California Congressman Mike Honda, a former educator, announced the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus on June 28. He said the focus would be on combating bullying from the earliest levels of school through elder abuse.
The mission statement for CABC reads, “The Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus is a bipartisan caucus comprised of members of Congress committed to the belief that all communities deserve a safe environment to thrive, and that our nation is in urgent need of solutions that stop bullying – both offline and online – now and forever.”
Honda, who chairs the caucus, said millions of Americans – on the basis of skin color, ethnicity, physical or mental abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or age – are bullied every year. The violence, he said, has reached an epidemic level.
Honda, a Japanese-American, said he knows the pains of being bullied.
“At the height of World War II, I was placed in an internment camp before I could walk or talk,” the Democratic lawmaker said. “For many years after the war, I endured confrontations and insults from my peers solely because of my appearance.”
“I had a few courageous friends, however, who transcended the discriminatory norms of the time. Their support, together with the wisdom and guidance from my parents, helped me realize some powerful and liberating truth; Japanese Americans had been treated unjustly – bullied by the U.S. government – because of ‘war hysteria, racial prejudice and a failure of political leadership’ at the highest levels of leadership.”
Today, Honda said, America is threatened “by an epidemic where more than 13 million children are teased, taunted and physically assaulted by their peers each year – embodied in racism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism or simply means of letting go of aggression and bottled emotions.”
In addition to Honda, caucus members include: Joe Baca, Charles Bass, Madeleine Bordallo, Lois Capps, Russ Carnahan, Judy Chu, Hansen Clarke, Steve Cohen, John Conyers, Robert Dold, Keith Ellison, Raul Grijalva, Luis Gutierrez, Janice Hahn, Alcee Hastings, Brian Higgins, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Kathleen Hochul, Sheila Jackson Lee, Barbara Lee, Frank LoBiondo, Dave Loebsack, Betty McCollum, Gregory Meeks, Frank Pallone Jr., Bill Pascrell, Gary Peters, Jared Polis, Nick Rahall, Silvestre Reyes, Laura Richardson, Lucille Roybal Allard, Gregorio Sablan, Linda Sanchez, Pete Stark, Ed Towns, Maxine Waters, Melvin Watt, Henry Waxman and Frederica Wilson.
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