To the Editor:
As a resident of Chatham Township and the Chair of the Chatham Township Republican Committee, I am disgusted to learn that such hate sits right here in our town with our neighbors and friends.
Further, I am troubled to hear that one of the leaders of Chatham Mom's for Change sits in our neighborhood spewing vile comments from her home in the Township. As a person who has called Chatham home for over 20 years, I was sickened that a simple sign on someone’s lawn asking citizens to "Support our Police", would be defiled with messages of hate and profanity; and worse, that it would be used to litter the property of our police department accompanied by noxious exclamations of enmity toward them.
It is shameful to personally attack someone and vandalize their property because of their political beliefs and it is equally shameful to attack our police department, which has done nothing short of serve this community faithfully and honorably for as long as anyone can remember. While the perpetrators of this vile act are still unknown, the tone for acceptance of this behavior, unfortunately, has been brewing for several years in the Township. This act appears to be the catalyst for the community to stand up and say, enough of this divisiveness already! It is shameful that individuals in our community have created a perception throughout Morris County over the past 5 years that the Chathams are a hotbed of intolerance and animosity. As my counterparts across Morris County have said too many times, "what's going on in Chatham?". Hate wrapped as "a movement" is still hate!
As Chair of the Chatham Township GOP, it is disturbing to know that several sitting members both of our Township Committee and the Borough Council are members of Chatham Mom's for Change and are active participants in the vitriolic dialog within the group. Most troubling, however, is the statement by sitting Committeewoman Fondaco belittling a person of color to espouse her belief that all Republicans are “repugnant.” Mr. King is 100% correct by stating that she should immediately apologize to all Chatham residents and resign her position on the Committee. This comment has shown that she cannot be trusted to govern in a fair and non-partisan manner. The Chathams deserve elected officials whose focus will be on the best interests of ALL its residents, regardless of party affiliation, rather than loyalty to their party or worse, this divisive group. There are plenty of qualified residents in the Township, Democrats and Republicans alike, who can support their party without spilling vitriolic hatred toward the opposite side.
It is time to rid our community of groups such as this, along with all the hate and division that has come along with them. This is particularly true on the social media platforms where individuals can hide from public view and deprive the voters of vital information about their true character. I strongly recommend the Netflix documentary Social Dilemma be watched by all. If you have a legitimate problem, argue it out respectfully at the Committee meetings for open discussion.
I sincerely hope that Mr. King’s letter sheds clear light on the behavior of those who feel the need to belittle those with whom they have differing political views. One should be able to have rigorous civil discourse without resorting to threats, harassment, and personal attacks. It is the epitome of hypocrisy for Chatham Moms for Change to espouse the virtues of “inclusion” on one hand, while at the same time seeking to exclude the opinions of those with which they disagree. This is not the type of behavior that we should expect, or tolerate, in our community and certainly not from elected officials. We ALL deserve better.
Chair of the Chatham Township Republican Committee