I'd like to add a twist and rephrase it this way: We increasingly find ourselves in a culture that loves to seize on those who are different. People who are different quickly become faceless clowns for the wider public to line up, weigh in, and have their laugh.
With this in mind, watch this video sampling of a popular reality tv show called Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
I love a good laugh as much as the next person. I love to laugh with people. However, life experience combined with my faith journey, has made it uncomfortable to laugh at people. One could argue the case that the people in the above video are in fact laughing with us, but that's not my issue.
Is this a form of bullying?
My fear is that we are creating an atmosphere that nurtures culturally acceptable bullying. Can those who watch shows like this, especially children and teens but not limited to them, make the transition to the physical world without bringing with them this atmosphere? To ask that another way, can my 8 year old watch this show and go to school the next day and realize that laughing at someone who talks differently, looks differently, dresses differently, etc. is not OK, even though we were laughing and pointing in between our haughty derisive scowls the night before?
Fascinating point. I never would have come to that frame of mind. I dislike these types of shows for a variety of reasons, but this wasn't one of them. Thanks for adding another reason to the list!ReplyDelete
Really interesting point, Ron. And I think you're right - doing something a lot can make whatever we're doing into a habit, and that includes making fun of people. I think another thing that can happen is that we become desensitized to bullying as being something bad if making fun and laughing at, rather than with, is our usual way of interacting. While I think it's possible (and a good idea) to teach ourselves and our kids that different situations call for different behavior, it can be really hard to break certain habits.ReplyDelete
I'd love for you to provide the link to the blog you mentioned. Did you, and I just couldn't see it? Please link!ReplyDelete