Microaggressions: Microassaults, Microinsults and Microinvalidations

Have you heard about “microaggressions” that come in the form of “microassaults” and “microinsults” and “microinvalidations?”  You may not know those totems of pain by their formal names, but I’m certain, at times in your life, you’ve felt their sting and, perhaps, even employed a few of them.

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Mike Rice is Head Bully of Rutgers Basketball

Mike Rice is the head coach — and Head Bully — of the Rutgers University basketball team.  By the time you read this, Rice may be long gone, but his bloody head will not be the only one rolling down College Avenue.  Athletic Director Tim Pernetti most certainly should lose his head as well — as should Pernetti’s school bosses, like the President Robert Barchi, who, it appears, refused, along with Pernetti, to fire Mike Rice in November 2012 even after watching video evidence of the coach physically and verbally abusing his undergraduate basketball team during practice.  The Rutgers Board of Trustees must act now and clean the Rutgers house and fire Mike Rice, Tim Pernetti and President Robert Barchi — because they were all in collusion to not protect the welfare of the student athletes entrusted to their care.

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Why Andrew Sullivan Fails the Bullying Pranks Test

I am usually a Big Fan of Andrew Sullivan.  His emotional instinct is almost always right on target.  He’s been living with HIV for two decades and, as a Gay Man, the center of his universe is clearly his sexual identity as evidenced in his daily blog posts.  Every once-in-awhile Andrew stumbles — and he fell hard last week by dismissing Mitt Romney’s youthful hazing of another student as a form of bullying — and his readers attacked and Andrew backed down, sort of, with a half-hearted and utterly bewildering defense of “Pranks” vs. “Bullying.”

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The Importance of the Bully Documentary

For the duration of my public high school experience (prior to attending The Peddie School for the second part of tenth grade through my senior year) I was reassured by my brother that I didn’t have to worry about people verbally or physically abusing me because he would take care of me. When I got to the Peddie School I did not even notice that there was any bullying.

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Facebook Warns Me Against Accepting New Friendships

Why does Facebook insist on continuing to tell me who my friends are and are not?  On August 27, 2010 I wrote — Facebook as Probiotic: I Now Have 5,000 Friends — and I was delighted I had so many new and coveted virtual friends on Facebook:

The Facebook friends count is volatile as it jumps by a count of ten and then drops by ten throughout the day.  One moment, you have 4,900 friends and the next time you update the page moments later, you’ve dropped down to 4,890 friends — that makes adding new friends a bit perilous and hard to predict because Facebook is sensitive if you try to add too many friends too fast, or if you accept too many new friendships too quickly.

Facebook will not hesitate to warn you against — or even ban you from — adding too many friends.  I don’t understand why.

Facebook have always been bullies and censors when you try to add new friend requests if they don’t think you really really truly know those people — and they block you.  That is annoying and irritating.

This week, Facebook started a new bullying ploy from the other side of the “friending” dyad — harassing ME if I want to accept a NEW FRIEND invitation from someone else they don’t think I know!  Here’s the screenshot proof:

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American Sign Language in Performance: Stop Bullying Now at Gallaudet

We know American Sign Language is the fourth most popular foreign language on American college campuses, and when you combine ASL to help battle bullying in the classroom, you begin to empower and enliven the downtrodden and the misbegotten. When we remember Tyler Clementi, we must always see our own vulnerabilities exploited by others in his demise. Some Gallaudet University graduate students have created an anti-Bullying video in American Sign Language to help spread the word. I promoted their — “Stop Bullying Now” — video from my Facebook page last night, and I was delighted to see how quickly a positive wave was built in support of the video.

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Picking Presidential Pet Names

One mark of a bully beyond the physical is intimidation of others through direct and veiled belittling. One way that kind of emotional bullying occurs is through the application of invented “Pet Names.” Some refer to pet names as “nicknames” but “pet names” is more appropriate for the intention behind the naming because it conveys ownership and dominion over the named.

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