Beautiful beaches, boardwalks, disco fries, and racism. These are some of the things that make up what makes New Jersey great, and also a wasteland. There is a myth that a historically liberal state couldn’t racist as that is saved for the conservatives. That simply is not true as NJ has a long history of racism that is still visible today. It is inescapable no matter where in the U.S. you go, and especially in the northeast. Systemic racism knows no bounds as does openly blatant racism.
As of 2017 there is 15 hate groups listed in the state. The KKK has been in New Jersey’s history books since the 1920s. Police in the state haven’t been able to escape racism either including a recent racist rant by a Police Chief.racist rant by a Police Chief. People in Edison trying to run for open school board positions are met with xenophobic slurs in a mailer as well as the phrase “Make Edison Great Again”. Local mothers have to fear the KKK sending threatening letters to their homes to the point they seek moving. And these few examples are all from the past 2 months. This isn’t a new thing for POC New Jersey residents, this is an ongoing issue that is finally, though slowly, being exposed to the masses.
Even studies are being done about the racism known to exist in New Jersey. It’s called “The Uncomfortable Truth.” A new report by the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey links chronic poverty to institutional racism. Proving that you cannot separate racism from capitalism no matter how much influx of Neoliberalism exists. New Jersey is becoming known more for their racism than they are for the kids from MTV’s Jersey Shore. Nobody is fistbumping to bigotry.
The affects of capitalism and racism are beginning to become more known as we speak that we would be beyond foolish not to fight to abolish said system structures of oppression. The future generations depend on us to improve ourselves. New Jersey is just like many other states in the nation in terms of their bigotry they don’t think exists and won’t change until there is acknowledgment of the disenfranchised and direct action to solve it. Until then don’t let the false narrative of “Liberals are somehow enlightened beyond bigotry” exist in your communal spaces.