Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bullying in America in 2016

Bullying:  a term most people believe is reserved for kids/teens in school and online.  Kids commit suicide because of it.  Teachers are trained to spot it and in steps to stop it.  Kids are trained how to respond as bystanders:  See Something, Say Something.

Yet, it is not reserved for the young.  Back in the early 90s I believe Jerry Springer first said it was ok by modeling it on his "talk show," and I use the term extremely loosely.  I refused to ever watch it; the clips I saw of ADULTS throwing chairs at each other and having virtually every word bleeped out told me all I needed to know about it.  This was the precursor to the bullying we have today.

The internet has made it even easier to anonymously hide one's face while bullying.  Models who don't meet someone's "definition" of beautiful are harassed; a Chinese beauty queen in the Miss America pageant is labeled as too "ugly" to be a contestant;  adults who disagree with one's political views are bullied on Facebook; indeed, presidential candidates have bullied their opponents' spouses and even LOOKS during the primary.    It spans ages and socio-economic spectrum. 

This past week an acquaintance from my hometown posted about the elder George Bush voting for Hillary.  The Bush camp never denied it; they said whom he voted for would be private.  Let's be clear:  1.  It is no secret how close Presidents Bush and Clinton are.  2.  It is no secret how candidate Trump trashed Jeb (and all of his opponents, for that matter).  3.  The Bush camp did not deny the story.  I was merely stating this in response to my friend's post.  And.I.was.attacked.by.two.middle-aged.white.men.I.don't.personally.know. So, when my friend posted last night that he had let go a "few" "casual acquaintances," I immediately knew which two he meant.  A quick check confirmed it was those two.

In the last month I have done the same.  After the "kneeling during the anthem" protest, I posted something that Dabo Swinney said in reference to it.   This former Gamecock co-worker whose husband is a retired Marine pilot attacked Dabo and the NFL player's right to kneel.  Bye-Bye GC!  This was not the first time she vehemently attacked a post on MY page, so it was the last straw.  I asked myself:

1.  When was the last time I saw you or spoke to you:  can't remember
2.  Is there value to our cyber "acquaintanceship"?  uh, no

I did the same a year or two into Obama's administration.  There was one good "christian" woman from my former church whose sole FB purpose was to trash the President.  Now, I never voted for him, but I can not tolerate an onslaught of hate-filled speech, albeit her right to do so.   She is another one who can't intelligently discuss issues, so not only did I unfriend her, but I blocked her.  I don't want to see her postings, nor do I want her attacking what I may nicely comment on someone else's post.  So, bye-bye Mrs. J!

Unfortunately, this election has upped bullying to a new level and even made it fashionable and blase.
When you have THE nominee of a major political party trashing his fellow candidates, including belittling one woman's (Carly Fiorina's) looks as well as the looks of the wife of another (Heidi Cruz), something is wrong, folks.  It certainly appeared that this bullying attracted throngs of people to him because his behavior said it was ok.   

This American society in 2016 is a sad commentary.  We have to look for good stories to read because everywhere we look,, we are bombarded by the evil and petty.

It doesn't appear it will get better any time soon.  As happened when Obama became President, I predict that the nastiness will escalate after the election.


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