Bishop: ‘I’m brutally honest’

Oak Bluffs select board candidate posts memes he says ‘poke the bear.’

Jim Bishop, who is running for select board in Oak Bluffs, says he is 'brutally honest' on his Facebook page.

A man who seeks votes for Oak Bluffs select board is prolific with Facebook memes that he acknowledges some find offensive.

In recent days, the memes have taken aim at transgender individuals playing sports; another shows the evolution of women’s private parts, and several take aim at Hunter Biden. One meme in particular provides “five rules to remember in life.” No. 4: “Many people are alive only because its (sic) illegal to shoot them.”

James Bishop, 74, makes no apologies for his posts, noting his career building hockey rinks and his tours of duty as a Marine in Vietnam. “I’m not some dumb country bumpkin,” he said. “I don’t trust any government. I was about 60 percent in favor of what Trump did, the other 40 percent — he wasn’t a politician, he was a businessman who was a typical brutal businessman. A lot of that could have been more politically correct. At 74 years of age, the rose-colored glasses are off. I’m brutally honest about my opinions.”

Bishop said he has Facebook friends who are the exact opposite of him politically. “We’ll sit down and have a drink — we’re still friends —  because they have a right to their opinion and I have a right to my opinion. Some zealots out here are complaining. One of my friend’s sister-in-laws agreed to put a sign up in her yard. Immediately two of her far-left friends browbeat her down, and I removed the signs.”

Bishop said his friends know that he’s the type of person who helps others on the Island and elsewhere — purchasing and installing grab bars for elderly people at no cost. “That’s what you do for your community,” he said. “I’m not looking for T shirts. I believe in my community. That’s one thing I learned in the Marine Corps — take care of your community. If people think I’m a bad guy, so be it, and don’t vote for me.”

He’s running for office, he said, because the town’s been kicking the can down the road on issues such as wastewater and building a new town well.

Bishop has served on the town’s affordable housing committee. “There are too many people who serve on boards on this Island who do it because they just want to collect a T shirt,” he said. “Power corrupts people.”

Asked specifically about the memes he’s posted, including those that target transgender people and the LGBTQ community, Bishop said he has nothing against transgender and gay individuals. He said his first foray into working on a town board came at the behest of a gay woman and her spouse. “I have no problem with your sexual persuasion. I have no problem with your religious belief. I have no problem with your racial situation, OK? Don’t confuse that with stuff that I do online. I do a lot of that stuff just to poke the bear,” Bishop said. “The bottom line is live your life, leave everyone else alone, and we can all get along.”

He said he’s been called a white supremacist.

Asked if he thinks being gay or transgender is a choice based on calling it a “persuasion,” he said, “If you choose that lifestyle, that’s your lifestyle.”

Bishop went on to say, “I think there’s a certain physiology, wiring in their mind that they want to be gay. Good, let them be gay. If they choose that, fine.”

He followed that up by talking about the new law in Florida that bans teaching students in kindergarten through third grade about sexual identities, saying children shouldn’t be “indoctrinated into it.”

“It’s a physical desire, not a decision,” he said. “If they choose that, fine. It’s how they are. It’s what they are. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

Asked about a meme that shows a cache of weapons on a deck and jokes about the “amount of windows” with no mention of the guns, Bishop defended the post. “You’re part of the problem. You think that’s about gun violence. Have those people killed anybody? Have they attacked anybody? You bought into the mantra.”

Bishop said he has no problems with people having a gun. He calls guns an “asset.”
“I think it’s reprehensible when people kill people, but it’s rampant in America. If you look at where it’s happening, you get an idea who is doing it,” he said.

Bishop did not respond to The Times’ election preview questions. He said he was dealing with a family medical issue when those questions were sent. 

He did participate in the League of Women Voters forum on Thursday.

Bishop went on to talk about some town issues. Along with the key issue of sewerage, he said there needs to be a better plan for parking downtown, more emphasis on public transportation, and he criticized offshore wind farms.

Asked if he’ll change his Facebook page should he get elected, he was noncommittal. “I apologize if it upsets some of the more sensitive people here. I care about the community,” he said. “I’m not a politician. I’m a doer.”


  1. Wow, second story today where a man uses his computer to expose to the world exactly who he is.

    Apologizing for promoting disgusting, ignorant thoughts and ideas, but only if it “upsets some of the more sensitive people here” is not an apology. His Facebook page is disgusting and the epitome of ignorance. That makes the person behind the FB page disgusting and ignorant. He doesn’t stand a prayer to win anything.

    • Jackie– I don’t know– most rational people though that trump would never get close to the Whitehouse. This guy seems much worse than trump. He will have his supporters.

  2. I refer you to the quote that begins “The bottom line is…”. If this candidate truly believes “live and let live”, why doesn’t he live his life in that manner?

  3. If you want to be offended, take a look at his job sites. Good indication for what’s to come.

  4. Thank you for following up on my request to check in with Jim Bishop regarding his social media posts and the obvious conclusion that voters can draw from them. In a typical moment of island serendipity, I found myself in line at Winston’s this morning engaged in a conversation with a very affable elderly gentleman. It was Jim Bishop.
    Right away, I realized that when you meet someone in person, it’s not possible to hold on to your online impressions if you can recognize the humanity right in front of you. My second thought was to readjust to the reality that Jim isn’t (anymore) the young turk in his profile picture, no, he was somebodies Grandfather.
    I introduced myself and told him that I was probably the reason why the Times called him this morning. His explanation to me about his social media views was that they were joke comments that he would post as a response to one of his friend’s posts. He then listed all the gay people he knows and mentioned his service in Vietnam. Of course, none of that matters, hate is hate no matter how you excuse it.
    As I implied, I never met Jim before but I did engage in social media combat with him a few years ago, so his views were not just limited to his memes. Part of the great story of Oak Bluffs is our rich African American history, with so many notables living and visiting here. One recent vein of nastiness was directed at Ketanji Brown Jackson. It is unthinkable to me that we would have an elected representative of our town that had directed such hatred towards a major portion of our community.
    Now that I have met Jim, I also realize that it’s time for young blood in town government. As a Boomer, I feel it’s time for us to mentor and then move on. There are issues that demand fresh ideas and complicated issues that need expertise.
    I wish Jim Bishop well, but I do not wish him to be an Oak Bluffs Selectmen. When he left, he told me it was ok that we didn’t agree, but I should be sure to vote. On that we do agree Jim. I will vote for one of your opponents and I encourage all OB residents to do the same.

  5. I appreciate your honesty Jim and I am very glad that your honesty assures you will never even win any elected office on MV. Just keep posting you hateful ideology on FB. Peace.

  6. Does OB really need a Facebook warrior, trump stooge as an elected official? Can a guy fixated on female genitalia and hunter biden guide this town to a better future?

  7. The old “don’t believe what you’re seeing with your own eyes” bit. When someone shows you who they are, believe them. Please Oak Bluffs voters, do not elect this hateful dinosaur.

  8. It seems George you are no different from other media and only allowing your opinion to come through with most of these comments being hateful but for some reason you’re OK with that. Again my comment was censored for no real reason other than you don’t like it

  9. “I do a lot of that stuff just to poke the bear,” Bishop said. “The bottom line is live your life, leave everyone else alone, and we can all get along.” Go ahead Jim, stir up a hornet’s nest then claim it was all in fun and why can’t we just get along? Can’t have it both ways Jim.

    • Being honest about one’s prejudices and intolerances is a lot of things, but it’s never refreshing, except to those who hold the same ugly ideas. It’s how racist, birtherism Trump got himself elected and why people feel emboldened to spew rot and lies. If Trump can do it, why not anyone?

  10. All this hysteria to “cancel” Jim Bishop is based on the idea that he has no right to offer his opinions, that may differ from yours. That there is no freedom of speech for Jim Bishop, just for the rest of us.
    There is a good reason the ACLU repeatedly defends the Constitutional rights of groups who hold a voice in opposition to others.
    It for the protection of our democracy!
    Let none of this be an endorsement for his views, which I personally dislike, but I would defend his right to say them.
    Being offensive is not the same as being unconstitutional. Bishops words do not threaten our democracy, but their suppression does.
    I know Jim personally and I can say he is indeed “brutally honest.”
    Which is a lot better from the Selectman we are saddled with, who may hold mainstream opinions, but then corruptly allows a major hotel big overages on waste water or corruptly tries to convert TPD personel to be his private police force, to settle scores with other businessmen.
    Jim Bishop is a lot more ethical and principled than most, even if you disagree with his personal opinions.
    The last time I looked, the Oak Bluffs BOS still does not have a vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee to appoint SCOTUS judges.
    Many opposed Brett Kavanaugh despite credible allegations of rape. He disagrees with the current nominee.
    Bishop is entitled to his opinion.
    Try asking him his ideas for local governance in Oak Bluffs, then make up your mind on the whole of character, and not just those parts cherry-picked you oppose.

    • Jim is free to express his opinions.
      They will keep him from being elected.
      They kept Trump from being reelected.

    • Did I miss something? How is Mr Bishop being “canceled”? I didn’t see any comment stating that Mr Bishop isn’t entitled to his hateful and disgusting opinions or that he shouldn’t be allowed to run for elected office. HE HAS NOT BEEN “CANCELED”, others are simply using their freedom of speech to express their opinions about Mr Bishop and his run for office. That’s how it works James.

    • James – he’s on the ballot. How is that being canceled? And to be brutally honest – I’m not voting for him.

    • Let me get this straight. Mr. Bishop has a right to speak his mind, but those who criticize those opinions do not? Not one comment even hinted that he should be silenced. You’re mistaking cancel culture with consequence culture.

  11. It’s been my experience that the “brutally honest” put more emphasis on the former than the latter. They use this descriptor as a proud excuse to be inconsiderate at best and cruel at worst. A subjective opinion is not the same as an objective truth. That alone is enough reason to show some respect.

    Mr. Bishop would like to serve the Island. In my mind, the most effective way to approach this is to realize you’re talking about a diverse group. We can’t build a strong community while tearing down some of its members for kicks.

    One doesn’t have to be anti-gun to wonder why a couple of people need such a cartoonishly yooge arsenal. There’s a pervasive presumption that strapped Americans—provided they’re from a certain background—are always “the good guys”.

    I don’t have that much faith in anybody besides my dog, and she has no interest in weapons.

    • Mike– The only thing that I can see that may indicate any “common sense” from this guy is that he knows it’s illegal to shoot people.

  12. I’ve seen a heck of a lot of campaign signs going up for him around town. Maybe the silent majority is getting ready to speak up!

    • Yard signs mean nothing. I am always amused every year driving around seeing all the campaign sign and then comparing them to the actual results. Guess what? Virtually no correlation.

      • I wonder which responsible candidates will take them down after the election. Keep an eye on that one.

      • I have let people put up signs for people that I would not vote for.
        Sometimes I decorate them.

  13. Is Mr. Bishop in a camper in this photo? Is he living in a camper? is the camper in Oak Bluffs?
    Just curious….

  14. Oh Jim, Jim, Jim – really? The evolution of a woman’s anatomy? That people wake up one day and choose to be gay.? That a child with gender ambiguity should be isolated from the caring or understanding of those whom they may trust most? Or some of the other cruel posts?
    As a proud Marine, which 60% of the following statements do you endorse? Trump: “Why should I go to that (U.S. Military) cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” Or when Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed. Or perhaps when he insulted Gold Star parents, or John McCain as in “He’s not a war hero,” I like people who weren’t captured.” Maybe you can ask him how to avoid capture, while injured, after his jet gets shot down; given that those bone spurs might qualify as an injury.
    Which 60% of endangered wildlife, endangered waterways or indigenous sacred land or our National Monuments be turned over to miners, loggers and cattle ranchers. What percent of the loser-traitors masquerading as ‘patriots’ trying to overthrow the peaceful transition of power from a fair and free election would you suggest are ‘nice people’? I will say you have that standard GOP prevarication down pat. “I’m just joking.”
    And one more thing: Fake News! used to be ”Elvis’s love child with Hillary! Not the fact that Donald J. Trump is a habitual compulsive liar. It seems that perhaps your affable gregarious nature is fake, too.

  15. Mr Barnsley do you have confirmed and verified sources of these so called Trump statements? The Atlantic article said they had anonymous sources for the 1800 marines alleged statement and all the other liberal media followed suit and posted the same Atlantic source. You can see it over and over ad nauseum but it doesnt make it true since its anonymous and not verified. Bolton who didnt like Trump said its not true. Trump did make the McCain quote thought, I agree.

    • Andy- So now you think “anonymous sources” should not be believed, and that John Bolton is an honest man ?

      When is the pillow guy going to release all that anonymous proof he has about the 2020 stolen election ?
      And could you tell us again exactly where Obama was born ?

      Given all the crass things that trump has said about the military, gold star families and POW’s why would you doubt any of it for even a second ?

  16. Anonymous sources are people who can’t afford to be identified – probably because of their positions, and in this case positions within the administration. But then some sycophants lined up to swear they hadn’t heard the statements. Well, not hearing isn’t the same as hearing something different. Bolton also said, “I’m not saying he didn’t say [the remarks] later in the day or another time.” Then there’s this: As the two stood beside Kelly’s son’s grave, Trump reportedly turned to Kelly and said: “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” One of Kelly’s friends, a retired four-star general, said. “He just thinks that anyone who does anything when there’s no direct personal gain to be had is a sucker. There’s no money in serving the nation.” Also, according to three sources with direct knowledge of his views, Trump referred to former President George H. W. Bush as a “loser” for being shot down by the Japanese as a Navy pilot in World War II. So anonymous or not there’s a distinct pattern. Oh, and by the way liberal – as the Forefathers were – means relating to or denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise. Also, tolerant, unprejudiced, unbigoted, broad-minded and open-minded. But I guess I’m not a liberal because I have no tolerance for Trump or his kind.

    • Great comment, thank you. Every decent person, Democrat or Republican, understands that Trump will go down in history known as the cowardly traitor and despicable human being he is.

      Having zero tolerance for racist, lying, sexist, self-absorbed, traitorous ideas and behaviors, even if it’s only seen in a person’s Facebook memes they’ve chosen to post, is how decent people, liberal or conservative, respond. Decent people in either party don’t vote for despicable. Decent people certainly never see despicable as “refreshing”.

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