We love Darien. For some of us, it has been our home since the day we were born. For others among our ranks, it is our adopted home. But regardless of our respective lengths of tenure within its tiny borders, all members of the Darien Republican Town Committee love this town with a passion, and we are extremely proud to live here. And while we acknowledge that Darien has chapters in its history that nobody should be proud of, we steadfastly assert that this history has nothing to do whatsoever with the place we call home today nor its bright future.
No place on this earth is perfect, even a bucolic town like ours, albeit overwhelmingly populated by good, kind, and generous people. But stereotypes and misconceptions are hard to dispel. When you have the sort of entrenched reputation that our town has, even the slightest “misstep” may serve to confirm the biased suspicions of those who would see our town always as we once might have been, not as we are. So, when residents of this wonderful place condone, in silence or in carefully chosen words, the disgraceful behavior of a few, even if they are a friend, or perhaps one’s own child, they do lasting, irreparable damage to the town we love so much and all of its residents.
Reprehensible events of the last election gave birth to signs that said “Kindness Matters”. To us, this was not a campaign slogan but a rallying cry for the whole town. We attached our name to it because we believe that real leaders stand behind what they say and we wanted to show leadership on this especially. The fact that this rallying cry was cynically mocked at the time by the very same people, who refused to publicly denounce the unkindness we were responding to, was not lost on us. But it is also not lost on us today that some of these people have now apparently fallen victim to the same flavor of insidious, reprehensible behavior we were speaking out against last year: anonymous, cowardly, bullying hate.
Sending vile and offensive letters to elected officials is no more or less disgusting than baselessly smearing one on social media, nor personally attacking one or more during public Board meetings. We do not reference last year’s events to detract in the slightest from the gravity of recent ones. We merely wish to drive home the point that none of this should ever be acceptable to anyone. This latest set of offenses is alleged by certain elected officials to have been committed by supporters of our political objectives against our political opponents. While we profoundly disagree with that characterization, we nonetheless do agree that such reprehensible actions, perpetrated by a couple of people, are entirely unacceptable. We loudly and forcefully disavow and condemn them.
We furthermore pledge any and all assistance necessary to identify these most recent perpetrators and have them brought to justice. Because recent offenses, in at least one instance, involve a member of our Board of Education, a part of local government which was recently awarded special protection by the Attorney General of the United States, we urge the perpetrators to willingly and immediately turn themselves into the Darien Police before this matter must be referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as provided for under that special protection.
Enough. Kindness does Matter. Always.