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Stephen Colbert: It Gets Better! (VIDEO)

Stephen Colbert: It Gets Better! (VIDEO)

 

Political satirist Stephen Colbert got unusually serious in his contribution for Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project, talking about how he was picked on and called “queer” at school.

But things changed when he saw his friend Pat stand up to a bully. This incident altered Colbert’s thinking, he says, and he realized, “If you don’t give power to the words that people throw at you to hurt you, they don’t hurt you anymore. And you actually have power over those people.”

I feel compelled to point out the Pat method of confronting a bully as described above is probably not a good idea, though I do agree with the spirit of what Colbert is saying.

Also, articulating the idea that “words only harm you if you let them” to young children suffering because of  bullying of any kind may be difficult, but I believe Colbert correctly identifies one thing, and that is that bullying is about trying to make the bully feel powerful when inside they desperately fear a powerlessness. It is the bully that is truly weak and not the victim. As such, the bully’s hold is tenuous. Finding help among friends and supportive adults is what is required because it means you do not stand alone, and it’s much harder to bully a crowd than it is to target an individual.

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Image taken from It Gets Better video, no infringement intended.

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30 comments

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7:41AM PDT on Aug 14, 2011

Sorry. I don't agree, but I wish that I could because Stephen Colbert is one of my favorite people. I just celebrated my 65th birthday and I can still remember the bullying that confronted me on a daily basis. Words do hurt; words are remembered; words sink in and if you come from a background of abuse at home, only to face more abuse at school and as you walk home from school, what recourse have you? Being smarter really doesn't do much for you if someone has their gang of buddies with them, shouting things at you from across the street as you walk home, repeatedly, on a daily basis. You are alone and there is no one for you to ask for help. You just have to take it and keep your mouth shut. You learn to be a victim without realizing it's even happening. Words are far more than just words; words can cut like a knife and affect your future. What to do about bullies, both female and male? (They will one day be in prisons, in reform schools, and be headed for more 'fulfilling' things than calling people names because people that behave like that are low-life to being with, even if they are children). Get them OUT of the school; put them in their very own special school, one just for people like them. That would keep them from harming others. They should be expelled immediately, no second chances given, no warnings. Teach them a skill so that one day they can actually be a useful citizen, and while doing it, perhaps they'll learn how to keep their ugly mouths shut. But gener

2:34AM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

Brains over brawn works every time

7:43AM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

Thanks Stephen.

12:34PM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

I believe Pat's method is a good one. I've used it many times in my life. It diffuses arguments immediately when you say "You're right." It's called fogging. It's like throwing a ball at a brick wall. It will bounce back and you can throw it at the wall again. But if you throw it at a fog it goes right through and then ball cannot be thrown back. Fighting back will only cause more anguish. It's fuel for the bully. When you say you agree with the person who is insulting you, they have nothing to fight against. Try it with your next argument. You will be surprised at how well it works.

1:00AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

I applaud Stephen's efforts and the efforts of anyone who has stood up for the LGBTQ community.

10:04PM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

Thank you Stephen for adding your voice to the "It gets better" campaign. Please make sure all the kids who get picked on know that "There is NOTHING wrong with YOU!- the bullies who pick on you are the ones with the problem."

2:50AM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

Quoting one of my favorite, Gandhi -- "Nobody can hurt you without your permission". Maybe if we remember this and keep reminding other people, it will make a small impact.

9:30PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

So much for civility in the US.

2:44PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

Thank you Stephen for taking the time to give your support to this effort.

2:43PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

good video

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