Wednesday February 26th is Wear a Pink Shirt Day – Some thoughts on Bullying by Jamie Gilcig

jg2CORNWALL Ontario – Wednesday February 26th is wear a Pink Shirt Day to celebrate Anti-Bullying.

Bullying in our Politically Correct world is a scary thing.  It’s about conforming and what happens to those that don’t.  It’s what happens when an honest person confronts a group or person that is lying or abusing  whether they be a kid on the bus or a mayor.

What is Anti Bullying?  Is it simply not being a bully?  Is it confronting Bullies?   Does anyone think that a bully will stop simply because you point out they are bullying?   Most bullies have no issues nor care because whether genetically or culturally they are bullies.

How do you ask a child to not bully when they see their parents or grand parents being bullies?  Likewise if kids see no repercussions to bullying what are they to think?     We have always lived in a world where people learn behavior.   Laws for example are only really observed if enforced?   If most people think they are just laws people will speak up.  For example drive the wrong way down a one way street or throw large litter on the ground and usually someone will say something to you.

Pink Shirt Day 2014
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What happens when you see someone getting bullied?   These days we see metric tons of cyber bullying?   Do you stand up?

This weekend I myself was bullied.  A group of malcontents are upset that I’m running for mayor.   I won’t go into details or specifics, but one brave soul didn’t so much as take a side, but simply try and reflect what the mob mentality was doing.    This person is a strong defender against bullying.  He was bullied.  He was bullied to the point that a threat was made to his employment and he pulled down his comments.    Did the bullies win?  Yes as he was silenced; but in the end of the day their behavior was not changed except for one that actually sent a private apology.

My grand-father was a pro boxer.   He taught me that when confronted by a gang of bullies to swing for the leader.  He even told me that I may get beaten up but that bullies generally look for weaker foe.   That’s human nature except that if you’re the weaker foe that can mean a life of being a victim.

One of the remarkable things I’ve seen here in Cornwall is that when I have stood up to bullies.  When I have metaphorically smacked them back, they are the biggest ones to cry like baby kittens and cry foul.  I actually get called a bully.

A case in point is one Nicholas MacNaughton who now works for the CIBC as a Mortgage broker.    Mr. MacNaughton decided to take a shot at me when we had our April Fools joke a few years ago and was talking smack.    Like a comedian handling a heckler I asked why he was attacking me as I didn’t make fun of him for dating a tranny.

His girlfriend got it and made a witty reply.   He didn’t.    The bully was slapped down as most bullies should be.   Was my comment tart, stinging, and possibly painful to his insecurity of his own manhood?  Yup.   Did it slur his charming and delightful girlfriend?  Probably not as women have much better senses of humour than men usually.

Mr. MacNaughton then made himself even sillier.    I started to get emails from people sharing that he was telling people that he was going to “beat me up”, again, more intimidation and bullying.   He allegedly went to many of our clients leaning on them to dump CFN as their choice of advertising.   He allegedly bullied them; after all bullying doesn’t have to involve baseball bats.  It can be subtle even.

A few months later he actually called me asking for help.  Not knowing his antics I obliged him.  He was a city bus driver and the Freeholder had run a story about another bus driver having an accident using a stock photo of Nick in front of a bus. I took a few steps and the photo was taken down.  He even thanked me.

Did he stop his antics though?  I’m not sure as recently I discovered  he allegedly leaned on some of our clients suggesting that they’d have more business if they dumped us.

When I was politically smeared recently in other media, Mr. MacNaughton, not having learned from his past bullying actually posted the transcript from our old Facebook whirl while taking another run at me.

Boggling.   This is the culture of bullying.   Most people of course don’t stand up to bullies.  They cough up their lunch money or take the abuse.

Another case of local bullying was Ian Wilson of Stormont Stationers here in Cornwall.   He shared with me that he was going to stop his activism to save the Cornwall General Hospital and in general because it was impacting his sales gig and that CCH and other City Hall connected agencies were cutting him off.   Could he directly prove it?   No, these things are never done on company stationary.   They are subtle at that level.  But it silenced him and of course impacted the fight to keep CGH open and alive.

Wearing a Pink Shirt once a year really isn’t a solution.    Maybe, just maybe it creates some awareness, but the bullies big and small are usually the first to wear the shirts and laugh at the rest of us.    The irony is that bullying is so ingrained in some of the people of this culture that they don’t even realize it and get angry when you point it out to them; angry to the point of bullying you.  It’s divisive and keeps a community down unless they buckle under the bullies.

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In the end I may succumb to bullying.   I may choose like the brave young man that waded into the chat this weekend to simply move down the road.    I don’t think that would happen; but if even one person develops some bravery by wearing a Pink Shirt today that’s awesome.

We need to learn how to deal with bullies in our world.    In my opinion the best way is to out them and expose them like a vampire to sunlight.

I know that part of the trials and tribulations I endure is because of systemic bullying from the Mayor and his friends.   I live with the day to day results of seeing some of our clients bullied; usually the ones dependent on some business  or patio permits from City Hall.

But if we all work together and stand up to bullies one by one we will make our world a better place.

Do you have any bullying stories of your own?   You can post your stories and comments below.

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