Tag Archive: African American

Welcome to Camden, President Obama. Here are some things I think you need to know.


James Harris is the Immediate Past President of New Jersey NAACP (2005-2013). He opposed the abolition of the Camden Police Department as President of the NAACP New Jersey State Conference on grounds it was a racially motivated effort to destroy the Police Union and replace African American and Latino police officers with Whites. He also contended various practices were anti urban, anti- African American/Latino and anti-poor. Further, it was believed the Chief of Police had contributed to poor policing practices in Camden. Harris also chairs the Education Task Force of the New Jersey Black Issues Convention. – Promoted by Rosi

Barack ObamaWelcome to Camden, New Jersey Mr. President. I am happy to see you visit Camden New Jersey, one of the poorest and most dangerous cities in the United States of America.

Mr. President, I sincerely hope that you will talk to some residents other than the elected officials who are completely controlled by the political bosses who have created the conditions that allowed Camden to become and remain poor and dangerous for so long.

I hope you do not endorse the process that has led up to the propaganda of dramatic improvements in Camden public safety. You should not endorse the fact that Mayor Dana Redd fired more than 267 Camden police officers, who represented the most racially and ethnically diverse police department in New Jersey (over 75% African American and Latino). I hope you do not endorse the fact the “new” Camden Metro Police Department was created by the political bosses in Camden County to destroy the Police Union that was led by African Americans and who were operating under a Union contract that had been negotiated and signed while Camden was under state supervision.

Mr. President, I hope you will understand that the firing of this racially diverse police department was implemented with a agreement by the all-White New Jersey Civil Service Commission, which voted to eliminate the rules that allowed public employees to legally challenge unfair and unjust treatment.

I hope you will not encourage the continuation of policies and procedures that are racially discriminatory and violate all the most important values supported by the NAACP and other civil and human rights organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Where Will All the Boys Go?

I’m pulling this up top again today to make sure as many people as possible see it. Are Gov. Christie’s brave new world reformers even aware of this kind of research? let alone conducting it themselves with the vast power they exercise over the Camden district and its kids? Do they even care? Promoted by Rosi, with thanks to Julia, and to her Rutgers colleague Stephen Danley, at whose excellent site, Local Knowledge Blog, Julia first published this today.

Imagine turning your public schools over to a private corporation that is unaccountable to your community; has no experience educating children like those attending your public schools; and forces most of the boys to leave before graduation?

That is exactly what the Christie Administration is doing in Camden.

The Administration is transferring control of public education to three out-of-state charter corporations – KIPP, Mastery and Uncommon Schools – that are completely unaccountable to the people of Camden.  The corporations will take hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars from existing Camden public and charter schools to build or renovate and operate 16 new renaissance charter schools.*

The three charter corporations are aggressively marketing themselves and their new facilities to Camden parents and could quickly account for 9,300 of the district’s almost 15,000 publicly-funded spots, leading to the closure of the majority of Camden’s public and charter schools.  

Chris Christie Evades Reporters Who Ask Him About Controversial “Boy” Comment

Gov. Chris Christie likes to position himself as a blunt truth-teller. But he’s considerably less interested in answering for himself when his usual tight control of message goes awry, as it did last week in Paterson.

When you ask me questions, I’m going to answer them directly, straightly, bluntly, and nobody in New Jersey is going to have to wonder where I am on an issue.

                     –  Gov. Chris Christie, May, 2010 (Star-Ledger video)

Governor. Governor, do you regret using the word “boy” in Paterson last week? Can we just get a comment, Governor?

             – Michael Aron, as Christie ignored, walked away from questions (NJTV video)

Gov. Chris Christie Calls a Black Man “Boy” in Paterson, NJ

This week, Governor Chris Christie let his famous command of his own image slip and said something to an African-American man – in a church in Paterson – that we have not heard in many, many years in New Jersey. In America.

FYI: Exchange between Christie and the man, in the video above, is from NJTV’s NJ Today with Mike Schneider [March 12, 2013]. Here is the full broadcast. Exchange appears in two places; starting the show (:01-:08) and at 4:28.

Critics of Coalition Map Miss the Point

This is a fair criticism, though we question whether forward movement on minority representation was the prime mover of that rumor. Either way, there are too many white men repping us all, and the time is well past ripe to change that. – Rosi

The New Jersey Legislative Redistricting Coalition is comprised of the New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP, La Causa NJ, The New Jersey Black Issues Convention, Latino Action Network, the Latino Coalition, the Garden State Bar Association, the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, the Association of Black Women Lawyers, and various community leaders from the African American, Asian and Latino communities.

The New Jersey Redistricting Coalition’s main goal is creating more opportunities for people of color to run for elected office…PERIOD…this is not born out of a desire to gerrymander or create an unfair advantage for one demographic or another.  If leaders of both parties adhered to the law (i.e. the Voting Rights Act) and produced a map consistent with the new Census data that shows significant increases in minority populations statewide there would be no need for the coalition to exist.

New Jersey 4: Two Convictions Overturned! Struggle Continues

(Originally posted on the Bilerico Project, America’s best LGBT blog, by Jessica Hoffmann, editor of LA-based feminist magazine make/shift.)

The convictions of Terrain Dandridge and Renata Hill, two of the New Jersey 4, have been reversed. The NJ4 is a group of young black lesbians imprisoned after fighting back against a homophobic attack. The handling of this situation by not only the criminal-legal system but also popular media tragically exemplifies the sexism, heteronormativity, and racism of those interlocking power structures.

From the press release:  

Hold August 25! (Is that enough notice?) Statewide Anti-war March

At the request of a regular here, I have signed up and am posting a link to an important announcement from the Peace & Justice Coalition, an alliance of over 100 community, religious, labor, social, educational and other organizations centered in the Black communities of Northern New Jersey.

The Coalition has put out a call for a statewide People’s March of Peace, Equality, Jobs and Justice on August 25. It promises to be an important mobilization, drawing on forces which have been underrepresented in anti-war protests.

This blogsite seems to avoid long posts, so I invite you to check out the March announcement by Larry Hamm of the People’s Organization for Progress, posted at Fire on the Mountain, here.