This year marks the 30th anniversary of my graduation from high school. I’m not sure if there will be a reunion (or if I’ll even be invited after the last reunion where I got arrested streaking through the restaurant…no, wait, that happened last Tuesday), but one thing I do know for sure is school has changed a lot from when I was a student. One area that has changed the most is bullying. Back in my day, I was bullied by some of my peers for being a geek, but not to the level we’re seeing today from peers and adults.
The recent shooting in Parkland, Florida, has brought out bullies from both sides, but it seems the standards for calling it out are vastly different. We’re told not to lash out at students like David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez for expressing their opinions (in favor of taking away people’s guns because fee-fees), but some of these same people lash out at students like Kyle Kashuv for expressing their opinions (in favor of allowing people to keep guns because they didn’t shoot anybody). But what constitutes bullying?
Glad you asked because otherwise this was going to be a boring edition of the Leftist Lexicon. Although we’ve already explored this topic previously, recent events involving the school shooting survivors merit a revisit.
What the Left thinks it means – attacking, insulting, or harassing people weaker than you
What it really means – insulting a Leftist’s sensibilities, even if he or she wasn’t the target (does not apply to non-Leftists)
The Left’s view on bullying really relies on its perception of itself as perpetual victims. After all, if you’re a victim of The Man, nothing is ever your fault. The wage gap? It’s because of rich white men wanting to keep women down. Racism? Rich white men wanting to keep people of color down. Stubbed your toe on your bedpost? Rich white men wanting to kill you! Okay, I made that last one up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not something that’s crossed Leftists’ minds at one point or another.
As you can see, the Left sees rich white men as the eternal victimizers, which might explain why they hate Donald Trump so much, but that’s a blog entry for a different time. When put into this power dynamic, anyone who pushes back against the Leftist narrative, they become rich white men. (If that’s true, I think I’ve been missing a few payments from the Rich White Men League.) In the Leftist mindset, that makes it perfectly fine to bully those who aren’t like them while making it a mortal sin to bully those who are.
As I’ve said more than a few times, the Left isn’t known for logical consistency.
Of course, the threshold for what the Left considers bullying is lower than a centipede’s heels. I will be the first to admit there are some asshats out there who have made some vile comments towards David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, and their ideological peers because a) I’ve seen some of them, and b) politics has become a mean, ugly thing. Need proof? Just look at what Hogg, Gonzalez, and their ideological peers have called the NRA. Having said that, most of what is being called bullying by the Left is…tame. Mennonites telling “Yo Mama” jokes are harsher than most of the comments directed at the March For Our Lives crowd.
On the other side of the spectrum, check out all the vitriol lobbed at one of Hogg and Gonzalez’s classmates, Kyle Kashuv. Within the past week or so, Kashuv has been subjected to allegations he’s mentally unstable levied by Kurt Eichenwald (who I believe actually is mentally unstable judging from his Twitter feed), an attack on Kashuv and his prom date by senior advisor to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (only to have this same person accuse Kashuv’s supporters of bullying her after she bullied his date and him), and had to endure the Second Amendment dumbassery of Piers Morgan in a Twitter exchange and on “Good Morning Britain”. And that’s on top of the usual vitriol Kashuv gets directly and indirectly from the Left. And, as you might expect, the ratio of good people to asshats is inverse to what Hogg, Gonzalez, and the other Marchers have.
But here’s the thing: the asshats are the bullies, regardless of their political affiliation. I freely admit I am on Kashuv’s side of the gun control debate, but I don’t seek out gun control advocates on his behalf to browbeat them with constant banter. That doesn’t solve the problem. Hogg, Gonzalez, and others like them may have bad intentions with guns, but that doesn’t give us the moral authority to paint them as pure evil. That makes us no better than the Leftists going after Kashuv, and it will perpetuate the bullying problem we continue to see in schools today. And remember this. The Parkland shooter was bullied before he decided to shoot students at the school. Imagine how many lives could have been saved if someone had stood up to the bullies and befriended the shooter.
And this isn’t limited to the students. Adults need to take a step back and lead by example. Sure, you may think David Hogg is as slimier than Kurt Eichenwald’s ideal first date, but haranguing him or his fellow students on the gun control side won’t make him change his mind. That comes with time, patience, and understanding. The same goes for adults who think Kyle Kashuv is an NRA puppet. If you want to change his mind, present the argument with respect and let the chips fall where they may. And for the love of Pete, don’t go personal against either side. Remember each one of these students, pro and anti gun control, have gone through a horrific event and will not react the same way to the aftermath. And the fact they’re all teenagers yet means we need to cut them a bit of slack. I remember how I was when I was their age and I was a dumbass.
Above all else, instead of marching for lives, march up to someone being bullied and stand up to the bullies. Sometimes all it takes is an open hand extended in friendship to open a heart and change a life. And to borrow a Leftist phrase, if it saves even one life…