Are bullies a victim of bullying?

September 27, 2010

[SOURCE]

I recently wrote a blog on bullying [see here].  The person I was writing about has now described how she was previously a victim of bullying and relates her experience.  It makes a really interesting read:

20100927 Ilana Leeds comment 15290 on Galus Australis - header

20100927 Ilana Leeds comment 15290 on Galus Australis - tail

Ilana Leedssays:

B’H

Violence is bullying and most bullies will not sit and debate or discuss because fear drives them and their life is about power and somehow justifying their methods of denigration of others in order to justify their erroneous ideas.
I have been a victim of bullying and lost my teaching position because someone wanted to teach me a lesson about who is boss. Real leaders are not afraid of dissent because only with dissent do we learn and grow. If we all agreed with one another, what a strange world it would be.
I don’t care what culture, colour, gender or sexuality you are, respect is paramount in dealing with others and a good sense of humour.

One would expect a victim of bullying would be a little more understanding of the issues, especially when it comes to their personal views on homosexuality.

Clearly it’s not always the case.


The Sacred and the Secular: The Same Sex Marriages Case – An Evening with Albie Sachs

September 22, 2010

On Monday night I had the privilege of hearing Albie Sachs talk about his involvement in legalising same-sex marriage in South Africa.  An amazing person, someone we can all learn something from.

See below for details on the event and some background on Albie Sachs.

Albie Sachs, Gabi Crafti, Michael Barnett & Gregory Storer (photo by Gaby Jung); Sep 20 2010

Albie Sachs, Gabi Crafti, Michael Barnett & Gregory Storer; Sep 20 2010 (Photo by Gaby Jung)

The Sacred and the Secular: The Same Sex Marriages Case – An Evening with Albie Sachs

Organisation The Human Rights Law Resource Centre
Date 20 September 2010
Description The Human Rights Law Resource Centre (HRLRC) invites you to an evening with Albie Sachs, Former Judge of the South African Constitutional Court, on the topic of ‘The Sacred and the Secular: The Same Sex Marriages Case’.Sachs was appointed by Nelson Mandela as an inaugural judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He was a member of the National Executive of the ANC and played a crucial role in South Africa’s transition to democracy, including by contributing towards the drafting the South African Bill of Rights. Whilst in exile in Mozambique in 1988, Sachs was badly injured by a car bomb placed by South African security agents. He lost an arm and the sight of one eye as a result.

As a judge of the Constitutional Court, Sachs was responsible for many landmark human rights judgments, including in relation to equality, non-discrimination and social and economic rights. In 1991, Sachs won the Alan Paton Award for his book ‘Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter’. He is also the author of ‘Justice in South Africa’ (1974); ‘The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs’ (1966); ‘Sexism and the Law’ (1979); and ‘The Free Diary of Albie Sachs’ (2004). Sachs’ latest book, ‘The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law’, will be launched in Melbourne at this seminar.

Sachs is visiting Australia to deliver the University of New South Wales Law Faculty Annual Hal Wootten Lecture.

Time: 5.45 pm for 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm.

Venue DLA Phillips Fox, Level 21, 140 William Street, Melbourne
Cost $30 ordinary; $15 concession
Contact admin@pilch.org.au

The Sacred and the Secular:

The Same-Sex Marriages Case

with

Albie Sachs

Former Judge of the South African
Constitutional Court

Albie Sachs was appointed by Nelson Mandela as an
inaugural judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa,
from which he retired in 2009. He was a member of the
National Executive of the ANC and played a crucial role in
South Africa’s transition to democracy, including through
the drafting of the South African Bill of Rights. In 1988,
while in exile in Mozambique, he was badly injured by a car
bomb placed by South African security agents, losing an
arm and the sight of an eye.
As a judge of the Constitutional Court, Justice Sachs was
responsible for many landmark human rights judgments,
including in relation to equality, non-discrimination and
social and economic rights.
In 1991, Albie Sachs won the Alan Paton Award for his
book Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter. He is also the
author of Justice in South Africa (1974), The Jail Diary of
Albie Sachs (1966), Sexism and the Law (1979) and The
Free Diary of Albie Sachs (2004). His most recent book,
The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law, will be launched in
Melbourne at this seminar.
Albie Sachs is visiting Australia to deliver the University of
New South Wales Law Faculty Annual Hal Wootten
Lecture.


Sol Encel and Liam Getreu on society’s minorities

September 21, 2010

Sol Encel is someone I wish I had known more about in his life than in his death.  Reading his obituary moved me deeply.  His genuine and selfless concern for people is a rare quality these days.  Michael Pusey wrote (19/08/10):

Encel was a broadly educated and deeply scholarly liberal intellectual who cared mightily about public ethics. He believed that a society is only as good as the way it treats its minorities.

Liam Getreu had a piece first published in the Jewish News (17/09/10): “Why are we failing future generations?“.  He shares a similar wisdom to Encel on minorities:

The ancient maxim that where there are five Jews there are six opinions should be translated here into our community’s targeting of different groups so as to maximise Jewish engagement. Ask the Russian or Israeli expat populations if the Establishment is meeting their needs; they’ve formed their own communities because we, by and large, struggle to include them our communal activities. We need events and campaigns for them, as well as young people, secular Jews and GLBTs to ensure the future strength of the Jewish population in Australia.

To be sure, they have ideas and they have leaders. When people are putting up their hands, pleading to be listened to, and crying out to be involved, actively, in putting this into action, we can ill-afford to dismiss them. When people are begging to lead, who are we tell them no? When this community means so much to so many people, we have to find a way to include them.

Too often passionate activists are dismissed or lambasted, publicly ridiculed or swore at, blacklisted or threatened, and that cannot continue. Those who represent us, and those we look up to have to be worthy of their epithets and one of their top priorities has to be creating a community for the whole of our people, not only a portion.

I live at the intersection of two minority communities.  I was brought up in the Jewish community in Melbourne.  Indeed, Jews are a minority in Australia at roughly 0.5% of the population.  Some 15 years ago I found myself in a community of people defined by my homosexual orientation, a characteristic that many in the Jewish community struggle to accept as normal and actively discriminate against.

I am continually staggered at how the Jewish community, a people who suffered the worst atrocities humankind has ever perpetrated on itself, can exclude and bully a smaller, more vulnerable community of people.  It’s as if a lesson was not learnt.

Sol Encel and Liam Getreu are inspirational people, for their insight, compassion and humanity.


Ilana Leeds – the biggest bully in town

September 21, 2010

Ilana Leeds declared war on homosexuality today.  She wrote some comments on Galus Australis (here and here):

…if they want marriage and all the other things that go with it,(Like the adoption of children) they need to give up their deviant practices and return to a heterosexual lifestyle and put themselves in order.

and

…those poor sick individuals who have to follow their unnatural desires and indulge in sexual practices that are not normal.

and

No I feel discriminated against, because I am not allowed to hold the view that homosexuality is deviant sexual behaviour, which it is.

It’s easy to understand how a person so steeped in their fundamentalist religious lifestyle can hold these extreme views.  It’s because she lives in an extremely blinkered world, and in that world there are a lot of people who are ignorant of understanding and accepting the diversity of human sexuality.

What’s less easy to understand is how someone so bigoted and hateful as Ilana Leeds can be genuinely concerned about the hot topic of bullying in schools.  She has a background in secondary education.  You can read all about it on her LinkedIn profile (PDF).  Further, she seems to be so interested in the topic of bullying in schools that she felt driven to write a novel about it, as you can see on her Twitter profile.  Her latest tweet was:

I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if she didn’t get past the first line.

And now “educator” and anti-bullying crusader Ilana Leeds has submitted a snide comment to my previous blog:

Author : Ilana Leeds (IP: 115.128.58.22 , 115.128.58.22)
E-mail : nobullies@education.com.au
URL    :
Whois  : http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl?queryinput=115.128.58.22
Comment:
B’H

Only hateful sweetie pie, because you don’t like what I am saying and if it did not touch a raw chord and have an element of truth you would not react so hard.
Have a nice day.

So here you have it.  One the one hand Ilana Leeds calls homosexuals deviants and unnatural, and on the other hand she claims to be concerned about bullying at schools.  My guess is that the part of her brain that allows her to believe in god has grown so big that’s it’s squashed the part of her brain that bestows her intelligence and reason to the size of a shrivelled pea.

Often school kids are bullied because they are gay.  And often they are the most likely candidates for suicide or self-harm.  Any intelligent educator would know this, or be able to easily find it out, unless they have their head firmly lodged up their arse.

Ilana Leeds is one of the biggest bullies in town and as an educator she should be ashamed of herself.


Ilana Leeds, a victim of Jewish religious brainwashing

September 21, 2010

[SOURCE]

Ilana Leeds posted a hateful comment on Galus Australis:

1. Same sex marriage – I do not particularly (along with a few others) like having homosexuality presented to me as ‘normal’. It is not and while I do not advocate discrimination against people who are practicing homosexuals, I think if they want marriage and all the other things that go with it,(Like the adoption of children) they need to give up their deviant practices and return to a heterosexual lifestyle and put themselves in order. Children deserve to have a normal family situation as far as possible.

Ilana Leeds believes her god demands she say this because she’s been brainwashed to believe it.

Ilana Leeds is a narrow-minded bigot whose attitudes and beliefs contribute to the high rate of youth suicide.

Her partner in crime Shoshana Silcove is just as shameful.


Jewish Community Council of Victoria proud friends of evil Catholic Church

September 19, 2010

Richard Dawkins spoke out on the visit of the Pope to the UK.

The Pope personifies evil.

The Catholic Church he represents is the ultimate organisation of evil in existence.

And the Jewish Community Council of Victoria prides itself on its association with the Catholic Church [JCCV media release].

The people of the Jewish community deserve better.


Israeli Supreme Court rules Jerusalem to fund gay community equally

September 14, 2010

Very exciting news just in from Jerusalem Open House.

——–

Dear friends,

After almost five years of legal struggle, we, at the Jerusalem Open House, are proud to announce that the Israeli Supreme Court decided this morning that the Jerusalem Municipality must fund the LGBT community as it does other sectors of society. This, after years of homophobic refusal of City-Hall to support the JOH and its activities.

The direct result of this ground-breaking ruling is that no official body within Jerusalem will be able to discriminate Gays, Lesbian, Transgender and Bisexual people as a policy.

It’s a time of celebration here at JOH, but it’s also a time of gratitude. We want to thank you for supporting our struggle and being by our side. . You gave us not only the means, but also the strength to bear-on. You have a part in today’s victory.

In the spirit of the High Holidays, we’re happy to see that the judges in Jerusalem has finally fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy: “And I will restore your judges as at first and your counsellors as in the beginning; afterwards you shall be called City of Righteousness, Faithful City.”

With this down, we now remain with merely 699 places in the Israeli law where the LGBT community suffers from discrimination. We look forward to our next challenges!

Warm regards from Jerusalem,

Yonatan Gher,

Executive Director

OR

Click here to find out about all the convenient ways to support the Jerusalem Open House.


Is Suicide Prevention Australia genuine about preventing suicide?

September 10, 2010

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.  A lot of people are seriously trying to save a lot of people’s lives.  On the surface this looks like a genuine effort, and for the most part it is, but look a little deeper and not everything is as rosy as you’d like to think.

Suicide Prevention Australia endorses the Salvation Army in their attempts to curb suicide.  Yet the Salvation Army does not believe homosexuality is acceptable.  In fact the Salvation Army does not even acknowledge same-sex attracted people as an at-risk group on their Suicide Prevention Resources & Information page, despite rates of suicide amongst same-sex attracted youth currently reaching alarming levels.

Read my recent and unanswered letter to Ryan McGlaughlin, CEO of Suicide Prevention Australia.  I urge you to write to him as well and ask him the same questions as I do.  Why does SPA continue to endorse the Salvation Army, an organisation with homophobic attitudes that are harmful to same-sex attracted youth?  Why is Suicide Prevention Australia staying silent on this matter?

SPA need to speak out loudly against the Salvation Army and any other organisation that is intolerant of homosexuality.  Until then they can’t be seen to be serious about preventing suicide.


Davenport Underwear. You will be dying to wear it

September 8, 2010

Congratulations to Rob Mitchell for taking an important stand yet again in fighting intolerance and the tide of suicide victims.

If you’re not speaking out, you’re part of the problem.

Michael.


From: Rob Mitchell <rob@rjm.it>
Date: 8 September 2010 20:11
Subject: Stephanie Rice
To: customerservice@davenportunderwear.com.au

Hi,

Can I suggest you check out

www.davenportsucks.com

It is a web site I have set up highlighting the link between the systemic vilification peddled by your ‘star’ and the inevitable result is has on the mental health of the 10 % of young people in this country who are not straight.

For years Davenport has banked great wads of money from the gay community by flogging it their expensive underwear, but when the time comes to discipline one of your ‘ambassadors’ for vilifying that community, you are missing in action.

It’s not good enough, and we are not going to put up with it.

Starting tomorrow (Thursday) we are going to be hitting the GLBTI and metro media with the website, and that is just the start. If you google ‘Davenport’ and ‘suicide’ you will see we are already at number six out of 360,000.

You should ditch Stephanie as an ambassador, as Jaguar have done. To do anything less is to simply profit from hatred and vilification.

Stephanie Rice can burst into tears as often as she likes but I can see no concrete offers of help, monetary or otherwise, to genuinely assist the GLBTI community deal with the vilification related rates of suicide and depression that are endemic in our communities.

If it’s one thing we’ve learnt fighting HIV / AIDS over the last quarter of a century, it is that persistence works. Sooner or later, the broader community are going to associate Davenport underwear with bad corporate governance, and you don’t have to be clairvoyant to work out what that will mean for your bottom line.

It’s unfortunate it’s come to this, but for too long sport has been a ‘safe harbour’ for behaviour that would be unacceptable in any other context, and too often companies that profit from the sporting world won’t step up when required.

Those days are gone.

Rob Mitchell

Member Governance & Inclusion Project, Vic Dept. Sport

Member Integrity In Sport Committee, Australian Sports Commission


My Jewish New Year message

September 8, 2010

It’s the eve of the Jewish New Year.  The Jewish world moves from 5770 to 5771.

My message for the Jewish New Year is that I am going to continue to fight the hate and bigotry perpetrated by the religious bigots in the Jewish community.  I’m going to fight the attitudes that contribute to the atrocious levels of youth suicide, self harm and mental health issues.

Organisations such as the Jewish Community Council of Victoria will remain my key targets.  Whilst they remain adamant that it’s ok for segments of the Jewish community to remain intolerant of homosexuality, I will fight them.  They will be shown up for the narrow-minded bigots, haters and fools that they are.

Intolerance is unacceptable.

Bring on 5771.  Bring on the fight.

Sending sweet wishes of New Year love.

Michael.


In Australia it’s ok to fuck the faggots over

September 5, 2010

[SOURCE]

Last week the NSW government passed a bill allowing same-sex couples the right to adopt children.  There was a concession made though that Christian adoption agencies could refuse services to gay and lesbian couples.

Ms Moore had agreed to amend her private member’s bill, calling for same-sex couples to be allowed to adopt, to give church adoption agencies the right to refuse services to gay and lesbian couples without fear they will breach anti-discrimination laws by doing so.

Take a step back and look at this.  Let’s change the words “gay and lesbian” to “black”.

Ms Moore had agreed to amend her private member’s bill, calling for black couples to be allowed to adopt, to give church adoption agencies the right to refuse services to black couples without fear they will breach anti-discrimination laws by doing so.

or we could try again and use the word “disabilities”

Ms Moore had agreed to amend her private member’s bill, calling for couples with disabilities to be allowed to adopt, to give church adoption agencies the right to refuse services to couples with disabilities without fear they will breach anti-discrimination laws by doing so.

Do you think in 2010 that either of these statements would be possible?  Yet it’s ok to allow the government to make concessions to Christian about gay and lesbian couples.

I’m a gay man in a relationship.  It’s outrageous and embarrassing that my government treats me worse than blacks or disabled people.

Worse than this though is that no one is getting upset or angry about this obscene discrimination.  The marginalised GLBT community is sitting back and copping it fair and square.  The rest of society who aren’t bigots are just sitting back and letting the politicians and fundamentalists ride rough-shod over us.  What is wrong?  Australia is supposed to be a civilised country that is supposed to treat all its citizens equally.

Clearly in Australia it’s ok to fuck the faggots over.

Michael.


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