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Stand up to bullies

To the Editor:

I’ve hated bullies ever since I was a little kid, so was happy when the Northwest Herald ran its series recognizing that bullying doesn’t end on the school playground. But if we don’t identify where it begins and acknowledge its acceptance and prevalence in our society, I don’t see how we can reduce it.

Bullying is the handmaiden of a sense of entitlement that has been with us throughout our patriarchal history. In America alone, look at what the white male sense of superiority and entitlement gave us – near annihilation of native Americans, enslavement of African blacks, relegation of women to chattel, etc.

This quest for power permeates our society. It exists in homes when an abusive parent or child runs herd over everyone else; in the workplace when grown people act like ’tweens, forming cliques that ridicule and target others; in the media when rude and pugnacious talk-show hosts insult and belittle those who disagree with them; in churches that hold themselves up as exclusive purveyors of true Christianity so not only to dictate to their own members but try to politically impose their religious will on society; in businesses when they claim their religious rights should outweigh the individual rights of their employees so they deny health care coverage for what they disapprove of; when our government trumps up false charges against another country to justify war.

If we don’t start standing up to bullies, we won’t be able to teach our children better. We took a first step as a nation when we re-elected President Barack Obama. Let’s hope he stands strong and doesn’t cave to any more bullying from Congress.

Nancy Peterson

Prairie Grove


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