To the Editor: 

On the Chatham Borough Council campaign website for Len Resto and Peter Hoffman, the candidates appear in a video touting Chatham Borough’s diversity garden as a testament to the fact that the borough recognizes that in diversity there is strength.

Imagine my surprise, then, to discover Peter Hoffman’s Facebook posts stating that “a hyphenated American is not an American at all” and “assimilation is what made this country great, NOT emphasizing differences.”  Mr. Hoffman approvingly posts articles from Infowars, the conspiracy site that first claimed that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, and from the far-right Brietbart.com entitled “Immigration Without Assimilation Is an Invasion.” He also shared several articles about President Obama with negative comments that describe him as "the enemy within our own ranks." After I questioned him about these comments on his campaign Facebook page, Mr. Hoffman deleted all of my comments and blocked me, both there and on his personal Facebook page. Additionally, Hoffman deleted his Twitter account, @hoffmanpet, at around that same time. A search of Twitter shows that this account was active as recently as October 3rd.

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After I learned that Hoffman had deleted his Twitter account, I did a Google search on "hoffmanpet." I found that in 2008, on the online anti-Muslim blog BarenakedIslam, a "HoffmanPet" of Chatham, NJ had posted the following: “Islam is a sick, backward faith practiced by low life scum … until the “moderate” Muslims rein in their sick brethren and stop this type of behavior, Islam will always be the religion of beasts in my mind.”

I find it hard to understand how this Republican team can claim to embrace diversity or to represent all of Chatham while one member clearly has such disdain for the many who don’t share his background, his identity, or his beliefs. I believe that these kinds of intolerant attitudes are at least partially to blame for the rise in bullying that we have seen in Chatham Middle School over the past two years. I urge all Chatham Borough voters to closely examine Peter Hoffman's pattern of intolerance, lack of transparency, and lack of respect for the freedom of speech before casting your vote on November 6th.

Sincerely,

Webster Lewin