Martial arts teacher supports La Crosse anchorwoman's anti-bullying message
MILWAUKEE- Tonight the entire country is talking about a western Wisconsin news anchor targeted by a viewer about her weight.
Jennifer Livingston went on TV in La Crosse to read an e-mail:
"Surely you don't consider yourself a suitable example for this community's young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain."
Then Livingston responded during a 4-minute segment on WKBT-TV:
"First, the truth is, I am overweight, even obese on a doctor's chart. But to the person who wrote me that email do you think I don't know that? That your cruel words are pointing out something that I don't see."
Bullying is a big issue in schools and in cyberspace. Livingston says she was standing up to bullies, but was she bullied?
"I really love what she did," said Chan Lee. He runs a martial arts school and an anti-bulling website.
TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson asked Lee to watch Jennifer Livingston's now viral video.
"Do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies," Livingston told her viewers.
Lee believes the La Crosse anchorwoman was bullied.
"I think it's a very powerful message for all people who are dealing with some type or forms of bullying," says Lee.
Opinions varied on the TODAY'S TMJ4's Facebook page. Lauren wrote: "You go girl! Don't let haters get to you!" Marsha said: "That's not bullying. It's a rude comment but not bullying."
"We are better than the bullies that would try to take us down," Livingston said in her on air response.
Lee teaches kids self-defense but he tells them the best self-defense against a bully is "kindness."
"You have to go out and assertively say, 'you know what you may think that I'm overweight or fat but guess what, I'm still a person that is very confident and believes in myself and your words don't mean anything to me.'"
Livingston will be on the "TODAY Show" Wednesday morning.