Nurses Know Bullying When They See It

The words in blue or underlined are hyperlinks, click on them and you will enjoy what you find. Also, please send this to ten other nurses, share as widely as you can!

Executive summary: This week we were treated to a display of bullying.

Bullying is defined as:

Bullying is the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others. The behavior can be habitual and involve an imbalance of social or physical power. It can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability.[2][3] The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a “target”.

Bullying is an issue in the nursing workplace.

yes, this is a shocking cartoon, but it indicates the degree to which the conservative movement, also known as the “Religious Right” disrespects persons of color. Every nurses needs to stand up for the dignity of persons, and to teach their children accordingly. If Romney gets elected President, America will be a meaner, tougher place.  That is not what I want. How about you?

Every nurse has experienced bullying in one form or another.  All you need to do is Google the term Nurse Bullying, and you will see that this has been a hot topic in 2012. It’s a hallmark of dysfunctional workplace culture, and I have written about it here.

Bullying and Big Bird

something that has totally shocked Wednesday was the casual reference made by Mitt Romney about firing Big Bird.  He made a joke out of it, but nurses should make no mistake: there is an agenda here at work. If you don’t believe me, watch this YouTube. In it, there is a guy who says that Elmo and Sesame Street are promoting a “gay agenda.”  ( this is astounding to me!). The guys in the YouTube video are against everything we teach to promote healthy growth and development among children.  Contrast the twit who wrote that book with Mister Rogers when he testified in front of congress.

From http://www.salon.com/2012/10/04/you_do_not_mess_with_big_bird/

What Romney, in his adorably out-of-touch way, failed to grasp with that statement is that practically every American under the age of 50 has a powerful childhood association with that goofy oversize lug. An entire generation can trace its first understanding of death to the moment that Big Bird let it sink in that “Mr. Hooper’s not coming back.” And another generation learned about loss and community and resilience after 9/11 when “Sesame Street” had Big Bird’s own nest destroyed in a storm. (The show aired Big Bird’s odyssey again after Katrina.) And I defy even a robotic millionaire to get through Big Bird’s choked-up rendition of “It’s Not Easy Being Green” at Jim Henson’s memorial service and not completely lose it when he says, “Thank you, Kermit.” [...]

[D]espite coming out of the evening looking stronger than he has in weeks — Romney made the error of looking like a man who is not on the side of innocence, whimsy, learning or childhood. Nor did he seem to grasp that Big Bird is an integral part of a show that was created for and remains at its core about community and diversity, one that has for decades been an essential tool in helping low-income children prepare for school. Going after Big Bird is like putting down baseball and rainbows and YouTube videos of otter pups. You just don’t.

Primetime Propaganda

In 2011 I was in Nepal, so I missed the shooting star of a book titled “Primetime Propaganda”  (as an aside, it’s currently ranked a lot lower than my book; and also, you can buy used copies on Amazon for 81 cents).  The real reason Romney wants to defund PBS and Sesame Street has nothing to do with funding; it has everything to do with a backlash against teaching such things as tolerance, anti-bullying, respect, and dignity.

Personal story

Big Bird was originally designed to be the awkward teenager in all of us. He still is. Romney is not joking when he says he wants to fire Big Bird. Let’s stop this twisted agenda.

When my kids were little, we lived on an old run-down farm with eighty acres of land in rural Maine, down a gravel (i.e., unpaved) road. There were no other pre-school aged children within a mile. The only way they could play with other kids was to be driven somewhere else.  Maine Public Broadcasting  had Mister Rogers and Sesame Street on in the afternoons, right around the time we made dinner every day.  My wife and I grew up near Boston, in a diverse environment, going to public schools that were multiracial and playing on multiracial sports teams, and I wanted to make sure my kids kept the same outlook.  Sesame Street was one vehicle to promote that. Word is, cutting the PBS funding from Congress mainly will affect TV stations in rural areas.

Re-elect President Obama.

There are stories that Mitt Romney has been a bully all his life. He does not have a clue what it is like to be the victim of bullying. Romney does not know that the President is supposed to stand up for all Americans, not just the 1%. We need a grown up in the White House who knows what daily life is like for many of our citizens. That’s one more reason nurses need to vote for Obama.

and a suggestion:

If Mr. Obama wins re-election, I think that the Inauguration should include a guest appearance by Kermit the Frog. Singing his big break-out hit song. (from 1969???)

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Greetings, Kermit the Frog here And today I’d like to tell you a little bit about the color green Do you know what’s green Well I am for one thing You see frogs are green, and I’m a frog And that means that I’m green, you see

It’s not that easy being green Having to spend each day the color of the leaves When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow, or gold Or something much more colorful like that

It’s not easy being green It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things And people tend to pass you over ‘Cause you’re not standing out Like flashy sparkles in the water Or stars in the sky

But green’s the color of spring And green can be cool and friendly-like And green can be big like a mountain Or important like a river Or tall like a tree

When green is all there is to be It could make you wonder why But why wonder why wonder I am green, and it’ll do fine It’s beautiful, and I think it’s what I want to be

This is the message I want every kid in America, to hear.

For more background, go to this excellent blog.

1 Comment

Filed under Obamacare

One response to “Nurses Know Bullying When They See It

  1. Got an email from an old friend who said:

    Hi Joe, You can share this on your blog if you like.

    When I heard the debate, I certainly did not like the comment about Big Bird but did not analyze it. I was focusing more on budget stuff and ACA comments. When I saw your face book comments about Big Bird, I was happy to see them and then went to the blog and read about bullying. At first, I did not buy into the bullying idea, but then took dog for a walk and as we walked, I thought, “Yes, it was bullying”. It is very interesting to consider. Some will say he had every right to say that he does not believe in supporting public radio, but that is not the point so much as where and how he said it. Even though he tried joke about Big Bird, I think that he was aggressive and threatening in two ways. One: the host of the debate was a highly respected news commentator from public television, Jim Laherer. Romney was saying” I can and will take away support for your program” which is indeed threatening and aggressive. Romney spoke in a forceful tone with a forceful body language geared to establish dominance or intimidate. Two, bringing in Big Bird, a beloved character to many, had a connotation of cruel to me because it seemed to mock what many held dear and even though there was an attempt at humor, the tone was parenteral and domineering-“Big Bird is over”.

    Now this might seem as nit picking, but I think it reveals a deep, enduring pattern- of arrogance, insensitivity and aggression. Putting the dog on the roof of the car was a long time ago and has been the source of many laughs, yet, minimally, it seems to show a lack of sensitivity to the animal. In the intellectual appraisal, physically the dog did fine, but life is sentience along with thought. Consider the visit to London when Romney offended his hosts re the Olympic preparation. What about the visit to Israel, when Romney offended at least one culture and presumed to identify the capital of Israel. In one of the most diplomatically sensitive and dangerous regions of the world, he presumed to speak with authority where wisdom might have counseled humility. So here is an man who offends a faithful alley by what might be called an aggressive criticism and goes to one of the very most difficult and dangerous areas of the world and presumes to have knowledge that at best was flawed. And then there was the judgmental statement after the embassy attack which was diplomatically inappropriate, again aggressive, and insensitive. Finally, there is the comment about 48% of the American public being slackers. Now the amazing part of this comment is the inaccurate way it deals with fact, and it’s horrific lack of ability to empathize with the American public in the greatest economic downturn since the great depression. Consider too, the history of Romney’s work at Bain capital where some firms seemed to prosper yet many individuals were cut in the name of efficiency and profit. Again, there is nothing wrong with efficiency and profit, but there needs to be a balance between sentience and thought. In all of these instances, Romney seems to have trouble with the sentience, either by design or by ineptness. In either case, having Romney in the position of President is a very frightening prospect on both the domestic and international scene. I think this is what the philosopher meant when he said, “The dreams of reason are nightmares”. Romney is telling us who he is. The public television and Big Bird issue is part of a significant pattern.

let's talk about this. I don't expect everybody to agree with everything I say; and hey, I bet you could add to this discussion if you shared your own experiences in a comment, below!

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