As an elected school board member in Lakewood, N.J., I am deeply saddened and disappointed that in the 21st century I have to defend my rights and liberty!
Two years ago, I was attending a Lakewood Board of Education meeting, opened to the public. The board was being accused by a member of the public, of not representing the students of the Lakewood school district due to the racial and religious makeup of the majority of the board. This individual further demanded that the township should therefore intervene unilaterally and change the composition of the board.
As I was sitting in the public, not yet elected to the board, I was flabbergasted that not one board member was willing to defend themselves and say that the color of their skin and the Yarmulka (skull cap) on their head does not deem them ineligible to be impartial towards any student; no matter his/her race, religion or creed. I promised myself there and then, that if I won my seat and something similar occurred, I for one would not stay silent! I would not stand idly by when public agitators accuse me of being impartial and prejudiced against children of the community due to my religion or color of my skin. Nevertheless, after being elected to the board I did not keep my promise and reluctantly stayed silent for the last year.
At the public meeting on Monday September 23, I kept silent while I and the other school board members were berated with shameful accusations, insinuations, and charges by professional agitators. In addition, their sole purpose was to create a rift and divide our community. I bit my tongue and did not respond to their disgusting remarks.
After much contemplation, I must voice my concerns regarding this “incident” and others of the same ilk. I will no longer remain silent!
It is obvious that these individual complaints are not a fluke. For the last 2 years, there have been attempts by professional agitators to divide our community by blaming the “Jew” every chance they get. First, it was the private school buildings. Then, it was the loans and funding. Now, it is the fact that some of the bus companies that legally won bids happen to be Jewish owned.
I say to my accusers that they should be ashamed of themselves. Instead of being grateful for all that the board has accomplished for the entire community, you attempt to create chaos, hysteria, and divide our community along racial lines.
Furthermore, I point a finger of blame towards the media that has never missed an opportunity to bash Lakewood and its Jewish community. It is obscene that the press promotes these people and their prejudices against the “other”. Maybe, instead of promoting these negative ideas, they should be questioning these professional agitators;
1. About their motives,
2. Who is paying them to attend,
3. Why is it appropriate to suggest that Jews can’t be unbiased?
4. Are you suggesting that Jews can’t own a business?
5. Aren’t these ideas foreign to our culture?!
6. Doesn’t a Jew with a Yarmulka have the same rights provided by the First Amendment as everyone else?
If I was black or Hispanic, no one would dare accuse me of being biased because of the color of my skin. If the private schools and the bus companies were owned by blacks and Hispanics, no one would dare to accuse them of providing substandard services based on their race! Surely, the press wouldn’t sit silently by and act like a bunch of cowards when such accusations were made!
It is time for us to stop pandering to these professional agitators!
Enough is enough!
Board Member, Lakewood Board of Education