“Nobody likes bullies. They push you. Shove you. Mock you. It’s bad enough to be bullied by people you don’t really know and don’t particularly care for. But to be pushed into the path of bullies by people you love and trust — that’s a far deeper pain.” (Bible Studies For Life – Adults – Spring 2015 – A Death Like No Other)
Bullying is not just an issue for students
I covered this as it was exhibited in the 10/21/14 school board meeting in a couple of prior posts – Watch Your Back and YOU Are Not Alone – so I will not rehash it here but I did want to elaborate a little bit to better explain what really is at stake here.
I did mention in the YOU Are Not Alone post that bullying, intimidation or whatever you want to call it is not exclusive to the school system in Enterprise. There are many in Enterprise from many different vocations who are unable to speak freely about issues that affect them and their families. They have been told either explicitly or by implication their jobs or contracts would be in jeopardy if they did so.
Just so there is no gray area here let me hit you over the head with the proverbial sledgehammer –
Freedom of speech is being suppressed in Enterprise, Alabama.
Is The City of Progress really making progress?
This is no revelation at all to those of you living in the midst of this, whether you’re speech is being suppressed or you are doing the suppressing. You know who you are.
However, if you are seeing this for the first time and having a hard time believing it, I did too. It’s not something you want to believe about the place you grew up and call home. It’s also not something I would say about this same place I call home if I was not sure it was true. If you refuse to believe it exists in Enterprise you are either being naive or are in denial.
Enterprise is called The City of Progress. It is painted on the water tower for all to see. From the outside looking in the perception is this is true, but is it really from the inside looking out? Is Enterprise really making progress when many of its citizens feel like a gag order exists and cannot freely express their feelings?
What Can YOU Do?
You stop intimidation or bullying the same way it has always been stopped – by standing up to it. When your livelihood is at stake it’s not as simple as it was in elementary school when you stood up to the class bully. That probably wasn’t easy then either. However, knowing there are others who are feeling the same as you (see YOU Are Not Alone) and can stand with you can be empowering even if you can’t talk about it in public. YOU are the Silenced Majority in Enterprise. It still takes guts and can be risky to stand up but doing nothing is risky too.
The quote above should make you think and might open your eyes to something that has been right in front of you but maybe never fully acknowledged. Maybe it has.
In any case, you do have an opportunity to change this environment for the better at the ballot box in the next election. Supporting Take Back Enterprise is a great way for you to get involved now. Increased transparency and accountability will decrease bullying and intimidation and that is what Take Back Enterprise will provide.
It will take action on your part though if any change is to be realized. Sitting at home and expecting “someone else” to do it rarely works in your favor. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is a form of insanity. Providing support to Take Back Enterprise will be doing something new and can be your opportunity to collectively stand up and push back and see different results. Think about it.
In the last city election in 2012 three councilmen and the mayor ran unopposed and in the two council seats that were contested the margin of victory in District 2 was 155 votes and in District 3 was 106 votes. You can refresh your memory here Enterprise Incumbent Council Remains if you are interested.
This illustrate a couple of things to me.
- Candidates are needed if changes are to be made.
- The numbers needed to be elected are well within reach for you, the Silenced Majority in Enterprise, if you decide to act.
If you know someone who you believe would be a good candidate for any local elected office talk to them and encourage them to explore the possibility of running and serving. Public service is definitely not for everyone. Often those who don’t really want to or think they can serve make the best public servants. They just need a little push from their friends.
I hope you never neglect your privilege and your responsibility to VOTE whenever you have that opportunity! Many have died so you can exercise this privilege. Until that day arrives, don’t neglect your opportunity to get involved and help bring about the change you seek. The next city election is less than 18 months away.
Get involved and help The City of Progress really make progress!
Take action now so in 18 months you can say “I am glad I did” instead of “I wish I had.” The change you seek is well within your reach.
Until next time…
Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 03/29/2015