In recent years, there has been much media attention given to "bullying" in schools, with the lion's share of attention given to a particular type of bullying, that directed at youngsters identified as "gay." The schoolyard scorn directed at students who are fat or unathletic or unattractive or unpopular for a myriad of other reasons is largely ignored, just as all those suffering and dying from diseases other than AIDS were largely ignored when curing a disease spread largely through homosexual acts became the media and celebrity cause du jour.
Even worse than the selective indignation behind the anti-bullying crusade is the way that indignation easily leads to more bullying. Last night I heard the story of a teenage girl attending a local public high school. Her English teacher decided to indoctrinate his students to support gay marriage. He asked the students to break up into two groups, with those favoring gay marriage going to one side of the room and those opposing gay marriage going to the other side of the room. The teenage girl and three boys were the only ones in their class to oppose gay marriage. Now that his victims had identified themselves, the teacher began browbeating the students who opposed gay marriage to switch sides. The three boys did, leaving the teenage girl all by herself. Now, if the girl had been singled out and verbally abused by her teacher because she was gay, she probably would have received a phone call from President Obama and been the subject of massive media attention. But since she was abused for supporting the view shared by all civilizations and all epochs except our own, she really can't expect anyone who counts in today's America to care.
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.