Bullying is pervasive in our culture

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I appreciate Dan Haley bringing the subject of bullying to our attention [Bullying leads to fall at OPRF, News, Oct. 30].

But what hope is there for handling this painful, destructive problem when our nation was founded on bullying and continues to accept it as normal in our culture? Those great Spanish Conquistadors, whose names we memorize in elementary school, practiced genocide on the native people wherever they went, often not even for gold but just because they could and they chose to.

Enslaving the peoples of Africa to do our farm work? I think we could safely call that bullying. And to jump forward over an awful lot of other examples from our history, today we are completely in love with pirates! Pirates were not the same as Robin Hood; they did not steal from the rich to give to the poor. Pirates stole from anyone, just for themselves, just because they wanted to! Pirates didn't even threaten; by definition, they actually raped, murdered, stole and kidnapped.

On Halloween, many mothers all over this nation dressed their sweet little boys as pirates and we all say how cute they are. In Disneyworld one can float calmly past a diorama of puppet pirates burning down towns, chasing women round and round like they're all having fun, and lying drunken and happy and satisfied.

And then there's the robbery and destruction of this country's economy by Wall Street and giant corporations — because they can and they choose to. How about the bullying and serious threats to the entire nation by the Tea Party?

Until we see the cultural problem here, bullying will continue to be taught in our movie theaters and history books and taken for granted as a right of the strong over the vulnerable in the U.S. of A.

Marti Matthews

Oak Park

Reader Comments

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Neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: November 9th, 2013 9:27 PM

Sanctimonious drivel, a lot of these comments.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: November 9th, 2013 6:24 PM

Good Lord, people. Really, stop it! You're getting flat out silly. Everything, apparently in some people's minds, boils down to "bullying." Get real.

Violet Aura  

Posted: November 9th, 2013 12:15 PM

@Speedway: That is total bull. And so where did THOSE kids learn to bully? Parents are the first teachers and children who bully ususally have had the same done to them, just like other negative behaviors. And parental bullying can take many forms, including ridicule, excessive criticism, pressure to achieve, favoring one child over another, and even addiction, which may render the parents abusive under the influence and maybe not whilst sober.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 9th, 2013 11:36 AM

To be a bully is a choice. Most of us learned right from wrong. Most of us are kind and get no satisfaction out of taking advantage of others. Children may learn from their parents but they learn far more from their friends. Say "no" to bullying.


Posted: November 9th, 2013 6:53 AM

Bullying occurs are all levels and corners of society. There are adult bullies in OP and of course, the apple does not fall from tree. Expect it to grow - both tech makes it easy and there is a societal shift occuring in which many who were solid middle class wont be and parents blame everyone else for their shortcomings. This manifest low self esteem and bullying.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 9th, 2013 6:22 AM

Bullying is about power and low self esteem.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 11:14 PM

I may be misreading your comment but it doesn't seem you would call yourself a bully or someone who bullied others. If you have an interest in learning more about the topic, I recommend Barbara Colorosa's 2004 book "The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander".

bullying is learned at home?  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 10:49 PM

i smoked cigarettes though my parents both hated the smell of smoke...i said words and picked up bad habits that were not acceptable thus not used at home. how has everyone forgot what it is to be a kid and knowingly doing wrong behind your parent's back? truth is, you don't know what a kid is taught at home sometimes without meeting the parent. plenty of hellraisers came from good homes with parents that ran out of ideas. i know i was 1 and now people say i was raised well..

M120 from Oak park  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 10:40 PM

I think the heteronormative tone of this article including the gendering of "mothers" (not fathers) as dressing their "boys" (not girls) as pirates is bullying.


Posted: November 8th, 2013 9:05 PM

Marti, I see your teasing of parents that allow their children to dress as pirates as bullying. Thanks for being a bully

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 6:47 PM

Bullying is learned in the home and brought into the classroom and workplace where it must be confronted as unacceptable behavior. Better to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and fill your heart with love and peace.

What?? from Oak Park  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 4:39 PM

Sorry, Ms Matthews. Your gratuitous attempt to equate the Tea Party in any of this proves you are not a serious person. Idiotic drivel. Please attempt an original thought at some point.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 3:54 PM

Marti forgot to mention the ultimate act of bullying, abortion. As well as Sen. Robert Bryd being not only part of the KKK while a senator, bur being part of middle management of the KKK. King Daley II bulldozing Meigs Field in the middle of the night is classic bullying.


Posted: November 8th, 2013 1:59 PM

Serioulsy pirates are bullies and the Pirate ride at disney/ halloween costumes contribute to bullying somehow? Give me a break with your broad brush I am sure you could paint every character on every TV show as a bully in some way.

SGT Hulka from US Army  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 1:42 PM

Lighten up, Marti.

Real List  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 12:37 PM

@Keep makes an interesting point and brings to mind the argument for reparations...shouldn't the tribes who conquered, chained, then sold people into slavery be the FIRST on the list of reparations? The distribution hubs and suppliers? All that gold and fine goods + 500 years of solid investment gains should mean a windfall for all.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 11:57 AM

"Enslaving the peoples of Africa to do our farm work? I think we could safely call that bullying." What utter nonsense. Bullying is bullying and kidnapping and enslavement is kidnapping and enslavement. Bullying needs to be confronted, but lumping it in with every other atrocity ever committed just clouds the issue. Unless I've missed something and bullies at OPRF are now selling underclassmen into slavery.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 11:42 AM

Of course, no mention of all the millions killed by socialist and communist far left regimes. Or the bullying done by the left if you don't subscribe to whatever their cause du jour happens to be.

Keep it honest from Oak Park  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 11:37 AM

Why did you neglect to mention the Aztecs who practiced human sacrifice? That seems a bit like bullying to me. Or how about the Africans who sold their fellow brothers into slavery? Also, sounds like bullying. As for the pirate thing and the Tea Party, all I can say is "Oh brother...."

Religious Ed 101  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 11:29 AM

It is called the paradox of the human condition. Pray on it. We do have free will and some people use it for evil, others use it for good and peace. Focus on those people who do good.

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