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  • Writer's pictureKaren Brittingham-Edmond

2022 Election Trends In Monmouth County, N.J. & How To Get More Black Registered Voters To Vote.



Firstly, if you voted, congratulations. Exercising your civic duty of voting is essential. And if you are African American citizen and you did not vote, I understand. However, more Black candidates won or presented challenging, note-worthy races in the United States on Nov 8, 2022. And that is a beautiful projection for the future.



Moreover, there was a slight increase in Black voter participation in Monmouth County, N.J. But still, if you look closely at the numbers, most Black registered voters are not living up to their full potential when allowed to cast their ballots. And there's a plausible reason why. They're traumatized.


VOTER TURNOUT NJ

TOTAL 46.30% Ballots Cast 227,731 Registered Voters 491,813

Today's chat will explore who voted in Monmouth County, NJ, on Election Day 2022 and why so often a segment of Black registered voters don't show up in massive numbers for our general elections. We'll talk about this long-term issue African American voters have suffered with and what steps we need to take to re-empower ourselves to break free of the paralyzing mindset, plus blatant strategies that do not have Black citizenship's best interest in mind.


On election day, Nov 8, 2022, a Monmouth County, NJ, Voting Census Poll shows that Monmouth County has 491,813 registered voters. And that approximately 226,983 Monmouth County New Jerseyans voted. When we do the math, 46.15% of citizens voted in Monmouth County, NJ, on Nov 8, 2022. But a larger proportion of registered voters did not vote, which adds up to an estimated 53.85%.



In 2021 Monmouth County, NJ, had a population of 645,354 of 7.3% of the population as of 2021 is made up of Black citizens, which estimates approximately 42,170 Black citizens in the county. Compared to a 1995 population of 583,899, Black citizens comprised 8.3%; this means that in 1995, approximately 48,464 citizens in Monmouth were Black. And lastly, in 1980, in Monmouth County, NJ, the population was estimated at 504,154 people, where Black citizens made up 8.6% of the population.


Hence our data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau & usafacts.org show a consistent downsizing of African American citizenship in Monmouth County, NJ. During a period between 1980 to 2021, Black families suffered from the adverse effect of sudden cost of living increases and divestment in Black communities, coupled with crack cocaine that was being flooded into Black communities to decrease the surplus population, confirmed per Federal Bureau Investigation Reports.

Gary Webb, a journalist at The San Jose Mercury News, revisited plus wrote about how C.I.A.-backed contras made money through drug smuggling, transgressions noted in a little-noticed 1988 Senate subcommittee report between 1995-1996. https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Alliance-Contras-Cocaine-Explosion/dp/1888363681 - https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/05/movies/kill-the-messenger-recalls-a-reporter-wrongly-disgraced.html



Long-term Black registered voters also witnessed the sudden.

  • Over-policing efforts referred to as racial profiling.

  • Increase murder of unarmed Black citizens.

  • Plus, from 1995 to 2022, gentrification and gerrymandering strategies have successfully replaced a portion of the Black population & businesses such as Black-owned restaurants, barbershops, funeral parlors, and beauty shops.


Furthermore, thanks to "preferential rent lease" policies in Monmouth County, NJ, or strategic outlandish high taxes to keep Black homebuyers out of particular towns with loads of land. Along with gerrymandering strategies of special interest groups competing with unaware Black citizens to decrease Black voter power & representation. Said strategies successfully ushered Black citizens out of the community where they held the sway of minority voting power with an alternative minority that did not support Black issues or concerns.


The overall effect and conditioning of Black voters in Monmouth County, NJ, "reverberate far beyond housing loss." But studies show that before mentioned actions are affecting democratic participation in Black voters. Why? Well, per the Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 2001 Report written by Mindy Thompson Fullilove, titled "Root Shock: The Consequences of African American Dispossession," states that "the urban renewal programs fall disproportionately on African American communities, leading to the slogan "Urban renewal is Negro removal." The short-term consequences were dire, including loss of money, loss of social organization, and psychological trauma. The long-term consequences flow from the social paralysis of dispossession, most important, a collapse of political action. This has important implications for the well-being of African Americans."

So what needs to happen?

  1. Black communities need to conduct open forums that invite the Black community to share their stories and concerns and to be taken seriously.

  2. Common issues need to be put on a list where a community liaison person of influence will seek to petition on behalf of the Black community effectively, unashamedly, and consistently.

Because when Black concerns remain unanswered emancipatory change for racial justice remains undone. And this, in turn, negatively affects Black voter turnout at the polls.


Today's influential Black society members must do what previously worked for the Black population. Advocate and support the Black American population

  • People,

  • Causes and

  • Businesses

With the same commitment that their ancestors, plus other Black leaders like

  • Frederick Douglas,

  • Fannie Lou Hamer,

  • Justice Thurgood Marshall,

  • Malcolm X, and

  • Rev Dr. Martin Luther King accomplished in years gone past.

Above Dr. Yolanda King, PsyD, LPC, NCC

Influential Black citizens & civic groups need to remember what worked in the past when 20% of Black America was free and 80% enslaved, that 20% of the influential Black free population was able, through time to get the 80% of the Black population out of slavery. Suppose the Black population can do that with just 20% of influential Black persons available. What can 70% of influential Black citizens make happen regarding 30% of their people being systematically oppressed and taken advantage of by outside special interest groups and politicians that hold biases against Black citizens?

It's time to heal. And telling the truth about the unique long-term issues our Black community members have and are experiencing can empower us to repair the damage incurred during the last 30 years as long as we unashamedly advocate wholeheartedly for each other. Hearing our community members share what upsets them and effectively addressing said issue, like what Black leadership in Long Branch, for example, did in the past by directly confronting administrators and officials who hold the authority of that office that's directly implementing the policies that disenfranchised Black citizenship. Without shame or confusion gets the job done. This would more than likely provide a jump start of encouragement to traumatized, disenfranchised registered Black voters to once again vote.

Lastly, one may say, "Why must historic Black institutions & leadership focus primarily on Black issues? Shouldn't we be helping everybody?" Unfortunately no. Not when the Black population is experiencing multiple real crises that have gone on for so long that our children think that oppression and discrimination are normal. Or that everybody else's issues are more important than Black citizenship issues. We must remember that the "everybody" that white mainstream America wants us to take care of fuels the gerrymandering engine that moves us out and replaces us with whom racist White America deems more worthy. See the messy kitchen?


We cannot continue or afford to carry other people's issues when the state of Black America is so fragile. That's like constantly cleaning other people's kitchens but not your own. This is why we have a big mess with housing issues, quality career opportunities, voting rights, law enforcement, plus the implementation of our civil and human rights. But hold strong sway in non-black matters. For example, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, for which "immigrant rights have become a core issue." Unintentionally provided the fodder that assisted with removing Black registered voters from areas they once held sway over here in Monmouth County, NJ., for example. In what now is called "Sanctuary Counties or States." (Which is not a legal term per the federal government.)


Nevertheless, the N.A.A.C.P. made it their mission to help "immigrant rights," not their people wholeheartedly. Where we can now see many communities that were once Black is now the majority non-documented or documented immigrant population here in Monmouth County, NJ. Helping immigrants is a good deed. Unfortunately, racist individuals and groups use immigrant struggles to replace Black citizens, which is not fair or ethical but treasonous. Similarly, black legislative caucuses across the country have blocked punitive immigration legislation at the state and municipal levels. Plus, more and more black elite public opinion grows more sympathetic to immigrants or primarily White male minority groups - while not looking directly at the carnage & suffering of their own people.



There is little to no real legal intervention to help distressed Black families from preferential leasing practices, for example, in Monmouth County, NJ. It's not that said housing policies are against the law or unethical. It is because of systematic racism that does not have long-term Black citizens' best interests. Just look at the stats regarding lawsuits in the county for Black citizenship. Lawyers do everything to convince you to settle so that you never make it to the courthouse to have your case heard is the norm. Moreover, the settlements are measly by design for Black citizens. Why? Because Black citizens do not have access to legal services. Or if they can access lawyers, the lawyers then play a time game so that discriminated Black citizen loses their case even before it begins. Or are given petty or laughable settlements on the norm. New Jersey lawyers are known to do this with personal injury cases as well. It's like one big game. There's always the exception, but the legal norm of non-help or assistance is pervasive and long-term for Black citizens here in NJ. https://southerncalifornialawreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Hans_Website.pdf (link provides a study that proves discrimination against Black citizens in tort cases.)

"Blood On Black Wall Stree: The Legacy of The Tulsa Race Massacre Documentary" Copy & paste the link below.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/younger-latinos-confront-immigrant-parents-race-black-history-rcna1047


Our Black organizations, Black elite, and Black legislative caucuses have done a fantastic job caring for people who broke federal laws. Despite the all too real fact that said population holds deep racist perceptions of Black Americans. And while we diligently do people's bidding, we play the role of our enslaved ancestors in some form or fashion. Making sure others' needs are cared for, but we can't prevent the removal of Black citizens from their native lands.

Above, Tanya Wood shares her story of discrimination in Asbury Park Press titled 'Effectively ignored': NJ Slow In Protecting Section 8 Tenants From Discrimination" https://www.app.com/story/news/investigations/2021/12/15/section-8-nj-housing-discrimination-complaints-enforcement/6500515001/ written by Kayla Canne.


But Black legislative caucuses, N.A.A.C.P., or influential Black persons cannot remove the comprehensive preferential leasing policies that leave way too many Black citizens and their children from acquiring housing to prevent homelessness. With whom are either living from post to pillar with Black children. Or they have become another Black family on the D.Y.F.S. roll, not because they didn't love their children or were good parents. But because they found themselves without a home in an area where local and state policymakers had unethical housing practices, plus they had an extended family with whom they found no help. Why?



Because per preferential leasing policies, there is a clause that states that if a person visits with you for more than ten days, you can be evicted. So now, moral standards are compromised by Black people who rent under these Kushner-regulated apartment complexes guidelines throughout NJ. Those who attempt to help family members temporarily find themselves in jeopardy of losing their housing as well.


Do the right thing or self-preservation.


Hence racist people in authority positions with special interest groups utilize immigrant issues as a tool that manipulates plus supports the gerrymandering master plan in the long run. To decrease the voting power of Black folks by replacing them with an entirely different population. Utilizing policies that look innocent but leave way too many Black children in jeopardy, plus traumatized.


We have to stop looking at the pretty lie and face the ugly truth that we have been successfully duked, and we need to get our

  • People back and

  • Be compensated for the purposeful disenfranchisement of our citizenship rights. Plus

  • Displacement


We need to re-establish monthly meetings with representatives of our Black institutions. And influential caring Black elites as in the past. To build a bridge of transparency, empathy, plus facts that will ensure the well-being of our people. Instead of the pattern that, from some perspectives, looks like a path of genocide. We were employing our own people's cogent, overly empathetic hands for people outside of our demographic and with those who did not experience the long-term trauma of

  • Chattel slavery,

  • 1st Nation North American Genocide,

  • Lynchings,

  • Stolen land,

  • Mass Incarceration or

  • Jim Crowism here in the United States of America.

We must permit ourselves to prioritize the issues in Black lives just like every other minority group does. And that means to have state grants allocated to the Black Community just like monetary resources made available to Hispanic & Asian communities. In turn, as we create a safe place where local Black citizens can share their stories and effectively evaluate the effect of specific policies on our demographic. And address them like N.A.A.C.P. Civil Rights Leader Medgar Evers, or Justice Thurgood Marshall, we will see increased Black voter participation once again in Monmouth County, NJ of all ages.

Thurgood Marshall was an American civil rights lawyer and jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1967 until 1991. He was the Supreme Court's first African-American justice.


Thanks for reading.

The Greensboro Four were four young Black men who staged the first sit-in at Greensboro: Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain, and Joseph McNeil. All four were students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College.

References:


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