Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Word On Bullying

You'd probably imagine we have a lot to say about bullying, but today we have relatively little to say...blame emotional exhaustion from writing the last post we did.

We were victims of bullying for years; we had food thrown at us on the school bus, we were pants-ed walking down the aisles of the bus, people used to make fun of our ill fitting clothes openly in school because our garage sale pants were always too short, being tall and poor was a curse. They used to call us Titanka, ask us where the flood was, shove us, trip us, taunt us and make us hate ourselves more than we already hated ourselves just from dealing with our every day home life.

Only once we fought back. On the school bus home a boy who used to say the most horrible things to us and make us cry was taunting us from the seat in front of us, and we finally had enough of it from him, so with burning anger, as he turned to face the front of the bus, we took our trapper keeper and pile of school books, and cracked him over the head with the stack. He hardly ever made fun of us again, but he was only one of many, over many years. Other than being physically different and poor, we've never understood why we were a target of bullying, we were quiet, kept to ourselves and had few friends.

You'd think trying to stop bullying in school would be a cut and dry issue, but it just seems like the hate in the world is getting worse. Look at the examples the adults give to the younger generations. You need only turn on the news to hear about violence inflicted on others for merely being different, or see the names Matthew Shephard (victim), Jason Gage (victim), Steven Hoskins (victim), Linda Weston (perpetrator)..and so many more, to see where today's youth are learning to bully. They are learning it from adults.

So many are quick to blame movies, television and video games, instead of taking responsibility for allowing this to happen, like the latest special exception to Matt's Safe School Law...a stark example of how even some of our lawmakers, ADULTS, can't recognize that intolerance and bias is the ROOT of bullying. Bullying is not something generally done for no reason.

Thankfully from what we can gather from news reports of the last twenty-four hours (1), the version of Matt's Safe School Law that will ultimately pass will be the one that doesn't include the "special exception in the law for bullies who have “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction (2).” <- HATE CRIME, which is "a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias (judgement) against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin." [source: National Institute of Justice http://nij.gov/topics/crime/hate-crime/welcome.htm#note1]
They were going to write aproval of a HATE CRIME in a bill of law. What.The.Fuck.
This bring to light a quandary of issues that it's hard for us to wrap our head around...how adults can honestly put words into a bill making it okay to bully if it's motivated by RELIGIOUS or MORAL reasons. Sure, the bible is full of examples hate crimes...but we should be better than that. Shouldn't we?

That line, had it been included, would have created a loophole the size of which an entire country can squeeze through...don't you think? Of course you can catch our drift.

Matt's Safe School Law? You ask. Don't know what we're talking about?

Here's some news clips.

Say what you will about shows like The Daily Show with John Stewart, and The Colbert Report...sometimes in life it take a humous angle to a serious topic to bring to light the obvious seriousness of the issue, and it's getting to the point that the pain of reality is so...painful...that if we don't find a way to laugh at it, we might as well give up now. There can be seriousness within humour.
If you'd rather hear it straight...sans humour....

We want to applaud people who aren't afraid to stand up against bigotry and hate, to stand up for what they believe in when it is in the best interest of all humans, not just the interest of Special Interest, for without these people we would have no change. 

(1) http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/11/15/Mich_Bullying_Bill_to_Drop_Religious_Exemption/
(2) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/gretchen-whitmer-michigan-senator-slams-new-bullying-legislation-video/2011/11/04/gIQAaGHAmM_blog.html

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the blog dedication. I was not aware of this particular case - And, I have now read your article and watched the clips. While I do try, ad nauseum, I seemingly cannot wrap my head around human nature. But, it's time like these when I'm at a loss for words. For what it's worth, I wrote this post quite sometime ago detailing my own struggles re: bullying http://bit.ly/lGXZtL. This proposed law breaks whatever is left of my tainted heart.