Terry Donahue’s comments during a Zoom meeting have been and should be condemned. And while Donahue has apologized for his vulgarity aimed at Susan Desmarais, and she has accepted that apology, we need to do better all around when it comes to civility.
That brings us to Jim Bishop — one of three candidates for Oak Bluffs select board. Bishop posts memes — a lot of memes — on his Facebook page that target transgender individuals, gays, and women. There are plenty of right-wing dog whistles as well, such as Hunter Biden’s laptop and targeting the newest Supreme Court justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson. Bishop told The Times he speaks his mind, and if the public doesn’t like it, they don’t have to vote for him. He is entitled to free speech, but he should understand there are consequences for that speech. Bishop should know he doesn’t have to run if he can’t express himself without being offensive.
Finally, we’ll soon say goodbye to Jeff Kristal as a member of the Tisbury select board. We urged Kristal to resign from the board after he was accused of abusing his power in attempting to have a business owner he didn’t agree with targeted by a traffic officer. Kristal didn’t resign, but he saw the writing on the wall. We appreciate that John Cahill, a respected businessman and official, was willing to step up and run. We wish he had competition, but by having the fortitude to run, he likely spared us Kristal running unchallenged.
Civility in public discourse isn’t an option, it’s a requirement.
The passing of George Balco and Harold Chapdelaine this week is a reminder for us all that you can make great community contributions and do it in a professional and respectful manner. Let’s make a point of being more like George and Harold.