California Mayor Cameron Hamilton has some blunt advice for those who are being bullied: "Grow a pair."
"I'm against bullying, but I'm getting damn tired of it being used as a mantra for everything and the ills of the world, when most people have to just grow a pair and stick up for them damn selves," the Porterville mayor said at a city council meeting last week.
CNN describes the mayor as "looking and talking like an Old West figure," and he's not backing down despite claims that his comments were homophobic.
"My sister is a lesbian and, as I have told the gay community, I think that when you reduce somebody to their sexuality, that's the only identifying factor that you give them -- my sister is so much more than that, and so are the rest of the gay people that I know," the mayor told Glenn Beck on Wednesday. "We've got to get past this sexuality thing."
Hamilton said proposed safe zones for bullying victims offer an "illusion of safety at best," because "sooner or later you've got to come out of that safe zone ... and the world is going to be there again to look you straight in the face and say, 'I'm going to bully you because you're going to allow me to.'"
He rejected the notion that standing up to bullies leads to violence, saying "growing a pair" could mean verbally standing up to bullies or getting together with your peers and making it clear that such behavior will no longer be tolerated.
"I will not step back from my way of talking," Hamilton said. "I will not say that we don't need to stand up because we actually do. More people are coming on to the story across the nation with the same value that I have, and saying, 'enough's enough.'"
Watch Hamilton's complete interview with Beck, below:
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