Guest commentary, by Stan Kimer, Total Engagement Consulting, Raleigh, N.C.:

There has been a lot of media attention the past few months about the tragic suicides of several gay teens as a result of gay bullying. So often these vulnerable teens do not find any support in their schools, churches, communities and even families, and see the ending of their lives as their only recourse.

With this senseless loss of lives being an American tragedy, entertainment leaders such as Chris Colfer of the TV show “Glee” and Ellen Degeneres, as well as many religious leaders from several mainstream denominations have spoken to our country to address this bullying. But what is often missing is our business leaders and political leaders addressing the impact this bullying has on our entire country at the macro level.

Certainly the main focus of this discussion has to be preserving the dignity of every human life. But what we can add to the discussion is the wider impact. Behind the several teens who have ended their lives, there are also thousands of other children who are bullied and as a result participate in destructive behavior. These can include dropping out of school, alcohol and drug abuse, and running away from home. This leads to the downward spiral of ceasing educational and vocational development. We then as a country foster a set of second-class citizens who have dropped out of society and are not encouraged to grow with their skills to become contributing members of our economy. This will eventually develop into a drain on our country’s social services and health programs.

I believe every political voice on both sides of the aisle as well as business, education and community leaders can all unite on this issue to not only save lives, but to also contribute positively to the growth and education of every citizen. To complete in the growing global economy, we need everyone in our country to contribute to their full capabilities. It is good for every person as well as our country for each person to pursue education and vocational development with passion, not having to fear bullying in these same places they attending for this education. Every leader needs to step up to strongly advocate for strong laws as well as in depth education to stop all bullying of all people.

— Reposted with permission from Stan Kimer’s Total Engagement Consulting.

4 replies on “The Macroeconomics of Gay Bullying”

  1. I am on board for efforts to stop bullying. But the argument given here for it is awful and detrimental. The argument is that the great collective benefits if people aren’t bullied. It seems people as servants to the collective and not individuals who have rights and feelings.

    People have a RIGHT to not be bullied even if they never contribute to the economy or act as servants of some massive collective entity. This author is channeling Stalin or Mao. The case against bullying rests on the rights of the individual, not on any contributions they make to the rest of us. Even people who never benefit others have rights.

    If this disgusting argument were to take hold it would undermine all rights. It really argues that rights exist only when a person contributes to others. It implies that someone who makes no such contributions thus has no rights and then it would be okay to bully them.

  2. CLS, I have to say I agree and disagree, respectfully. I’m not sure that the author was attempting to classify people as contributing or not contributing to collective society, but rather meant that all people have the capacity to contribute if they are allowed to live their lives and do so.

    While I understand the argument that only regarding people as components of a massive social identity, it should be noted that like it or not, that is what we are, and I think some indication was given that the intent wasn’t to discount the whole person, or the fractured pieces of a whole person who has been bullied, as just cogs in a greater good. I think it is more of an attempt to add to that argument in terms that people who may think “another dead queer is a good thing” can understand.

    People, regardless of who they are should most definitely be allowed a contributing voice in society, whether or not we want to hear that voice on an personal level is irrelevant, but the right to be heard is. So in much the same way I haven’t said anything here that could be construed as attacking, that’s how we as people need to approach each other. To be able to see past the individual parts (race, gender, sexuality, income, hair color, etc.) of a person and provide each other basic human rights so that we can work together as a society. And through not attacking each other, we can have a discussion instead of a war.

  3. I do need to reply to CLS since CLS missed the point. I was not saying my argument was “instead of” the importance of respecting every human person an assuring than no one be bulleyed, but was in addition to it. I quote from my blog “Certainly the main focus of this discussion has to be preserving the dignity of every human life. But what we can add to the discussion is the wider impact.”

    So you missed that very important point and then lashed out at me. Instead we should work together and understand that sometimes multiple points of view supporting an issue makes an overall stronger case than just one single argument.

    I also thank Joseph for his rebuttal of the comment.

    Best Regards, STAN

  4. I just want to continue with one more point (since I am a morning person and this is when my mind is clearest). I do agree with CLS that individual human rights should never be sacrificed for the greater “common good” but in the case of gay bullying the argument to stop bullying to protect every individual and the argument to stop bullying because it is the best thing collectively for our country are not in conflict – they are supportive!

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