Bully for nobody

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Normally I am not in favor of violent behavior, there being far too much of it in today's world. But I think it might be a useful educational experience if some very large human being were to grab a couple Michigan state representatives, namely, John Moolenaar and Jack Hoogendyk, twist their arms painfully behind their back and smash their faces into the harsh stone of the Capitol building.

Then they should be asked, "What kind of fag-ass name is Hog-and-dick, or Mole-on-my-ass?" They should be forced to call themselves by those names for an entire day in the Legislature, and be made to wear wooden Dutch shoes.

And every legislator who gets up to speak should be encouraged to walk by their desks and twist their ears. That might, just might, produce what we in the education game call a teachable moment, for them and the rest of us.

Hoogendyk and Moolenaar, you see, are bigots who are supporting the agenda of hate fostered by homophobes everywhere. They would deny this, but they would be lying. Currently, there is a badly needed anti-bullying bill before the Michigan Legislature (House Bill 4162) which would, among other things, protect students from bullying "based on a pupil's actual or perceived religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, height, weight, gender identity, socioeconomic status or any other distinguishing characteristic."

Anybody who has ever been bullied unmercifully knows what a terrible experience it can be. I got my share of it; I was younger, smaller and fatter than most of the other kids in my working-class elementary school. Even worse, I was a "brain," and had the athletic ability of a salamander.

Indeed, a new study conducted by Purdue University shows that two-thirds of academically talented eighth-graders say they have been bullied.

Dawn Wolfe, a delightful woman who was also overweight as a child, wrote recently, "I could have been an Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold. Like them, I was bullied — verbally and physically — so much during my school career that, by the middle of seventh grade, I would have happily have taken guns to school if my mother had kept any in the house."

She dropped out in her junior year. Other kids have fared even worse, notably Matt Epling, a 14-year-old from East Lansing who killed himself in 2003 after being bullied. The present bill is, in fact, informally called Matt's Law.

If there is anything more sure to draw the attention of a sadistic bully than good grades or body fat, it is the suspicion that the victim might be gay. "Faggot" is, in fact, the favorite word of bullies everywhere, from low-life Ann Coulter to the second-grader who has no idea what the word means.

Anyone with the IQ of even an average legislator should be able to understand that bullying is not only barbaric and unfair, but also highly destructive to society's interests; it affects productivity and costs the taxpayers money.

But for some so-called "conservatives," the need to hate gays and discriminate against them is greater than anything else, even their sacred tax cuts. That includes Moolenaar and Hoogendyk, who are fighting to remove any language protecting gay students from bullying. One of their butt buddies is a Royal Oak realtor named David Conselyea, whom you should remember to boycott. Recently he wrote a clever but hate-filled e-mail to state Rep. Marie Donigan (D- Royal Oak), pleading with her to support the Dutch Bigot Twins and "remove the language segregating students into special 'protected classes.'"

Conselyea is especially upset at the thought of protecting "homosexual behavior that itself threatens teenagers' health and safety."

No, he would apparently rather have people beaten to death than do anything that might appear to protect in any way, he says again, "homosexual behavior that threatens student health."

Donigan, one of the Legislature's more inspiring inmates, is not, of course, going along with that repulsive agenda. Unlike Conselyea, she is not obsessed unhealthily with other people's sex lives. Nor is she in charge of the vast homosexual secretariat that people like our dimwitted realtor fear is working day and night to recruit today's youth to their sick, twisted and repulsive practices.

Donigan is actually a middle-aged woman, happily married to a man who is head of the Royal Oak school board. She is not only straight, she is not threatened by gay people, a characteristic I share. Speaking for myself, I have honestly never had a gay impulse. Nor have I felt any desire to play cricket, but I am not in the least bit bothered by those who are drawn to funny English baseball or to same-sex relationships.

I am baffled that anyone should care very much about what other people do sexually. And I have to wonder whether some people who feel so threatened are really showing us something about their own psychology.

In any event — any legislator who doesn't support protecting anybody and everybody from being bullied is promoting fascism, pure and simple.

We should be in favor of creating "protected classes" for everybody who needs to be protected, even if that means twerps with funny Dutch names. If you are reading this on Wednesday, it is Safe Schools Lobby Day.

You should call or write your local state rep and state senator and encourage them to support House Bill 4162 — and not allow it to be weakened.

Or someday, that could be your kid being tortured.

The Truth About Iran ... "is that it is a theocracy in which you or I wouldn't last a day if we lived there," Rudy Simons told me last week. On the other hand, he didn't find it a country full of fanatic, brainwashed robot Muslim terrorists who cannot wait for a chance to blow up the world so they can achieve paradise.

Rudy ought to know something; he spent two weeks this month in the very Axis of Evil itself, as part of a 23-person delegation from the Fellowship for Reconciliation, a nonprofit, nonviolent foundation based in Nyack, N.Y.

What struck him was the willingness of Iranians, wherever he went, to come up and talk to him and the other members. A police state, it was not. True, nobody was willing to criticize the ayatollahs, the religious leadership. But many openly criticized their elected leaders. What united them was dislike of George W., and worry about being the target of a new American war.

That would, some of them realize, mean lots of bombing since most all our troops are tied down securing our glorious victory in Iraq.

Simons, who has had careers in both music publishing and real estate, has more energy than a nuclear reactor. Now 78, he has been an activist since before activism was cool. He spent a lot of time in Iraq before our invasion.

He has also visited Haiti, and other places off the tourist circuit. When he is running around the world (at his own expense) he functions as what you might call a "citizen diplomat." He has the odd idea that the more we get to know other people as human beings, the less likely we'll be to start new wars to kill them.

Commie bastard.

Jack Lessenberry opines weekly for Metro Times. Contact him at [email protected]
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