Bullies and Bystanders

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Bullies cannot operate alone. To gain supporters, they exploit the ignorance of unsuspecting bystanders. They want to be in control of communication to prevent others from learning the truth about their misconduct and to restrict information to what serves their interests. They don’t want people to interact with each other, and typically, they will try to intimidate the victim from speaking with anyone. Threatening, blackmail, and stonewalling are methods of control that artEAST leadership has engaged in.

stopbullyingWherever bullying occurs, the people who are aware of it and don’t object or intervene may believe that they are being neutral but they are actually helping the bully. The fear that they, too, will be subjected to mistreatment is one reason why bystanders look the other way when someone else is being targeted.  When a “culture of fear” develops, it affects everyone in the organization. People become intimidated from raising concerns, voicing opinions, sharing ideas, and afraid to be seen as “stepping out of line” while the more brazen personalities have their way without being questioned. Is it this kind of tyrannical atmosphere we want in our art community? As artists and free spirits, just how much oppression or pressure to conform is acceptable from our own organization?

When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice, you may know that your society is doomed.

—Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged 1957

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