Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bullies



  I was listening to Phil Valentine talking about kids wearing anti-bullying purple shirts today in our schools for Spirit Day, October 15th. I grew up a spoiled and sheltered child. My mother always wanted me to avoid fighting. Fighting did not make you a man she said. That was easy for me because I was a coward. Then my life changed when I was orphaned at the age of 12 and I no longer had my parents to run to. At 14 a bully walked up to me in school, and for no reason punched me in the face and I just stood there and did nothing. Around the same age I was playing a pin ball machine at the State Fair when I realized that I was suddenly surrounded by a group of teenage thugs. I tried not to show any fear until one punk leaned close to my ear and said, "F_ _ k  you". I did a Pee Wee Herman and eased on out of there, letting them have the rest of my game and the pin ball machine to themselves. I am in my sixties now and I still cringe when when I think about those times that I backed down to bullies. The next time I had to deal with a bully I put him on the floor with one punch and I was shocked at how easy it was and how good I felt afterward. When I was stationed at N.O.R.A.D. in Colorado Springs I was promoted to SSgt just after my arrival there. Several men in my unit had as much time in grade as I did but they were still E-4's or Buck Sergeants. One big Polish guy named Macheski was apparently resentful of my promotion. My promotion made me the Assistant Flight Chief and Macheski's supervisor. He wasn't quite as tall as I was but he was big and barrel chested. We got along until I was promoted but then he started trying to bully me. He would make threatening remarks or bump into me as we passed each other. As a supervisor and as a man I had to do something because I knew that I would lose the respect of my men. One day we were passing each other through a doorway and he bumped into me pretty hard. Turning to me he said, "Segroves, one of these days I'm going to sniper your ass".  There were several of my men watching this and I calmly unhooked my gun belt and placed it on a chair. We were Air Force Security Policemen and were armed. I squared off, looking him straight in the eyes. "You take that gun off, and we will settle this right here, man to man. If he had taken me up on my challenge we could have both been brought up on charges for fighting. This had to stop however. He glared at me for a few seconds and finally with a sheepish grin on his face said, "Aw Segroves, I'm just playing with you". After that I had no more problems with him. I got some sweet revenge a few days later. We worked nine day cycles and after our last midnight shift going into our 24 hour break we would all go to a local city park and play tackle football without helmets or pads. I received a kick-off and was running as fast as I could go down the sidelines when Macheski tried to tackle me. I just ran right over him as if he wasn't there. These were rough games. One day I was going up for a pass. The last thing I remember was catching the ball square in my chest. When I woke up I was sitting on the ground with a bunch of guys standing around me. I had been knocked out cold and for about an hour I could barely remember anything. 

  There are various ways to stand up to a bully without having to fight. We encounter employers, teachers, customers, bureaucrats, politicians and many others that are bullies in our everyday life. I have only had one real fight in my life. As a security officer I still run into thugs and bullies on occasion.. Whenever someone tries to bully me it just makes me that much more determined to stand up to them. My fear is that we are becoming a nation of wimps. There is a "woosification" of society going on today that will one day come back to haunt us. If we don't stop this cancer of political correctness we will become a defeatist nation. The left will have what they want. A nation full of sheep. One reason that Donald Trump is ahead in the polls, in my opinion, is that he stands up to the liberal bullies in the press and on the left. When attacked, he defends himself. Some might argue that there are bullies out there that are dangerous and too formidable to handle on our own. That they can kill or maim us and I would agree. Yet there is a fate worse than death. A life without honor. As a writer I speak out about many wrongs in society. These days as we have seen it can be tough speaking your mind. The PC crowd bully people that speak out. Calling them a variety of hateful names in order to silence them. Names like homophobe, bigot, nativist, racist, sexist, and Islamophobe. Speaking out about radical Islam can get you killed. As we have seen in the case of those in France who were writers for the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, who died for drawing cartoons of Mohammad. Or for the attempted murder of Pam Geller in Texas. I think of the Jews that fought to the last man and woman in the Warsaw Ghetto. They had to know that they were fighting a lost cause but they chose an honorable death, standing up to the German bullies, rather than meekly walking into a German gas chamber. 

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