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    Default Cowards in Ocean County, New Jersey

    I just got sick to my stomach.

    Jersey City firefighter Michael Harris victim of 'bias crime' in Manchester Township
    By Ken Thorbourne/The Jersey Journal
    November 15, 2009, 7:38PM

    Michael Dempsey/The Jersey Journal

    Seeking quiet, safety, and good schools, Jersey City firefighter Michael Harris moved his wife and their five children into a newly-built home in Manchester Township two years ago.

    That idyllic existence got shattered last night.

    In what authorities have classified as a bias crime, Harris found the "N-word" spray-painted in large looping letters on his white fence Saturday night.

    "I never thought that would ever happen to me and my family," Harris said today, working his shift at Engine Co. 8 on Orient Avenue. "You understand there are racist individuals in the country but you never think it would happen to you."

    A resident of the Pine Lake Park section of Manchester -- which is located about 55 miles from Jersey City in Ocean County -- Harris said a concerned neighbor phoned him at about 10 p.m., and told him to take a look at his fence that runs along Commonwealth Boulevard, a main thoroughfare.

    That's when Harris, 49, and his wife, Twayla, saw the epithet scrawled in black spray paint.

    Harris, a Jersey City firefighter for 15 years, said he was determined to scrub the word off his fence because that's where his children and other children in the neighborhood catch the school bus -- and several neighbors lent a hand.

    "We eventually got it off with a tar remover," Harris said. "We tried paint thinner, power washing...But you can see where the letters were so I have to take down that fence."

    Township officials confirmed two police sergeants and a detective responded to the scene, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, and the incident has been classified as a bias crime. No arrests have been made.

    "It bothers the heck out of me," Manchester Mayor Mike Fressola said today upon learning about the crime. "We have had no problems along those lines in Manchester."

    Manchester has a population of roughly 42,000, of which 94 percent is white and roughly 3 percent is African American.

    Harris, who said his van and truck has been egged in the past, said he's determined to stay put.

    "I'm not moving. I'm not going anywhere," Harris said. "The cops are very good there. The people have treated me very nice there."

    2009 NJ.com. All rights reserved.
    NJ Bias Crime laws are pretty tough. If they catch these scumbags, they should be well taken care of.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    I just got sick to my stomach.



    NJ Bias Crime laws are pretty tough. If they catch these scumbags, they should be well taken care of.
    One would certainly hope so and also hope that FF Harris receives full compensation for the damage.

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    Pretty sad. No sense in that kind of stuff at all.

    I am sure some people will have to take a double take and realize that stuff happens all over the country, and not just in the South.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Pretty sad. No sense in that kind of stuff at all.

    I am sure some people will have to take a double take and realize that stuff happens all over the country, and not just in the South.
    Funny you say that. I have spent considerable time in the area of Roanoke, VA (by virtue of my kids choice of colleges). I find folks in the north more racially divided than I did the folks in SW Virginia. And that includes people of both races.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    You know George....you could be onto something there.

    I know in my area of Wisconsin, there are not as many "minorities" (I hate that word). The people in this area tend not be as traveled if you will....or have been exposed to others that look different from themselves. Take my father for example. He was born on a farm, raised on a farm, and lived in a fairly small town (60,000 people or less) most of his life. He was not exposed or had interaction with very many people that were other than caucasian. and it showed. Just because there are less "minorities" in the northern or midwest, the fear of someone who looks different seems to be here as much, and more in some places than just the South. I don't think it's a regional thing, it's a global deal.
    Racism is taught and learned.

    You know, a white man is the only man who will walk into an auditorium full of native americans in the left side seats, african americans in the right hand seats, and mexicans in the front seats, the only "white" man in the room and say "Whooo wee.....look at all these minorities!"
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    Sorry to say, but knowing Manchester, this does not surprise me.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    What Dickey said is funny. Funny, but true.

    There is a lot of racial tension here.

    Last summer, I saw a minivan with a KKK symbol painted across the side. I had never seen anything like that before, but I am not from this area either. Thank God.

    On the other side, the blacks here are for the most part VERY racist. It doesn't matter what the issue is. If you go to that neighborhood, expect a bullet go past or through you.

    Be nice to those you can and those you can not, stay away from them. Don't base opinions on race. Base opinions on actions.

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    Disgusting.

    Unfortunately, there are people who think and act this way in all parts of this state and this country.

    I hope our brother from Jersey City knows that we are all standing right beside him on this issue.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Funny you say that. I have spent considerable time in the area of Roanoke, VA (by virtue of my kids choice of colleges). I find folks in the north more racially divided than I did the folks in SW Virginia. And that includes people of both races.
    That is because people in SW Virginia historically have been very equal, equally poor as dirt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Funny you say that. I have spent considerable time in the area of Roanoke, VA (by virtue of my kids choice of colleges). I find folks in the north more racially divided than I did the folks in SW Virginia. And that includes people of both races.
    Having worked in Albany NY, Orange CT, among others, and grown up and worked in TN, This is exactly what I have seen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    You know George....you could be onto something there.

    I know in my area of Wisconsin, there are not as many "minorities" (I hate that word). The people in this area tend not be as traveled if you will....or have been exposed to others that look different from themselves. Take my father for example. He was born on a farm, raised on a farm, and lived in a fairly small town (60,000 people or less) most of his life. He was not exposed or had interaction with very many people that were other than caucasian. and it showed. Just because there are less "minorities" in the northern or midwest, the fear of someone who looks different seems to be here as much, and more in some places than just the South. I don't think it's a regional thing, it's a global deal.
    Racism is taught and learned.

    You know, a white man is the only man who will walk into an auditorium full of native americans in the left side seats, african americans in the right hand seats, and mexicans in the front seats, the only "white" man in the room and say "Whooo wee.....look at all these minorities!"
    >>Racism is taught and learned.<<

    I agree with you 100%.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace View Post
    That is because people in SW Virginia historically have been very equal, equally poor as dirt.
    I don't know which part of SW Virginia you are talking about, but my travels through Roanoke, Salem, Lynchburg and Blacksburg have convinced me that that area will be my retirement home. There is no way you can describe that area as poor in any way, shape or form.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    I agree racism is "Taught and Learned." I was raised by two parents who basically taught me there are good and bad people from all groups. One bad person from any group does not make that entire group evil.

    I guess I have simplified this is my life. Give everyone a chance, they may turn out to be the best person you have ever met. The corrolary is an A-Hole is an A-Hole no matter what their ethinicity, color, religion, sex, or sexual preference.

    My children have been raised to be open minded and to judge the individual not the group. In fact racial slurs are simply not allowed in my home. Pass on the good, try to eliminate the bad, of human relations.
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    Funny you say that. I have spent considerable time in the area of Roanoke, VA (by virtue of my kids choice of colleges). I find folks in the north more racially divided than I did the folks in SW Virginia. And that includes people of both races.
    Don't be deceived by appearances; racism is rampant in the South. It may often take on civil tones, but it only makes it more reprehensible to me. It is deeply entrenched in people of my father's generation and older, in spite of outward appearances. Many people go on about being open-minded and unbiased...until their daughter starts dating a black guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    Don't be deceived by appearances; racism is rampant in the South. It may often take on civil tones, but it only makes it more reprehensible to me. It is deeply entrenched in people of my father's generation and older, in spite of outward appearances. Many people go on about being open-minded and unbiased...until their daughter starts dating a black guy.
    I'm not naive enough to think that it doesn't exist. I think up north, it is more radical, openly hostile and vocal.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    This happened on Saturday night. Today is Tuesday. It finally made the local papers. General jist of the online comments....Those in the area....not surprised.

    tis a shame.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    It actually hit the news up here on Sun.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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