ADVERTISEMENT

Resident says Boniface’s social media posts not appropriate

October 20, 2018 GMT

A social media comment about comedienne Roseanne Barr by The Woodlands Township director Brian Boniface has become part of this fall’s election debate.

Township Director Brian Boniface’s Facebook comments about Barr and her own social media controversy are offensive and “unbecoming,” said Indian Springs Village Association board Member Enrique Rosero during the public comments period at last Thursday’s board meeting.

“The question of incorporation comes down to intangibles. This is all however, mediated, by the character of the people who will lead our new city, and that’s where it becomes a problem for me, and I’ll give you an example, this is a social media post from director Brian Boniface,” Rosero told the board. “This behavior is unbecoming, and the show was canceled. Americans people understand comparing African-American people to apes is racist. You however, are in the board and represent us. This is troubling, because it becomes a pattern. I cannot entrust the powers of the new city to create new ordinances, to create policy, to direct the new police department, to people like you.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Barr’s tweet last May referring to former President Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett as if “Muslim brotherhood and planet of the apes had a baby” led to her being dismissed from a remake of her TV show “Roseanne.”

Rosero said he was referring to a Bonifice Facebook post that read:

“The truth is that I’m surprised by the whole Roseanne situation. Since I was little, liberals have been telling me I evolved from monkeys. Now Roseanne compares an American woman to a monkey and now all the liberals are offended. Did they not realize she was strengthening their original argument”

Boniface did not respond to Rosero’s comments during the meeting because township rules generally prohibit directors from replying during public comments.

On Friday, Boniface said via email that the comment is his, but said he did not believe the issue was newsworthy.

“Unfortunately, this is where we have come as a society when people who can’t argue on principles resort to the politics of personal destruction by trying to smear people,” Boniface wrote. “This was clearly a joke aimed at my liberal friends who are atheists and believe in evolution.”

The issue comes less than three weeks before the township election on Nov. 6. Early voting is under way Oct. 22-Nov. 2.

Boniface is seeking re-election to a second term on the board, citing his desire to continue the incorporation studies and have board members with knowledge and experience with the issue continue the process. First elected in 2016, Boniface is a registered nurse and U.S. Army veteran.

Boniface’s opponent in the Nov. 6 election, Treva Taglieri, said the type of divisive comments and beliefs referenced in the post were not welcome in The Woodlands, which is accepting of all people and faiths as part of the culture of diversity in the community.

ADVERTISEMENT

“How are we supposed to make such important decisions such as incorporation within our community when unnecessary political divisions exist on our board about issues that are irrelevant to the job at hand? Why would our township representatives post divisive posts when what we want to encourage is quite the opposite, for all of us to work and move forward together,” Taglieri wrote in an email.

Boniface said that political correctness was “out of control.”

“As a Christian conservative, I was making light of the unfortunate situation by expressing my view that all men/women are made in the image of his Creator, not evolving from lower forms of life,” Boniface said. “I do not apologize for my beliefs or for attempting to have a sense of humor. Last I checked, that was still protected by the (First) Amendment and until we start pushing back against an out of control PC culture, these trends will continue.”

Taglieri said she has suffered discrimination as a woman in the male-dominated engineering field, in which she worked in prior to moving to The Woodlands.

“We are a growing multicultural, highly educated, pro-business community, where we all belong, where we all contribute and pay taxes to make us what we are - a coveted place to live, work and play,” Taglieri said. “I am committed to representing The Woodlands as a whole, not just a part of us and to do what is right for us as a community, not based on what endorsements would like to see.”

jeff.forward@chron.com