Montville committeewoman fighting for political life after offensive post
Witty published chart comparing Nazis to Democrats on Facebook page
A Facebook posting by Montville Committeewoman June Witty that likens Democrats to Nazis has angered people inside and out of Morris County, prompting her fellow Republicans to ask her to resign. She has refused to step down from the Township Committee, despite strong opposition from the town’s Jewish community.
The offending post was made up of a chart with seven categories which, according to the post, demonstrates commonalities that the Nazis and Democratic Party support: “socialism,” “no guns,” “censorship,” “media mind control,” “abortion,” and “worship the government.” The only difference between the two parties on the chart? Nazis, it says, “hate Jews,” whereas Democrats “hate Jews and whites.”
Witty posted the chart on her Facebook page on April 9 but removed it within hours. At a committee meeting two days later, her GOP colleagues on the all-Republican committee unanimously demanded she resign.
To date Witty has refused. In an April 24 phone interview with NJJN, she said she has been battling to stay in office “by reaching out” to the committee members and Jewish leaders in Montville to apologize for the Facebook posting.
“In hindsight, it was a big mistake,” she told NJJN. “I didn’t realize how hurtful it would be.”
She said she decided to post the chart after watching a YouTube video of longtime Nation of Islam leader Rev. Louis Farrakhan making multiple hateful remarks at the movement’s annual convention in February. “White folks are going down, and Satan is going down, and Farrakhan by God’s grace has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew — and I’m here to say, your time is up,” Farrakhan said at one point, as well as several other racially inflammatory comments.
“He was on a rant blaming everything on the Jews, including global warming,” Witty said. “I can’t believe here is such a hateful person walking on earth.”
After seeing the video, she said she decided to post the chart “to show the hypocrisy of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim Democrat from Illinois, who have really embraced Farrakhan.”
Witty’s refusal to step down has angered members of Montville’s Jewish community. Evan Zuckerman, president of the Conservative Pine Brook Jewish Center, told NJJN “as Jews, the mere mention of the Nazi party calls up memories of many of our relatives being marched to their deaths in the concentration camps of Europe.”
Zuckerman said Witty has failed to live up to her responsibilities to serve all the residents of in her town — Democrats and independents, as well as Republicans. He said he plans to seek legal options, including a possible recall vote before her term expires in three years.
In a letter to a local news website, “Tap into Montville,” on behalf on the synagogue’s board of trustees, Zuckerman said Witty “was not only insensitive to township residents registered as Democrats but, more importantly, this post is rooted in hate and vitriol toward the Jewish Community.”
Joshua Cohen, N.J. regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, told NJJN his organization was “deeply disturbed” by Witty’s post, calling it “insensitive to Holocaust survivors” and “offensive to Jews and all those who can recall the sacrifices Americans and many others had to make as a result of Hitler’s Nazi juggernaut.”
A lifelong resident of Montville, Witty is a retired high school nurse. She began her political life as a Democrat in the late 1970s, but changed parties “when I had my own family and started leaning toward the conservative side.” She has been a Donald Trump supporter and maintains that support “because he is our president.”
She told NJJN, “I am extremely sorry for hurting anybody. That was never my intention. If I could take it back, I would. But I can’t.”