Saturday, October 24, 2020


Who’ll Be Targeted Next?

I write to express my disgust in response to the shocking Facebook messages Eileen Banisch, executive director of Madison’s Chamber of Commerce, posted to the GOP candidate for State Senate who has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association and the CT Citizens Defense League. Joe LaPorta is running against Democrat Christine Cohen, whose family owns Cohen’s Bagels in Madison.

Under LaPorta’s post about the endorsements, Banisch wrote, “You should but [sic] a bagel on the bullseye!” and “Toss bagels in the air like skeet!”

Why would anyone think it was okay to joke about firing a gun at anything that represents another person during a political campaign? And why is the head of the Madison Chamber of Commerce targeting the owner of a Madison business?

Is this how the Madison Chamber wishes to be represented on social media, before a public all too ready to engage in bigotry and bullying online?

This must not be allowed to stand. Banisch’s combination of scare tactics typical of gun rights groups with thinly veiled anti-Semitism is outrageous and worthy of condemnation. I call on the members of the Madison Chamber to hold Eileen Banisch accountable for her unethical behavior and urge them to call for Banisch’s immediate resignation.

If this is allowed to stand, and Banisch is not held accountable, who will be targeted next? Black Americans? Latinx Americans? Asian Americans? LGBTQ Americans? Immigrant Americans? If a democratically elected member of our State Senate is not safe from this reprehensible behavior, who is?

Beth Skudder