Last week, former New Jersey Governor and Wall Street tycoon Jon Corzine paid a visit to my job. As he was paraded through the office, shaking hands and smiling, I found my mind drifting to the last time I had observed him in person: two days before losing his job to then Republican contender Chris Christie. What I remember most about that day, was his special guest for the day – the 3rd Wonder of the Black World himself, President Barack Obama (The 1st two of course being Jesus and Martin Luther King, Jr.).
On this particular day, the fourth time President Obama had campaigned for Corzine since July of that year, he addressed a crowd of thousands of mostly brown-skinned citizens, going harder than Diddy with that Vote or Die campaign. The President tried to coerce these folks to come out and vote for Corzine as they once had for him, then proceeded to venerate about Corzine so much you would have thought that they were starring in a remake of Step Brothers. Obama was in full soul brother mode that day, cracking jokes about minority voters making sure to bring their “cousin Pookies” out to vote with them (Another post, another time). Despite his most valiant efforts, not even his world-changing arm was strong enough to shake the ‘hood out of complacency and into the voting booth, as Christie would convincingly take the Governor’s mansion.
Remebering Corzine that morning, while his pockets stay fat, he was a shell of his former self; with all of that rich man hubris knocked out of him. As a few of our staff members took him on a walking tour of the local area, he was stopped in the street by many local urban folks, snapping photos, asking for autographs, and yelling things like “You are still the REAL Governor of New Jersey!” I know Corzine had to think to himself, Oh, NOW I got the ‘hood on smash, huh? Unfortunately, as of my last check 10 minutes ago, the state’s website reads, “The Honorable Christopher J. Christie.”
Now, I can’t exactly say just how honorable Governor Christie really is, but after only two months in office, he is clearly illustrated that, in the words of Kanye West, he is going to tell New Jersey like George Bush told ‘Ye: F**k y’all n***as, y’all outta here!
Yes, you residents of America’s Armpit, particularly you urbanites, Chris Christie is not playing games with you at all. Within the first 3 weeks of his term, Christie immediately signed an executive order freezing the state’s Coalition on Affordable Housing (COAH), and established a task force to examine all affordable housing laws (which was actually rescinded two days ago, after being held up by appeal in the state’s court). Not surprisingly, COAH is the governmental department that makes home prices affordable for low-income people to move to suburban and “less colorful” areas in the state. I guess he must have seen what happened when they let Grandpa Freeman into Woodcrest with Huey and Riley on The Boondocks.
Next, he signed another executive order declaring a state of fiscal emergency in New Jersey, and announced his proposed solutions to close the deficit, which included cutting $475 million in aid to over 500 school districts, NJ Transit, colleges, and hospitals, as well as suspending the funding to the state’s Department of the Public Advocate, whose primary charge is to inform citizens of their rights, particularly the most indigent populations, such as the elderly, immigrants, developmentally-disabled and those whose homes are in foreclosure.
For those of us coming from inner cities, don’t all of these institutions that he wants to cut deal directly with minorities? Most of the people in my ‘hood went to public school, use public transportation because they can’t afford a car, went to public colleges (if at all), and often go to the emergency room because they have no healthcare coverage.
Once “Governor Wrecking Ball,” as he has been dubbed, finally gave his first budget address a few days ago, he openly violated Corzine’s whole term as Governor and had state educators in tears when he announced a planned $800 million slash in school aid. Christie also announced a major reduction in property tax rebates for the middle class, as well as announcing cuts in wage subsidies, health care and other programs for the poor and unemployed, all while announcing a $1 billion tax cut for families making $400,000 or more. Hood translation for what Christie is saying: I’m not f**king around with y’all, and I dare y’all to sing that Drake, “Money to Blow” trash around me now!”
While Christie is putting the smack down on the middle and lower classes in New Jersey, he should make a point to go through Newark, Camden, Paterson, East Orange and every other minority neighborhood in New Jersey, giving out nail-salon vouchers and Chinese chicken wings, because he owes his job to many of these people. Not because they would ever imagine going to the polls and casting their ballots for him, but rather, because they refused to cast their ballots for anyone.
In a year that witnessed record-low voter turnout in New Jersey, it was the minority vote that really hit rock bottom. The registered black vote for the state is 15%, and in 2008, 12% percent came out, but in 2009, somewhere in the 7-8% range. The scary part about this situation is that statistics show that among minority voters aged 18-29, blacks are the most likely to vote.
I applaud those who got out there and rocked that vote last fall; taking a stand while some of our more ignorant folk sat back and figured everything would just “work itself out”. It’s that thought process that has public assistance costs going through the roof and the lines at my local fish spot backed up with Louis Vuitton-wearing yet EBT card-paying patrons as I write this.
So all of you out on those blocks in New Jersey’s inner-cities, who neglected to exercise your civil right, when Governor Christie puts your whole existence in the Vulcan Death Grip over his term, think about how you didn’t go to ballot box that day because it was raining and you didn’t want to mess up your weave or Jordans, and next time you see Jon Corzine, spare him that bulls**t.
A Negro and a Keyboard
Follow Us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/planetill
Join Us on the Planet Ill Facebook Group for more discussion
Follow us on Networked Blogs