Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively to impose domination over others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual.I always thought of bullying as physical violence, or the use of threats for coercion. But more and more, the term seems to used to describe simple name-calling, such as one of the biggest sports stories of the year being this NFL football scandal:
Incognito was suspended earlier this month after Martin went public with allegations he has long been harassed and bullied by teammates, including receiving voice mail and text messages from Incognito where be berated him as a "half-nigger" and threatened to "kill him."Our current school anti-bullying fad seems to be directed at name-calling. When I was in school, bullying referred to getting beaten up, and no one got so upset by a little silly name-calling. We must be raising an extremely emotionally fragile generation.
Now using the word "retard" can get a comic banned from Facebook.
The most outrageous recent example of bullying was how the Mandela memorial interpreter mocked all of the speakers on international TV:
The South African sign language interpreter accused of using fake signs at Nelson Mandela's memorial service this week said he suffered a schizophrenic episode at the event, but another interpreter says it was not the first time Thamsanqa Jantjie has done bogus interpretations.Why do some people find name-calling so offensive? Apparently it is a cultural thing among non-Europeans:
Jantjie, who has been called an imposter by sign experts, told Johannesburg's Star newspaper Thursday that he hallucinated and heard voices during the memorial service.
Shame is the primary means of behavioral control in most societies. If you are seen breaking a social rule, you will feel shame, and this feeling will be reinforced by what people say and do (gossiping, malicious looks, spitting, ostracism, etc.). Shame is much less effective if you break a rule without being seen or if you merely think about breaking a rule.The rise of individualism in northwest Europe is closely related to the shift from shame to guilt.
Guilt is more important in European societies, particularly those of Northwest European origin. It operates even when you act alone or merely think about breaking a rule. Behavior can thus be regulated in all possible situations with a minimum of surveillance.
As the USA is being flooded with non-European immigrants, we are accommodating a shame culture.
Update: More info on the fake interpreter:
JOHANNESBURG - eNCA can reveal the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial on Tuesday faced a murder charge in 2003.
Thamsanqa Jantjie, who is being treated for schizophrenia, has also faced rape (1994), theft (1995), house-breaking (1997), malicious damage to property (1998), murder, attempted murder and kidnapping (2003) charges.
It’s unknown if the case was ever concluded as the court file is mysteriously empty.
The man now known by many as the ‘fake interpreter’, stood just a foot away from world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, who is one of the most heavily protected men on the planet.
President Jacob Zuma and leaders from China, Cuba, Brazil and India were also on the stage.
eNCA's investigations have found that Thamsanqa Jantjie, who is being treated for schizophrenia, has also faced rape (1994), theft (1995), housebreaking (1997), malicious damage to property (1998), murder, attempted murder and kidnapping (2003) charges.
Many of the charges brought against him were dropped, allegedly because he was mentally unfit to stand trial.