BULLYING … surely, you’ve witnessed this before. Perhaps, you didn’t know the person that it happened to … or maybe it was a friend … or a relative … or just maybe, it happened to you.
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Joe Bell Publishing
Joe Bell Publishing
I came of age in the 1960s south. A traditional, small town upbringing that included things like Sunday school, respected police officers, and folks that said yes ma’am and no sir. I was taught to never make fun of someone for something they couldn’t control, never to stare at a person because they didn’t look like me, and always be respectful of others regardless of the situation. It’s unclear today whether these values are still being taught to children. The tragic events this country has seen played out on the national stage over the past several years would suggest no.
My name is John Jeffries, “JJ” to most folks, and during my life I’ve never known of anyone that has escaped a tragic episode of some kind. Sometimes, over the years, these events mellow in our minds and sometimes they don’t. For those that continually linger, one’s second-guessing of the decisions made seems attached to the hip of one’s what-ifs regarding the eventual outcome. In my case, it’s been forty plus years now, and smack in the middle of the second-guessing and what-ifs is the tale of a Chinese boy named DeLun H. Ho. He endured immeasurable disregard at the hands of his family, always referring to himself in the third person; in addition, he was ostracized at school, which eventually led to suffering the disgraceful maltreatment of bullying. For him, this story is a voice for the unheard.
Recently, I caught a glimpse of a local newscast that was showing a video depicting three young girls antagonizing another young girl. The reporter characterized what was happening in the video as that of the three girls “harassing” the other one. Seriously? I’m very confident that I would have chosen a different verb, and having said that, I would add that it seems lately that we’re all bogged down in this “politically correct” swamp. We’ve all heard other people’s opinions concerning blackboards now being referred to as chalkboards and a “holiday tree” instead of a Christmas tree, but my favorite is that now a manhole is referred to as a “Subterranean Personnel and Equipment Vault,” and a manhole cover is “Subterranean Ingress and Egress Aperture Cover.” Accordingly, the ladies that I know think this is simply … ludicrous.
As for the reporter, it’s not harassing … it’s bullying, period ... pure and simple, and it is a multifaceted act of harassment that can take on many different shapes and sizes. We all know the physical kind, but harming or stealing one’s belongings may also represent physical bullying. There is the verbal brand, such as name calling or making racist, sexist offensive remarks, the indirect singling out of someone by virtue of spreading malicious stories or rumors about them, and cyber bullying; the electronic discrimination via text, picture, video, website, chat-room, and e-mail. To that end, I’ve heard that one out of every ten students who drop out of school do so because of repeated bullying, and as to the status of bullying in the adult world, I conclude that the legendary movie title, The Silence of the Lambs has taken on an entirely different meaning.