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The Media and ‘Bullying’

Written on Friday, October 28, 2011 by

free speech zone

Back in the 1920s, the intelligentsia on both sides of the Atlantic were loudly protesting the execution of political radicals Sacco and Vanzetti, after what they claimed was an unfair trial. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote to his young leftist friend Harold Laski, pointing out that there were “a thousand-fold worse cases” involving black defendants, “but the world does not worry over them.”

Holmes said: “I cannot but ask myself why this so much greater interest in red than black.”

To put it bluntly, it was a question of whose ox was gored. That is, what groups were in vogue at the moment among the intelligentsia. Blacks clearly were not.

The current media and political crusade against “bullying” in schools seems likewise to be based on what groups are in vogue at the moment. For years, there have been local newspaper stories about black kids in schools in New York and Philadelphia beating up Asian classmates, some beaten so badly as to require medical treatment.

But the national media hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. Asian Americans are not in vogue today, just as blacks were not in vogue in the 1920s.

Meanwhile, the media are focused on bullying directed against youngsters who are homosexual. Gays are in vogue.

Most of the stories about the bullying of gays in schools are about words directed against them, not about their suffering the violence that has long been directed against Asian youngsters or about the failure of the authorities to do anything serious to stop black kids from beating up Asian kids.

Where youngsters are victims of violence, whether for being gay or whatever, that is where the authorities need to step in. No decent person wants to see kids hounded, whether by words or deeds, and whether the kids are gay, Asian or whatever.

But there is still a difference between words and deeds — and it is a difference we do not need to let ourselves be stampeded into ignoring. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of speech — and, like any other freedom, it can be abused.

If we are going to take away every Constitutional right that has been abused by somebody, we are going to end up with no Constitutional rights.

Already, on too many college campuses, there are vaguely worded speech codes that can punish students for words that may hurt somebody’s feelings — but only the feelings of groups that are in vogue.

Women can say anything they want to men, or blacks to whites, with impunity. But strong words in the other direction can bring down on students the wrath of the campus thought police — as well as punishments that can extend to suspension or expulsion.

Is this what we want in our public schools?

The school authorities can ignore the beating up of Asian kids but homosexual organizations have enough political clout that they cannot be ignored. Moreover, there are enough avowed homosexuals among journalists that they have their own National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association — so continuing media publicity will ensure that the authorities will have to “do something.”

But political pressures to “do something” have been behind many counterproductive and even dangerous policies.

A grand jury report about bullying in the schools of San Mateo County, California, brought all sorts of expressions of concern from school authorities — but no definition of “bullying” nor any specifics about just what they plan to do about it.

Meanwhile, a law has been passed in California that mandates teaching about the achievements of gays in the public schools. Whether this will do anything to stop either verbal or physical abuse of gay kids is very doubtful.

But it will advance the agenda of homosexual organizations and can turn homosexuality into yet another of the subjects on which words on only one side are permitted. Our schools are already too lacking in the basics of education to squander even more time on propaganda for politically correct causes that are in vogue. We do not need to create special privileges in the name of equal rights.

To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is


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  • Co-opted Confederate

    As the Constitution is some time left open for special interpritation. in order to engineer a society that is more conducive to governmental control. I belive the the namby pamby in vogue groups have an absolute right to be offended!If I offend any one with half a spine and the education of an eith grader. theuy will choose: a, to ignore me, b. avoid me in the future, c. say something to offend me, d. punch me in the mouth or e. call the ACLU, Their congressperson, the Cops the Mayor or hire an attorny. Ya’ll ever think some folks just deserve to be insulted, or worse!

    • Co-opted Confederate

      The “media” is the biggest bully there is cept for the federal govt. They bully any one that reads, hears, sees their one sided version of what is or is not news.

    • Patriot1776

      Far worse than the media is the gay movement. They want to force our children and grandchildren to not only be taught the homosexuality is acceptable, they want them indoctrinated in the classroom. Anyone that speaks out “against” them is accused of hating. Even to voice the christian point of view that homosexuality is a sin, that it is a perversion, yet one should hate the sin and love the sinner as Jesus showed us, is regarded as a hate crime in their point of view. They can spew all kinds of hateful rhetoric toward christians, they can protest our God given right to worship the Creator of the world, but they don’t want us to have the right to say that their sin is wrong.

    • Susan Wilson

      Cite sources about the indoctrination. Please read the source material before you cite the source.

      Please include sources in your comments. Otherwise, it just sounds like hateful rhetoric.

      Thank you.

    • Thomas Beckett

      That is the liberal media’s job in the incremental communist scheme, is to bully everyone into silence by focusing on them and their extremist viewpoints using their big loud stadium speakers to broadcast worldwide who they want to run out of town publicly….yes, they are entirely sinister; especially coming inbto our country to “conquer us on our own soil”. I believe their 9communists) deaths are being planned by many millions of Americans for the right time to use the bullet serum.

    • Bob M

      yes I do

  • Villa Merkle

    I don’t watch television or it’s news, MSM Radio puppets the teletype, same news as television and the Newspapers lie as they are owned by the same Oligarchs as Television and Radio!

    The only news I find to be realistic is from Indepedent Sources!

    Overseas news media knows what is going on in America, better than our old MSM sources!

    Alex Jones, showed a video tonight Oct. 28 – of a 3 year old child in Sirte Libya, getting it’s lower mandevil blown right off and the child held it’s arms out in total panic and pain, as if to say,”Why, Why!”, then it cuts to a News Clip of Barack Obama saying, “What a successful mission he called for in Sirte, Libya!”

    All the people involved in this tyranny and the IMF who are royally suckering the money out of Germany and Greece, absolutely make me sick!

    How long will it be before they are doing these things to us and our children? Go look at it!

    We should be absolutely no trust in our criminal government, that we have and we should be renting an Island somewhere – that our criminal Govt. doesn’t have juristiction over and using it to train a peoples Republic Democratic Army of Self-Defence for American citizens!
    The Globalists’ have taken over the military our tax dollars pay for!

    God help us – I don’t believe we are going to be able to win by simply voting out these Government tyrants!

    They work not for us but for the absorbanantly wealthy, Shadow Government in the pursuit of “One World Totalitarian” Government!

  • nvrpc

    National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association — just another terrorist organization on US soil that needs to be eradicates like the UN, ACLU, NAMBLA, IANSA, and the Brady Campign. All these organizations aid in America’s demise and always will because the represent the worse that mankind has to offer. Hopefully they are all doomed to HELL and will burn for eternity.

    • http://x Washington22

      The bible lays out the issue and we know what the punishment is………… I think you’re right.

    • Jonathan Gartner

      What do expect from the media I am involved with education I see the nasty bullies attack the nice kids all the time but if the bullies are the “right colour” they get no punishment even if the victims are their own race. This goes to the Unions and the liberal going hand in hand destroying our schools.

    • Susan Wilson

      Wow, instead of trying to win these folks to the Lord, you want to damn them to hell to burn for eternity.

      What happened to love the sinner, hate the sin?

      How very unloving and uncaring you are. I’m so glad Jesus had the time and compassion to go to the places sinners were and ministered to them.

      Just as someone who was compassionate and loving came to me and cared enough to minister to me.

      I wonder why some folks who represent Christianity have to sound so un-Christian?

  • Randy131

    Obama is said to be destroying the USA through financially bankrupting it, and in doing so will make the dollar worthless, therefore fermenting riots and chaos in our streets, with no government control except to fire on American citizens, which will create a true uprising in an effort by patriots to restore this country to what the Founding Fathers left as our true heritage. When all this comes about, if it does, the French Revolution will look like a kids war games, for the blood will flow very deep in our streets and all these privileged groups will be exterminated, at least the ones the public can identify. So let them have their day now, for when Obama and the Democrats get done with their ‘CHANGE”, the real and deadly change won’t be far behind.

  • funu50401

    What ever happened to, “Sticks and stones may brake my bones, but words will never harm me?”

  • am2sweet

    The mainstream media who is supposedly helping push programs against bullying needs to attend those programs themselves. They do as much bullying as the people they accuse of being bullys. That seems to be the way of all libs and gays. Bully or mistreat anyone that doesn’t agree with you.

  • Wolf Sage

    Americans must demand restoration of Freedom of the Press at ABC CBS NBC CNN — these main-stream-media giants were taken over by liberals when Bill Clinton became President in 1992

    Clinton removed the FCC Rule that prevented Hollywood entertainment (movie, games, & music) companies from owning news companies! As soon as the FCC Rule was removed Warner Bros bought CNN, Paramount bought CBS, Universal bought NBC, and Disney bought ABC – and – ever since then: the civil, moral, economic, educational, and religious fabric of the United States has been deteriorating under the relentless bombardment of propaganda from the communists and homosexual militants who dominate and control the movie industry.

    Boycott the advertisers on ABC CBS CNN NBC and stop renting movies and stop going to movie theaters!

    • Roy S. Mallmann II

      That is the best idea that I have heard as of late. I never really thought about how it happened but that was it. A true Eureka moment. These loud mouthed liberals are not the brightest in the bunch and for the most part they can’t see past the immediate future. They do not realize that every action has a equal an opposite reaction. The reason we had equality in this country was when you pass a law to benefit one class of people you do it at the expense of another.

    • Patriot1776

      There is no longer equality in this country. Special rights and consideration are mandated in all government contracts, and all laws. A white contractor can be refused a governement contract because he is white, preference is given to minority contractors. There are many organizations in this country that are racially biased, NAACP, the United Negro College Fund, there is a latino college fund, all organizations that provide special help based on race. Try and start a “United White College Fund” and see how fast you are attacked from every direction. How about a National Straight Christians organization? Do you suppose that you would be given equal treatment?

      As long as the description of any candidate or any organization contains a racial description, this country will not have equality.

    • Running Elk


    • Patriot1776

      If we would all stand together and demand truth and morality on TV we could use our capitalist system to change what we are given. If we were to stop watching ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and they would start loosing advertising dollars, they would turn around or go away.

  • tweety

    Bullying has been around forever and probably always will. I can remember a particular guy that used to tease me and I couldn’t stand it, but I managed to live through it unscathed. Kids get older and wiser. It usually takes two for this game and if kids are taught the proper tools to cope, we can eliminate a lot of this. I think the comments are correct that say that now that homosexuals have joined in the game, all the attention is focused on them. You’d think the majority of kids fell into this category when only a VERY small percentage of people are homosexual. You’d never know it from the media exposure on this subject.

  • Wolf-Talker

    Government control and sensorship controlling the media, what a wonderful Idea!
    Let us strive to remove all the hateful, spitefull and any words that might offend anyone from our language, it would improve everything!, right!!!!!!

    • Dan in NH

      The set of words you can use change depending what party is in control. The courts are out of control. They are changing the constitution by legal rulings. We need to expunge all liberal judges from the bench. Liberals are like Muslims they don’t take oaths seriously. The judges are supposed to uphold and defend the constitution. They are supposed to be objective and impartial. They aren’t supposed to taint the rulings with their own personal feelings. Obama is out of control he’s acting like a dictator. He needs to be removed before its too late.

    • Stan

      I am certainly against government control and censorship. However, I do believe in Truth in reporting;,there are cases where the government should step in with criminal charges against obvious cases of intentional deception.

      For example: Remember the story MSNBC told the world that a “White Supremacist” showed up at a Pro Health Care reform rally, armed with an AR15 assault rifle; because of hatred for a black President? MSNBC intentionally cropped the photo of the man, showing only his back from the neck to his waist, with the rifle showing. Leading people to believe this man was a racist. And they were alarmed that the Police who were present didn’t arrest that man. The full photo was shown on FOX news, and FOX interviewed the man. The man was Black; he was carrying the rifle because his state passed right to Carry laws; and he was demonstrating his right to Keep and Bear Arms! MSNBC intentionally lied to America, and passed it off as the truth. This is criminal activity on the part of MSNBC; and they should be held accountable for it. All news agencies who intentionally deceive the public should be held accountable.

  • tod

    The Media is the real enmey ,and we all should be marching on them instead of New York or Washington !

  • FlaJim

    Am I the only one who recognizes that the real ‘bullies’ are these sex perverts? We normal people use words and they respond with vandalism and death threats. It’s about time we stood up and said, “No! We won’t stand for any more of your antics and hissy fits. You’re not normal and we don’t want you around us and particularly our children who you’re trying to recruit.”

    It’s way past time we started putting these offensive people in their place — out of sight and out of mind.

    • Running Elk


  • Idylewylde

    The ACLU defends the KKK and Nazi Party under Freedom of Speech. But so much as go near the homosexual issue, and the ACLU will sue you into bankruptcy,

    Conclusion: The ACLU is comprised of gay Nazis with pink swastikas emroidered on their favorite linens.

  • Ann Wilson Kingsley

    Homosexuality is not a natural condition like race. It is a short coming like being a thief, adulterer, liar, or a murderer. That people in general would speak against homosexual behavior is appropriate: It is not hate speech, and when homosexual behavior is condoned it destroys society and reduces the human condition to the depths of degradation. The natural condition is heterosexual with strong family units, not homosexual behavior and mass fornication.

    • Running Elk


  • CapitalistFool

    Thank you! I have always considered the “bullying” rave to be a bunch of bull!

    Please note, although the article was written by Thomas Sowell, the byline says Michelle Malkin.

    • DELS

      My guess is Michelle Malkin wrote it but the footnote is wrong. (She’s of Asian extraction.)

  • Olesarge

    The Russian newspaper, Pravda (English Edition), lamenting America ‘s descent into Marxism…

    American capitalism gone without a whimper


    Source: Pravda.Ru

    It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Socialism/Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

    True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Socialists/Marxists.

    Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

    First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”.  Pride blindeth the foolish.

    Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, theirflocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power.  Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America .

    The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America ‘s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

    These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the sheer volumes. Should we congratulate them?

    These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

    Then came Barack Obama’s command that GM’s (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of “pure” free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will.  Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

    So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a “bold” move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK’s Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our “wise” Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

    Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper…but a “freeman’s” whimper.

    So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set “fair” maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses?  Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort.   He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

    The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible.  In other words, divest while there is still value left.

    The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

    Stanislav Mishin

    The article has been reprinted with the permission from the author

  • Daniel

    I was bullied in school. It stopped the day I just lost it and beat the sh&% out of the bully from that day forward I had no problems. My family moved a lot some years I would go to three schools. After I learned how to stop bullying it was not so bad.

    I am not politically correct never was never will be. I will tell my relatives to jump right in the bullies face and don’t quite until he cry’s or you are pulled off,then call me. if it continues get a couple friends to help.
    I know this is not what schools teach, It is the only thing that works the first time.

    • Co-opted Confederate

      Yer Right ON there Daniel. Been there my self. Bullies only understand one thing(Severe Pain in the groin). Once I was suspended from school for defending an 8 year old girl from being molested by a 15 year old bully who was also a pervert. I never could figure out why may be because i kicked him a few time or maybe where i kicked him. But he never bothered any one after that. (I think he still needs to sit down to pee). I got hugs and kisses from the little girl and her parents took me out to diner and a movie. , My dad threatened the school superentendant and they let me back in school and gave me C’s for the three days I missed. The bully got nothing except what I gave him . Go Figger huh!

  • Gas Passer

    The gays need to be bullied back into the closet.

    I’m tired of these freaks of nature.

    I’m sick of watching queers on tv.

    I’m sick of politicians kissing queers asses who pass laws that shouldn’t be passed for them. The politicians sold their souls to the devil.

    Bully the freaks of nature back into the closets where they belong!

    • Kay

      Gas Passer, where’d ya get the classy name? Well, couldn’t help but read the rant you wrote about gays and bullying them back into the closet. Sounds like you might just be a bit uncomfortable with your sexuality and maybe a little worried about letting go with your hunting buddy.Let go and live out your fantasy, because nobody will see ya’ll way out in the woods.

    • Johnnygard

      Kay, With that logic, does it mean that those of us that hate liberalism really want to be liberals?

    • Robert R

      Gas Passer, so much hostility. Why do you have so much hate in you? Ranting about the gays, what about the leaders of the church whoh have molested boys and are just now being found out about? Is that OK with you or are you just sometimes horrified by the gays to fit your own agenda? This kind of hatred you have should be channeled thru some other means of your self entertainment.

  • pcsrocky

    Bullying has gone on in between people, adult and child, since time began. How else do you get wars? You can change or create all the laws you want. You can have 100’s of hours of “therapy” an if the underlying thinking is not changed you will still have bullies. Fighting is still bullying. I don’t know or have the “right” answer. Bullying is sometimes called “ribbing” or “kidding” around. Another form of bullying is discrimination. You can’t legislate discrimination away, it still exists. You can try to change the laws and the language but, again, if you don’t change the thought, it doesn’t matter.

    In a meeting between departments at a former emplayer of mine, I was bullied. The manager of another department, I had to work with them, shouted, swore, and ridiculed me in front of my management. My management said not a word. My management was intimidated, as he meant them to be. However, my response to him was a quietly stated comment that when things went wrong, as I knew they would, I would give the people calling to complain his number. He could then explain why $250,000 components were being destroyed, fires were starting, and materials were flying – at great velocity- through the air unexpectedly. I lost respect for both the “bully” and my management that day and never really got it back.

  • Roy S. Mallmann II

    Any organization that has race or a nationality in their name needs to be outlawed. Every law that benefits any class or group of people over another needs to be eliminated. Any law that provides a set-a-side or benefit for any single group needs to be eliminated. We need to end the “Freedom of The Press” protections for any organization that presents biased news or reporting. “Freedom of the Press” exists to protect the people from the tyranny of the government, not to promote it like they do now. Either these news readers are just plain ignorant as they repeat out and out lies and do not challenge them, or their liberal bias is so strong that they do it on purpose.

  • Gloria Wedemeyer

    It is no wonder today’s kids can be bullies.
    Look what the liberal media does and the do-gooders do. The tea party was called hostage takers, etc. Why can’t news just report on the facts. Like with the jobs bill, it was all blamed on the republicans even though it didn’t pass the democrats Senate. State the true facts and let the people decide. And also look what Obama does, he blames everyone and everything for the way the country runs. Just want to remind people, Socialism is a great idea til you run out of other people’s money.

  • Ray

    In the news today, the use of the word obamacare is no longer right it is against the law. The resources of money and time were great but the liberal’s succeeded. More bullying not to mention obummer is now debating on vaccinating our children for anthax. There are big issues at hand and the liberal media is not reporting it but supporting it. It’s time for a real change.