Backyard Bullies

Bullies Not Welcome Here

It’s unfortunate that during serious civic debates, some parties choose to resort to the age-old tactic of bullying. Specifically, in the neighborhood debates about development, construction, liquor and entertainment and the qualities that most enhance a neighborhood’s livability, some continue to try and bully their neighbors with the epithet N***Y.

Says it all.

Says it all.

As we’ve noted before, there is no difference between slinging that term at someone and walloping them with some other collective slur. The terms are repellent, they exist solely to intimidate through power, and are simply unacceptable.

Too bad, then, that some new voices from outside the neighborhood have picked up the bully mantle once again. In their effort to build their vision of a most livable, 21st Century city, they seek to limit, or even prohibit, local voices in having a say in how to shape what their immediate neighborhood is, and what it will become.

To all those who want a more “livable” city: we stand with you. Livable in all its sense: in neighborhoods that provide daytime business, encourage local merchants of all sorts and nurture all the amenities that give a neighborhood its character.

We’ll go a step further, as we have for two years: all those wishing to see more entertainment establishments throughout our city – particularly in those areas where they are few and far between – then your fight is our fight. There are still too many areas throughout our city where residents wish for a walking distance life: a decent, fresh grocery, a good wine store, a tailor, a couple pubs, a theater and the rest.

So, the very best way to encourage exactly that city-wide development where it’s most needed is to support the 14th and U liquor temporary moratorium. Proprietors and business people aren’t going to simply stop opening establishments throughout the city because one small area said: “Slow it up.” Just the opposite: under-developed areas, which are often cheaper, will become more appealing and new ventures will begin. Win-win.

However, if you simply want another area of your city – someplace that literally isn’t your backyard, and not where you live – to host all the bars and nightclubs you crave because it’s just so convenient, and in so doing take away the real neighbors’ voice in giving thumbs up or thumbs down, then that’s not civil. It’s disrespectful.

More over, if you’re so bankrupt of actual arguments and assertions that you have to resort to name-calling, then you are a bully.

Bullys are not welcome in our neighborhood. Bullies like to hide, call names, and generally behave in an arrogant and smug manner.

There’s only one way to stand down a bully, and that’s by standing up.

So, for the 100th time, we welcome a civil debate about the merits and faults of a temporary liquor moratorium in this neighborhood. All voices are welcome as long as they’re respectful. But those voices that try and silence those who live here are not welcome, now or ever.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Backyard Bullies

  1. Kwest

    “More over, if you’re so bankrupt of actual arguments and assertions that you have to resort to name-calling, then you are a bully.” Actually, the new In My Back Yard group has many actual arguments and assertions – did you read it? By your own definition, YOU are trying to stifle debate by resorting to name-calling. “Bully” is a much more diabolically loaded and emotionally powerful name to call some one than NIMBY. (Spelling it N***Y doesn’t actually make it a bad word, by the way.) You think calling someone who has legitimate arguments about a public policy debate a bully will add to a civil debate? Pot, meet kettle.

    • Craig

      Nice try. Your logic is faulty, and that group specifically calls itself an anti-N***Y group. You nor they answer the basic question: why should people who live one place dictate how much say people who actually live in another place have over shaping their neighborhood?

    • Doug

      Kwest – thanks for the note. I have visited the “In My Backyard” website, and find their principle argument – that the U Street neighborhood isn’t the most crowded with liquor but just one of the most crowded to be a be thin. Must a neighborhood become #1 on some list to decide to alter its fate?
      And more importantly, it should be the neighborhood – mine and my neighbors – who have some voice in shaping it, not someone from elsewhere. U Street is not in that website’s “backyard”, although the very phrase tingles a little of…well, something.
      If resident of Southeast Anacostia want a Wal-Mart, should the small business owners of NW have anything to say about it? Perhaps a little, but not much more than that. It’s not theirs to do with as they would.
      And our 13th/U neighborhood is not for everyone from the region to do with as they would. What are people so afraid of? A little self-governance?
      And wow, contrary to your broadside, I don’t believe anyone was called a single name here.
      I can’t wait to see if the same holds true for the replies.
      best;

  2. Doug

    Thanks again, Pat, for reminding us what civil, adult conversation sounds like. –dbj

  3. Long Time Neighbor

    Wait, wait…was that respectful comment from someone with an opposing view taken down? Censorship is also bullying – be it on a blog or a listserve. Above you write: “they seek to limit, or even prohibit, local voices in having a say in how to shape what their immediate neighborhood is, and what it will become.” That’s a nice thought. So how do you respond, Doug, to limiting access to a neighborhood listserve or failing to allow a dissenting voice from participating on this blog?

    [I expect this will be taken down as well]

    • Doug

      LTN, you’re wrong, and wrong. It wasn’t in any way respectful, using poor language and more. That’s why it was taken down. Your comment, however incorrect in its assumptions, was respectful and remains. Perhaps some are too quick to judge?
      thanks –dbj

  4. dcvoterboy

    So I have to ask, if you state in this post that “Bullys are not welcome in our neighborhood. Bullies like to hide, call names, and generally behave in an arrogant and smug manner.” will you be changing the link in your Blogroll from “Not So Greater Washington” to the actual name of the blog “Greater Greater Washington”?

    Your re-naming of the blog in the link strikes me as a little bit of name calling and smug and disingenuous. In fact, Greater Greater Washington is the only blog you don’t link to by its correct name? Why is that?

    • Doug

      Voterboy – you make a good point. I hadn’t even looked at that, but you’re right. We’ll change now. Thanks.

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