‘Big Phil’ Says ‘Sheila and Dr. King are Looking Down on Us with Pride’

EAST ORANGE- The Rev. Dr. Dana P. Owens certainly had a notable figure in the congregation as he gave his Martin Luther King message today at this city’s Mount Olive Baptist Church.

“Governor, I’m concerned,” the pastor said.

No hyperbole here.

Phil Murphy was sitting in the front of the church. He was introduced as “Big Phil,” which sounds a bit humorous, but there was nothing amusing about Owens’ point.

He said he was concerned with what both the “far right” and the “far left” are doing to the nation.

That divide, he said, would not please King, a Baptist preacher himself, of course, nor would it please the man King served – Jesus.

More specifically, Owens, whose home church is the city’s Messiah Baptist Church, said how sad it was that some wish to “cast away” the notion that society must strive to be diverse and equitable.

And he condemned seeming indifference to the plight of migrants who, he said, are given a one way bus ticket and just dropped off as if they were hitchhikers.

Murphy, who spoke before Owens, did not talk about the migrants.

But he did note that tomorrow -Jan. 16 – is the six-year anniversary of him becoming governor.

Then he struck a familiar tone. He said he has spent the last six years trying to make New Jersey “stronger and fairer” and he doesn’t plan to stop now.

In fact, the governor said that over the last two years, “We will sprint through the tape.”

A Baptist service tends to be a lively experience with much audience participation in the form of salutations for the speakers and spirited music. That was the case today.

Murphy, whose words were well received, also spoke of helping all people in the state acquire generational wealth.

And he said that cycle begins with good jobs built on a good education. A Murphy goal – and one that he spoke about in his State of the State address last week – is universal preschool across New Jersey.

The governor also spoke of criminal justice reform in general and of a new program, Arrive Together, in which mental health professionals – and not only police officers -are dispatched to incidents reportedly involving mentally troubled individuals.

The goal is simple: to reduce fatal police shootings.

Murphy, who was joined for the service by Leroy Jones, the state’s Democratic chair, noted that this was his first MLK event as governor without the late Sheila Oliver.

In describing the recently deceased lieutenant governor, Murphy said that like King, she was a trailblazer for freedom and justice through non-violent means.

And he hoped that.

“Somewhere in glory right now, Sheila and Dr. King are looking down on us together with pride.”

In dedicating his final two years in Trenton to continuing his work to expand fairness all over the state, the governor certainly had the words of King in mind when he said:

“We will not rest until we reach the mountaintop.”


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3 responses to “‘Big Phil’ Says ‘Sheila and Dr. King are Looking Down on Us with Pride’”

  1. The Governor was not introduced as “Big Phil”. I said now that “Big Phil” was here I know that we were all safe reference the East Orange Chief of Police Phyllis Bindi. This article and its title should be retracted, edited, and published again.

  2. Democrat N.J. Governor Phil KNUCKLEHEAD Murphy should have really spoken about how the Democrats are keeping the African-American community “down on the plantation”. Let’s look at how the Democrats treat the black community in this state and nation. Democrats were the original slave owners. They started the Civil War that killed 600,000 Americans, because they didn’t want the Northern abolitionists to infringe on their slave market. They lost the Civil War after many deaths and huge destruction. Democrat politicians blocked The Reconstruction from 1865-1877 unless they got their slaves back to run their plantations. who sought to reestablish white supremacy and Democratic Party control in Southern government and society. Violent Democrat groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, the White League, and Red Shirts, engaged in paramilitary insurgency and terrorism to disrupt the Reconstruction governments and terrorize Republicans. Democrats opposed the 1866 and 1871 Civil Rights Acts that eventually became the 13th and 14th Amendments thanks to total Republican support.

    Democrat President Woodrow Wilson opposed blacks in the military and supported the KKK. Wilson’s name was recently removed from Princeton University’s buildings. Democrats opposed black soldiers and fighter pilots in WWII. Democrats and Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act supporting blacks. When it became apparent that Johnson would be ousted in the next election, he flipped sides and signed both laws.

    And, today’s Democrats keep the blacks “down on the plantation” with housing projects and slums, welfare that breaks up their families, free housing, free healthcare (not good healthcare in black communities), free money, etc., all to get the black vote. Democrats are even kicking blacks out the black communities in NYC, Chicago and LA and replacing them with illegal aliens. So, tell us why Democrats never talk about their past history of putting down the black family and black community to get votes!!!!!

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