Photography lesson

Mount Laurel racism brings back the best lesson my mom taught me

Note: This piece first aired after allegations of racism surfaced in a town in NJ. Mother’s Day is coming soon. My mother has been on the rise for years and hasn’t been well lately, and I’d like to remind people of how many valuable lessons in integrity our special mothers gave us as children.

The following was originally published on July 8, 2021.


It’s an ugly story but I want to add some positive thoughts. First off, don’t let what’s happening in the Essex Place condo community make you think Mount Laurel isn’t filled with good people. Good people rarely make the news.

Edward C. Mathews is not a good person.

According to court documents, published reports, eyewitness accounts, and video and police recordings, Edward enjoys harassing black people.

Many families in many incidents have seen Edward enter their property and stand at their door and call them racial slurs, the N-word, referring to them as some type of animal, threatening them with bumps at the chest and telling them he wants them. move, authorities said.

Looks like little Eddie got himself in big trouble. After one of his final rants, a protest took place outside his home in which police showed up and stood between his door and outraged neighbors who said enough was enough .

The mayor says not to blame the police for the previous incidents. Blame the courts for not doing enough to stop racial bullying.

On the day of the protest, little Eddie was finally taken away in handcuffs for the ultimate time out. Criminal charges, including biased harassment and intimidation. An investigation into the matter is underway. The mayor has called for a federal investigation.

Now, here’s the thing. This charming guy claims that he was drunk during his last confrontation as if it were a mitigating circumstance to be taken into account. To me, all of this means he has two issues: racism and poor alcohol choices. If that’s supposed to make me think he’s not racist and it’s the alcohol talking, I’m sorry but it doesn’t work.

This pathetic story still makes me feel good. Because it was a good reminder of how much my mom didn’t want me to become that guy.

One of the times I was most proud of my mother was on my 8th birthday. We had a simple above ground pool. And I wanted a simple party. Barbecue in the yard (my birthday is in June) and a few friends to swim.

Among the kids I invited were my best friend Carl and my school friend Otto. Carl was white. Otto was black. For me, that was not the issue. They were my friends.

Carl arrived at the party after Otto, and when this white kid’s mom saw there was a black kid at my party, she freaked out. My mother had no idea I was watching when the woman angrily pulled her aside and spoke through a clenched jaw, “You didn’t tell me there was going to be a colored child at this party. !”

Exact words.

I will always remember my mom keeping her cool and telling her to calm down, it was Jeff’s party and he was one of Jeff’s friends and there was no problem. The woman got even angrier and practically spat out her words. “Either he goes or Carl goes!”

My mom stayed calm and asked, “You really wouldn’t let your boy be here for his best friend’s party just because Otto is here?” There were back and forths that I don’t remember, but I’m very clear about what my mom finally said to end it.

“This kid is our guest and he’s not going anywhere. If you want to take your son and go, you are free to do so.

I remember my heart pounding at the drama I was seeing. I hadn’t been brought up to hate anyone. I was brought up to know that I was no better than anyone else. Seeing this hate coming from a woman who had always been nice to me, cooked me lunches when I was at their house, took me to cool places like the circus with her son, was so confusing. It was a side of her that I didn’t know existed and that I didn’t like.

In the end, her anger palpable, she decided she would allow Carl to stay, but SHE would pick him up later because “she wouldn’t be a part of this”. She was supposed to stay and hang out with the adults. Like a naughty child, she left. But not before he said in such a mean tone, “Don’t let that kid change into a bathing suit in the same room as my kid!”

I was so proud of my mother. I have never forgotten the position she took that day. I didn’t tell him until years later that I had seen and heard it all.

But what an ugly display. And decades later, in 2021, in a town 64 miles south called Mount Laurel, what another ugly sight.

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of Jeff Deminski, host of New Jersey talk show 101.5. All opinions expressed are those of Jeff Deminski.

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