Letter to the editor submitted by Sean Goldrick, former elected member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation
On Wednesday, Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei will officially welcome to Town Hall and to Greenwich Carl Higbie, a racist and bigot so extreme that he was even jettisoned by the racist and bigoted Trump administration.
Mr Tesei claims that Higbie’s program will “promote civil discourse,” and “bring a return to the time-honored practice that ‘we can agree to disagree’ without criticism for one’s position on an issue.”
Here’s a sampling of Higbie’s remarks which Mr. Tesei believes will “promote civil discourse”.
Regarding Muslims, he said, “Go back to your Muslim shithole and go crap in your hands and bang little boys on Thursday nights. I just don’t like Muslim people. ”
Regarding Gay Americans he said, “I really don’t care for them. You know what, you want to be gay? Fine. Do it over in your own corner…So go over there, be gay, don’t march down in the middle of the street and your drag outfit being fairies and things like that. Don’t throw it in my face. Don’t make me like it because I don’t – do it on your own. Do it over there and let it be your thing.”
After Rhode Island legalized marriage equality, he said, “…you are breaking the morals, the moral fiber of our country. You know, I don’t like gay people. I just don’t.”
Regarding President Obama, he embraced the racist meme that Obama wasn’t born in America: “the Muslim who was born in Kenya – don’t even get me started on that.”
And that is just a sampling of the words and thoughts of the man whom Greenwich’s first selectman will officially welcome to Greenwich Town Hall “to promote civil discourse.”
Republican state representative Fred Camillo also welcomes Higbie’s appearance at Town Hall, and originally planned to formally participate by offering opening remarks. Mr Camillo continues to endorse Mr Tesei’s support for Higbie’s sick circus, stating that it “reflects his commitment to diversity in all forms.”
Now think about that: State Representative Fred Camillo believes that welcoming a notorious bigot, racist, and hate monger to Town Hall reflects a “commitment to diversity.”
In fact, were Higbie a teacher or administrator in Greenwich Public Schools, he would have been fired immediately upon learning of his disgusting remarks. Were he a tenured professor at the University of Connecticut, his tenure would have been cancelled and he fired immediately. Indeed, were Higbie to ask to participate in some adult capacity with the Boy Scouts, his request would be rejected out of hand.
Because the adults leading schools, universities, and youth organizations understand that Higbie’s views are repugnant to every decent American, that they are hateful and harmful to youth, and that there is no way that they would ever associate their organizations with such abhorrent beliefs. Yet no compunction troubles either First Selectman Tesei or State Representative Camillo.
Perhaps we should not be surprised by these Republicans’ moral blindness to Higbie’s bigotry. After all, Connecticut GOP chairman JR Romano saw nothing wrong with associating with Higbie, participating in a series of Facebook videos with him titled “Whiskey Patriots.” We don’t know all of what they said, because the videos have been scrubbed from the internet.
One-time Republican candidate for governor Peter Lumaj overlooked Higbie’s hate mongering, employing Higbie as his campaign spokesman. And Higbie himself vied for the Republican nomination for congress in 2014.
While Mr Tesei and Mr Camillo might find nothing amiss in embracing Higbie, decent people in our town understand perfectly that he and his views must be shunned. Decent people in this town understand that no one with Higbie’s history of inciting hatred against minorities and Gay Americans should ever be considered an appropriate representative in any conversation regarding diversity.
In his capacity of first selectman, Mr Tesei represents the Town of Greenwich and the people of Greenwich. Mr Camillo represents Greenwich in our state legislature. When they indulge this racist and bigot in an event at Town Hall, they bring shame upon us and upon our town. They might not understand that, but the decent people of our town do.