Thursday, March 20, 2014


To the Deerfield Beach Commissioners and Mayor:

 You need to take action.  Stop sitting by when you see a wrong. 

Allowing James Benefield, during a commission meeting, to rant about a woman being gang raped on a pool table in a bar was deplorable.

in the public to speak section set the counter to 00:52:19)

When only one of you, Commissioner Rosenzweig tried to say Benefield should be stopped, the mayor shut him down; shame on him and the rest of you for not forcing a stop to Benefield’s ranting.

Shame on the Mayor for allowing this kind of garbage to be aired in a public meeting.  If she cannot use her gavel, it should be taken away from her and used by one of you who has some common sense.

This is not a freedom of speech issue it is a respect for a forum issue; a respect for the audience issue.  What is legal is not always right, and this was very much NOT RIGHT. 
For a man who claimed to be giving a lecture on respect, he was outrageously disrespectful to his audience and the commission. 

His graphic description in front of an audience with children and possibly people who might have been victims of sexual assault themselves, who would be forced to relive their attack in a public commission meeting, was beyond shameful, it was bordering on actionable. 

At the very least the public is owed an apology from James Benefield who should be banned from addressing the Commission ever again.  The Mayor should apologize for allowing his rant, and the rest of you should apologize for not standing up for your audience and shutting him down. 

Bett Willett

1 comment:

  1. Bett;

    For nearly 30 years, I have been a part of Amnesty International, helping to raise awareness to issue of violence directed against women and children.

    One-in-three women worldwide will be physically, sexually or otherwise abused during her lifetime, with rates reaching 70 percent in some countries.

    Violence against women and children is one of the most pervasive of human rights abuses.

    James Benefield's remarks, which were sanctioned by Jean Robb, offend not just those in the audience, but our town as a whole.

    Said Machiavelli, "The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him."

    Under Robb's pilotage, I keep imaginging we've hit rock bottom, only to find a trap door opening up beneath us, revealing a subterrean basement. And from that fresh hell, the likes of Benefield are belched forth.

    On this matter, you and I are in total agreement.

    Chaz Stevens