Those who know that a better world is possible must fight for it. There are no exceptions to this rule, no circumstance in which this principle should be abandoned. The story of the Good Samaritan establishes the fundamental question of life, not what happens to me if I stop to help but rather what happens to those in need if I pass them by? What should compel one not to aid those in need? The perceived might of an organized political machine or a salary? Harsh words being spoken or attacks aimed at your family, your character and integrity? I would suggest nothing or no one should stop you from fighting for what is right. Never except cowardly reasoning disguised as practicality, never forsake your duty to protect the individual hording of power. Always ask yourself that rudimentary question what will happen to them if I keep walking blinded by the safety and security of neutrality. Ask yourself, what happens to the senior if we don’t fight?
What happens to the unemployed and the forgotten? Those who reside in public housing, what becomes of them? Who will create the pathways that the children of our communities must travel to deliver themselves out of poverty and despair? Who will write the poems and plays that will be our beautiful flowers discharging sweet aromas into the atmosphere to counter the evil stench of the decomposing corpse of racism and sexism, xenophobia and economic exploitation?
I would ask you never to leave off your duty for another to tackle, now is always the time to do what is right. And though many tasks may seem insurmountable remember the words of Dr. King when he says, “that the moral arch of the universe is long but it bends toward justice”.
We run because we are obligated to. In a time where the must vulnerable of us are attacked by the most powerful we must stand up and defend them. Defend them not just with our words but also with our ideas and our dedication to making a better world. I’m running for Town Council in a place that has a large immigrant population who are frightened by the uncertainty of the world in general and our state in particular. A place where they believe, because of the backward mindset of the president and those who support him (over 60,000 people in Essex county and over 1.5 million in NJ voted for him), that the promise of America has been voided.
It’s all related Trump is a threat to our town just as Christie was and those Democrats that stood with him “for a mess of pottage”. How can one say that Trump is irrelevant when his hate filled and bankrupt ideas strike fear in the hearts of Haitian and Ecuadorian mothers in Irvington? We run because we understand these problems and are committed to solving them and fighting for our residents. We will
only be able to consider our town successful when the least among us share in the same rights, opportunities, and privileges as the most prominent citizens of this town. This is our town and must be seen as such, then and only then will we be respected. When we walk in the room together with the spirit of unity and respect the walls will shake not with dismissive laughter but with fear in recognition that
we are there to take what’s rightfully ours. Jobs for our families and resources to educate and care for our children. That’s why we run!
Tariq Shabazz is a candidate for Town Council in Irvington