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.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with