Dear Editor – Social Media Slur as Public Provocation

Light-bulb-0003-300x198I 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.

Scott Malsin

Ting Internet is in Culver City!

2 Comments

  1. Let there be no mistake that political discourse in Culver City has likely reached a tipping point in negativity from which it may not recover. It’s remarkable when an individual who has been an elected official, and often operates as a campaign manager, offers up such remarks in an online forum including more than 2,600 of our residents. It is not okay. It is important that it cease.

    I was a participant in the online dialogue in which these shockingly unfounded remarks from Karlo Silbiger were written. In the sentence before he made these remarks, he commented that he didn’t know how to respond to Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin without swearing. We all would have been better off had he sweared. Mr. Silbiger doesn’t need to just walk back these remarks. He needs to make a public apology to Ms. Wisnosky Stehlin that is equally as passionate as his accusation.

  2. This is the most ridiculous, unfounded witch hunt. The pitchfork carriers (the UPCC) need to take a very long, hard look in the mirror, before they demand an apology for a comparatively benign comment utterly pulled out of context. In other words, everyone who jumped on the attack-Karlo-Silbiger-bandwagon are amongst the very last people who should be casting stones. This gang makes a practice of banding together against a single person (like Karlo) or a group (like the Farragut residents) who cannot reply.
    1. The entire thread mentioned in this much hyped “demand” wasn’t included in the demand so it could be taken into context. Was Malsin, etc. afraid that those outside their gang and sycophants would figure out just how inane this claim is? The “apology demand” even has its own PR person, Laura Stuart, who blasted it social media.
    2. The Facebook page on which the thread appeared is filled with the most uninformed vitriolic, destructive drivel allowed to pick up momentum by Dan O’Brien who has refused to moderate hate.
    3. The most vocal of the apology-demanding mob are constantly posting cyberbullies. That may sound like hyperbole, but it’s not to victims of their bile.
    4. For “proof” — members can scroll through threads; it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, you’re bound to quickly find threads peppered with snarky condescension. If you’re not a member, go to my website where you can see evidentiary screen grabs. #NotInMyCulverCity

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