By Dong-Joo Lee According to New Jersey federal government principles law, “public office and work “included” public trust. “It further describes that”the vigor and stability of representative democracy depend on the general public's
self-confidence in the integrity of its chosen representatives. ” Lately, however, I am uncertain if I can say that I have actually said self-confidence in my regional elected agents. Specifically, I believe that the “leaders”of where I presently live, Edison, can do better to acquire my trust and of the other constituents.
In May, there were a few reports about Edison Council President Joyce Ship-Freeman and how she made xenophobic postings on her Facebook page. Particularly, she shared memes that were anti-Semitic and anti-Asian American, positioning blame on these 2 neighborhoods for the coronavirus pandemic. This was all while predisposition events and dislike crimes versus Asians have currently been rampant in Edison and the rest of our country . In April, just a couple of weeks prior to Ship-Freeman made her racist remarks, a 55-year-old female was targeted and assaulted in Edison for being Asian American. A group of teens surrounded the female and a woman punched her in the head while shouting racial slurs. The Middlesex County prosecutor brought criminal charges of predisposition intimidation, riot, attack, and harassment, against the lady. The”leaders”of Edison, on the other hand, not did anything. Edison. Do Better. It's also pertinent to keep in mind that Edison is among the most varied cities in the nation; 48.3 %of its homeowners recognize as Asian. Regrettably, though, anti-Asian American beliefs (and hate incidents usually)have been prevalent in this location, well prior to the rise because of the COVID-19 crisis. In 2017, racist mailers were disseminated all over town during an election cycle, calling for the deportation of 2 Asian-American school board prospects. At that time, the “leaders” of Edison likewise not did anything. Edison. Do Better.
In 2005, then-mayoral candidate Jun Choi, a Korean American, who eventually made history by becoming the very first Asian American to be elected mayor in New Jersey, dealt with similar hate and racist rhetoric. This time, the targeting of the Asian American neighborhood was done on radio by ex-host Craig Carton of WFAN New Jersey 101.5 FM. Carton, who eventually served 3 and half years in federal jail for scams, proclaimed that he does not “care if the Chinese population in Edison has actually quadrupled … Chinese need to never dictate the result of an election.” In response, the “leaders” of Edison did nothing. Edison. Do Better.
To be fair, for the recent incident, Ship-Freeman did at first offer an apology for her remarks on her Facebook page. However hours later on, she retracted her statement and claimed that her Facebook account was hacked. To me, something does not seem right. Now, I wish to offer her the benefit of doubt. After all, she had previously run on a platform promoting variety and inclusion. Plus, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Furthermore, it appears that the area has lastly concurred to denounce hate speech as a whole. With that stated, Edison ought to have provided the Ship-Freeman ordeal more examination. A main investigation needs to have been conducted. At the least, there must have been an instant (not two-months later on), formal condemnation of the racist remarks, whether it was made by Ship-Freeman or a “hacker.” (If the latter, maybe the area requires to concentrate on training its leaders on cybersecurity. However that's another story.)
In any event, it is clear that there is much space for improvement here in this municipality. Something that all of us need to consider during this election cycle.
Edison. Do Better.
Dong-Joo Lee lives in Edisonand is a U.S. Navy veteran. Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com. Here'show to submit an op-ed or Letter to the Editor. Bookmark NJ.com/ Opinion. Follow us on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and on Facebook at NJ.com Opinion. Get the most recent news updates right in your inbox. Subscribe to NJ.com's newsletters.