When Professionals Become Bullies

Bullies on “FOX and Friends”

This post isn’t explicitly about people with disabilities, but it is about people with which many people with disabilities struggle: bullies.

I don’t watch “Dancing with the Stars”, but I’ve heard that in this particular run of the series there’s

bullies
Bullying behaviour is very unprofessional

been a great deal of controversy about Chaz Bono being one of the contestants. Chaz was Cher’s daughter Chastity until undergoing gender reassignment surgery, and now is one of America’s most well-known advocates for transgendered people.

I will leave it to people more competent than I to explain why North America feels so threatened by transgendered people that their reaction to Chaz being on the show was so pronounced, including calls from FOX News contributor Keith Ablow that Chaz leave the show to keep children from wanting to change sex themselves (I will say a hearty “bullshit” to that, though).

I will *post* “FOX and Friends” reaction to the fact that Chaz slipped in the ratings after Tuesday’s show, because I think it’s among least professional pieces of journalism I’ve ever seen.

http://gawker.com/5844284/fox–friends-recoil-at-the-mention-of-chaz-bonos-name

For those who can’t access the link, it went like this (after all three anchors cringe at the mention of Chaz Bono’s name):

Brian Kilmeade: Steve, can you tell us more?
Steve Doocy: Uh, no, I can’t. [Laughs] Thank you very for that update.
Gretchen Carlson: [Hands on temples, as though massaging a migraine] Let’s talk about the Senate instead! That might take too long to explain to Steve, Brian, and the rest of the world.
Brian Kilmeade: The one part of Chaz that hasn’t been operated on!
Steve Doocy: So far! [Laughter]

Ridiculous and Scary

I can’t count how many hours my sister has spent on anti-bullying initiatives in the schools in which she’s taught. We as a society keep talking about how we have to teach our kids that bullying is unacceptable and that we need to celebrate people who are different than we are.

Only to have so-called “professional journalists” bring this trash to our televisions. With no apology forthcoming today from the bullies, from what I could find.

A world where the media gets away with bullying people makes me concerned about the people with intellectual disabilities in my life. A report from AbilityPath.org says already that students with disabilities are 2-3 times more likely to be targets of bullies than students without disabilities. I told students that bullies and make fun of them aren’t worth their time and aren’t worth being friends with, but I know it’s difficult for them to accept. It’s difficult to anyone for accept when people make fun of them.

Leave Chaz Alone

From the little I know of  Chaz Bono, I imagine that it’s had to have been incredibly difficult to make the transition he has under such close media scrutiny. That takes guts.

He’s more of a man than Brian and Steve will ever be, and infinitely classier than Gretchen. I know that’s kind of harsh, “FOX and Friends”, but what can I say – bullies just don’t do it for me, and you guys are old enough to know better.

 

Walk a Mile in Their Shoes: Bullying and the Child with Special Needs – A Report by AbilityPath.org  http://www.abilitypath.org/areas-of-development/learning–schools/bullying/articles/walk-a-mile-in-their-shoes.pdf