Should George Colby be recalled?

| Letter to the editor from Thomas Jordan |

There have been many letters to the editor written about George Colby, and there have been many views expressed. In particular, there have been a couple recent letters that I would like to address, which have called for compassion, forgiveness, and questioned whether Mr. Colby should be recalled. These letters make compelling arguments, but fail to address key aspects of this unfortunate situation.

As others have said before, I believe that Mr. Colby is entitled to forgiveness and grace. He is a member of our community and we will have failed him if we ever declare him to be irredeemable. I myself have no hate in my heart for Mr. Colby, even as I seek to recall him, and I am far from alone. I agree with Peter Brown or Yvette Knight on the necessity for compassion, but I think we may disagree on whether or not Mr. Colby has been treated fairly.

When I heard “even us white folks,” I was disturbed that someone in a position of power appeared to believe that white Americans were being persecuted, but I reserved my judgment until I knew more. I figured that if he was a good selectman, then he would at least make a good faith attempt to understand why so many of his constituents were angry. In the weeks that followed, the other members of the board released a statement condemning his words and views, the town manager released a similar statement, multiple articles appeared in local newspapers, the “Obama email” came to light, and Mr. Colby remained silent. Still, I reserved judgment until the board meeting on December 28th, when he refused to apologize and was censured. The weeks between his words and the beginning of the recall petition were a grace period with many opportunities to explain himself.

The recall petition has been certified and there will be a special election, but we need to be clear about what is on the ballot. The question before the town is not “Is George Colby a damnable racist?” but rather “Should George Colby be allowed to represent us while we wait for him to learn from his mistakes?” Since the petition’s certification, Mr. Colby himself shed light on this question with his own letter.

Keep in mind Mr. Colby is a selectman, chosen by we the people to be trusted as one of the best of us. Instead, he started fearmongering and described roughly half of his town as Leftist conspirators intent on destroying America. To quote Mr. Colby: “They are attacking you and a free America.” “I think their agenda is far more malicious.” “They’re coming for me today, but they may come for you tomorrow.” Mr. Colby, we are not an anonymous mob — we are your neighbors, and we are recalling you because you refuse to listen to the people you are supposed to represent.

Despite all my disagreement with Mr. Colby, I understand his point of view. He wants to know that his family and community are safe and free to prosper. I completely respect that, and I know that is all any of us want. I believe that there is no such thing as a good or bad person. Instead there are only flawed people doing their best, and that includes George Colby. Unfortunately, one of his flaws is that the way he sees the world is built on lies, and he hasn’t realized it yet.

Should George Colby be allowed to represent us while we wait for him to learn from his mistakes? To me the answer is no, but that doesn’t mean I will stop waiting to forgive.

Thomas Jordan

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