Monday, October 4, 2010

Bullies R Us

We are all bullies to some degree.  But just like with anything else it is the degree to which we exert that bully tendency that makes a difference.
Look at the various sections of society and daily life.  Analyze the interactions of the people involved and you will realize that bullying exists.  We have enabled it and even nurture it by submitting to it's allure.
This past week a silly controversy between two television personalities allowed bigotry to rear its ugly head once again.
CNN fired an admittedly bigoted TV show host named Rick Sanchez.  His bully-like words aired from the bully pulpit of his own show, ‘Rick’s List.’
Mr. Sanchez railed against Jon Stewart of the Daily Show for his humorous attacks but then went on to blame the entire media world as being controlled by the Jews.
At first I dismissed his words as quickly as he was dismissed by his former employer but then I started to read some comments from people defending him!
In particular one lady attacked Jon Stewart for changing his name to, “hide his Jewishness.”
Excuse me?
I almost did not know where to begin.
To attack someone verbally because he or she decides to change their name is absurd and quite small or at least close minded. (Bernie Schwartz and many others would concur.)
Religions or causes supposedly based in them have caused enough trouble in this world.  To point out someone's religious background and use that as a reason to attack, or even defend them is, quite frankly stupid!
Haven't we lived though enough history to see what generalizations and stereotyping cause?
Does this lady or Mr. Sanchez wish to comment on the feeling that the Jews were responsible and deserving of their treatment in Nazi Germany?  The Nazis were surely bullies with terrible consequences!
Let's be real here - Mr. Sanchez chose to air his true feelings on his show and I say good for him.
Some might say he chose poorly.
Unfortunately for him CNN is one of them.
I am happy to know where he stands and I do not fault him for his views.  I also do not fault CNN for letting him go.  His bigoted views are not shared by his former employer and they have every right to decide who remains on their payroll.
I am willing to bet that FOX is looking into hiring him.
I also think it's amusing how minorities are always blamed for the failings of the majority.
The tactic is deep seated in a bully mentality that in and of itself is dangerous to society.
We just heard of a young college man who committed suicide because two bullies thoughtlessly invaded his privacy and chose to air his intimate relations with another human being in the confines of his private room.
These low-life types sent the video over the internet for the world to view and ridicule.  This promising young student was so distraught over the event that he felt it impossible to go on and he threw himself off the George Washington Bridge.
He was not the first to give up his life rather than face the ridicule of small minded evil people and unfortunately he will not be the last.
As a result of this tragedy we once again have a chance for a candid discussion on the cause of these acts.
I had a first hand view of bullies and how they act and recruit others.  I was very overweight as a youngster and endured constant verbal and even physical attacks as a result.
I never gave any thought as to why I was being treated so poorly but I did notice how many former friends of mine joined in the ‘fun.’
In fact I can say without fear of successful contradiction that I lost most of my friends during the school years that constituted my ‘tween’ through late teens.
I was fortunate enough to attend summer sleep away camp where I did lose some weight but also endured many attacks as well as painful beatings.
I realized the hierarchy of the bully network in my twenties but never aired my views until recently.  And I think I have finally come to understand the dynamic.
Again I feel we are all bullies in one way or another.  The difference is in how we control our behavior.
The bullies who act out their hate for others are for the most part insecure in their own mind.  They must bring others down in order to feel better about themselves.
And their followers are also insecure.  They need to be on a winning team and have the safety brought about in numbers.
The latter group lives in fear of becoming the target of the bully and therefore gets behind him and basically out of sight in a, ‘yeah, me too’ way.
I know this is how it worked in my case since I skipped a grade and was suddenly out of harms way with regards to ‘my bully.’
But he didn’t skip a beat and I later found out that he started picking on a different boy almost immediately.  And lo and behold his followers suddenly hated the new kid as well!
I think society owes it to the victims of bullies in some way but it also must reach out to correct the cause.
No I don’t mean making sure no one is overweight although there is nothing wrong with trying to remain fit and healthy but rather nipping the problem in the bud. (I personally weigh 70 pounds less than I did back then.)
Bullies are actually crying out for help and we should offer some!
They are terribly insecure and need counseling to find out why.  They can be shown the error of their ways and then receive assistance in making better use of their energy.
We have bullies in our political world and in Congress as well.  These people feel they must tell others how to live their day to day lives.  They belittle gays and homosexuals and in many cases do so to hide the fact that they are themselves gay or homosexual.
These hypocrites feel it is easy to gain support because many people interpret their bible as saying it is right to cast out that group as being different.
Our last administration kept their bully status intact by instilling fear every chance they got that the other guy was going to attack us.
But as with many bullies they emulated the gang that couldn’t shoot straight as they pointed to the wrong culprit.  They achieved their desired result by staying in office for eight war-filled years.  They left with monetary gains and unnecessary blood on their hands.
There are many adages that fit the bill here, such as:
Ignorance breeds contempt.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
To learn about me walk a mile in my shoes.
There is also a saying that sometimes it’s better to lower the water than raise the bridge.  But the opposite works as well and we should not have to bring others down in order to feel better about ourselves.

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