The Media and ‘Bullying’


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Back in the 1920s, the intelligentsia on both sides of the Atlantic were loudly protesting the execution of political radicals Sacco and Vanzetti, after what they claimed was an unfair trial. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote to his young leftist friend Harold Laski, pointing out that there were “a thousand-fold worse cases” involving black defendants, “but the world does not worry over them.”

Holmes said: “I cannot but ask myself why this so much greater interest in red than black.”

To put it bluntly, it was a question of whose ox was gored. That is, what groups were in vogue at the moment among the intelligentsia. Blacks clearly were not.

The current media and political crusade against “bullying” in schools seems likewise to be based on what groups are in vogue at the moment. For years, there have been local newspaper stories about black kids in schools in New York and Philadelphia beating up Asian classmates, some beaten so badly as to require medical treatment.

But the national media hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. Asian Americans are not in vogue today, just as blacks were not in vogue in the 1920s.

Meanwhile, the media are focused on bullying directed against youngsters who are homosexual. Gays are in vogue.

Most of the stories about the bullying of gays in schools are about words directed against them, not about their suffering the violence that has long been directed against Asian youngsters or about the failure of the authorities to do anything serious to stop black kids from beating up Asian kids.

Where youngsters are victims of violence, whether for being gay or whatever, that is where the authorities need to step in. No decent person wants to see kids hounded, whether by words or deeds, and whether the kids are gay, Asian or whatever.

But there is still a difference between words and deeds — and it is a difference we do not need to let ourselves be stampeded into ignoring. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of speech — and, like any other freedom, it can be abused.

If we are going to take away every Constitutional right that has been abused by somebody, we are going to end up with no Constitutional rights.

Already, on too many college campuses, there are vaguely worded speech codes that can punish students for words that may hurt somebody’s feelings — but only the feelings of groups that are in vogue.

Women can say anything they want to men, or blacks to whites, with impunity.

But strong words in the other direction can bring down on students the wrath of the campus thought police — as well as punishments that can extend to suspension or expulsion.

Is this what we want in our public schools?

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  • pagegl

    What ever happened to 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me'? Whoever said we're becoming a nation of wimps was right.

  • http://www.jochnowitz.net George Jochnowitz

    People who worry about gays never realize that Israel has gay-pride parades in not only Tel Aviv but Jerusalem. They never realize that Israel drafts openly gay men and women into its armed forces.
    Another story that won't be reported is Israel's rescue of disaster victims all over the world–in Haiti, in Turkey, and most recently, in Thailand. http://www.jpost.com/VideoArticles/Video/Article….

  • NotaBene

    And would it have killed you to include a single link or example or source about this apparent epidemic of blacks beating up Asians?

    I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but you haven’t provided even a grain of evidence to support the fundamental claim of this article.

    • Jim

      Do you think you have not come across any evidence is because the major news sources do not mention race unless it is a white who is the aggressor.

      Often the local papers will mention race even if whites are not involved but race never seems to make it to the so called main stream media.

      When Mexicans moved into Black neighbor hoods they too were bullied but that backfired on the Blacks. The Mexicans could and did fight back. The Mexicans quickly put the shoe on the other foot.

      If you are not aware of something it does not prove it doesn't exist or never happened.

      Do some research and see what you come up with. No big media source will hand it to you.

      Try the L. A. Times for starters

      • NotaBene

        That’s great. So now it’s my responsibility to do the author’s work for him? I wish in college I could’ve turned in papers without supporting material and told my professors ‘you take it from here’.

        But it gets better; after saying that the MSM refuses to cover the issue, you direct me to the LA Times!

        Pull the other one, Jim.

  • PatriotX

    I remember where “bully” was someone who was cowardly and took pleasure in physically humiliating others.

    The modern day version is someone saying something against those protected by the Politically Correct Protection Agency (PCPA). Well, I figured since we seem to have a government agency for everything else, why not?

    Among the protected are:

    Gays

    Islamists

    Any religious faith (Christians excluded unless you are totally fanatical, vile and want to dis-honor fallen soldiers who died defending the rights you abuse)

    Barack Obama

    Blacks (exlusively thugs of course)

    (not good black role models such as Hermain Cain, Allen West, Bill Cosby…etc only disgruntled ones who carry a racist chip on their shoulder)

    Jews (only the self loathing ones)

    Feminists (only man hating feminists who hate men for being men)

    (not the ones who have legitimate gripes about sexism or who speak out against the brutality of Islam)

    Criminals (only those justly convicted, executed or incarcerated) not vigilantes who shoot child molesters, kill home invaders in their own home, shoot drug dealers or war criminals who scare the daylights out of insurgents for information.

    Or in general safe to say anyone that is against a wholesome society and American values or this nation, you could probably put on this list.

    If you offend the above, you will be targeted by lame stream media and the Obama Administration and everthing you ever did in your life, to include your childhood, will be exposed and twisted something totally unrecognizable.

    Especially if your isult happens to be the truth.

    • PatriotX

      Oh, man, what was I thinking, the biggie that’s protected. “racists” but only democratic ones like the Congressional Black Caucus, KKK…etc.

      You see if your republican and a racist…..that’s unacceptable…..well…..uh….that would be…..uh……………………just…………………….RACIST.

  • David

    This article purposes that words and deeds are not the same , which is true. Although it completely ignores the fact that words in many instances are more powerful. Young people have always enjoyed taunting those who are different or weaker. To afford more protection they form groups and the leaders are given higher status to continue to attack others without fear or reprisal. How do you fight these bullys and their words? Physically attacking a larger group wouldn't do much good and violence will only lead to more violence. Parents and Teachers need to not be sheep to this behavior in the children they raise and teach. It is their duty as shepherds to protect their flock. The problem becomes even more distorted with the information age. Now a rumor, personal attack or humiliation can be caught in camera and sent to hundreds of students at the same school. These kids are in a losing battle unless we can teach them how to behave like adults. As adults if someone makes up a rumor about us and sends it out online we can sue for damages. What recourse do our own kids have to defend themselves when their whole social life mocks or turns their backs to them. Instead of this author worrying about the ramifications on free speech lets first worry about why we let our kids get away with behavior that would not be tolerated as an adult.