We Are a Nation of Bullies

j edgar hoover kisses his dog

J. Edgar Hoover's best friend.

Rush Limbaugh’s years of bullying may have finally caught up with him. His vicious attack on Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student, was over the top even by Limbaugh’s standards. Calling the young woman a “slut” and a “prostitute” for supporting health insurance coverage for contraception has cost the on-air personality and full-time blowhard a number of advertisers, and many hope his radio program as well.

Another conservative personality — blogger, editor and publisher Andrew Breitbart — met an untimely passing just days ago. Praised by the right as a hero who stood up for what he believed in, there is no question he was a warrior for his cause, and was very good at what he did. Meanwhile, African Americans, progressives and others will not fail to mention that Breitbart employed methods of deception and dishonesty to bring about the downfall of ACORN. And he ruined the reputation and career of USDA official and civil rights activist Shirley Sherrod by doctoring a video of a speech she made, falsely portraying her as a hater of white people.

This nation has a love-hate relationship with bullies. In one breath, society condemns bullying. And yet our society thrives on it, encourages it and glorifies it.

America names buildings after its bullies. Take J. Edgar Hoover, one of America’s most notorious villains. The FBI chief destroyed social justice movements, and led a campaign to “prevent the rise of a black Messiah” through his COINTELPRO program. According to one of his purported black relatives, he was also a black man passing for white. Now, that adds a new layer of complexity to his bullying, if it doesn’t actually provide a context to his motivation in declaring a war on black America.

david loveA problem among young people, bullying is a cause of teen suicides and schoolhouse shootouts. First, there is outrage and sadness, then silence, as people resume their daily lives until the next tragedy occurs.

Politicians make a lucrative career out of bullying low income and working people for not being rich, women for wanting control over their own bodies, and Latino immigrants for having brown skin and speaking Spanish.

Bullies make sure that other bullies have as many guns as they want, at home or abroad, making it far easier to shoot someone than to vote for someone. By the way, voter ID laws are a form of bullying against people of color, the poor, students and the disabled.

In today’s rancorous political discourse, bullies are afraid of change and want to impose their will. So they rewrite the textbooks to wipe out Latino studies and all traces of the civil rights movement, and would refight the Civil War to get another shot at victory — a century-and-a-half after the fact. The nation of their dreams is 100 percent white and fully Christian — but in a Talibanic sense, where women are subservient and powerless — so they enact legislation to ban Sharia law and monitor women’s reproductive organs.

Bullies called police officers brutalize and pepper spray protestors practicing nonviolent civil disobedience, and spy on Muslim students outside of their jurisdiction. These bullies frame people for crimes they didn’t commit, and beat scripted confessions out of them.

David A. Love

Bullies also known as district attorneys coerce innocent people into taking a plea. Sometimes, they even send innocent people to death row –just to score more points on the tally sheet — and never have to pay for their crimes.

Now is the time that we all must stand up to these bullies, for our own sake and for America’s future.

 David Love
BlackCommenator 
Published by the LA Progressive on March 7, 2012
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About David A. Love

BlackCommentator.com Executive Editor, David A. Love, JD, is a lawyer and journalist based in Philadelphia, and a contributor to the Progressive Media Project, McClatchy-Tribune News Service, In These Times and Philadelphia Independent Media Center. He contributed to the book, States of Confinement: Policing, Detention, and Prisons (St. Martin's Press, 2000). Love is a former Amnesty International UK spokesperson, organized the first national police brutality conference as a staff member with the Center for Constitutional Rights, and served as a law clerk to two Black federal judges. His blog is davidalove.com.

Comments

  1. I truly hope this is the end of  Limbaugh, but his idiocy always seems to have a platform.

  2. Had a bully in my life…when she pushed me too far I let her have it. I didn’t see her on a regular basis, but she was in a group of people I hung out with. I no longer hang out with those people because she’s still a part of the group, but if the others in the group weren’t going to stand up for me, I knew I’d have to stand up for myself, so I did. No regrets. I’d rather have no friends at all than people who don’t care, but claim they are my friends.

  3. KimClune says:

    Thanks for this. Important, to say the least. Changeable? Not likely. Bullying simply shifts over time, but the bullies are ever-present in some shape or form.

  4. Bullies so often run in packs, clubs and groups. Speaking out against bullies can be a tough call, but it’s vital. Bullying is a problem that won’t go away until people take a good hard look at their friends, family or colleagues behaviour, call a spade a spade, and tell them they are bullies, or tell them to stop, or report them.  The side-line supporters who cheer, or do the bullies beckoning, or simply do nothing at all but remain silent are just as guilty of bullying in my opinion. 

  5. Ernest Koncaba says:

    I have to agree with Vince. There are just as many bullies on the left, but why is it that there is no one willing to call them out?
    Take the fact that a person is supposed to be a natural born citizen, born of 2 natural born citizens, to be able to serve as President. Congress and the House of Repersentitives are all aware that Obama was born of a father who was not a natural born citizen of the United States, but none of them will even broach the subject.

  6. Charles Pixley says:

    The entire nation are victim of deadly costly ugly bullying, theft and even could make the case for genocide. 

    Genocide!  Yes, the allopathic, or standard, pharma, insurance, academic cartel, aggressively and forcefully hold themselves out as the arbiters of truth.  We have an ignorant BRAND-WASHED, after 7 decades of media SCAMPAIGNS, out right bribery of Congress, and the Executive Branch, and control over the FDA.

    If you disagree you’re not paying attention and have swallowed the cool aide. 
    (see my blog for more if  you really want to know)
    There were bullies in my school during the 1960′s, and i am quite certain they were there just as they are today,  But don’t recall suicide and murder that we have today and am convinced beyond a shadow it’s the prescription drugs at the root.Could call it pecking order, although no fan of Darwin, what he would call Natural Selection. Yet another point of bullying, it’s so sad the academia castigates any faculty that doesn’t kneel at his altar.

    Well that’s my $.25 cent rant in echo of agreement with you

    Charles Pixley
    Sovereigh Citizen

  7. Michelle Gilstrap says:

    Very interesting! I must say, I had never thought of some of these ideas and people this way. Glad we can express ourselves in this country.

  8. What, no bullies on the Left?  I’m shocked. (rolls eyes)  So, I suppose Bill Mahar is NOT a bully for saying Elisabeth Hasslebeck should be sent to Egypt to be sexually assaulted instead of the CNN woman reporter who was.  Keith Olberrmann is NOT a bully for calling Bristol Palin the “Worst Person in the World” for her campaign of abstinence.  I’ve heard a local Progressive radio host state that Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh should be “shot”.  That’s not bullying either right?  How about the people who called Whitney Houston “not Black enough”?   And of course, nobody is bullying Sarah Palin.  
     I would have at least had respect for you if you would admit that both sides of the aisles have their bullies. I follow both sides of the spectrum and I frequently see far more belligerence, cursing and bullying from the Left. Just look how the Left butchers Black Conservatives.  David,  if you can’t see that, then your either blind, ignorant or both.

  9. rictownsend says:

    Unfortunately Australia seems to be going down the same path!

  10. This is disgusting and I wish I never read it

  11. Thank God that David was unable to identify a SINGLE bully on the left. It proves that only conservatives are bullies. Heh.

  12. David, I’m glad that you are showing Americans some of their country’s display of “ugly spirit” through history!   I was very shocked to find out that CANCER was cured in 1840 by a horse, and the American Medical Association along with the help of the American government, fought tooth and nail to disprove that discovery, and many other natural cancer cures developed since that time!  America’s “Karmic Debt” accumulated by these unjust actions MUST be paid for, and it’s not a matter of IF,but WHEN!

  13. Great article, David. You’ve stated, in few words, what’s wrong with this country. 

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