Yesterday, when I was arguing with a liberal he told me I was entirely too harsh in my assessment of today’s youth. He told me specifically that I needed to be aware of the fact that in 21st Century America one out of five boys gets bullied in school on a “regular basis.” I don’t know where he got that statistic but it really made me ashamed of my country. We need to do better. When I was a kid back in 20th Century America everyone got bullied in school. Those really were the good old days.
My most memorable experience with bullying came during the 1972-73 school year when I was a student at Whitcomb Elementary School in Clear Lake City, Texas. The highlight of the year was Mrs. Ogden who was a total babe (sorry for the antiquated language but I’m telling a story about the 1970s). The lowlight of the year was dealing with some punk named Brian who sat next to me during the last part of the spring semester. Brian was constantly bragging about how tough he was – probably because he was short and had a Napoleon complex.
Eventually, Brian’s bragging about his fighting ability got old – even for Brian. So, one day, he challenged me to a fight on a specific day at a specific time in the schoolyard. Like a wimp, I faked being sick that day so I could stay home and avoid the confrontation. That strategy backfired. After wimping out on my scheduled confrontation with Brian he issued another challenge. And that led to another absence from school, which was excused by another fake illness. My mother was beginning to catch on.
Fortunately, the end of the year was near and I got to spend the summer at home and away from the bully in my second grade class. My parents even sent me to a baseball camp at nearby San Jacinto College where I would be instructed by real college baseball players. I wasn’t aware that Brian’s best friend Mike would be attending the same baseball camp.
I wasn’t really expecting it when Mike came up behind me and shoved me in front of a bunch of the other little league players – many of whom were also my schoolmates. But the second I turned around and saw him I knew that he had shoved me for one reason and one reason only: His best friend Brian had told him I was a wimp who wouldn’t stand up to a bully. So I did the only thing I could do under the circumstances. I punched him in the mouth.
After Mike put his hand to his mouth and realized he was bleeding there was a real look of horror on his face. So I punched him again – this time in the nose. And after Mike sunk to his knees and started waving his hands in surrender I began to hit him with a barrage of uppercuts until he was lying on his back in the middle of the outfield crying like a little girl.
The next spring when I was standing in line for a snow cone after a game in Bay Area Park I saw Mike and Brian in the line ahead of me. Mike acknowledged me and asked if everything was “cool” between us. After I told him it was “cool” Mike turned to Brian and said “He really beat the crap out of me last summer.” So we all became friends and no one bullied anyone after that.
That’s how we dealt with bullying when I was a kid. Someone picked on someone until he got fed up and learned that he had to defend himself. It was all a part of learning to be a man. When the inevitable fight was over the bully and the bullied became friends. And no one really contemplated shooting up the school in retaliation.
But today things are different. The state is increasingly seeing itself as the agent responsible for stopping bullying. And they are increasingly interested in monitoring bullying throughout all levels of the educational process. At my university, there is actually a guide that directs students to various government resources that can help students who are experiencing bullying.
Interestingly, the guide defines bullying as “the act of intimidating a weaker person to make them [sic] do something.” Since other campus programs focus on the disproportionate bullying of homosexuals this seems to be a tacit admission that homosexuals are indeed “weaker person(s).” In other words, the implications of their approach to this topic have not been well-thought-out. Few things are “thought” through in higher education today. People generally “feel” their way through problems.
Speaking of educators, they are the ones most likely to jump on the anti-bullying bandwagon. And when they do there is always a plethora of recommendations and strategies focusing on government intervention – all organized within the framework of our public schools and funded by the over-burdened taxpayer.
Some people believe the government should stop bullying because we have so many defenseless effeminate young men in the public school system. But I believe we have so many defenseless effeminate young men in the public school system because people believe the government should protect them from bullying. That’s the difference between the liberals and me. And I’m pleased to offer my advice at no expense to the taxpayer.
Put simply, the question of whether one will or will not be bullied is largely a matter of choice. You can either remain the boy who is bullied or you can become the man who fights back. I don’t think the former are restricted by what is in their genes. More likely, it’s just what’s missing in their jeans.