MADISON – Standing in the rain and talking through a bullhorn, Mikie Sherrill told about 100 people assembled in front of borough hall today that she is so very proud of New Jersey.
Either by design or coincidence, Phil Murphy began his briefing today with the same message. The governor said it’s so heartening to see thousands of New Jerseyans all over the state protesting racial
injustice. And most events have been peaceful.
The governor specifically mentioned last night’s march in Parsippany, which he said drew 3,000 to 4,000 people. I was there. The crowd estimate seems a bit on the high side, but it certainly was peaceful.
Madison Mayor Bob Conley said a borough resident came up with the idea of an in-town gathering to condemn racism. Conley addressed the crowd before the congresswoman arrived and he began with some history.
The mayor said that in 1941 residents gathered at the same spot to support the young men of Madison and America as they went off to fight fascism. He said that today’s rally opposing racism after the death of George Floyd was in the same spirit.
Conley spoke in front of borough hall, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Borough hall in Madison is the Hartley Dodge Memorial, which was built to honor the life of a deceased member of the Rockefeller
This isn’t your normal borough hall. Constructed of granite. limestone and marble, it has six Doric columns and an octagonal cupola.
Clearly, this is a grand background for anything, which is something George H.W. Bush knew when he held a campaign rally in the shadow of the memorial during his 1992 presidential campaign. It was rainy that day as well.
Today, Sherrill braved the rain – as Bush had done 28 years ago – and said protests are a rich part of U.S. history. She mentioned marches for women’s voting rights and civill rights. And she said those who
think this is not the country they want must join together to change it.
She also observed, “Thanks for standing out in the rain.”
Amid the protests all over the country came news last night that Steve King, a congressman from Iowa known for making supportive statements about white supremacy, had been defeated in that state’s Republican primary.
Asked about King afterwards, Sherrill said a man with his views doesn’t deserve to be in Congress and that she is glad he was beaten.