social media.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*
The children's book The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others is available here.