Sunday, June 10, 2018

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LLANJ Calls for Assemblyman Reed Gusciora to Drop Out

New Brunswick, NJ.— On Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 5:01 EDT, The Trentonianpublished an article by journalist Issac Avilucca citing Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a White candidate for mayor of Trenton referring to frontrunner candidate for Mayor of Trenton Paul Perez as “…that boy.”

PAULGusciora’s racial animus seems to have been provoked by a video released by the Perez’s campaign, where he states: “My name is Paul Perez, and I’m from Trenton. But I’m also a black man.” In reaction to the video, The Trentonianindicated that Gusciora’s camp sent out this particular cut-up clip of the video, and the following statement:

“Those are some serious allegations,” said Assemblyman Gusciora. “My brother-in-law is Guatemalan. I would not tolerate or engage in any type of discrimination. He’s not a well man if he’s making those allegations. There’s something wrong with that boy [Sic].”

Perez was born in Trenton, NJ and self-identifies as an American-born man    of Afro Puerto Rican descent.

In response to Assemblyman Gusciora’s blatantly racist statement, of Delegates, stated:

No grown man wants to hear another person calling them “boy” in a condescending manner, but in the context of black men in America, there is added baggage that makes it a deeper insult. There is a history that requires context to understand.

 

Boy has its roots in slavery and was institutionalized during the Jim Crow era as an infantilizing and emasculating term directed at male slaves.

 

As Roland S. Martin, CNN Contributor would write for Essence Magazine/ essence.com a few years ago, about the time when Kentucky Republican Congressman Geoff Davis used the word “boy” in reference to Sen. Barack Obama, “it’s the ultimate sign of disrespect, and is often more offensive than calling black men the N-word. For years black men were summarily dismissed and treated with disregard. It was as if their stature was diminished when someone white called them a boy.”

 

The lives of black men in the US have long been adversely affected by negative public perceptions, labels and stereotypes. How racist is the use of the term “boy” when referring to a black man?That was the question facing a federal appeals court in Atlanta, Georgia, when considering the case of a black employee of Tyson Foods, John Hithon, who sued his boss, Tom Hatley, because of his use of the term “boy” when addressing Hilthon proved racial animus. Hilthon was awarded $1.75m.

 

Assemblyman Gusciora, who is White, is surely familiar with the meaning of this term and the intended objective of its use. We are perplexed by Gusciora’s apparent ignorance that Puerto Ricans and Latinos are black too. He should learn that Latinos can be of any race, and that the USA Census provides for an individual’s self-identification in response to the race question. According to a recent US Census population estimate, Black or African American residents alone self-identified as 50 percent of Trenton’s population as of July of 2017. Latinos self-identified as 35.5 percent, while Whites alone were roughly 13.6 percent. The US Census questionnaire doesn’t include the “boy” category as Assemblyman Gusciora believes.

 

An individual whose racism blindsides him of these demographical and social facts, and mindfully dispenses racial insults with ease, has no place in public office.Gusciora must apologize to Mr. Paul Perez – and all black and Latino men in Trenton, in New Jersey and in America – and get out of the race for mayor of Trenton, at once.

 

The Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey (LLANJ) urges conscious leaders, the leadership of the Republican and Democratic parties, and in particular Gov. Phil Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, to go public and reject such a hateful characterization by an elected official who purports to represent a constituency of mostly African-Americans and Latinos. We request that the NJ State Legislature issues a reprimand to Assemblyman Gusciora for his damaging racist remarks. To remain silent is to condone such destructive action.

 

About LLANJ

The Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey is the only statewide nonpartisan organization composed of local, regional and state organizations, Latino leaders and professionals advocating for the socio economic and political development of Latino diverse communities. For more information visit: http://www.llanj.org/or write to llanj@gmail.com.