Tuesday, August 07, 2012

“Beat Them Up,” or “Beat Them to Death”?

The August 07 online Yomiuri has two reports, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20120807-OYT1T01136.htm?from=main7 and http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20120807-OYT1T01136.htm?from=main8, posted at the same time with the same headlines and same texts, except for one small detail. I’ll give you my translation of the headline(s), and you’ll get the idea:

“Mayor Hashimoto, “Large Number Bullying Small Number, Should Beat Them [Up][to Death]”

Having been the second-smallest kid for most of my Montreal grade school class years who somehow seemed to get into a fight every other day but managed to survive into adulthood, I think I know what he was suggesting here and what he was really thinking when he said it. That said, it still was a pretty intemperate, and I would have suggested that he stick to his more mayoral message, which happened to be:

“Jurists should put support for students and support for teachers together into firm rules and (establish) a clear policy that bullying is wrong, while following steps. A posture that deals severely when a certain line is crossed is necessary.”

Clear rules and procedures that enable students and teachers to deal with bully effectively, as well as a red line to mete out severe punishment for egregious bullying: Now who can disagree with that? Yet I’m sure that 2 Channel is going to be abuzz with Hashimoto suggesting lynching as a bullying remedy. Two takeaways here:

1) The facts matter.
2) The perception of facts also matter.

Actually, much of my work and my avocation both revolve around these two observations.

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