I’ve been neglecting my blog for quite some time – “real life” can really interfere with my social media and internet addiction.
It’s definitely time for me to start expressing myself here once again. This tiny corner where I share my thoughts helps put a lot of issues into perspective, and it is simply a comfortable place to VENT sometimes.
There are so many interesting topics surrounding our daily lives. We are living history every day – AMAZING, SCARY, INFURIATING, FUN, CRAZY – you name it, it’s out there and we are all a part of the story.
Some of the topics that interest me are charities and causes, Anti-Bullying, the Arts, social change, mental health awareness, current events, and whatever else may catch my attention (IFLS, after all).
I WELCOME COMMENTS – keeps it interesting. I’m all for open discourse. By no means do I think everyone will share my opinion, but I do hope that people will engage and upgrade the conversation by commenting on a post, or even emailing me directly! We are always learning and growing 🙂
If you want my take on a specific subject, feel free to hit me up! Not sure whether I will have anything of value to say on the subject, but I will try my best.
Fair Warning – I’ve been collecting graphics and memes for as long as I can remember (psp tubes anyone?), and I plan to upload my favorites as often as possible. I also have the tendency to share random photos of my dogs (hey, everyone has their quirks – no apologies).
Recently, unless you have been living under a rock, or in the woods preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse, some NFL and college football players have ‘come out of the locker room’, and their teams have come under fire, after very serious allegations of hazing have surfaced.
Everyone seems to be weighing in on the topic, so I figured why the hell not?
Heck, Jeremy Shockey has been telling people about this issue for YEARS.
Definition time for those of you who don’t know but think you may have a good idea:
Hazing: humiliating and sometimes dangerous initiation rituals, esp. as imposed on college students seeking membership to a fraternity or sorority.
Bullying: to use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.
Based on these two definitions, the separation between hazing and bullying is that bullying has no purpose of initiation, but otherwise, hazing and bullying are the same abuse of power.
Some disagree, based on the premise that hazing is something that eventually STOPS once you are considered part of the team/group/fraternity/club, and its intended goal is to promote solidarity and shared experience between members based on a sense of belonging since everyone has been through the SAME initiation.
In that vein, Hazing is TECHNICALLY a more socially accepted term considering the negative connotations that are attached to the word ‘bullying’.
So where is the line drawn? Do you feel that hazing is simply bullying that society deems as acceptable?
The high-profile parties to the current controversy have brought this distinction to the forefront of our current life debates.
The Miami Dolphins suspended Richie Incognito over alleged bullying and harassment, after, over a prolonged period, he is said to have repeatedly abused tackle Jonathan Martin, leaving voicemail messages on his phone which included such abuse as, “Hey, wassup, you half n—– piece of (expletive)…” and “(I’m going to) slap your (expletive) mouth. (I’m going to) slap your real mother across the face (laughter).” Incognito had even intimidated Martin into paying $15,000 for a meal in Las Vegas that he didn’t even attend.
According to one op-ed piece in the New York Times they are one and the same: “Hazing is simply another name for bullying, and it is unacceptable in all its forms. Bullies will do only what bystanders allow; it is a group process and a social dynamic that grips a victim’s entire world.”
I URGE you to read this quick post on Hazing and the top Myths surrounding such practices.
Hazing is not limited to certain areas or disciplines – the military, athletic teams, marching bands, professional schools and so on all have a history of hazing members.
Hazing is not authorized by universities or the NFL, most of whom have strict no-hazing policies. However, group sports and fraternal organizations, traditionally, have their own internal guidelines, their own “initiations” to supposedly strength their bond.
Even NFL players have stated that they EXPECTED to be hazed, whether same did or did not actually happen.
EXAMPLE: When Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith reported to his first training camp two years ago, he anticipated being hazed by veteran teammates. He “had heard the stories and watched shows like HBO’s “Hard Knocks” that glorified the behavior and was prepared to be rudely welcomed to the NFL”. To his surprise, since of course the Ravens are AWESOME anyway, the rookies were welcomed by leaders like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs, who made it clear that the team had more important things to worry about. STORY HERE.
My sorority, Tri Delta, has a no-tolerance policy for hazing – unlike some others whose pledges would have to do embarrassing, yet not harmful, activities. However, I witnessed a lot of hazing in the other Greek organizations. Usually, this was light-hearted, such as making new pledges clean the house, or sing in a public place; however, there is a MUCH darker side.
There are times when hazing goes so over the line to amount to assault, battery, and even permanent physical and mental injury.
Take the case of Cameron Fagen, 19-year-old Grand View college student who was a member of the BOWLING team.
First thought? Seriously, hazing in BOWLING? What do they do, roll you down the lane? Put itching powder in your bowling shoes?
NOPE. THEY KICK THE SHIT OUT OF YOU AND BREAK YOUR JAW!!
Fagen has sued the university (GOOD!) after he was severely beaten by a group of fellow athletes AND IT WAS CAPTURED ON VIDEO!. Apparently, the incident “started after some rough housing among friends. It ended with duct-taped Fagen punched, kicked, beaten with a broom handle and rolled up in a carpet before being left bleeding and injured in a dorm common room. The diminutive Fagen suffered a broken jaw.” (Des Moines Register)
HE IS DAMN RIGHT TO BE SUING – it’s freaking criminal! The video is DISGUSTING and shows a total lack of humanity in every damn person in that room. It is assault. It is battery. I think the students who did this act were definitely not HAZING – they went way too far to call their actions something less than repulsive, inhuman and sickening (actually more like, they went insane).
The Huffington Post refers to this incident as BULLYING. Other outlets claim HAZING.
“This is one of those cases where we should sit back and question the letter of the law. A Senior High School teacher who pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old student, who later killed herself, has been sentenced to 30 days in jail by a judge who said the victim was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as the teacher. Really? Really? Are you kidding?!?!?!” ~~~ Jowharah Sanders, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Cherice Morales was a troubled 14-year-old high school freshman when teacher Stacey Dean Rambold, then 49, groomed her for sex
Cherice killed herself at 17 while the case was pending and her mother says the sex abuse by the teacher was ‘a major factor’ in her suicide
Rambold entered a sex offender treatment program, but was kicked out after having unsupervised visits with minors
Judge Todd Baugh disagreed with the prosecution of Rambold and handed out a 30 day sentence
Prosecutors had asked for 10 years
Judge, 66, announced he is running for re-election and is so far unopposed.
HERE IS WHAT I WANT TO KNOW.
What was Baugh’s reasoning that a 14-year-old girl below the state’s age of consent had an equal share of control of the relationship?
“The judge’s reasons are his reasons and his reasons alone. He has broad authority under state law, given the proper criteria,” as Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said.
THIS IS NOT ENOUGH!
While the judge said he listened to statements given by Morales before her death and believed that while she was a troubled youth, she was “as much in control of the situation” as Rambold and was “older than her chronological age.” SERIOUSLY? Since WHEN may a 14-year-old “groomed” by the teacher for sex, able to CONSENT??
Baugh further stated that “he was not convinced that the reasons for Rambold’s termination from treatment were serious enough to warrant the 10-year prison term prosecutors recommended”.
Here is the RAPIST – Stacey Dean Rambold – Billings, Montana.
The school district had warned Rambold four years earlier to avoid touching or being alone with female students, it was later revealed.AND THIS WAS NOT A WARNING SIGN?
Montana District Court Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced Stacey Dean Rambold to 15 years in prison for sexual intercourse without consent, with all but 31 days suspended. He gave Rambold credit for one day already served.
Judge Baugh announced on Monday that Cherice Morales seemed just as responsible for a sexual relationship with her teacher Stacey Dean Rambold as the teacher was – even though Cherice was troubled and only 14 at the time. He also pronounced that the girl, who killed herself two years later, appeared to be ‘older than her chronological age.’
AGAIN – WHAT was this judge THINKING! 15 years reduced to 30 days? AND a credit for 1 day served??
SERIOUSLY – A 14–YEAR-OLD WAS DEEMED “”older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” AS THE TEACHER?!
This is why our juvenile justice system is so ineffective and the laughing stock of the country.
P.S. County Attorney Twito told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he would not appeal the judge’s sentence.
P.P.S. The school district paid Cherice’s mother $96,000 as part of a wrongful death settlement. NICE TO KNOW THAT IS THE GOING RATE FOR THIS CRIME.
SMH – there HAD to be something more to this; however, a VICTIM should not be further penalized by the system – she obviously was traumatized and I believe the judge and the perpetrator are responsible for this verdict and her suicide. Personal Opinion.
Forwarded Message from a Friend, edited by me with links and quotes. Please share if you agree and support this boycott/awareness campaign.
Why is this post necessary?
To promote TOLERANCE and STOP the HATE.
Mel Gibson has a new movie coming out named The Edge Of Darkness.
I am asking you to not only BOYCOTT the movie but to forward this post
to every group affected by bigotry and hate, and every support group that you know.
SEE QUOTES AT END OF EACH SECTION.
In recent years, Gibson has become better known for his public tirades — which have included racist, misogynistic, and anti-immigrant slurs.
(Detailed account of his “long, hateful history” available here).
However, there is little RECENT discourse, to utter silence, from women’s groups, the Anti-Defamation League, even the White House!
President Obama had a few succinct words to say about Tiger Woods, why not about a national celebrity who’s insulted African Americans, Latinos, Jews and WOMEN? (not an Obama rant, just a serious question)
PLEASE NOTE: His hateful public remarks are NOT representative of the Christian community, but he actively encourages such beliefs. He has also purportedly stated that he “called Pope John Paul II “the anti-Christ” and “the devil”. Source.
Before Mel Gibson made headlines for spewing anti-Semitic, racist, misogynistic, and anti-immigrant slurs at his ex-girlfriend, he was known for his highly publicized homophobic rants.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) accused Gibson of homophobia after a December 1991 interview in the Spanish newspaper El País in which he made derogatory comments about homosexuals. Gibson later defended his comments and rejected calls to apologize. However, Gibson joined GLAAD in hosting 10 lesbian and gay filmmakers for an on-location seminar on the set of the movie Conspiracy Theory in January 1997. In 1999 when asked about the comments to El País, Gibson said, “I shouldn’t have said it, but I was tickling a bit of vodka during that interview, and the quote came back to bite me on the ass.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Gibson.
Are drunken quotes not indicative of honest and uncensored thought? You decide.
“Homosexuals take it up the ass. This is only for taking a s**t.”
Discussing homosexuals in an interview with El Pais magazine, December 1991.
“I became an actor despite that. But with this look, who’s going to think I’m gay? It would be hard to take me for someone like that. Do I sound like a homosexual? Do I talk like them? Do I move like them?”
Discussing homosexuals in an interview with El Pais magazine, December 1991.
“I don’t think there’s an apology necessary, and I’m certainly not giving one. [Those remarks were a response] to a direct question. If someone wants my opinion, I’ll give it. What, am I supposed to lie to them?”
Good Morning America
“I’ll apologize when hell freezes over. They can fuck off.”
Playboy in 1995, about whether he’d issue an apology to gays and lesbians, as GLAAD recommended.
THE JEWISH COMMUNITY and ANTI-SEMITISM:
If you recall Mel’s father is a fervent denier of the fact that the Holocaust ever happened, referring to the tragedy as a “hoax”.
“The annihilation of six million Jews must be a hoax, since it would have taken too long for the Germans to cremate that many bodies” “Germans did not have enough gas to murder that many people.”
Mel supports his father’s beliefs.
Gibson had this to say about his father: “My dad taught me my faith and I believe what he taught me. The man never lied to me in his life” –a curious remark, considering his father’s many lies about the Holocaust. Reader’s Digest.
Mel purports to believe in the Holocaust, but only in public, and in very coached terms:
During an interview “Do you believe the Holocaust had happened?” he replied:
“Yes, of course. Atrocities happen. War is horrible. World War Two killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps.”
Mel Gibson may not have been denying the Holocaust, but he was certainly distorting and minimizing it. Instead of acknowledging that the Nazis carried out a deliberate strategy of genocide, he reduced the Jewish victims to the same kind of accidental and random casualties that take place in every war.
THE ARREST and ANTI-SEMITIC RANT:
In July of 2006, Mel Gibson was stopped and arrested for drunk driving near his house in Malibu by Deputy James Mee.
The police report detailed repeated threats against Mee made by Gibson, who said that he” owned Malibu” and “would get even” with the deputy.
The report also detailed Gibson’s “barrage of anti-Semitic remarks” in which he said, “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world” before asking the deputy, who is Jewish: “Are you a Jew?”
He has to date never apologized to the deputy or to the Jewish people.
Audio tapes have also emerged that captured Gibson spewing violent, racist, anti-Semitic tirades.
“Fucking Jews… Jews are responsible for all wars in the world.”
July 28, 2006 on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California after pulled over for speeding and drunk driving.
Mel Gibson ‘hates Jews’, says screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, screenwriter for the now sidelined Maccabees film.
According to Joe, Mel has said:
“What I really want to do with this movie is to convert the Jews to Christianity.”
“Most ‘gatekeepers’ of American companies were ‘Hebes’ who ‘controlled their bosses.’”
“The Holocaust was ‘mostly a lot of horsesh*t,’
Gibson “regularly used the terms “Hebes,” “oven-dodgers,” and “Jew-boys”.
He added that Gibson made various false accusations, including that the Torah refers to sacrificing Christian babies.
To his then-girlfriend (whom he physically and verbally abused):
“You’re an embarrassment to me. You look like a f***ing pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n***ers, it will be your fault.” – ON TAPE.
The L.A. Chapter of the NAACP reacted to Mel Gibson using the “N” word … calling Mel “an out of date and out of control racist.” Source.
Mel Gibson has spewed hatred about blacks and Jews, and has been caught on tape making a bigoted remark about Hispanics.
Authorities have confirmed the tragic suicide death of a 12-year-old in New York was due to the relentless bullying she was subjected to for several months beforehand from classmates.
According to Gabrielle Molina’s suicide note and accounts from her sister, 15-year-old Georgia, the seventh-grader took her own life because of persistent cyber-bullying, slut-shaming, and name calling from her middle school peers. It had just become too much.
HERE IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE ARTICLE, and I’ve highlighted the parts that really hit me, and ranted on a few.
Her SISTER Georgia found Gabrielle after she’d hanged herselfinside her bedroom.
Georgia had been sworn to secrecy, told not to reveal the abuse to their parents, though they knew Gabrielle was having some trouble at school.
RANT INSERT: REALLY???? Sworn to secrecy?? How many other siblings are out there keeping such “secrets” from the people who can help most – parents, friends, teachers, even anonymous tip lines, and groups like NVEEE.org.
The girl was often taunted by classmates over her appearance – victimized both face-to-face and online. Fellow students who sent the upsetting messages are currently under investigation as officers removed computers from the Molina home in order to have them analyzed. Several students have been questioned since the incident, but no charges have been imposed.
Associates of Gabrielle said she’d got into a fistfight with another girl that was videotaped and posted on YouTube; she had a history of cutting herself and had recently broken up with a boyfriend – providing the bullies with fodder.
RANT INSERT: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! EVERY school has bullying problems – stop burying your head in the sand. Are teachers so afraid of being blamed or coming to false conclusions that they just pretend this doesn’t happen? That these kids are ok?
How do you define a serious bullying problem? Any bullying should not be tolerated and should be considered serious as it can stem from its own environment of abuse or mental illness.
Bullying has always been a problem, especially in middle school when socialization seems to be the most difficult. Physical, emotional, and psychological threats make it difficult for an individual to get through the day and focus on their academic work. With technology pusillanimous bullies can post hate-speak and degrading taunts about a person with some anonymity. Often times there is little schools can do to protect the victim as many school officials will say unless the acts occur while on school grounds, there isn’t much they can do to deter it.
Parents have addressed a call for action, demanding something more be done to protect their children from this type of victimization as daily threats and assaults can lead to depression, lessened self-esteem, eating disorders, anxiety, sleeplessness, drug and alcohol abuse, effect academic performance and overall well-being, and, in extreme cases, suicidal tendencies.
RANT INSERT: OK, what exactly does a “call to action” mean? Hey Guys! Stop bullying! Seriously.
Parents need to be PROACTIVE, and actions speak louder than words.
A choice that seems trivial may not be all that trivial! This could shape quite a bit for you in the coming days and weeks, so make sure that you are thinking things through with care. If you really ponder the issue, you will begin to see where things are going for the future.
Yup, it’s me. I really suck at keeping up with my blog, so I am going to try for AT LEAST one post per week 🙂
These are two very interesting article on how students are proactively working towards an understanding of bullying legislation, the legal process, and how possible court cases may pan out. It is so good to see these students in action!
The Utah League of Cities and Towns hosted the 600 high school students from more than 40 cities around the state. It was an opportunity for the students to see the legislative process. The students debated potential anti-bullying legislation in a mock committee hearing.
Great student quote: “I have seen people affected by bullying, and it hurts. Every time that I see the opportunity, I do my best to stop it.” – London Weiler, Woods Cross High School sophomore
A 17-year-old Hanover High School student wrote a few songs and some short scenes for a school project last October. More than a year later, Zachary Terrazas’ small project is a full-fledged musical and will be performed at Hanover High School in Pennsylvania on Jan. 12 and 13.
After Zachary held workshop performances of his anti-bullying musical, “The Victim,” in August at the Gettysburg Community Theater, he was given the opportunity to bring his work closer to home.
“I’m really excited about doing it in my hometown,” he said.
“The Victim” shows the cycle of bullying through scenes and music written and co-directed by Zachary.
The anti-bullying musical, “The Victim” will be performed Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. at Hanover High
School Auditorium, 401 Moul Ave. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased online in advance at http://www.gettysburgcommunitytheatre.org or by calling 717-334-2692. For more information on the musical, visit
Zachary said he hopes that his work will inspire the audience to stand up for people who are being bullied and to understand that their words have power.
“Think before you speak,” he said. “Make sure you’re not causing pain.”
“What we’re trying to do is give as many opportunities for people to come see it, to get to watch it, to get a feel for what the musical is and the message behind it,” Zachary said.
Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition, an organization working to have state officials pass the Pennsylvania Safe School Act. According to the Pennsylvania Safe School Act website, the act would make Pennsylvania schools safer by addressing issues involving bullying, cyberbullying and harassment.
Daily Overview for January 08, 2013
A difficult person will not be as difficult as usual if you approach them with a rational argument. Also stay positive about it, because assuming they will be stubborn or refuse to listen will only make matters worse. They could surprise you with their reaction!
“For most people, the idea of kids and technology conjures up images of sexting and cyber bullying. I started @westhighbros to end cyber bullying at my school and to make it a better place to be in general. Let’s face it, school is for learning but socialization happens more often that studying. Our Twitter account is here to prove to every single doubter of the goodness of people, but especially teens, that people my age can do great things with technology. We’re here to show the world the power of technology and the power of positive word.
Let me back up a bit. I started @westhighbros in late October of 2011. I ran the account by myself for three months then asked one of my friends to join me – throughout the year we added more “bros” as contributors are called and we built up a decent following. We have everyone from the local newspaper to the local US Congressman follow us on Twitter and friend us on Facebook. Despite these high profile follows, our greatest joy is when parents of our classmates follow us on Twitter or friend us on Facebook. It gives us the parent stamp of approval. Right now we stand at about 850 followers on Twitter and 1,500 friends on Facebook, and yes we know every single one of them. Well there you have it, the story of @westhighbros, the world’s first compliment account. Now let’s talk about what we actually do.
Simply put @westhighbros and (the Facebook version of @westhighbros) writes compliments (we call them comps). We write comps mainly to our classmates at Iowa City West High but we’ve been known to write to the principal of our cross town rival, the President, and to celebrities. Most of the time people respond with a thank you and a follow. This is our method of eliminating bullying.
The USA started a war on bullying with a massive campaign on how to stand up to bullies. Newsflash, it isn’t working. Bullying is still a problem. And, even more frightening, we regularly hear news reports about bullying being a factor in teen suicide. While it may be impossible to eliminate bullying completely; my goal is just to impact one person. Even if it’s just a small change in their life, the second I know I have done something for someone, I know my goal is accomplished. You might be thinking this idea is dumb but ever since we started our Twitter and Facebook pages, bullying has decreased by over 60% at our school. By no means is my way the only way, but for my school it worked. I encourage anyone reading this blog post to think just for five minutes of ways they can help spread their own comps. Just a simple five minutes can change your whole community, it certainly changed mine.”
Jeremiah Anthony is a junior in high school. He is a self-proclaimed “normal kid in a world, who likes seeing the beauty in people.