Jerry Green’s Bizarre & Maybe Bigoted Attack on Arrested Blogger

promoted by Rosi

Dan Damon is a longtime blogger in Plainfield, a former PR flack for the city, mayoral candidate, general gadfly and community volunteer.  

He’s also usually on the opposite side of issues from political powerhouse and County Democratic Chair Jerry Green, the Speaker Pro Tem of the Assembly. Damon is also a supporter of Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp, who is an on-again off-again ally of Green’s, and is currently very off-again and filed a primary slate against the party line.

Plainfield police have charged Damon with having oral sex with another man in a car in the view of other adults.  Since Damon was appointed to the Public Library Board by Mapp, Green is trying to tie Damon’s legal problems around the Mayor’s neck.  It’s the kind of blunt force attack Green is known for.

But Green’s statement to the Courier News is downright bizarre.  

“I’m shocked that everybody is taking this so lightly,” Green said Thursday. “This is a 75-year-old man having sex with a 23-year-old man who happens to be a Latino.”

“The mayor has yet to come out and say anything at all, which is totally shocking. It’s not that he doesn’t know that (Damon) has a sickness. I’m just hoping nobody gets killed or hurt and that somebody in the administration recognizes that this is a danger to society.”

There are any number of issues with this.  For one, why is Green mentioning the ages of Damon and his partner?  Sure, it’s unusual but both are well past the age of majority so … who cares?

Second, what is with “happens to be a Latino”?  Damon is white.  Does Green have a problem with mixed race couples? There’s really no reason to make such a reference otherwise.

Third, Green has been a supporter of the LBGT community for a long time, but these lines reek of revulsion at the act of oral sex between two men.

Fourth, referencing Damon’s “sickness” is really odd.  The article doesn’t make any other mention of Damon being ill, so we have to wonder what Green is implying.

Especially when he suggests that the illness can get people “killed or hurt” and is a “danger to society.”  It’s just bizarre phrasing that makes little or no sense, but sounds remarkably like how many talked about AIDS back in the 1990s.  Especially those who didn’t like gays.  It’s a sideways path to the accusation, uses odd phrasing like “has a sickness” rather than “is sick”, and talks about the disease as if it were a threat to the culture rather than the body.

If there were one piece of this statement that was off it could just be poor reporting, inartful speaking on Green’s part, or just a bad day.  Green has been good for years on LBGT issues, and while he has had issues with the Latino community in Plainfield they were political and not racial.

But in ten seconds Green uses language and phrasing that could be ageist, racist and homophobic.  

The question is, did he mean it?

Comments (6)

  1. Rosi Efthim

    You’re right. The statement sounds anachronistic. It also sounds deeply colored by personal animus – pointing out aspects of the incident that are incidental (age, race) as though they’re pertinent. It sounds like a politician hitting an opponent with anything he thinks might stick, anything he might use to get supporters to be personally repulsed be repulsed by his opponent.

    The question for me is, in doing that, what does this comment reveal – if anything – about how Green sees some of the people he represents? I hope his constituents ask that.  

    Reply
  2. Jersey Jazzman

    The “sickness” part of Green’s response is disturbing. If Damon had been having sex with a woman, would Green have called that evidence of a “sickness”?

    For that matter: would Damon have been arrested? I don’t have a problem with people being charged with lewd behavior in public, but we often have different standards for what is “acceptable” depending on sexual orientation.

    Green is one of the top Dems in NJ. It’s not too much to ask him to be more circumspect in his language.

    Reply
  3. Jeff Gardner

    The Assemblyman has been more than just good on LGBT issues, he was a critical ally in the marriage equality fight – an early and passionate supporter. Which makes this statement all the more bizarre. He definitely needs to explain what this was about.

    Reply
  4. Chris Hillmann

    out of interest and knowing Mr. Green to be an ally of the LGBT community i Googled and found this: http://plfdlatino.blogspot.com

    Seems like Mr. Green was pointing out possible repeated behavior.  And if it’s true that Mr. Damon is cruising then it is possible that someone could get hurt, being that you never know who he could be inviting into his car. My guess is that Mr. Green is saying the soliciting sex on the street is the “sickness” not being gay.

    Reply

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