The first ‘freedom convoy’ to come through Penticton was Jan. 29. The protests have ramped up since then and have included protests at an Oliver and Osoyoos school that led to one protester being fined $2,300 for hurling racists and explicit insults at students. (Logan Lockhart Western News)

The first ‘freedom convoy’ to come through Penticton was Jan. 29. The protests have ramped up since then and have included protests at an Oliver and Osoyoos school that led to one protester being fined $2,300 for hurling racists and explicit insults at students. (Logan Lockhart Western News)

Opinion: A new kind of bully has emerged

Small minority bully, intimidate and name call to push their ‘freedoms’ and ‘rights’ on others

Feb. 23 is Pink Shirt Day – a day to wear pink in solidarity with young people who have been bullied, name-called and made to feel small.

The day is mainly focused on youth and bullying that sadly remains pervasive in schools and online.

But during this awful pandemic, a new bully has emerged. A very small minority of society who feel it their duty to bully, intimidate and name call in an effort to push their ‘freedoms’ and ‘rights’ on others.

These bullies have gone after school children as seen in Oliver and Osoyoos recently and in past months in Salmon Arm, shaming students for wearing masks.

They are attacking the media, calling them liars and many other names, threatening them through phone calls and emails. The RCMP are currently investigating allegations a reporter was spat on while covering the Osoyoos border protest.

In Kelowna, a small group took a speaker and microphone and desecrated Remembrance Day to spread their message of ‘freedom.’

They converged on Kelowna General Hospital to protest their rights.

The government had to create legislation for a protected space around schools and hospitals where protests aren’t allowed.

The protesters still go anyways.

Elected officials are harassed by people who are angry they follow the provincial health orders.

Because they are a small but vocal collective and are very passionate about their cause against the ‘jab,’ masks and vaccination mandates, they don’t seem to realize or care the people they are bullying are humans with feelings.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how thick of a skin you pretend to have, bullying and harassment hurts emotionally and it strips away at your mental health.

The general public, students and health- care workers deserve the freedom to go about their life without being harassed and intimidated.

We are living in very divisive times. We are all feeling fragile. So on this day and every day moving forward, think before you act.

Would you treat your own loved ones like this? These days it seems kindness is a faint hope. It’s unlikely this opinion piece will change anyone’s mind on how they act towards others, but if it even gives one person pause, it’s worth the backlash.

If you can be anything in this world, be kind. Let kindness be the super spreader from now on.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

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