Posted in Bullying, Re-blogs

Rondeau Redoublé

Is our society so shallow…sick that we prefer victims? Read this excellent poem on Cyberbullies

Bastet and Sekhmet's Library

Rondeau Redouble


Seems we prefer victims once they are dead.
Easier to sit back than take up a cause,
Silently watching we aide and abed,
Laughing with bullies we sharpen their claws!

So used to cruelty it gives us no pause,
Meek are the victims and carefully bred
We love martyrs I think this because,
Seems we prefer victims once they are dead.

Maybe it’s fear we’ve grown in our head.
We won’t defend victims from bully outlaws.
Better be quiet you see we’re well-bred.
Easier to sit back than take up a cause.

A victim the tough guy chews in his maws.
The silly chicken or the gross dead-head,
Ridiculing, hurting seeking guffaws…
Silently watching we aide and abed.

He’s funny baiting the nerdy egghead,
Such a great show, he deserves your hurrahs!
Tomorrow maybe you’ll be the knucklehead…
Laughing with bullies we sharpen their claws!

Taught you’d…

View original post 47 more words

Posted in Bullying

Release Me

Release Me is a raw and sad reality of cyberbullying…


Release me past morning breath and across divides,
Release me where struggle, spin and a sell subsides.
Release me among the smog, cleansing souls of black,
Release me to whitewashed rooms to dispel attack.
Release me before bread, I’ll bring you to your knees,
Release me for eyes wetter than reverent, endless seas.
Release me to a friend and let me be theirs to be,
Release me into the skin of a long held enemy.
Release me like a yellow balloon into moody skies,
Release me so cruelty from ill word and action dies.
Release me in adults for inner children do laugh loud,
Release me and keep me not in a deathly shroud.
Release me upon this world like seeds angels sow,
Release me now, long before the final horn will blow.

Copyright © 2013 Shainbird. All rights reserved.

Note: This post serves to fulfill two prompts. The poem…

View original post 49 more words

Posted in Bullying


young teen thinking of problems SILOUETTECyberbullying

Bullying is certainly most youths’ nightmares at some point in their lives. Usually the bullying stops when you are in the privacy of your home. The problem with Cyberbullying is that it NEVER turns off…EVER!

Cyberbullying is repeated aggression using electronic devices such as computers, cell phones and tablets. I was checking on Sick Kids’ website in Toronto and was shocked to see these stats. This article was dated 2011 so it has mostly likely increased since then!

These are stats for 8 to 11 year olds {I still cannot believe this…shocking!}
– 18% use social networking sites such as Facebook despite meeting age requirements!
– 58% communicate through internet or cell phone and 31% have their own cell phone!
– 28% of those who own a phone send and receive texts and 21% have internet on their phone
– By age 11, children text an average of 80 minutes a day!

Cyberbullying is upsetting because it is so invasive filtering in the homes of youths and young adults.
50% of victims do not even know who their aggressors are. Lots of youths remain silent for fear of having their personal electronics removed!

Parental monitoring does not help
Children may be too savvy for parents because monitoring apparently shows little results according to Burr J. Correlates of electronic aggression in elementary school students. Montreal 2011
Open communication is key to protect against cyberbullying. So talk about it! Not just one sit down discussion about it but ongoing communication…open dialogues!

Cyberbullying is powerful because the person bullying is able to hide behind a monitor, smart phone or tablet and most times he/she can get away with it. Things get blown out of proportion pretty quickly too. We call that viral…you know when you see a comment along with a photo about someone on Facebook for example and someone clicks “like”…worse yet, others “share” that status and it has gone viral within minutes!

Bystanders/witnesses ARE guilty too! If you clicked “like” or “share” on an insulting comment on someone’s Facebook page, you are saying you agree with the “bully”. Yep, just as guilty.
You get an email with a compromising photo of a classmate. Your hand goes to your gaping mouth and seconds later you have forwarded to 10 of your buddies. You have just implicated yourself as being connected with this “bully”.

You get a text message of a friend who is at a party and took a few shots of peers in embarrassing positions that make them look worse than what really was going on at that party. DON’T you dare press FORWARD…ah, geez, you did…too late…you are now part of a team of “bullies” who have made the life of a young girl miserable…so much so that she is suffering depression and has suicidal thoughts. Now you hear about this girl has quit school or moved to another town and you think to yourself, “Gee, we were just clowning around.!” Oh, yeah? Think again!

What can adults do to help? Well, for starters, parents may give their children some guidelines on etiquette; consequences of spreading rumours is 1,000,000,000 times worse than word of mouth. Teachers may include in their language arts classes, etiquette on the internet {gee that rhymes!}
It would be great if some of these tips were offered in an interactive way and made to have some fun. If youths interact with new information, chances are they will retain.

There are laws now regarding to Cyber bullying and don’t kid yourself, the police CAN trace who is the bully…so watch out! Oh, and no need to say it is a free world and you have freedom of speech. Once you have denigrated, shamed, humiliated and hurt another person and their reputation…all that goes out the window and in the huge garbage bin. GET IT!?? Sorry if I seem a bit snarky. I hear too often from youths who suffer at the hands of those “cruel” digits clicking on their cell phones, tablet or computers way too many times in any given week…really!

It breaks my heart and frustrates me to no end to get a phone call from a youth that is devastated by some kid who decided it would be cool and fun to put up a web page and have their peers comment on one that youth. How cruel is that? How can that be fun? I don’t care if you say, “I didn’t know it would go that far.” IT DID go too far!

The media talks about way tragic losses through suicides…youths have taken their lives due to the persecution of cyberbullying. I spoke with a mom in June whose daughter did take her life due to bullying. It broke my heart. I feel so powerless when a youth calls…I wish I could do more. When they hang up, I worry that kid may not pull through. I cannot even fathom how a parent must feel having to experience such a tragic loss. Can you?

The media is covering this topic more and more lately. Is it because they care? Well, let’s be frank now, tragedy sells papers. That sickens me, yes, but good reporters, I believe, have a moral responsibility to inform the public…we do need to be aware of the dangers of this to prevent it from happening over and over. More importantly as parents and responsible adults don’t we want to protect our children?

Social networks do have means to help curb or even stop cyberbullying from propagating. Many youths who say they keep seeing negative comments on their statuses, I usually tell them to report! It is getting even easier now I noticed on Facebook this week, you can obviously “unfriend” a person by going on their FB page, click “message” at the top right hand side and a menu drops down and click “unfriend” BUT, on this same menu, just above “unfriend” is “Report/block” and THAT is where you can so easily report the abuse. Twitter, Tumblr and so many others are similar…so parents, who are aware your children are on these sites, perhaps before they get on, it would be great to navigate the sites with your child to see what the safety precautions are.

There is so much I could talk about but I’ll end here and list a few articles/sites you can get more information.

Oh, by the way, I was interviewed last with by the Montreal Gazette on Cyberbullying so I’ll add that as a resource too…what the heck {Wink}

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts,, August 30, 2013

Related Articles:

About Kids Health – Sick Kids
 Kids Help Phone/Cyberbullying
Child Porn Teens Arrested
Montreal Gazette – Searching for an effective way to fight bullying

Posted in Stigma Talks

Rant droppings of racism!

b me november 3

I’m BACK already!! These are rant droppings left over from hearing a few comments the other day and it made me think that maybe we just need to be reminded.  So here goes…

Have you ever heard jokes about cultures that may have passed as sort of funny to some folks but were not really?  Have you ever felt that uneasy feeling, you know that feeling where you feel like squirming in your seat?  Aw, you know what I mean.  That person who makes a remark thinking nothing of it when he says such and such about someone, and uses a derogatory term once too often heard and tolerated about a certain culture, race or religion.

The joke just slides because you are pretty sure that this person is just not racist. And yet, why am I shifting in my seat when I hear it?  That person might even be your boss, so what are you going to do?  It could be a good friend or relative whom you love, so what now?  It could be a colleague you work with infrequently and you wonder to yourself, “Do I really want to get into this?”

Sometimes you may say something, and sometimes you just may let it slide, but you still will not laugh;  still, you haven’t said anything and THAT is a very awkward  feeling…just to sit and not stand up for what you believe.  And why would you? The person didn’t say it in bad faith, so why make a stink about it?

That very religious person who may say, “Oh, aren’t you concerned to marry that person who is from a different culture, a different race and still not marry in a church that you were baptized?  Aren’t you concerned it may sort of bring you bad luck?”  {Yes, I kid you not on that comment!…sigh!}

That  squirmy feeling I get at the pit of my stomach reminds me of past times when I was a kid, listening to inappropriate racist, sexist or vulgar jokes my father used to dribble. My sister and I would just smile, sort of,  and pretend we thought it was cool or funny.  But what was the alternative?  To have him look at us with disgust as if we were not intelligent enough to grasp his “higher intelligent” meaning in that statement?  He could mutter with impatience that we were too stupid to understand anything.  The message here was, if you can’t find a racist, sexist or vulgar joke funny, you were just not smart enough to be part of the human race.  {That’s okay.  We somehow, knew that he was wrong but were smart enough to just shut our mouths and count our blessings without a huge negative reaction.}

It is the same feeling many of us get when someone is bullying another person, making snide remarks and as a bystander, it makes you feel pretty lousy but you may not respond to the bullying.   Do you know what I mean?

That’s how I was feeling the other day when I heard a comment about a religious group.   I knew with all my heart that there wasn’t any unkindness in the remark.  And another time when hearing a joke that seemed quite harmless but there was a young and impressionable youth present, I felt inclined to be a little more assertive and gently but firmly interject my correction in the way the culture was defined.

That was very hard for me to do because I didn’t want to offend the person; a defensive response may come into play and so I have to prepared to speak up, yet again.  Why is it difficult to do?  Because often,  I know that a person means no harm, it was just a joke! Don’t we always say that, “It was just a joke”?   So if you want things in life to change or even make a dent in that change, you have to be willing to be “part of that change”.  And so, I did and am trying to do.

For example, is it funny to make jokes about Indians?  Well, if you are an Indian, meaning that you are from India and want to make some jokes, I suppose that’s just honky dory, as long as  your audience is not offended…I guess.    But the insinuations I may hear  are directed to our First Nations people and no, they are not Indian.  Perhaps governments give them “Indian” status and in many conferences this term “Indian” is proper.  But let’s not be splitting hairs now.  When I hear jokes to that effect today,  many people are NOT even thinking of that!  They are just bad old habits not yet broken.   When they are voiced in front of younger people, children and teens for example, what are you teaching them?  Yes, racism is taught.  It is never ever inherent! It is simply learned from a person’s environment.  That silly joke that an uncle, cousin or grandparent said about that guy from Germany, Japan, Italy or New Guinea just to name a few, may not be proper anymore. It never was but today, we are trying to think and talk less bigoted.  Some communities are adamant about the fact that they are not racist…I tend to agree with some…they appear to be xenophobic, just plain intolerant of anyone or anything different from them.

I love comedy and I often tape shows for comedy relief and laugh therapy especially when I come home after a long shift late at night.  Some of the shows that I record on my PVR are The Big Bang Theory, Roseanne, All in the Family and The Jeffersons.    Comic relief does wonders to kick back and unwind.

By the way, you do know that the remarks from Archie Bunker in All in the Family about his son-in-law he calls Meathead and other derogatory names referring to his Polish homeland are not truly serious, right?   They are comments said with tongue in cheek, you know, the kind of comment to make us laugh at OURSELVES.  That’s right!  When Archie snarled at his neighbour Mr. Jefferson, he was not actually serious!  For those who thought he was well, folks, I hate to break the news to ya’all, the joke was then on YOU!  An African-American friend of mine once remarked about “Archie Bunker” saying that he thought that show was way ahead of its time.  Is it politically correct to hear jokes like that?  I guess not but Archie was not racist…he was mimicking the absurdity of it all.

You want to pick out radio talk shows that are deathly racist and obnoxious?  There are plenty but I don’t have to and do NOT listen to any Howard Stern type shows…good grief!

I can say that I find certain jokes within our own country (Canada) not so funny either, like the French and English issue is a lot more strained than one may care to admit especially during election time.  I am sure in other countries tensions rise during other specific times as well.  Am I right?

I am half French and the other half is English, Irish and Welsh;  I can laugh at myself and I am exposed to both fronts of attacks.    I love my mother’s French Quebecois ancestry;  I love my Anglophone heritage…mostly raised with our Irish Catholic traditions that seemed to go well with French Canadian Catholic values.

I don`t like the  bitterness directed at my other half (Anglophone) though and I don`t like any kind of deliberate cruelty on anyone.  If a person cannot speak French when he visits my hometown, Montreal, for instance, why would I give him the cold shoulder?  Why would a person try to pretend he does not understand?  If it is pride or vanity displaced, then just admit by saying you don’t speak English,  “Excusez, je ne comprend pas l’anglais”  just say it man!  But when you say this in perfect English to tourists visiting here, “I don’t speak English”…grrrr, I could slap you silly just like that, I could!

I am not talking about past histories of oppression.  Give it a rest, will you!   I am not talking about frayed nerves…I am talking about plain courtesy…manners!! So pull up your boot straps and tie them up and button your lip when you feel like spewing garbage and projecting old resentments to people who are just visiting…sheeesh!   I feel so ashamed, sometimes, hearing some people act so darn cruel.

And if there are people who have lived here (Quebec) for years and still do not speak French, well, you still can answer politely in the language of said customer or visitor if they are passing through your commercial lair.  Why on earth would you refuse a customer?  Get over yourself and start being a human being!  If you have a business, this is actually good business sense.

The same goes to any town in other English provinces in Canada! …if you don’t speak French when someone passes through, at least try to be polite about it and just say so in English or broken French.  Heck, if they are speaking German, Chinese, Russian or Arabic such as, use your hands, feet and try signing it takes that to help someone!!  Stand on your head if you have to!

Did you ever notice that most people who WILL see that you are willing to still communicate regardless of the language barrier are more open to listen?  They may even sign, draw, and write on paper to communicate.   Don’t block communication!  You never know, IF that next person who comes into your store or visits your town/city may just be a person who could change your life!   Each and every meeting with human beings, however small, impacts on you in some way.  That is how we grow and are enriched with the abundance of wisdom and insights in all our interpersonal relationships.

What irks me are the stereotyping and generalizations.  I remember at a former employment, a communications manager said to me, “Gee,  you sure don’t act English”  My response was, “Why?  Because I’m not rich and live on the mountain in Westmount.”  He sort of smiled sheepishly.

To conclude this little piece, I just want to suggest that you be more aware of  old fashioned insensitive jokes.  Be prepared to have someone come back at you with a response to let you know you have muffed up…a little.  To the bystander of such remarks, start interjecting and being part of the change.  After you have done it a few times, you will slowly get into the habit of making a comment to take a stand. It needn’t be a loud outburst…just a comment calmly and wisely added can make a whole lot of difference…and you will be making a huge dent in this huge discriminatory machine.  Be part of the change!

Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, August, 13, 2013