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Saturday, October 11, 2008

The truth about TRAC

Members of the Trenton Residents Action Coalition stand for the rule of law and the betterment of Trenton, and do not conspire with anonymous and perhaps even nonexistent police who may or may not be racists.

Yet some in Trenton have been taking a ridiculous, contrary position and have been pushing it lately, on the pages of local newspapers, on the airwaves, and in the chambers of City Hall.

This happens because TRAC members and the plaintiffs who sued and successfully ousted former Police Director Joseph Santiago, a man of Hispanic heritage, have now sued his black successor, Irving Bradley Jr., over what the group believes is a similar residency infraction.

Because of the color of the skin of these two men, and not the motives of TRAC, the group is now being painted as some sort of "supremacy" group. Apparently the only defense left to supporters of Mayor Palmer is making vague reference to racial motivations.

The basis for these accusations is a worldview that holds that the Trenton Police Department, prior to the institution of a civilian director in 1999, was led by white chiefs and the infamous "good ol' boys network", which was apparently unsympathetic to the city's black residents, according to some in the city.

Now, because TRAC took a contradictory position on his views about residency, Mayor Palmer's supporters have made public statements that TRAC is somehow hellbent on ignoring the city's demographics and pursuing a "whites-first" agenda for the leadership of the police department based on the aforementioned "good ol' boys network".

The only basis for this, however faulty, is that some anonymous police officers have publicly supported TRAC and the ouster of the former director. TRAC is somehow associated with the views of these unnamed officers, according to Mayor Palmer's supporters, but such arguments gain little traction with reasonable persons.

Quite simply, TRAC's 15 or so members have no control over the opinions of the people who express support for the group's activities, just as the people advocating for the funding of the city's libraries remain unassociated with the self-described Bloods gang member who recently supported their cause at a City Council meeting.

Sen. Barack Obama has been publicly endorsed by despicable terrorist organizations, yet no reasonable person can construe that such an event is an indication of Sen. Obama's personal views on terrorism.

In fact, the truth is just the opposite when it comes to TRAC. Its members take the position that racism and bigotry have no place anywhere in America, and especially not in Trenton.

Despite TRAC's public positions, Mayor Palmer's supporters have continued to fan the flames of racial tensions for cheap political gain. But for good, reasonable people, it is quite easy to look right through such political smoke and see that TRAC's only goal, like many other city organizations, is a better government and a better Trenton.

Let it be known once and for all that TRAC condemns the views of racist individuals of any ethnicity. This author pledges strong support for having a person of color as the city's civilian director, as long as that person is a qualified, bona fide resident of the city.


Old Mill Hill said...

Perhaps you should edit the final statement to read "...condemns the views of racist individuals of any ethnicity,..." because that is the real problem here.

At the end of the day, racism cuts both ways. Propagandists like Parker and others defending the illegality of Palmer's actions are guilty of exercising a racial bias of their own.

westwrdguy57 said...

I wonder why only 5 TRAC plaintiffs chose to be party to this lawsuit? I never even knew 15 existed. Except for Mr Forester, who worked hard on this and spearheaded it, needs 4 other TRAC members' names listed on the summons. Maybe the other 10 members are more humble and don't want their name out there in the public eye. This is a highly prolific suit, so what a chance at getting widely noticed. Just sign your name and that's that.

It takes only 1 party for a lawsuit. Is this presumptuous that the other 4 plaintiffs are named? Affidavits are as good as gold for the court system. But then no notoriety. Geez, there must be many others who feel as just strongly over the 'cause' for the director's residency compliance.

I thought long and hard and never would I want my name on a lawsuit of this magnitude. For one, I'm private. Also, I don't care if there were 1000 names on the suit, judges always do as they please. It's all opinion. But by my being a party I could make a whole lot of enemies. Maybe will come back at me someday.

Many of us, including me, offer free services but only ask a simple thank you in return. Some acknowledgement anyway, if only to go on. Boy, these TRAC members must really be impassioned over residency issues all of a sudden..that is if they even knew the law existed before it made all front page news. One exception is Mr Costanzo who had a problem of his own with residency. Maybe prior to the warning he knew nothing of the law.

It's something how many of us obtain their smarts, like as in residency laws. After the movie The Titanic hit the big screen, everyone I spoke with was bragging it up. I never saw that movie, but the made for TV one. But when I asked a few if they had ever heard of the Lusitania, no one, not a one ever heard of it. Geez, it was only some 3 years after that Titanic disaster and in ways a bigger one. Was another ship off of Rhode Island that I cannot recall exactly when, maybe early 1900's. Many on the Great Lakes, too. Was a certain 1970's song about one there.

Well, I have known about the residency laws since I was say, 10y/o. But mine was a real personal one since it involved us, family lifestyle. Oh, I'm all for the residency laws but, in our case, 'they'..the System broke the law. My folks, both gone now, had to live by that 'law'. We came down here to this then lovely city from up north with a few dollars, and were way below poverty levels of the time; a junky car and no hope of a job.

Then were no lawsuits or lawyers out there willing to help us. Besides, we were too scared to make a move like that for fear of losing it all. Our residency requirement was much tougher than Bradley's.

If I were named the police director and offered that kind of salary, I would reside inside of a rusting trailer parked in front of city hall so never to be a second late.

Chrissy said...

Doug Palmer, and many of his allies, are the real racists. They aren't necessarily black-on-white racists, but, rather, black-on-black bigots.

First of all, Palmer doesn't even live in this city, so he doesn't really know those of us who would be his neighbors, black or white. Ignorance is often the basis of racism, right? And, now he's tucked away in white-as-sour cream Hunterdon County, keeping his daughter away from the children of the people with whom Palmer grew up.

Plus, he and his cronies have stocked this city so full of the poor -- a group that is disproportionately black -- all the while letting business and educational opportunities slip away. He is charismatic, and can get these people to turn up to a "rally." He's profited off of this group, by taking richer municipalities' RCA money, AND, inexplicably (as of late), he's been able to secure their blind faith votes each election year.

But he sure as hell can't improve their living situations, keeping them down, and to do so deliberately, strikes me as racist.