Letter: Political bullying and intimidation must stop

Posted 8/6/20

The chairman of the Democratic Committee (and others) has been attacking the Bristol County Concerned Citizens (BCCC) over the organization’s mission statement since it was first published on …

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Letter: Political bullying and intimidation must stop


The chairman of the Democratic Committee (and others) has been attacking the Bristol County Concerned Citizens (BCCC) over the organization’s mission statement since it was first published on June 25. Cries of bigotry, racism, sexism and bullying continue weekly, despite multiple reasonable responses by various members of the BCCC leadership.

In his most recent letter to the editor, Chairman Erich Haslehurst made an unfounded and inaccurate assertion that Zachery Cooper is a member of the BCCC. For those who missed it, Mr. Cooper authored an undeniably controversial and inappropriately worded letter to the editor on July 16. The controversy over his commentary was well documented in the opinion pages of the July 23 edition and requires no further comment from me.

I wholeheartedly agree with Chairman Haslehurst’s statement in his letter: “This disparaging and bigoted abuse of our community members must end … now!”  I strongly suggest that he head his own words.

The continued attempts to define the BCCC and its members through accusations of racism, sexism and bigotry are indicative of the political left’s tactic of silencing its opposition through bullying and intimidation … i.e., the cancel culture. Basic Political Strategy: Identify the opposition, discredit and marginalize them; paint with a broad brush and see what sticks, factual or not.

This unsavory tactic needs to stop immediately. It is unproductive, unnecessary and unbecoming to our town.

Lisa Peterson has asked: “Who are the BCCC members and who are their candidates?” It appears from her letter that she is on a mission to identify candidates or elected officials that may have attended a BCCC meeting or sought the support of the group. One can only imagine the target that will be painted on their backs.

Our local candidates and elected public servants should not be targeted; rather they should be respected for their personal sacrifice and willingness to serve on behalf of their fellow citizens. Public service is not for the faint of heart; especially in today’s political climate.

The country is experiencing unprecedented societal and economic challenges that directly affect our state and local governments daily. It is time to turn away from the ugly and hurtful comments and get down to the business of selecting those individuals who will be entrusted with the tasks at hand.

We are fortunate to have so many qualified and diverse people to choose from, and I for one am very interested in hearing what all of the candidates have to offer the citizens of Bristol. In the months to come, let us see the pages of the Bristol Phoenix filled with ideas and solutions, rather than divisiveness and hate.

For the record, I am a founding member of the BCCC. I am also chairman of the Bristol Republican Town Committee, a member of the Rhode Island GOP and a Trump delegate to the National Convention.

Admittedly, I do own a red hat that I wear regularly … it reads “Bristol” on the front.

Thomas M. Carroll

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