Why make private thoughts so public now?

Published 1:33 pm Saturday, June 8, 2013

“Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.”
Luke 12:2 (English Standard Version)

Although this is my first column for The Tidewater News, let’s skip any introductions for now, if you please, and get to an issue on the minds of many people. Of course, I refer to the controversy concerning Byron “Buzz” Bailey and Herb DeGroft in Isle of Wight County. Even after the exposure of embarrassing emails attributed to them, they remain steadfast in serving on the Board of Supervisors and the School Board, respectively.

This newspaper has already published an editorial, as well as a personal column from Associate Publisher Tony Clark on the matter. Because I already concur with much of what’s been written, allow me to turn your attention to a question that’s not being asked often enough:

Who sent the printout of these emails to fellow school board member Denise Tynes and, most importantly, why?

Full disclosure: I have had a couple of enlightening off-the-record e-mail conversations with the supposed source, which goes by the username of Help_IOW. But unless he or she or they chooses to somehow make those emails public, they’ll remain between us.

The username’s identity is actually secondary for me because how could it be proved? Someone could come out and say, “I am Help_IOW,” but even that might be a cover for another person or persons.

Rhetorically speaking here, why didn’t the source first confront Bailey and DeGroft and say something like, “Ummm, don’t you know these could be taken the wrong way?”

Further, why send the emails to Tynes and not directly to Dottie Harris, president of the IOW Chapter of the NAACP?

For those women I ask likewise if either of you even considered going to the men and speaking to them privately. Would not that have been the charitable and even more professional thing to do? If either or both men were seemingly unrepentant or defensive, then you could both say, ‘Well, we tried to get them to see the error of their ways. Now we have to call them out for these offensive emails.”

Lest I forget, the public should be on the lookout for any person or persons coming forth or promoted as candidates in elections, recall or regular. When that happens, then you might agree that politics – not righteous indignation – were the true driving force behind all this brouhaha.

The proverbial wheel of fortune is rolling, and the question remains who will be crushed, and also who will come out on top.

We’ll know come Election Day.

Stephen H. Cowles is the staff writer at The Tidewater News. He can be contacted at either 562-3187 or playback58@gmail.com.