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Old 10-09-2007, 12:35 PM
 
174 posts, read 381,015 times
Reputation: 92

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I returned to New Jersey from California last July to visit family. I had left in 1970 and was sooo homesick. East Orange had been such a great town! My son and his family had picked me up at Newark Airport. They live in Hackettstown, (a beautiful small town), and got nervous when I asked them to drive through good old EO for old times sake. My son is a service brat, (I'm retired Marine Corps), and he had never lived there. I just cracked it up to being "overly" cautious. It was still daylight, so they humored the old man. I was heartbroken at how bad the town had gotten. At a stop light on Prospect and Park Avenue, my 8 year old grand-daughter was frightened when several teen boys stared at us with hostility and one smacked the minivan and asked "What the blank are you lookin at." The whole place was seedy and rundown. Of course we got out of there with no further explorations of my old haunts. Still, how had it gotten to this point; what had once been one of the most vibrant and forward thinking small cities in New Jersey was now like a foreign country to me. How did so much promise and treasure get squandered?

 
Old 10-09-2007, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Atlantic Highlands NJ/Ponte Vedra FL/NYC
2,689 posts, read 2,847,394 times
Reputation: 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by topster7 View Post
I returned to New Jersey from California last July to visit family. I had left in 1970 and was sooo homesick. East Orange had been such a great town! My son and his family had picked me up at Newark Airport. They live in Hackettstown, (a beautiful small town), and got nervous when I asked them to drive through good old EO for old times sake. My son is a service brat, (I'm retired Marine Corps), and he had never lived there. I just cracked it up to being "overly" cautious. It was still daylight, so they humored the old man. I was heartbroken at how bad the town had gotten. At a stop light on Prospect and Park Avenue, my 8 year old grand-daughter was frightened when several teen boys stared at us with hostility and one smacked the minivan and asked "What the blank are you lookin at." The whole place was seedy and rundown. Of course we got out of there with no further explorations of my old haunts. Still, how had it gotten to this point; what had once been one of the most vibrant and forward thinking small cities in New Jersey was now like a foreign country to me. How did so much promise and treasure get squandered?

government "entitlements", people have no pride in themselves and their low lifestyle reflects it.
 
Old 10-09-2007, 02:31 PM
 
174 posts, read 381,015 times
Reputation: 92
Are you seriously stating that the majority of the folks in East Orange are receiving Government subsidies in one form or another as "entitlements?"
I'm not being argumentative; I left a lifetime ago, and had to make a career and raise a family. And granted I didn't delve deep into local East Orange issues. My Dad died, and Mom remarried within 10 years of my leaving and moved to Florida, so my attention was at best tenuous.
But how did a city with so many "upper class" apartment towers and extensive middle to upper middle class single family homes degenerate to this level? I mean, the real estate inventory was once the envy of many the surrounding communities!
Even the year I left, 1970, East Orange was an exemplar in the areas of civic governmental responsibility and K through 12th year public education. We had a renowned public library system. Our police and fire departments were noteworthy. East Orange was NOT an Irvington in the making.
Was there an abrupt and traumatic hemmorage of middle class residents? If so, what prompted it?
 
Old 10-09-2007, 02:59 PM
 
3,859 posts, read 9,170,984 times
Reputation: 2728
Illegal Aliens are overruning many of our cities-pushing Americans to move further away for safety reasons. People who have lived in towns for decades are run out for safety reasons and the tax burden illegals put on the schools, hospitals, etc. Especially in states like NJ which is really a sanctuary state, even if it is not "official. This is not just happening in cities but towns and very rural areas all over the country.

They broke the law to get in. They do not care about laws and doing things the right way and they also do not upkeep the neighborhoods that they take over.
 
Old 10-09-2007, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Atlantic Highlands NJ/Ponte Vedra FL/NYC
2,689 posts, read 2,847,394 times
Reputation: 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by topster7 View Post
Are you seriously stating that the majority of the folks in East Orange are receiving Government subsidies in one form or another as "entitlements?"
yes, the majority of residents receive government assistance, in one form or another
 
Old 10-09-2007, 06:10 PM
 
174 posts, read 381,015 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by apvbguy View Post
yes, the majority of residents receive government assistance, in one form or another
East Orange currently has approximately 69,000 residents. So this is disturbing to say the least. If I recall correctly, we were close to 80,000 residents the year I left, (1970).

My own extended family mostly resided in Newark and it's environs. Ten boys and three girls, among the Aunts and Uncles. Would have been thirteen boys, but back around 1900, many children died before the age of five; so it was in my family. All the Aunts and Uncles were married; all had AT LEAST five children. Needless to say, our family functions were always crowded. Many were Police and Fire Department members. The joke around the campfire was to refer to Police, Fire, or city employment as "Irish Welfare" among the WWII generation that was my Aunts and Uncles back then. They had survived the war and the Great Depression. They were tough and proud. They had never bent. They refused to allow their families to come apart even under the worst. Bad things happened, to be sure. But they retained their dignity best they could under the most trying circumstances. And their grace. Anyone who will be honest will admit the Irish and Italians in Newark in those days lived in some of the worst slums, the most crowded tenements, on the entire Eastern Seaboard. Which is why the City of Newark operated Public Bath Houses, and why the old "Little Italy" along 18th Avenue in Newark was an early target of "Urban Renewal" in the late 50's and early 60's. This compassionate attempt to root out the old "cold water flats" where three families per floor shared the same toilet, and had to go to Branch Brook Park just to bathe in hot water, destroyed not just a neighborhood, but a way of life, indeed a real American ethnic and patriotic community.

Only to replace it with a cesspool of high rise poverty and depravity where once a thriving, though struggling, neighborhood once stood. A High Rise concentration that quickly became almost exclusively black and poor, not just struggling at honest toil with a little help.

And no effort was made to convert the old "Irish Welfare" to "Black Welfare", no, they were just "shiftless Negroes"; uncaring in their apathy, not desireous of gainful employment. So we just coldly uprooted the "salt of the Earth" ethnic Irish and mostly Italians, told them to fend for themselves, then threw thousands of recently arrived rural Southern blacks into High Rise Islands of poverty and despair as entry level low wage jobs that often led to decent wages down the road left for the suburbs. That all these humble folk were abused and assaulted has never been described with any balance; the swells are more comfortable making them be in conflict with each other for some perverse reason. As they select the proper wine and declaim the brutish racism of white ethnics that only want to provoke. And as they rob blacks of every means of honorable alternatives to meekly accepting the government crumbs they dispense; indeed they actively ENCOURAGED these hard, humble men to abandon their women and children so as to ensure a roof over their head and food in their belly. They would NEVER have tried such a play with the white men of the day.

So behold the utter breakdown of society you have caused, liberals. A complete disintegration of everything seen as sweet, decent, honorable and civilized by EVERY other group in America. That ONLY blacks act like this, you ascribe to "institutional racism", "root causes", "systemic failures" and the like. That men from the most destitute nations on the face of the Earth, men that faced ACTUAL torture or execution, succeed, you palm off as not "being informed of the true nature of American racism". How avoiding a beheading in Africa is somehow ignoring racism in America is a feat I can't master; I'm sure you will be more than happy to explain it to us over coffee.

And as rough, mean and hateful as my parents generation was; they at least granted a grudging respect to American blacks. They did not rise up when the President ordered the Army Paratroopers into Little Rock or Mississipi. There were no massive street demonstrations warning against escorting James Meridith to his College Classes, even as they picked up their lunch bucket on their way to the plant for another eight hours of monotony and drudgery. They ALLOWED new laws to be enacted; remember, blacks were often illegally DENIED the vote. If the whites were so evil, why did they let this happen? Don't you DARE give me that "WE ARE A NATION OF RACISTS" line, okay. Because callous though they were, there was still that spark that felt discomfort, if not outright revulsion, that in America, even a black man deserved certain rights and dignity. Not perfect, not what we expect of an American of ANY color in 2007. But we are talking 1956. Even the Neanderthals would only stomach so much.

Stop the patronizing, the reduction to the level of child-like incompetence. I will back you in any effort towards increased responsibility for actions, for personal accountabilty. And tax hater that I am, prove to me a hard core agenda to forever wipe away the stain this nation still wears for having had legal slavery; I will vote for that tax increase. But I warn you, the burden is high and it is on you.
 
Old 10-09-2007, 06:15 PM
 
4 posts, read 21,216 times
Reputation: 11
I'm not surprised at the views of others and how they feel about the residents in East Orange. My mom moved to East Orange from the West Indies in the early 1970s. She
worked very hard and raised my sisters and I the best that she could without being on government assistance. Its very sad to me to see how this place that I call home has become. I have a small child that I don't want to raise here and plan to move very soon.
 
Old 10-09-2007, 08:04 PM
 
174 posts, read 381,015 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeshiaNJ View Post
I'm not surprised at the views of others and how they feel about the residents in East Orange. My mom moved to East Orange from the West Indies in the early 1970s. She
worked very hard and raised my sisters and I the best that she could without being on government assistance. Its very sad to me to see how this place that I call home has become. I have a small child that I don't want to raise here and plan to move very soon.
NeshiaNJ, like you, I am sad to see how this place I once called home has become. Count your blessings. First, the love and devotion of what your Mom did for you and your sisters, then, that your your child is an American. I can only imagine what you and your sisters have faced.

But I have such respect for your Mother that she would face anything to give you all a better life. Not to be corny, but your family narrative sounds so much like mine. In my case I was very young when I became a Father (20), but most humble parents are young at that. I suspect your Mom was as well. Dear, never for one moment doubt the deep love and conviction your Mother felt as she pressed on to ensure your would grow up in America. And now your child will as well.

I did 23 years in the Marines; we often had immigrants or the children of immigrants within our ranks. I will tell you plain, I am not one for the emotional display. It's not that I don't have feelings, I was just raised that men don't get weepy at the drop of a hat.

But after Desert Storm, in 1991, the politicians were REALLY happy we had kicked so much ass with such low casualties. A soon to retire Army Sergeant Major had mentioned to Secretary Of Defense Dick Cheney (yeah, the current Vice President), that alot of the boys were immigrants that were used to the ARMY slowing up paperwork, but WHY couldn't the civilian bubba's speed it up, since no one was getting shot at in Washington D.C. offices?

Within 3 weeks, we received very clear and specific orders that ANYONE that had served in harms way was to be granted an "Expeditious Green Light", not just some meaningless "Thanks Guy's" consideration for American citizenship. Keep in mind, the Defense Department must properly bend to the Immigration Department in matters such as this. And I'm paraphrasing the statement, not quoting. What I remember clear as a bell is the robust reaction to the fact that those that had risked everything side by side with American boys, were being treated the same as the average, law abiding immmigrant. Safely and serenely eating bacon and eggs back home when others were assaulting the Iraqi's.

And that got changed, on the spot.

At a Battalion formation, four of our guys had already been sworn in in Los Angeles the day before. Every Friday morning, the Colonel always took us on a 3 to 5 mile run in Battalion formation. After the run, and after we did our "cool down" exercises, he liked to talk to us about whatever. He had always done this before the war, and didn't see any reason to change his MO. He obviously knew about our four "new" Americans, because he signed off allowing them to leave camp fot the ceremony.

As was his way, the Colonel called all four up to stand before us. He talked about America, how all of us had come from bad circumstances, how our ancestors nevertheless showed pluck, courage, and determination to get HERE, on AMERICAN SOIL. Because once here, once accepted, it didn't matter where you came from, if your Daddy was rich or poor; swear to that Flag, take me as your countryman, against all others, then your are my brother. Even if you have a funny accent, as his GrandFather did.

The Marines have many heroes born in foreign lands, many who spoke in funny accents; many in broken English. That is our legacy; I won't bore you with that. 8th Grade drop out or PhD, Marines revel in their legacy; it is what bonds us. That men with Doctorates are fused brothers with those of humbler attainment causes us no pause.

Yet nevertheless, this simple, though unofficial, proclaimation moved me and in an unexpected and deep way. I wasn't in L.A. as they swore the oath, the day before. I had my platoon out training for war. But these were men I knew, admired, and in my own way, loved. Men that were finally being given the ultimate accolade, "American Citizen".

I was totally unprepared for the depth of emotion they showed to us, all of us, the entire Battalion. All 1,000 of us, at rigid attention. In full combat gear, all armed with weapons. Most all of us that had been in action with them. As the Colonel said his piece, unrehearsed, and from the heart, as was his way, I saw the first quiver of the lips. And as the Old Man commanded the trooping of the colors, I saw even more emotion from them.

As the Battalion passed in review, as is our way, the last piece of music you hear is "The Marines Hymn". As honorees, they stood behind the Old Man as the Battalion passed; the same Battalion they had fought with.

To my dismay, to my embarassment, large wet tears rolled down as I barked out orders to the platoon to ready march. But I felt no apprehension. Because by now I knew what all the fancy guys on TV will never know; often the fiercest Patriot is he that had to fight his way to get to America. The immigrant American is in many ways the real American.

How I wish I could have known my GrandFather.
 
Old 10-10-2007, 05:33 AM
 
Location: High Bridge
2,736 posts, read 8,545,601 times
Reputation: 665
Interestingly, I saw an ad this morning for "Luxury Condos" in East Orange starting at $99k. Yep, thats $99,000.
 
Old 10-10-2007, 05:51 AM
 
Location: New Jersey/Florida
5,370 posts, read 10,128,606 times
Reputation: 3496
TOPSTER, You know the answer to the question that you asked, and I leave it at that I don't want to get banned for my views and comments after spending most of 50 years in an urban city like Jersey City.
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