October 22nd, 2010
10:49 AM ET

Obama tapes anti-bullying message

Ric Ward

Washington (CNN) - An anti-bullying video message from President Barack Obama is symbolic, the founder of the "It Gets Better" project said Friday, but the president "has the power to do more."

"The administration does say all the right things, but we don't see the action to back up these words," Dan Savage told CNN's "American Morning."

Obama taped the message in the wake of several recent suicides by young people who were being bullied or taunted for being gay. The White House released the video, which appears on the website itgetsbetterproject.com, late Thursday night.

"We've got to dispel this myth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage, that it's some inevitable part of growing up. It's not," Obama says.

Related video: Mother takes bullying fears to Obama

Savage, who's also a nationally syndicated columnist, said he hopes the message "serves as a wake-up call" to bullies.

"We finally have a reckoning about the hate rhetoric that sloshes around the culture directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender adults and children," Savage added.

"You are not alone," the president says in the taped message. "You did not do anything wrong. You didn't do anything to deserve being bullied and there is a whole world waiting for you filled with possibilities. If you ever feel like, because of bullying, because of what people are saying that you're getting down on yourself, you've got to make sure to reach out to people you trust - whether it's your parents, teachers, people who you know care about you just the way you are, you've got to reach out to them. Don't feel like you're in this by yourself. Things will get better and more than that - in time you're going to see that your differences are a source of pride and a source of strength.

"As a nation, we're founded on the belief that all of us are equal and each of us deserves the freedom to pursue our own version of happiness," Obama says in the three-minute video.

Full story

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. CP

    Another type of Bullying. There's another type of bullying that's not being discussed in the anti-bullying debate. That's the bullying of homosexuals on one another. In other words there's young girls out here who are afraid of leaving their domineering lesbian partner in fear of retaliation. There's also homosexual males in the same predicament. I pray that someone would investigate this style of bullying which is just as bad as any other bullying. It is happening.

    October 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  2. Bob

    I was luckey. When I grew up there was no internet or cell phones. I was big for my age.
    Over 6' my freshman year. If someone bullyed me I beat the crap out of then. Didn't take long
    and the bully's stayed away from me.

    October 22, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  3. trevor

    Maybe he should stop kicking them out of our military before pretending to care.

    October 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  4. meenas17

    Bullying is atrocious. It is more terrible. than murder.The hurt one suffers, the taunt on experiences, the fear one feels are beyond expression. This is not fun, it is a sin. People should understand. If not should be made to understand.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  5. jenny

    Well Lord knows he has had enough experience with them over the last two years.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:07 am |