OLD BRIDGE – The issue of cultural skills training was initially silenced at the last city council meeting after a man was charged with hate crime for sending a racist email to the only black member of the municipal council.
But after some discussion, a white colleague told Councilor Edina Brown, “I feel like you only care about black people sometimes.”
Participate in the Meet Remotely on Tuesday evening, Brown thanked the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and Old Bridge Police for their attention and assistance in locating the suspect. who Police say they sent Brown a racist and vulgar email on March 7.
Adam Valvo, 52, of Old Bridge, was charged in late April with two counts of intimidation of fourth degree bias and one count of harassment. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal called Valvo’s email “vile, racist and threatening”.
Brown said none of her eight council colleagues contacted her personally after the investigation.
“Their words and actions towards me seemed to get angrier and more contemptuous,” Brown said.
After saying she would no longer be pushing for cultural skills training, Brown then asked the rest of the board, “What do you have to say about your behavior?”
The question was greeted in silence followed by the director of human resources of the canton describing two training sessions to come.
Another city councilor stepped in after Brown’s repeated requests for a discussion.
“I never did anything to piss you off or say anything,” Councilor John Murphy said.
“In a meeting you said – unless I’m wrong – you said ‘all white men are racist’. And I felt a little taken aback by that. I care about all people, I treat them all equal and I feel like you only care about black people sometimes, and that’s how I feel, ”Murphy continued.
Brown said she had never made such a comment.
“If you can find this, let me know.” I think people felt I said that, which is probably their own internal guilt. But I never called anyone a racist, ”she said.
“My husband is a white man – so all white men are racist, I think that’s a bit of a stretch,” Brown said. “People think that caring about marginalized people means you don’t care about white people, and that just isn’t true.”
After a few more back and forth trips, Murphy broke in.
“I didn’t want to argue. That’s why no one wants to talk to you, ”he said.
At April Board Meeting, Brown said at one point, “I think I brought up the race by being here.”
In an opinion piece written last spring for Insider NJ, Brown said about a third of Old Bridge’s population is made up of non-white voters.
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