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10/14/2010

Video: Minnesota 'family' guy to bullied victims: Just nicely ask them to stop, duh

by Jeremy Hooper

What does the National Organization For Marriage's partner in Minnesota, the Minnesota Family Council, suggest that bullied LGBT students do to combat their situations? Well, MFC leader Chuck Darrell has a novel approach: He thinks the vulnerable kids should just march right into that school, stamp down a foot, and tell the bullies to stop making their lives and a living, lunch money-deprived hell:

You know, because that's how it usually works. Diplomacy is a usual option. It's not that the kid is picked on because he or she is smaller or different or in some way more susceptible. No, no -- it's because the victim simply hasn't stood up enough. That was totally your experience in the American school system, right? [::eye roll, head shake, murmuring of word that starts like 'bully' but ends in 'it'::]

Convenient logic, Mr. Darrell. But here's what we think: We think that LGBT students would literally, tangibly, demonstrably experience a change in their tormented, "kick me"-signed state if groups like MFC and NOM would stop launching television campaigns against gay people's simple right to love and would instead start focusing on how grown adults can steward a civil realm where all citizens are equally protected. Because ya know what? Kids internalize these messages. Even younger children who may not be savvy enough to understand political complexities hear the messaging, either directly or from the parents or family members or acquaintances who have adopted it. And it's completely obvious how and sadly understandable why some who hear this kind of hostility proceed to interpret it as a pass. A pass to write off certain people as different or abnormal. A pass to tease these people as if they are animals in a zoo. A pass to taunt kids who are perceived to fit into a certain mold that they've been told is broken. A pass to vote, if not yet with a ballot then with a mean-spirited prank instead.

So you want the bullied LGBT kids of Minnesota to drive over to a responsible party's house and confront a root of the antipathy? Well then, Mr. Darrell: What's MFC's address again?

***

*And of course, as G-A-Y friend Kevin Shannon just reminded us: Mr. Darrell is also comparing these victimized kids to a woman "caught in adultery," with the justification for the non-stoning being that both the bullies and the bullied are "sinners." So uhm. Yea.

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