OUR VIEW: Time's up, Tim

Published on Thursday, 7 February 2019 19:55
Written by Staff

There’s is no doubt that former mayor and Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce President Tim Stewart has drawn attention to the City of New Britain. It’s the kind of publicity this city could do without.

Stewart, father of Mayor Erin Stewart, was called out on Wednesday for a misogynistic Facebook post Tuesday night during the State of the Union address.

In a screenshot of a Facebook message shared with The Herald, Tim Stewart refers to female Democratic U.S. representatives wearing white during President Donald Trump’s televised address as “Bitches in heat.”

A coalition of more than a dozen local Democrats met Wednesday afternoon to condemn Stewart for the post and demand his resignation from the Chamber.

Even his supporters came out strongly against Stewart’s words.

Gennaro Bizzarro, chairman of the board of the Chamber, said he “could not be more disappointed” with Stewart’s post. He added that Stewart’s “choice of words was inexcusable and has no place in modern civil discourse.”

Erin Stewart wrote on Twitter that she was “embarrassed and mortified” by the post.

Tim Stewart issued a written apology on Facebook late in the day on Wednesday and at the request of his daughter, resigned from two city boards. But his future with the Chamber is uncertain. It shouldn’t be.

The decision by the Chamber board members should be swift and final. The Chamber and the city should cut ties with Tim Stewart, not only because of this most recent sexist Facebook post, but because he has been criticized in the past for other inappropriate social media comments.

Racism, hate speech, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia and crudeness abound on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. This type of ignorance pushes the boundaries of the First Amendment, but remains protected by the Constitution.

Tim Stewart is not the first public official to be vilified for his comments and he certainly won’t be the last.

But he has proven to all of us that he doesn’t possess the self-control, the dignity and the professionalism we expect from the individuals who represent the Chamber, this city and all who live and work here.

It’s time for Tim to go.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Editorials on Thursday, 7 February 2019 19:55. Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2019 19:57.