MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The following is a statement from Mayor Frank McGehee:
I am upset
I am sad
I am angry
I am frustrated
I am tired and I am done.

This is how I feel about the recent events that have happened to my fellow brothers and sisters. I was sick watching George Floyd die at the hands of people who took an oath to “serve and protect”.   I wanted to come through my TV and push that officer off of him.  I  did not care about what would happen to me, I cared about what was happening to Mr. Floyd. 

Why is it so difficult to see and feel injustice and not prevent it.  Why why why?

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These blatant acts of racism have been going on for years.

The first one I remember in my life was Rodney King.  I can vividly remember sitting in my dorm room thinking what the hell is happening?!

Then there was Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Eric Garner,  Michael Brown, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Kalief Browder, Jamar Clark, Anton Sterling, Charles Kinsey, Botham Jean, Ahmaud Arbery,  Breonna Taylor, and now George Floyd.  And these are just the injustices that were either caught on video or highlighted in the public, there are so many more.  With every act of injustice that occurred to these brothers and sisters, there is an excuse or rationale fed to the public to somehow “justify” the action of taking their lives.  That’s Bullshit.  There is none.

To achieve real change is gonna take some real work, real talk, and a commitment to real results.

And frankly it starts with me and those who are in power including elected officials at all levels, District Attorneys, Prosecutors, and corporate CEOs.

And it also starts with people who lead and manage our classrooms, our restaurants, our retail stores, our country clubs, our pools, our banks and with our realtors, physicians, and in our conference rooms.

But also I think starts in the home. 

Every Black household in America including my own has had “the talk” with our children but I think that the time has come for all households to have a new talk.

A talk that is comparable to teaching our children to count their 123s and read their ABCs

A talk where we teach that every person regardless of skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, financial means or religious faith are to be treated fairly and equally. A talk were we say That Black Lives Matter.

Every parent, guardian, aunt, uncle, grandmother  and grandfather has a responsibility to stop systemic racism and prejudice.

If we’re ready to enact real change we need to start today and every day and in some cases we need to go back and re-educate and reteach our loved ones, and in some cases, ourselves.

I must be Frank.  I am not going to give you the cliché we shall overcome public statement as your Mayor.

I am speaking to you as a black man, married to a black woman, raising a black daughter in a predominately white community.

While I don’t have all the answers regarding how we fix all of the inequities within our community,  in the coming days I will work with my colleagues and others to put together forum where there will be an opportunity to listen, to have a dialogue and share ideas designed to bring real changes and solutions.

Mayor Frank


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