HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Why do some Americans thi...

Thu May 10, 2012, 11:41 PM

Why do some Americans think Bullying is OK?

When the movie Bully was released NPR on "Talk of the Nation" Neil Conan interviewed Harvey Wienstein who's company is distributing the movie. The interview was half a conversation between Neil and Harvey about the movie and stopping bullying. The other half were callers. One of the callers tells how her son was bullied, attempted and committed suicide. This was very touching to hear this mother who lost her son was now doing all she could to get the word out that bullying does real damage.

The last caller turned my stomach. Rather than putting in my own words here is that part of the transcript, it is longer than I normally would include but I don't feel comfortable editing this (please forgive me for this) I have also included the link to the transcript if anyone wants to read or stream the interview:



CONAN: Let's go to Tom. Tom is on the line with us from Iowa City.

TOM: OK. I think it's all ridiculous, to be honest, really, because I think we need bullying. I know I'm going to get a lot of people who'll disagree with what I'm going to say, but I think we need bullying to build character and build a backbone. Taking your kids out of school because somebody spits on them, you teach them to stand up for themselves. Put all this whining about, oh, my kids being - I was bullied as a kid. My daughter was bullied as a kid, but I didn't take her out of school because I believe you teach them to stand up for themselves. You spit on me, well, you fight back. Don't sit there and take them out of school because of crying. Don't sit there and whine because they come to you and then you're going to fix the boo-boo. You teach them to be independent. You teach them to stand up for themselves. You teach them to fight back. Because what happens is, you give the bully the power, OK? And that's really about it. Jut saw this movie (unintelligible)...

CONAN: So it's the victim's fault, Tom?

TOM: No. That's what I'm saying, you don't become the victim. Either you...

CONAN: Tom, you're right. You're going to get a lot of people who disagree with you.

WEINSTEIN: Oh, yeah, and I'll be one of them.

TOM: (Unintelligible).

WEINSTEIN: And, Tom, this Harvey.

CONAN: Tom.

WEINSTEIN: Isn't it a better idea that we don't need to place - we're not talking (unintelligible) one other thing, but what we're really talking about is, you know, let's not even have it in our culture. Why shouldn't it even be part of what we do? Why should it be part of our actions? Why should we need a knee-jerk reaction, that we have no need to bully?

I understand what you're saying about teaching your kids to stand up for what, you know, what's right, but also standing up for what's right means getting rid of the idea that our culture even allows that.

TOM: Well, I think the issue is, too - I mean, it's animal-based instinct. You look at every other species, they do the same thing. We are sanitizing ourselves to a point where you have to apologize for everything. You have to, I'm so sorry that I said something to hurt your feeling. Grow a backbone. Quite whining about it. You know, for example, the woman who lost her son. I am so sorry to hear that. I had a friend who lost their son, as well, to bullying, however, that friend who lost his son, his son, in my opinion, was weak. How are you going to sit there and let someone bullying caused you to kill yourself? It is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.

CONAN: Tom, I'm going to have to stop there because we're running out of time, and I'm afraid I might react. Anyway, thank you very much for the call.


The ignorance shown by Tom is unbelievable and what is sad he isn't alone.

Tom called the one who commit suicide as "weak" suggested "growing a backbone" and fighting back,

Well that is exactly what some have done by taking guns to school and killing the bully. Is that what Tom wants?

It is usually the unpopular position to take but whenever I hear of a school shooting I ask were they bullied, and if they were I feel the shooter was a victim too.

The ignorance shown by Tom is unbelievable and what is sad he isn't alone. Too many people feel as Tom that bullying is actually good and build character. The only problem is when something goes wrong and one or more young people die.

[link:http://www.npr.org/2012/04/16/150732906/the-ratings-controversy-surrounding-bully|

38 replies, 7232 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why do some Americans think Bullying is OK? (Original post)
SoutherDem May 2012 OP
aquart May 2012 #1
rhett o rick May 2012 #2
killbotfactory May 2012 #3
DeSwiss May 2012 #4
SoutherDem May 2012 #8
nadinbrzezinski May 2012 #5
gratuitous May 2012 #6
abelenkpe May 2012 #7
riderinthestorm May 2012 #9
SoutherDem May 2012 #11
gkhouston May 2012 #10
HiPointDem May 2012 #12
guardian May 2012 #13
SoutherDem May 2012 #14
Cafemommy May 2012 #17
provis99 May 2012 #19
guardian May 2012 #29
LanternWaste May 2012 #38
ProfessionalLeftist May 2012 #15
Cafemommy May 2012 #16
Raine May 2012 #21
OKNancy May 2012 #28
maddezmom May 2012 #34
Ruby the Liberal May 2012 #37
DianaForRussFeingold May 2012 #18
meaculpa2011 May 2012 #20
sendero May 2012 #22
ProfessorGAC May 2012 #24
sendero May 2012 #36
HughBeaumont May 2012 #23
Jennicut May 2012 #25
NNN0LHI May 2012 #26
redqueen May 2012 #27
madokie May 2012 #30
deutsey May 2012 #31
Odin2005 May 2012 #32
varelse May 2012 #33
meaculpa2011 May 2012 #35

Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 11:43 PM

1. This is why I am opposed to happy childhoods.

A child who has never suffered makes a vile excuse for an adult.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 11:46 PM

2. I think Bob Altemeyer in his book "The Authoritarians" explains it very well.

He calls them authoritarians but I call them bullies.

The book is free online.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 11:48 PM

3. Because they are assholes with an eighth grader mentality? nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 11:53 PM

4. ''Why do some Americans think Bullying is OK?''

Probably because they're bullies themselves. As well as the fact that bulling is glamorized and held in high esteem by many in this country. This country's bullies have harassed and intimidated one group after another throughout its existence. Almost all of it with the conscious acquiescence of its people who either agreed with it or were too afraid to object.

- What else could we expect to be the result???

K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DeSwiss (Reply #4)

Fri May 11, 2012, 12:15 AM

8. Thanks,

I love that quote by Dr. West.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 11:59 PM

5. Because we have this idea that suicide is a form of weakness

or a sin.

When I worked on the suicide article for the paper, I did learn that suicide is actually pretty high among Caucasian Whites.

It is much lower in groups with fairly strong taboos.

I think these two are related. Might just propose a bear of an article for the paper on this as well. The last one took three months of pretty intense reading. And as a victim of bullying I have no clue if I want to go there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 12:01 AM

6. Because our society worships violence

We live in the land of the High Church of Redemptive Violence.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 12:07 AM

7. He survived bullying and thinks it's OK

I'm sure he's perpetuated the cycle with his attitude too much like parents who hit their kids because theirs hit them and their parents before them. What is that? Stockholm syndrome?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 12:16 AM

9. Yup, just take a martial arts class and you'll be fine!

"Too many people feel as Tom that bullying is actually good and builds character. "


That just about nails it. They think this is so easily solved by just some perseverance, or karate, or contacting the school admin, or bravely confronting the bullies... or some other bullshit. In this day and age of social media, a pack can quickly form and things can become out of control so fast. Schools are not adapting quickly enough to cope with the new realities.

I am heartsick over the latest group of suicides, or the kid who was expelled because he brought a stun gun to school to try to protect himself when the school wouldn't. Our culture is sick.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #9)

Fri May 11, 2012, 12:31 AM

11. Stun gun at school

If I recall the young man who took the stun gun to school for protection, attempted going to the administration first. The principle said he was a flamboyant dresser and should have expected to be harassed.

That principle should be fired and feel lucky it was a stun gun instead of a real gun and that the young man only wanted to protect himself or there might be several deaths.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 12:24 AM

10. It's the bullies, not the bullied, who need to develop some character.

Tolerating their bad behavior won't achieve that, if you want them to develop good character.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 12:33 AM

12. It's not "some". I think most people think so under the right circumstances. Our entire culture

 

indoctrinates us into bullying, which is the use of power to humiliate the less powerful and make them toe the line.

And training kids not be bullies only goes so far when the culture tells them different.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 12:36 AM

13. What makes you think this is an "American" problem???

 

Bullying occurs in all cultures around the globe. I've personally seen it in Europe, Africa, and Asia. There are assholes in every country and every culture.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to guardian (Reply #13)

Fri May 11, 2012, 12:45 AM

14. I said America

because I was talking about an American movie, the caller was American, the subject of the day was about an American who what to be the American President.
Wasn't meaning to exclude the rest of the planet for such behavior.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to guardian (Reply #13)

Fri May 11, 2012, 03:07 AM

17. ...

Even here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to guardian (Reply #13)

Fri May 11, 2012, 04:17 AM

19. are you talking about yourself?

 

there's a little bit of projectionism going on with you, isn't there?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to provis99 (Reply #19)


Response to guardian (Reply #29)

Fri May 11, 2012, 03:40 PM

38. sometimes it's much easier and less brain consuming to merely trivialize and minimize

"What a load of crap Get out of your mother's basement and see the world"



I imagine you often think that of those whose opinions are different than yours. Sometimes it's much easier and less brain consuming to merely trivialize and minimize the other person rather than addressing any points or issues they may have.




Insert Rationalism For Behavior Here...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 12:51 AM

15. Tom called the one who commit suicide as "weak" suggested "growing a backbone"

= "blame the victim"

We like to do that here, don't we? Victims of DV and rape and other violent crimes are often blamed for their abuse. And it is just as inappropriate as when Tom or anyone else blames victims of bullies.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 03:00 AM

16. Bullying is everywhere.

I started a profile here because I have been bullied by at least two members of this site. I am a Democrat and vote. But because of my family, members here stated that I should have been drowned at birth. No, those members did not even know me, never met me, do not even know my name. But because of my family member, they cheerfully bullied me online. I found the threads with the insults that reduced two of my innocent daughters to tears, after they told me about it, right here on this very forum.

I have reported it over and over to no avail. The members who decided I 'should have been drowned at birth' are popular ones, judging from the amount of posts they have and the friendliness of other members towards them. I don't care. I just want these hurtful personal attacks against me removed at once.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cafemommy (Reply #16)

Fri May 11, 2012, 06:02 AM

21. I'm sorry to read this happened to you. I have found that some of the worst bullies are adults.

There is NO excuse for bullying here or anywhere else. I'm so sorry this happened to you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cafemommy (Reply #16)

Fri May 11, 2012, 08:25 AM

28. Your post is so cryptic, there is no way to know if your complaints are valid.

It would help if you could link the post or even say who your family member is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cafemommy (Reply #16)

Fri May 11, 2012, 10:39 AM

34. could you link the posts?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cafemommy (Reply #16)

Fri May 11, 2012, 03:28 PM

37. Reported what over and over?

And to who?

A link to where this supposedly happened would be helpful.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 03:31 AM

18. Sad!

"As part of the It Gets Better Project, President Obama shares his message of hope and support for struggling with being bullied." President Obama:

"It Gets Better"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 04:49 AM

20. My son was bullied...

by the same bunch of kids in elementary school. When I told the principal he said that he should make an appointment with the school psychologist so he can reconcile his feelings about it. He waited until he found one of the little gentlemen alone and beat the snot out of him. He came home with a few bruises and a fat lip, but his feelings were reconciled.

The bullies just went on to torment some other kid. My wife told him to never fight. Disagree if you please, but I told him that it's okay to defend himself. My job is to see to it that my son doesn't get bullied. The school's job is to see to it that NOBODY gets bullied.

BTW: He got called to the principal's office over the incident.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 06:04 AM

22. Because...

.... they are bullies.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sendero (Reply #22)

Fri May 11, 2012, 06:25 AM

24. I Think It's Simpler Than That

I don't agree that everyone is a bully. Rather, i think most people were never bullied. I wasn't.

Until more recent years, i didn't realize what a social problem this was. Others who weren't bullied, but don't pay attention to social news as much as someone like me (not a self-congratulations) don't get the depth of the issue. So, they are unaware of how bad this problem is and the consequences. And, since it never happened to them, they are not attuned to it.

If i didn't spend time perusing the net and reading DU, i might not know as much as i should. So, in my case, even though i never was bullied, i get the problem.

I don't think people necessarily condone it. I think they simply don't get it.
GAC

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #24)

Fri May 11, 2012, 02:25 PM

36. Fair enough...

....but you have to admit, many Republican politicians are textbook bullies.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 06:20 AM

23. Violence is fucking awesome, that's why!!

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/HughBeaumont/134

Until we stop thinking like the Toms of the world, the bullshit will continue.

Par Example: Just look at the thread this entry comes from. A Progressive site even contains victim-blaming "Toms". Of course, one of them got PPRoni'd for revealing himself to be anti-gay as well as a victim-blamer, but still they flourish.

Assault is a CRIME and should be treated as such. Something you would never put up with for a second as an adult should never be "a part of building character" for our children.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 06:31 AM

25. In a patriarchal society, it is seen as "weak" to let others push you around.

You are a "sissy". A loser, a limp noodle. The reality is that those that are bullied are the strongest people around to be able to put up with being bullied every day at school. Punching out the bully is not the answer. The fact that parents and teachers do nothing teaches the bully that they are right. It does not matter if the bullied kid stands up for him or herself now and then. It is not the children that have the issue, it is that people don't teach kids right from wrong and just let things happen.
I am subbing in schools right now and have seen the bullying up close. As a teacher, you have to step in quickly and defuse the situation. Bullying is NOT okay.
Also, we need to get away from the macho crap our country was built on.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 06:36 AM

26. Its the Reagan way

Simple as that.

Don

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 08:25 AM

27. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:22 AM

30. Only the bullies themselves think that

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:31 AM

31. Our myth of rugged individualism plays a big part, imo

Just as it permeates our economics, the notion of the rugged individualist still deeply influences our social reality, too.

It's at the dark heart of Ayn Rand's babblings.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:36 AM

32. Tom was probably a bully. what an asshole!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 10:34 AM

33. A bully has a good deal of emotional investment

in thinking that his or her own behaviour is normal and acceptable.

Some Americans are bullies, or have been in the past. They would prefer to think the behaviour is justified than to recognize the harm and pain they have inflicted on their victims.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 10:47 AM

35. I was at a friend's wake recently...

when this tall, pale, blubbery guy walks up and says "Hiya Joey" in the most friendly voice you can imagine. I recognized him right away as the young gentleman who tortured me for several years as a pre-teen and adolescent. He was two years older and eight inches taller and he gave me a beating at least once a week. When it was time for high school I decided on a school that was out of the neighborhood, so I rarely saw him again... until this night nearly fifty years later.

I heard a little voice inside my head saying: "Meet him outside. You can take him apart now."

The beating incidents didn't really "scar" me, but I do remember them.

BTW: He was two years older, but still in my grade.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread