I ask all people of good conscience to join me in demanding that Karlo Silbiger publicly apologize to my good friend Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin for the disturbing and hurtful remarks he addressed to her in a public forum, remarks which have caused her severe emotional anguish.
Referring to Ms. Wisnosky Stehlin, Mr. Silbiger stated: “I’m sure that there were people like you in Topeka, Kansas trying to stop the brown (sic) family from attaining their civil rights back in 1954. But I thought that we had gotten past vilifying minority groups trying to attain rquality (sic). My bad.”
“People like you… vilifying minority groups.” Oh, my.
What triggered this sad and bizarre accusation that Ms. Wisnosky is a racist?
Jeannine asked a simple question trying to understand statements he had made in a Facebook conversation about the merits of at large versus district-based elections for a community like Culver City. She asked: “Are you planning to sue the City, Karlo? Is that what you’re saying?”
That was her first and only comment in that conversational thread.
I challenge anyone – anyone – to find any basis for Mr. Silbiger’s ugly remark in anything that Jeannine has ever said or written. His statement is false, uncalled for, and out of line.
It is also extremely hurtful.
The Culver City Facebook page, which has more than 2500 members, is generally a forum in which people interested in our great community discuss everything from Little League games to pet adoptions to new restaurants. In the course of the last election there were many heated conversations that took place there as well.
This bullying statement by Mr. Silbiger has crossed a line that should never have been crossed. It has caused emotional harm to one of the most thoughtful, helpful, and open-minded individuals in our community.
I can not let Mr. Silbiger’s statement go unchallenged. I feel compelled to ask for his public retraction and apology. That is the absolute least he owes to her.
In closing, I’d like to add that I am not interested in engaging in any debate about this issue, and I believe attempts to distract attention from the heart of the matter will be seen for what they are.
This has nothing to do with our recent election, in the course of which my good friends Thomas Small and Göran Eriksson won seats on the city council. I am sure that the two of them would likewise condemn Mr. Silbiger’s remarks. This has nothing to do with the unfortunate factionalism that has infested our civic dialog.
This is about a hurtful remark that has deeply shaken a friend of mine.