Jeff Reese

On Bullying

*BREAKING NEWS* Our crack investigative team has discovered Donald Trump is a bully, and an asshole.

 

In the 80s, I attended junior high in Durango, Colorado. My 8th grade year, a friend killed himself because of the relentless bullying he received. We weren’t very close, but he was a fellow nerd and lacked the limited social skills even I possessed at the time. He was physically assaulted regularly and suffered emotional abuse beyond anything anyone could handle. I was bullied to a lesser extent and all it did was make me prone to fight bullying whenever I see it.

Here in Northern Colorado, two eleven-year-old kids, one male, one female, committed suicide within days of each other. So far, only one death is attributed to being a victim of bullying, but I’ll bet the other was either bullied at home or in school. It’s a heartbreaking turn of events in this small city.

With the internet and social media, there is no respite for those who are being bullied anymore. Used to be, when I was feeling picked on, I could go home and play guitar along to The Damned albums or attempt to learn Descendents songs. But now bullies have access to kids’ bedrooms and, if they have them, smartphones, so it can often feel inescapable to the victim.

It is in that frame of mind I saw the video of Donald Trump physically mock Serge Kovaleski.

Mr. Kovaleski is a reporter for The Washington Post. On September 18, 2001, in an article that he was a coauthor of, this appeared: “In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were ALLEGEDLY [emphasis mine] seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.” (The Washington Post, Sept 18, 2001, “Northern New Jersey Draws Probers’ Eyes,” Serge F. Kovaleski and Fredrick Kunkle)

This was cited by Trump as a source for his bullshit allegation that, “I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.” Mr. Kovaleski had the temerity to refute Trump’s later citation of his article by saying he “did not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating.” One thing a bully hates is being contradicted.

Kovaleski also suffers from arthrogryposis, a congenital joint condition that limits movement in his arms. When attacking Kovaleski during a “stump” speech (I’ve had the misfortune of being glued to the TV watching the stream of idiocy that “The Donald” calls a stump speech, it’s a crazy blend of fake off-the-cuff comments and ego masturbation that can be hilarious if it wasn’t so scary), Trump appears to impersonate the physical movements that someone suffering from this condition would do. The video is sickening.

I was able to stand aside as Trump insulted Latino immigrants and Syrian refugees because I knew that kind of rhetoric speaks to a segment of our society, and having that segment of society easily identifiable isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I could also ignore his openly fascist statements about registering Muslim Americans because I knew the reaction to it would be from both sides of the aisle. But to see him mock a disabled individual hit me. It filled me with anger at the bully he is.

We as a society cannot abide bullying in any form and must call it out whenever we see it. Bullying literally kills. It killed my friend, it killed the two eleven-year-olds here recently, and it kills kids and adults every day. So I’m now actively working to make sure that as many people know the true nature of Trump’s campaign and ask anyone who tweets this article to also mention @realDonaldTrump, @jwr341, and use the hastag #trumpisanasshole or #bullyTrump. We know he reads @ mentions on Twitter and maybe he’ll see this and engage.

Because, seriously, fuck him and those that still support his dog-whistling, xenophobic, and fascist rhetoric. Because he represents the id to our collective super-ego and, if we let the id rule our actions, it will only bring forth destruction and pain. Imagine a situation, in the improbable event Trump actually wins the White House, where he decides to mock the leader of China with a horrible Hop Sing impersonation; it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

We should demand Trump apologize to Serge Kovaleski.

 

Jeff Reese

Jeff Reese is a blue-collar socialist living in Colorado. He’s worked his adult life in the automotive industry fixing, as he puts it, “broken shit.” And he loves fly-fishing.

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