Kerry Kennedy Calls on Students to Speak Truth To Power
(2012-07-26) Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights appeared on this week's episode of the online television show, "The Point." Ms. Kennedy addressed bullying as a human rights issue and called on students to be human rights defenders in their classrooms, their families, and their neighborhoods. From the show:
In any major human rights violation, there are usually four actors. There are the perpetrators, the victims, the bystanders, and the human rights defenders.
Students everyday hear racists jokes or sexist jokes or hear the words "fatso" or "faggot" or "slut" or "retard" or any of those other ugly, hateful words. And every time you hear that, you have to make a decision. Who am I going to be? Am I going to be the perpetrator? Am I going to be a victim? Am I going to be a bystander? Or am I going to be a human rights defender?
And you exercise that muscle. It's just like exercising a muscle. Every time you make that decision – you can be making that five or ten times a day – you're becoming stronger and stronger and stronger at being one of those four people. And that muscle is defining you, just like it defines your body, defines who you are – who you are in your classroom, who you are in your family, who you are in your neighborhood, and most importantly who you are when you look in the mirror in the morning.
Thank you very much.
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