Last Thursday, Nov. 3, was the “International Day against Violence and Bullying,” as declared by UNESCO. According to verywellmind.com, “Bullying is the repeated infliction of harm or distress on another person with the intent to control, intimidate, or otherwise damage another.”
We have all been witnesses to bullies. Some of us have been bullied, and some have been bullies.
Verywellmind.com lists seven common reasons why people bully.
1. They Have Emotional Trauma
2. They’re Insecure
3. They’ve Been Bullied
4. They Have Poor Social Skills
5. They Feel Anonymous
6. They Lack Empathy
7. It’s Learned Behavior
Bullying is quite common in elementary through high school. But adults and organizations can also use bullying tactics.
I related one example in my column last week, where protesters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison harassed — read bullied — a man reading Bible passages. A video shows one person banging on a can next to the Christian’s face as another blares a siren next to him.
In this instance, perhaps the bullies felt insecure about their views and could not allow others to express a different opinion.
Sometimes leaders in power ask others to be bullies. In June 2018 California Democrat Maxine Waters told her supporters in Los Angeles, “If you see anybody from that Cabinet [President Donald Trump’s Cabinet] in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them! And you tell them that they are not welcome, anymore, anywhere.”
Also, in 2018, New Jersey Democrat Senator Cory Booker told his followers to “get up in the face of some congress people.”
I wonder if some school bullies learned to bully from the many examples in the news.
These tactics are nothing compared to the those of two far-left groups during the Trump presidency — Antifa and Black Lives Matter. They took over Portland, Oregon, in 2020 with over 100 consecutive days of riots.
There are no limits for Antifa. In the fall of 2019, members of this progressive group blocked the path of an elderly woman using a walker when she wanted to listen to a conservative politician at a college in Ontario, Canada.
Obviously, Antifa members have poor social skills.
Social media has allowed many would-be bullies to issue death threats from the comfort of their homes to politicians, judges, or anyone with a differing point of view.
In February, the New York Times reviewed more than 75 indictments of people charged with threatening lawmakers with violence and death since 2016. According to the story, the “threats have come in almost every conceivable combination: Republicans threatening Democrats, Democrats threatening Republicans, Republicans threatening Republicans.”
These are obviously disturbed individuals.
Many of us choose to live in a rural community for several reasons. One of them is to get away from inner-city crime. Another is to distance ourselves from disturbed idiots who threaten people.
I like to think we are better than that. Apparently not.
I have been made aware that at a friend of mine — a Democrat supporter — has received a direct and violent threat because of their political leanings.
I believe anyone who threatens or bully others because they are on the other side of the political aisle should be ridiculed and arrested if a crime was committed.
It makes no difference if it’s in Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Portland or in Gasconade County; bullying has no place in a civilized society.
I may disagree with the ideas that the Democrat party espouses, but I believe in their right to express their views in public and this newspaper. They also deserve the ability to do this without the threat of reprisals.
It’s up to us in the rural communities of America to show the rest of the country how to disagree in a civilized manner.