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

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