It’s time for it to stop!
Have courage, speak out
Bully, as a noun: A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker; and as a verb: To use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.
Much has been said by students and educators about stopping bullying in the schools. But school campuses are not the only place bullying — intimidation — occurs.
Stories in the national and international news tell of men in power who used their position to sexually harass women. According to the news accounts, many women suffered from bullying for decades and were afraid to speak.
Sadly, over the past decade of observing and reporting on public business in northeast Benton County, I’ve seen bullies in action and the same tale happens again and again. People quietly suffer under the tyranny because they can’t afford to lose their job or they may even think he (or she) has a right to be a tyrant. Too often, they suffer in silence, crying only to their close family members or friends because they don’t want someone to think ill of them.
Again and again, we have been told that people left positions, either elected, hired or appointed, because of the browbeating and tormenting of the bully’s domination. But, each were afraid to speak on the record.
That’s how bullies maintain power.
One bully in particular actually spoke to a person’s work supervisor, complained about them and forced, through intimidation, that person to not attend public meetings on personal time.
It’s time for it to stop. It’s not about being mean.
It’s not about revenge. It’s about appropriate boundaries and mutual respect.
Each of us has a job to do and each of us answers for ourselves.
Each elected official stands accountable to the voters who elected him or her. Charm and persuasiveness can get a person elected, but character is soon revealed in the test of time and the crucible of hard work. When that character is flawed by an inflated sense of self-importance, it’s time for that elected official to leave office.
Elected officials are servants of the people.
Their salaries are paid for by the taxes of hardworking citizens.
They are not of a higher class or greater importance than any of the people who elected them, whom they should be serving.
It’s time for the victims of oppression to recognize their own value, speak out and shed light on the cowardly intimidation of bullies. It’s time to speak out.