Don't Bet Against Gaga on Bullying
Her foundation might just help: Two opinions
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2012 12:38 PM CST
Lady Gaga walks at Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., Wednesday. She launched her "Born this Way" foundation at the school.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(Newser) – Lady Gaga launched her anti-bullying Born This Way Foundation yesterday with typical fanfare and grousing from skeptics. But don't scoff just yet, write Nicholas Kristof at the New York Times and Emily Bazelon at Slate. Gaga is working with the MacArthur Foundation and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, among others, and she seems genuinely sincere, especially in recounting her own days as a bullied teen in high school.

  • Kristof: Her plan of "kindling kindness" and getting youths themselves to change things might sound "grandiose and utopian, but I’m reluctant to bet against one of the world’s top pop stars and the person with the most Twitter followers in the world," he writes. "In any case, she’s indisputably right about one point: Bullying and teenage cruelty are human rights abuses that need to be higher on our agenda." Full column here.
  • Bazelon: Gaga has thankfully moved on from her wrongheaded idea to make bullying a hate crime, and the foundation is a good next step. So what will it actually do? "I spent the day at a launch event for the foundation at Harvard, and the answer is: They don’t know yet. But they’re taking a smart approach to figuring it out, by bringing together some of the best thinkers about kids and conflict." Full column here.