PATERSON, NJ – Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic) issued the following statement regarding discrimination from the Jenkinson’s Boardwalk staff on Friday:

“The incident involving the staff at Jenkinson’s Aquarium Gift Shop in Point Pleasant last Friday was both disgraceful and unacceptable. It will not be tolerated in New Jersey, especially when directed towards children.

“For many of the young girls in the Princess to Queenz Camp, Friday’s outing was their first-ever trip to the Jersey Shore. Instead of being able to purchase souvenirs to commemorate a fun experience, they ended their day facing senseless discrimination over the color of their skin. Children should not be exposed to this type of behavior – period. They should be able to grow up an in environment in which they feel empowered and, most importantly, equal.

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“What transpired at the aquarium falls right in line with what we’ve seen in Charlottesville and Washington over the weekend. Unfortunately, these type of displays of racism are occurring entirely too frequently in our country.  It is clear that our racial and political climates are still not where they should be.

“As long as we continue to ignore these incidents and accept simple apologies without action, we will not see real change, be able to heal and move forward as a country – as opposed to the significant steps backward our country seems to keep taking.”