I think we could all learn a lesson from Barack Obama. He's struggled through a tough campaign, with McCain throwing petty insults attempting to remove his credibility. Obama was mercilessly attacked by the media, but he held his head high through it all, defended himself when he needed to do so, and never once unleashed a vicious revenge cycle upon John McCain. McCain, in an incredibly weak move, tried to make his campaign seem as monumental as Obama's - by picking a woman - another first. Needless to say, his plan backfired, and we all know how the rest goes.
Obama was called all sorts of names - underqualified socialist, terrorist sympathizer, you name it - but he didn't let a single thing get to him. He smiled right through the fight, convinced that his decency would shine right through. You know what? It did. He did end up being elected after all, right? Those snide remarks certainly didn't stand in the way of him becoming our future leader.
Obama has taught us all a lesson which we should apply to our own lives: don't let the worst criticisms get to you, stay steady, keep your head high, and be as pleasant as possible, even in the trickiest of times. I've dealt with similar things in my short life (though not on a national scale), and I've learned that if you show your good side to people, then any rumors will be dispelled by how you treat these individuals. Nobody deserves to be humiliated, and if it does happen to you, then the person doing so needs to sort out some underlying issues of their own. If things get bad then it may be good to report this to a higher authority, but until then don't let it bother you. You will feel so much better with less to worry about!
In short: if you treat others with kindness, then you will be rewarded with kindness. If you treat others disrespectfully, then this is what you'll recieve.