[NOTE: Following the enactment of racist border policies, the discovery of white supremacist flyers and posters throughout our congressional district, and the lack of leadership from Congressman Lance on this issue, we have solicited blog posts from activists and concerned people about the issues. If you would like to add your voice to the discussion, please contact us.]
What does it mean for a white person today to look at white onlookers in an old photograph of a lynching? One piece in the recent Racial Imaginary Institute exhibit in New York City On Whiteness asks us this very question. I just visited this exhibit during its final week, and while there were many thought-provoking works, The Wonder Gaze (St James Park) by Ken Gonzales-Day has stayed with me (see his website for the image http://kengonzalesday.com/on-whiteness/). It is a giant photograph of part of an original photograph of a lynching, and we only see the people who attended, or perhaps even participated in the lynching, not the person who was lynched. White people who stand in front of this giant photograph are forced to look in a mirror of sorts. We ask: who are these people? The answers present several challenges that white people must confront if we are to dismantle white supremacy.Read more
People in America are at shock of what is happening at the Mexico-United States border. Images, especially of a 2-year-old girl from Honduras crying while a U.S. border agent pats down her mother has been seen by millions throughout the country and our world. Families being separated, children placed in detention or sold to human traffickers being combated by the slogan #KeepFamiliesTogether. But this is just the latest iteration of the crisis at the border. A crisis that has its foundation established centuries ago, and now, it’s apparatus well maintained into the 21st century. Washington D.C. need not look past a mirror to see how that monster had been created.Read more
One of my favorite movies is "The American President." (For those unfamiliar, Michael Douglas plays a progressive president fighting moral and political battles as he seeks reelection.) In it, President Andrew Shepherd (Douglas) begins an impassioned campaign speech by saying, "America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You've gotta want it bad, cause it's gonna put up a fight." Some of us only entered that fight for democracy following the 2016 presidential election, and are just waking up to the reality that we are not the country we thought we were.Read more
In the documentary: "Park Avenue: Money Power and Greed" there is a scene where a woman is running a food pantry. There is a long line of people, some young, some with children, many elderly and waiting to get food to eat for the the week. When, in an abrupt fashion, the woman comes out and says: "Sorry! We are all out of food! Please come back next WEEK!" Then she has to repeat herself, to an elderly Latino man and woman. "Sorry Papi. Sorry Mami. Next week."
The place where the scene takes place? The Bronx.Read more
Moral Leadership Means Showing Up, And Leonard Lance is Hiding
Children as young as nine-months old are being ripped from their parents at the U.S. border. Senior Trump administration officials are blatantly lying about the Republican policy and who is the blame. The U.S. government has reportedly lost track of many children. Lawyers representing the parents and foreign diplomats are trying to desperately find them on American soil.Read more
On Thursday, April 5th 2018, at Millburn High School, there was a fire drill during fourth period. As almost as if it had been rehearsed, every student and teacher filed out of their respective classes immediately and walked out onto the street. With fire alarms blaring, I found myself studying for my next test and walking at the same time, paying no attention at all to the students around me, who were probably just talking or (knowing the cut-throat atmosphere at Millburn) studying as well. The siren’s harsh tones mellowed slowly, and then became silent. Everyone went about their routine as if nothing happened, because nothing had happened. It was just a drill.Read more
50 years after his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. message and vision are still very important for the soul of America. King was a powerful leader who promoted and accomplished great achievements for the black civil rights struggle in the US; he peacefully advocated against racism in all its forms, using, among other things, the technique of nonviolent protests. He was truly determined and completely dedicated to the cause and not afraid of the personal danger in which his activism placed him. He realized that he was the best path to a hope of a better future, foremost for people of color in America, but also for future generations of all Americans, for the progress and soul of the country, and for humanity in general.Read more
Congressman Leonard Lance has declined invitation by student activists in New Jersey’s seventh congressional district to attend a town hall discussing the issue of gun violence and our nation’s need for stricter gun control legislation.Read more
A little over a month ago, my friend, Katherine Morris, and I created a petition to Congressman Leonard Lance requesting that he support future legislation regarding stricter gun regulations (the banning of semi-automatic weapons, bumpstocks and silencers; enforcement of stricter universal background checks; enacting red flag laws, etc.). We received an overwhelming amount of support from the students at our school, Watchung Hills Regional High School. We obtained over 1,500 signatures from students in the span of just 3 days! We had the unique opportunity to hand-deliver the petition to Congressman Lance when he came to visit our school. From this experience, I was able to see the amount of frustration and passion our student body had towards the issue of guns in America.Read more
Students invite Congressman Lance to a town hall on April 20th, to discuss the issue of gun violence and give constituents the ability to voice their concerns about legislation he has supported.
NEW PROVIDENCE, New Jersey — (April 20th, 2018) — A group of student activists from New Jersey’s 7th congressional district have launched an initiative to host a town hall on the topic of gun safety. However, current district Representative Leonard Lance, who is up for reelection this year, has not confirmed his availability, despite numerous phone calls and email requests.
Meanwhile, the students have already confirmed the presence of candidates Tom Malinowski, Goutam U. Jois, and Peter Jacobs who are challenging Rep. Lance for his seat in Congress during the upcoming 2018 midterm election.Read more