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The complex and dangerous world of verbal bullying

Verbal Bullying Includes Slang Termsthe complex and dangerous world of verbal bullying

Verbal Bullying means big mouths and big mouths can kill

This will not be my most popular post. That is my disclaimer. However, I have been asked to give a presentation on modern day ‘verbal bullying’.

As a mom,  psychologist,  teacher, and HUMAN being, I abhor slang terms for groups of people. Much soap has been utilized in my house with three kids that think it is cute to say ‘cool’ words in describing people. Clean mouths create clean morals… 😉 (You can quote me on this).

Many fights, conflicts, and deaths, have been the result of our too carefree mouths. I teach a Cultural Diversity Class at a university, and while I am the instructor, I learn too many terms for groups that I wish I didn’t know. However, you do have to acknowledge before you can correct. You need to make a stance in which the cool words are not okay in your family…. Furthermore, if you explain why they are not okay, then an excellent conversation comes to pass on origination and such… you’re on your own on this one.

Interestingly enough, most people don’t feel that the ‘names’ given to groups are demeaning and/or stereotypical. I have worked too hard on raising my kids to respect everyone, for some highschooler to think it’s cute to nickname a kid based on appearance.  I apologize in advance if some of the terms are hurtful, but let’s call it what it is in an attempt to change it.

I have heard for Mexican Americans: Spic, wetback, beaners, and much more…

African Americans:  Ni**er, monkeys, shines, and again… much more…

Muslim Americans: Rag head, camel jockeys, sand ni**ers…’ ummm, and again, much more… repeat….

How far could we go on this? The point is, there are a multitude of inappropriate names that are far too spoken in our life. This isn’t always culturally based, but often thematic.

My issue of late is RETARD…. Do you know what retarded means? adjective /riˈtärdid/ Less advanced in mental, physical, or social development than is usual for one’s age —- specifically:

In describing an individual that is ‘retarded’, it means this individual knows far less than their average counterparts, it means this person is unable to function at the same average intellect of peers…, plus more….

But, what it does not mean is STUPID…. If you want to ever fight me, tell me someone is retarded. If you are my children, and you want to be grounded for a month, tell me that an idea is retarded. If there is a platform that I want to work, this is it. Retarded, is not to be used as an adjective to define stupid human behavior… neither is gay, ghetto, or chink…..

If you or I hear this, then I challenge us all to step back and correct the person, and defend the group.

Your thoughts, or experiences with verbal bullying, would be most welcome in the comment section.

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Posted by on June 12, 2011. Filed under CRITTER TALK. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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11 Responses to The complex and dangerous world of verbal bullying

  1. lazersedge Reply

    June 12, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Tamra, No argument here on anything you said. It took me a while to get my step father to stop using the N word in front of my children but he finally did. Other than that I will pretty well stick with the word stupid meaning what it says… stupid, and as one of favorite comedians says, “you can’t fix that”.
    Actually, I should not use that term either. I do not use it to refer to anyone because of their race, ethnicity, religion, physical, or mental abilities, but only their seemingly lack of common sense. But still, I would be better off keeping my mouth shut, or my computer quiet. 🙂

    • Tamra Reply

      June 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      Hey lazersedge – Many of us had to battle our parents or grandparents regarding words didn’t we? Success might be measured at a much later time when our kids and grandkids do not! Optimistic huh?

  2. A Michael J. Scott Reply

    June 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    As a career law enforcement officer I have seen some terrible incidents of bullying and have also seen the effects. The number of suicides that result from this practice would shock even the most hardened cynic. Terrific post.

    • Tamra Reply

      June 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      I appreciate the law enforcement field backing this. I have no idea where ‘sticks and stones’ originated, but I’d like to have a chat with that person….

  3. greenlight Reply

    June 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    A good posting on an important topic. My stepdaughter recently made the statement that a lot of Hispanics at her school swear. I commented that I’m sure a lot of non-Hispanics at her school also swear, and she couldn’t disagree. It’s hard to know the best way to combat such stereotypes. I almost always defer to “logic and reason” as my strategy, but unfortunately I suspect these tools will only go so far.

    To me, one of the largest looming social questions is how to keep negative group divisions from recreating themselves across space and generations…

    • Tamra Reply

      June 12, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      That was excellent feedback to your step-daughter Greenlight. As for the future, I stress to my class that we don’t have to ‘approve’ of someone in order to ‘accept’ them. We will see. 😉

  4. Cheshire Cat Reply

    June 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I am a victim of verbal bullying but from a teacher who was so cruel to me in math class I still hate math and have convinced myself I can never do it. You are a writer of some measure Tamra and I share all of your articles. Thank you so much.

    • Tamra Reply

      June 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm

      Cheshire Cat – Thank you for the nice comment. I also think that you need to remember that your Math teacher was simply inappropriate and obviously not informed on positive learning techniques. My calculator is one of my best friends anyway. 😉

  5. jenny40 Reply

    June 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Sad to say I was one of the girls whispering and laughing in the background. I am sad all days for that you know.

    • Tamra Reply

      June 12, 2011 at 6:43 pm

      Great honesty Jenny. No worries, this isn’t a confessional, and if it were, you would no doubt have company! Lessons learned sometimes!

  6. dp1053 Reply

    June 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Excellent posting. We should also consider the influence of TV and movies. It is getting better in most racial cases, but I still hear “retard” and “faggot” way too much in media. I blame a lot of the acceptance of gay slurs on the current political climate that deems it acceptable to marginalize any group considered “wrong” in the judgement of narrow, bigoted people.

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