GOP culture spurred N.J. mall handcuff incident | Letters

The recent video of a young Black teen being tackled and handcuffed by police on the Bridgewater Commons mall, whereas an older, bigger white teen concerned in the identical altercation was given a seat on a sofa, has outraged each cheap one that has seen it.

It is stunning that even after all of the examples of unequal, violent therapy of African Americans by police over the previous few years, some cops, even when realizing they’re being recorded on video, proceed this type of conduct.

In the case of Bridgewater Township, this type of unequal therapy will be linked to the atmosphere of bias created by the failed management of the all-Republican township authorities. In lower than 10 years, the township council engaged in spiritual discrimination towards Muslims at the price of a $7.75 million settlement for denying construction approval for a mosque. There had been allegations of racist office practices towards township workers, workers, and the council appointed to the municipal alliance a “conversion therapy” psychologist accused of making anti-LTBTQ+ statements.

Now we’ve got a younger African American handcuffed by township police whereas a white teen within the struggle was left to take a seat and watch. Incidents comparable to this don’t occur in isolation. They are the result of pervasive biases, conscious and unconscious, that work their approach by communities and governing our bodies alike when unchecked.

The all-Republican township authorities’s repeated actions and protracted authorized fights have created an atmosphere the place bias and bigotry should not solely accepted, however rewarded. And, this previous week, the world received to see it.

Peg Schaffer, chair, Somerset County Democratic Committee, Somerset

All pay for N.J. primaries; open them up

I’m registered with a political get together, not as a result of I imagine that group acts for my finest curiosity, however as a result of, as a resident of New Jersey, I’m barred from participation within the preliminary election course of, the first vote, unless I am part of a political party.

Further, if I selected to vote in a main election, my selection is proscribed to casting a vote for a candidate who’s working throughout the get together the place I’m registered.

That’s proper! Although I pay taxes, which fund the operation of the first election, my proper to vote is conditioned on membership in a political get together, and restricted to deciding on a candidate from an inventory accepted by that get together. Again, all taxpayers pay to run main elections, however solely members of political events can vote in these elections.

No different group that I do know of can cost folks outdoors of its membership to conduct voting that’s restricted to that membership solely.

Our nation fought and gained a revolution primarily based on the notion that “Taxation with out illustration is tyranny.” I don’t imagine that illustration was restricted to any ideology, spiritual or political. Yet, right here I’m greater than 200 years later, nonetheless denied my voice in freely nominating the candidates to signify me.

Here is what I would like: Each get together ought to arrange and pay for choosing its personal basic election candidates.

Once that’s executed, open the primaries so that each one voters will probably be allowed to have a voice in deciding on from all candidates who meet the minimal necessities established to run for workplace.

Mary T. Johnson, Oakhurst

Prevent teen courting violence

One in three adolescents within the United States is a survivor of bodily, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a courting accomplice, a determine that far exceeds charges of different varieties of youth violence, according to the state website,

February is recognized as National Teen Dating Violence (TDV) Awareness and Prevention Month, providing a possibility to convey consciousness to this harmful type of abuse and the assets out there for these searching for assist.

Prevention of sweet sixteen courting violence begins with understanding the indicators, signs and causes, which embrace, however should not restricted to: excessive jealousy or insecurity; explosive outbursts, mood or temper swings; any type of bodily hurt; possessiveness or controlling conduct; pressuring you or forcing you to have intercourse; when a accomplice checks your cellphone, e mail or social media accounts with out your permission; when a accomplice places you down steadily, particularly in entrance of others; and when a accomplice isolates you from pals or household bodily, financially or emotionally.

Don’t undergo in silence. You can rebuild your life past home violence.

Julye Myner, Executive Director, Center for Hope and Safety, Rochelle Park

Note: The center’s vary of companies for individuals who have skilled or witnessed home violence will be reached at a 24-hour hotline, 201-944-9600.

After cleanup, make Superfund website accessible

On Feb. 16, the Environmental Protection Agency answered questions about the fate of the Rolling Knolls Superfund site in Green Village, Chatham Township, with about 75 folks attending by way of Zoom.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service introduced outcomes of latest environmental testing on 35 acres of the 170-acre site. This new data added to exams carried out for the EPA. Hazardous effluent dumped on the location is extra widespread than beforehand believed, together with mercury, PFASs, heavy metals and PCBs. The service additionally famous that clay appropriate for capping the dump was out there onsite, drastically decreasing potential cleanup prices.

Most attendees urged a cleanup allowing strolling trails by bird-filled meadows. If that’s the end result, Fish & Wildlife hopes so as to add the parcel to the Great Swamp Refuge — a real win-win! In truth, a non-binding memorandum to that impact was signed final summer season by the property house owners, the township, Great Swamp Refuge, and the Great Swamp Watershed Association.

We hope that the EPA will work with Fish & Wildlife to succeed in such an end result.

If not, for the remainder of our lives, we are going to stroll previous that website’s chain hyperlink fences and “No Trespassing” indicators, realizing {that a} poisonous stew is seeping all through, and warn our kids and grandchildren, “Don’t look down!”

Michael and Marilyn Dee, Harding Township

Note: The writers are trustees of the Great Swamp Watershed Association.

After studying the Feb. 17 article within the Star-Ledger about President Joe Biden ordering release of former President Donald Trump’s White House visitor logs to the Jan. 6 investigating committee, I assumed to myself that Biden needs to be cautious what he needs for. (Trump had claimed govt privilege to dam the discharge.)

The day might come when Biden’s customer logs are ordered to be launched — until he follows in Hillary Clinton’s footsteps. She was accused, when she served as secretary of state, of wiping a private e mail server clear of its messages. When questioned about it, she replied, “What? Like with a cloth or something?”

Mary Ann Pizzi, East Hanover

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