The Business of the City: Miscellaneous

Friday, March 16, 2012

Patriotism and Deflection

For the past twenty-four hours or so, my life has been disrupted because the mayor decided to challenge my patriotism by calling attention to the fact that I do not recite the pledge of allegiance. I was contacted by several news media outlets to explain my position, and I have received hate mail. 

The people of Plainfield should know that this is NOT about pledging the flag.

This is about the mayor's attempt to deflect attention from her willful misuse of public funds. The city council UNANIMOUSLY issued a reprimand (all that is allowed under our charter) to the mayor for her actions. This is about a mayor who wants to deflect attention away from her mismanagement of our city. This is about a mayor who is infuriated by the fact that she has made herself a laughing stock. This is about a mayor who refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing on her part, and who has decided to wrap herself in the flag. 

This is a reprehensible and cynical move, and the mayor should be ashamed of herself. She felt no shame in disrespecting our veterans by junking up the city hall rotunda and obscuring the Plainfield War Memorial with clunky furniture, boxes, a trash can, and other debris for years. It was only through the efforts of those of who brought pressure and attention to her disregard that the administration finally removed all that junk. She feels no shame about her broken promises to the veterans of our city regarding the veteran's center she promised them years ago.

People of conscience everywhere should be horrified by the mayor's deliberate attempt to inflame the public by suggesting that there is something wrong with individuals whose beliefs preclude them from pledging and that not pledging is a sign of disrespect. I demonstrate my respect for those who pledge by standing. This is how I have conducted myself ever since I came onto the council.  Many in attendance stand but do not recite while the pledge is being read. If the mayor is suggesting that all those who do not pledge should leave the council chambers, I would ask that someone explain the constitution to her.

All best,



  1. I have to agree with Rebecca and I don't see our mayor as being patriotic. The flag and constitution it represents guarantees that we do not have to pray if we do not, and I think a moment of silence before a Council meeting is adequate. I was ashamed to hear our situation discussed on NJ 101.5 on my way to teach my evening classes yesterday. How embarrassing to hear so much negativity about Plainfield in the news. The show hosts both defended the right to not salute or pray, but indicated that a politician who falls back on patriotism, like our mayor did, is not to be trusted.

    Bob Bolmer

  2. The American RaceMarch 16, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    I think the Mayor as well as City Council could have made this week a teachable moment all around. I think it's really ignorant for anyone to judge without understanding the reasons behind anything.

    I think that some of the leaders in this community need to step out of the bounds between Clinton and Terril Road and see what the rest of the world is doing. Rebecca W isn't the only one who does this.