Featured

Stop championing New Jersey as progressive: State and local politics are still a catastrophe

The state of New Jersey sure is getting a lot of hype to it; I haven’t been able to look at news articles about the state without some praise from progressive media about the great things New Jersey is accomplishing, now that Christie got the boot and Murphy got the in. There’s the minimum wage hike (which won’t go into effect until 2024); bills are being pushed to legalize marijuana (which stalled because of the lack of votes, despite being voted on multiple times during the Christie era); condemnation of Kavanaugh and the sexual violence against women from men in power (despite the fact that the same thing has happened in the Murphy Administration). The country only sees the great things that the state is doing from the headlines; read between the lines and you will see the way local and state politics have been marred by a toxic combination of conservativism, neoliberalism, and progressive political theater. 

New Jersey is about progressive as Joe Biden. A heartening meme but with some creepy undertones that no one wants near them. New Jersey is about as progressive as Cory Booker, who at once talks about not accepting corporate PAC money but then has a fundraiser at $28,000 per donor that ensures each donor a picture with Booker and Murphy, and dinner, and is hosted by Bon Jovi. New Jersey is the high and mighty condemnation of offshore drilling on our oceans while it being ok for a pipeline to be built in the Meadowlands. If I have twenty dollars for every time a progressive news outlet lauded the great choices of the Garden State, I still wouldn’t be able to live there because the property taxes are too high and the Democrats in office would rather pull money from public employees before passing a Millionaire’s Taxon the super wealthy individuals in the state.

In my home county, a judge whose father was a senator is only threatened with suspension, despite asking a domestic violence survivor whether she kept her legs closed to prevent her partner from raping her and then denyied her restraining order because he thought she wasn’t telling the truth. Essex County still won’t end a contract with ICE, citing safety concerns for the people they detain, while still making seven million dollars a month from holding them for ICE. 

Cops keeping beating people, and we know cops are pigs (and really actively acknowledge that—“Lakehurst cops are shit; cops gotta fill a quota at the end of the month; no, no, no, Manchester cops are worse”), but the moment a black boy or girl is shot, all I hear is Blue Lives Matter from the same people that call those in Blue assholes.

I have never been more sick and tired of hearing about the great Phil Murphy, even though I was optimistic that the administration won (because at least it wasn’t Kim Guadagno and her Christie taint). But now somehow the progressive policies that were championed in that era are suddenly too…too extreme or revolutionary now that Democrats are crawling towards a super majority in the state legislature. 

We should have had a living wage almost immediately, because small businesses aren’t a thing anymore in the state and Barnabas Health and Wakefern (all the Shoprite supermarket chains in the state and their warehouses and commissaries) are the state’s largest employers. If we really care about the environment in the state of New Jersey, all pipelines should be banned from being built and subsidized solar panels should be available to all residents so we can finally faze out electric companies. We should have not just lip service about affordable housing and lament on the cost of living in the state, but also clear-cut housing first and affordable housing options. And raise taxes on the wealthy in the state! I am sick and tired of passing by Deal on Route 71 and seeing mansions and knowing that those aren’t even primary houses but just summer homes!

We should be legalizing marijuana, no if, ands or buts and then expunge those who have been arrested and charged with marijuana charges, demand reparations for them, and help them create a business for those people instead of watching large corporations bank on the legalization of marijuana. 

I’m running for Governor in the Great State of New Jersey, because anyone knows the suffering of the people is inherently tied to the economic redistribution of wealth between the two classes of residents (a gap which is widening), it’s a Jersey girl who’s had to deal with the threat of foreclosure, late phone bills and electricity being turned off; it’s Sandy and then the giant snowstorm afterward that almost knocked a tree into her family’s run down house. It’s a girl who’d rather make sure that the employees in retail can live in the state (because she herself wouldn’t have been able to live in the state) instead of those poor millionaires who might have to leave their first and second homes if we raise their taxes. And when progressive news outlets put me on a title of their great next piece, it will be because of actual progressive policies that don’t have the stink of neoliberalism about it. 

(Photo Credit 1: PBS / Reuters / Eduardo Munoz) (Photo Credit 2: LSE US Centre)

What happened to Cherdeena Wynne? Nothing. An Aboriginal woman died in police custody

Cherdeena Wynne In Western Australia, yet another Aboriginal woman died in police custody. Cherdeena Wynne was 26 years old, mother of three children, living with mental illness. According to Shirley Wynne, Cherdeena Wynne’s mother, at 3:30 on April 4, eight police officers entered Shirley Wynne’s home and, in the dark, wrestled Cherdeena Wynne to the […]

Death and teaching in Paris

Après les angoisses du début d’annéeT’as travaillé trois mois, toujours pas payéeEt les heures supprimées, pas rémunéréesT’auras pas de contrat, c’est l’EtatN’attends pas le syndicat, il est pas làGare à toi, sois toujours sympaC’est le règne de l’arbitraire, du pouvoir discrétionnaireSi ça te plaît pas, tu peux rentrer chez ta mèreTu comprends pas, ouvre le […]

Don’t Bogart this country!

Don’t Bogart this country! No more room in the inn? Conservative Christians know just what Jesus would do, They just ain’t doin’ it.  I mean: they just ain’t doin’What was done for Jesus. Dorothy Day, and Father Daniel Berrigan we miss you. We miss you and so many others. If I had a hammer. These angry […]

It’s time to talk about mental illness and police brutality

Andrew Casciano It was only supposed to be a simple call. Police in Paterson, NJ, were assisting in a phone call for a suicide attempt, and had met the victim at the St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson, a little over a year ago. Later, as video emerged from the two police officers’ own recorded […]

Women’s Studies: A Threat to The Political Right-Wing?

On March 12th, the University Grants Commission (UGC), the statutory body in charge of determining and maintaining the standards of higher education in India, released new guidelines that drastically cut funds up to 40% for Women Studies Centers across the nation. Why is Women’s Studies (WS) the target of the current government? How does the […]

Neoliberals: stop co-opting our symbols!

Neoliberals: stop co-opting our symbols!  Next thing you know they will be emulating the Last Poets, the progenitors of Gil Scott Heron.  The Revolution Will Not Be Broadcast on Social Media; and, will not be represented by yellow stars on the arms of antivaxxers The revolution will not have very fine people on both sides. […]

Baby Jane Allas, Moe Moe Than, Milagros Tecson Comilang, Desiree Rante Luis: Today’s faces of abuse of domestic workers

Mary Ann Allas and Baby Jane Allas In 2014, former domestic worker Erwiana Sulistyaningsih stood before a gathering of women and gave witness to the horrors she had endured: “My name is Erwiana Sulistyaningsih. I am 23 years old, and come from a poor peasant family of Indonesia and am a former domestic worker from […]

Just like

Just like Just likea dictator-past(apartheid-military style)finger erect finger erect(a Freudian slippage)taking the moralhigh on power previously she warnedbeware the elderlya political hack competingfoot-in-mouth with others in election-time no doubt she’ll sayno journalist here wastortured or murdered (yet)as we’ve seen recentlyout at the Saudi consulate finger erectit can lose you votesyou might need greatlyin the hawking season […]

In Algeria, once again women shouting “Barakat! Ça suffit!” demand freedom!

Friday, March 29, tens of thousands of protesters filled the streets of Algiers and across Algeria, rejecting the Army’s version of “compromise” and insisting on popular democracy. This is the sixth mass demonstration in six Fridays, and there have been other, smaller ones during the weeks. Already, the people have removed the forever-and-a-day President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. […]

On the funding cuts looming over Women’s Studies Centers across India

I love India; it is my home, a very old home that has seen and endured so much. Like most old homes there are many cracks signaling structural and foundational damage, the kind of damage which takes more than a trip to Home Depot on a Sunday afternoon. As someone who doesn’t live at home […]

Older posts