Stephanie Schmid Calls Out Rep. Smith’s Cowardice
Last night we watched as tear gas and rubber bullets were used against a peaceful crowd exercising their First Amendment rights to assemble and protest in Lafayette Park across from the White House, the People’s House. This was done to clear a path for the current occupant to stride across the park, wielding a Bible for the sole purpose of having a photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Rather than offering words of wisdom, hope, and healing in the face of our suffering, the President instead sought to drive us further apart, using faith as a weapon.
As an American and an Episcopalian I am deeply disturbed. I have attended peaceful protests and marches in that very park and worshiped as an Episcopalian in our nation’s Capital and here at home in New Jersey. Last night we witnessed a stunning betrayal of our Constitution, an utter lack of presidential leadership, and a corrupt, co-opting of Christianity.
Every one of us deserves to feel safe in our communities. The President’s actions will not deter a single looter. They will not contribute to easing the unrest. They do not restore order. They do not make us safer. And, of course, he is doing nothing to return us to the still-urgent task of fighting the pandemic that is ravaging New Jersey and America; or the task of improving healthcare and strengthening our communities.
As we face this time of deep unrest and crisis, Rep. Chris Smith’s silence is deafening. New Jerseyans sent Smith to Washington to support his party when it is right and defy it when it is wrong. Instead, he refuses to stand up to the President, even as our constitutional rights are trampled upon, and he has left New Jersey to survive dual tragedies without his leadership. If these injustices were happening in China he would be standing up for the protesters’ human rights, but as our own democratic fabric is shredded he does nothing. Smith and his cowardice do not deserve to represent our community anymore. He won’t speak up and he won’t lead. Send me to Congress and I will.
As a United States Foreign Service Officer and Diplomat I proudly worked to advance democracy and human rights overseas. As the Democrat running to represent New Jersey’s 4th District and serve our country again, I will always speak out and fight back when our democratic foundations are threatened.
I pray we find our way out of this darkness. I pray our voices and our votes will be heard from sea to shining sea on November 3rd as we stand united for liberty, justice, and equality for all.
Stephanie is a New Jersey native, a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer and Diplomat who served our country overseas on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, and a human rights litigation attorney and advocate. She’s running to bring new leadership to Congress at a time when we need our leaders to solve pressing challenges and create opportunities for the people of New Jersey.