What happens to bullies after high school? After all, their bullying behavior must have been reewarded of they wouldn’t have done it in the first place. It just makes sense that they would carry a successful behavior forward into their adult lives.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that four young children and their gay parents have been repeatedly terrorized over the last ten weeks.
According to The Raw Story and other sources Felix Bermea and his partner Roy feel sure they and their four children (one of whom is disabled) have been targeted because they are gay and Felix is Hispanic. Remember, the Bermea’s live in Arizona where Hispanics are a targeted group. Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer’s ultra conservative viewpoint on gay rights is undisputed. No one can claim the Bermea family is just being paranoid, their identification groups have indeed been targeted by a state government one could arguably call suppressive.
Beginning ten weeks ago the bullying started out slowly with minor damage away from the house, like graffiti spray painted on the street in front of the house and on their cars. But then the bully started setting fire to bushes in the Bermea’s front yard, one of which was up against the wall of the house.
Then s/he upped the ante and started pounding on doors to scare and intimidate those inside the house, including a window in the disabled girl’s room. “Imagine how a 9-year-old girl, who is disabled, who can barely walk, feels when they are banging on her door. My daughter was shaking in her boots when I talked to her…”
And finally the bully broke into the house, vandalized the children’s furniture and using a felt marker scrawled “ass” on the kitchen island, “bitch” on a wall in one boy’s room, and “hell” on a wall in a daughter’s bedroom. To Bermea these seem like words chosen by adults rather than the usual “Fuck you” and “asshole” preferred by teens. No similar incidents have been reported anywhere else in the neighborhood.
The Bermea’s four children are terrorized. The couple now makes sure there is always one adult present in the house at all times. The children sleep huddled on the floor in the living room, too afraid to sleep in their own beds. The fathers are worried for their children’s safety.
And until Felix’s complaint went viral around the world their local Police could give a damn. ABC 15 reports that thirty-three police visits and reports have been recorded during the ten weeks with little or no follow up. After the publicity they’ve finally been assigned a detective.
What is happening to the Bermea family is a hate crime perpetrated by grown up bullies. And once again the community support system was okay with that until their consciences were nudged by the public.
Indiegogo (the people who hosted a fund raiser for the abused school bus monitor) have launched a campaign to send the abused Bermea family to a camp for rainbow families in Provincetown, MA where they can get away from the madness and relax in the company of other families like their own.
The campaign is called Send the Bermea’s to Family Week. The goal is $10,000 and as of this writing has gathered $3,144. If the goal is not met, the family will receive nothing. Donate if you can, and if you can’t, pass the story along to others who might.