View Full Version : New Jersey Pride: What Happened??

02-05-2008, 07:02 PM
I know a lot of people who posted here about the Giants Superbowl win feel cheated with the team owner emphatically saying "we play for New York City", the NY logo uni's, no mention of New Jersey(but they love our stadium building tax dollars!). I feel cheated also on this, but I'm not surprised at all. The Giants saga is just a symptom of a much larger problem, which is mostly our fault. I remember the 1980's when Governor Tom Kean was doing his famous "NJ and you Perfect together" commercials, and New Jersey pride was growing. The Nets and Devils both set up shop in Brendon Byrne arena. The Giants and Jets were playing inthe Meadowlands with NO NY on their uni's. People would actually tell me "We're New Jersey, not NY!!" There were articles written about New Jersey FINALLY coming into its own. When NY's garbage was washing upon our shores, we became unified to stop NY dumping,. TV stations were coming to and promoting NJ. Anytime anyone tried to slight us, we would "let him have it" with a huge dose of attitude and pride.
WHAT HAPPENED?? I think a reversal of our pride started almost a decade ago. Long time New Jerseyans started leaving due to growing tax burdens,and replaced by New Yorkers who still considered NY their city, and their home is just a place to sleep and change clothes. Refer to these people as New Jerseyans and they cringe. The Star Ledger did a whole article on this. Even our cities such as Newark and J.C. are now being marketed for New Yorkers to live, not as places for NJ to attract businesses and flex our financial muscle. Our lawmakers get boatloads of campaign money from NY. Why is that, lawmakers? To promote NY interests, of course, By keeping NEW JERSEY down!! Even Corzine's
monetization plan is being crafted by New York lawyers that we've paid over 7 million for. And I bet you the bond holders will be primarily New York firms if this scheme passes. Even Hillary Clinton refered to New Jersey as a "Suburb of New York" during a press conference. We're not even a state to her!! And she'll probably win the NJ primary tonight! If we want this trend to stop we have stop voting in the same crooks we keep putting in. We have to say "NO" to building more tunnels that only benefit NY and force these lawmakers to come up with concrete plans to attract businesses to our own cities. I would love to see the state pull out of this new stadium deal with the Giants/Jets. They play for NYC? Good, go ask NY for tax money!! The Corzines, Codeys and others like them, VOTE THEM OUT!!!!

02-06-2008, 01:30 PM
NY is a fine city, but I see it as another state's city like I would view Atlanta or St Louis. They all maybe places I'd like to visit, but I wouldn't want them controlling our media or government. It's as if when we starting to become more independant of NY's influence, they said "We can't have this!" and infiltrated everything from our cable companies to our politics. I guess NY felt since they couldn't invade NJ, they would buy our politicans, businesses, media outlets, etc as a way of stopping NJ pride. I wish I knew how to stop this, but as long as the majority of New Jerseyans remain oblivious, apathetic and supportive of NY domination, it will continue until there is no NJ left. We already have a governor who trying to mortgage NJ sovergnity to NY calling it a "monetization" plan.

02-07-2008, 02:13 PM
Just a couple of points about how I see N.J. pride getting better over recent years. First let me say I agree with you about the n.y. influence, but in my opinion any other state that would be in the same unique situation like us (having n.y.c. right across the river) would have the same problem. Ben Franklin said N.J. is like a barrel tapped at both ends. And whether we like it or not, it is the truth and there is nothing we can do about it unless we pick up N.J. and move it, so we must deal with it while discovering ways to show that N.J. is indeed a great state.
1 - I have seen in recent years a lot more people wearing N.J. hats and shirts. There is a store in Red Bank and one in Spring Lake that specialize in selling these things. As a matter of fact the owners of the store in Spring Lake were told by a friend not to sell anything with N.J. on it but they ignored this so-called friend, sell these items, and have said that "HOME TOWN (N.J.) does sell". My wife and I were at this store this past summer and the place was filled with people buying things. And yes, my wife, who is from Staten Island N.Y. bought a custom made sweatshirt for herself, the shirt says NEW JERSEY MOM. Again she is a native New Yorker!
2 - The state now has new and not so new festivals every year to promote itself such as The Spirit of The Jerseys State History Fair. This fair is to promote N.J. history, historic sites, and the numerous famous people who have called N.J. home, and the organizers let you know when you register you must display N.J. history ONLY! This fair is getting bigger every year. Then we also have a newer fair that celebrates N.J.s culture. I don't know much about it but it takes place every year down in Trenton. Speaking of Trenton how about the yearly Patriots Week celebration to promote the historic battles of Trenton and it history. My wife, son and I went 2 years ago and I give it a thumbs up. This event, like the history fair, continues to grow and a lot of the tours they offered at this years event were sold out.
3 - The coach of the Notre Dame is a Jersey boy. In 2006 Rutgers And Notre Dame both ended up playing their bowl games in Arizona. R.U.s game was about 5 days earlier then N.D.s, the coach of N.D. took his team to watch R.U.s game and told them if he caught anybody rooting against R.U. he would put them on the next bus back to South Bend, Ind. Why did he say this? Because he said I am a Jersey guy. He also said he has no problem defending N.J. when people put it down.
4 - I went to a book signing/discussion last Sunday and an announcement was made about A new Revolutionary War round table that was formed a few weeks ago and is having its first meeting tonight, Feb.7th. This group was formed to promote/discuss N.J.s Rev War history. The gentleman who I heard speak is know as "New Jerseys popular historian" his name is John T. Cunningham, he is about 85 and he said he helped form it because he is sick of N.J. being pushed around.
5 - The owner of The N.J. Devils built N.J. a nice new arena. In it hangs hockey jerseys from N.J. high school teams. He also set aside a place in the arena were pictures of famous New Jerseyans hang with plaques under the pictures telling about these famous people. He and Newark promote this arena as New Jerseys NEW entertainment venue. They also promote N.J. with such food stands as "a taste of Newark" and even a boardwalk stand.
6 - I belong the 12th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry. It is a civil war reenactment group. We have a membership of about 75 men. A couple of years ago we went to a reenactment in Tenn. We brought more men from our group then any other federal reenactment group, and every northern state was represented. We are the biggest unit in our battalion also which includes groups from Penn., N.Y., and a few other states. We are always the color company (a post of honor) because we can supply the most men and our overall commanders know it. We, The 12th N.J.V.I. are the rock of this overall unit of about 500 - 600 men!
7 - I also post on a Rutgers football message board, and believe me there is NO shortage of New Jersey pride on it when fans from other teams/states go on it to bash R.U. or New Jersey!
8 - I myself don't watch n.y. news or read n.y. papers, I watch News12 New Jersey, NJN News, I read The Star Ledger or other local Morris county papers, and I listen to 101.5, 105.5 or any number of N.J. radio stations. I have seen commercials on News12 were the news anchors speak about their pride for N.J..
9 - And we cant forget about the people who started Celebrate N.J. month a few years ago. Every June they team up with all the minor league baseball teams in N.J. to help promote state pride. They also have elementary school programs to help teach younger students about our great state.

03-15-2008, 02:34 PM
I have been wanting to respond to this since this thread was started. This may seem odd - but I agree with both of you.

There are a number of organizations which have been popping up to promote NJ Pride - such as Celebrate NJ, Crossroads of the American Revolution, NJ Hall of Fame - all of these I have an involvement with. The other side of the coin is the average citizen of New Jersey. This is a mixed bag here. You find some New Jerseyans who are really proud and do know New Jersey, but at the same time you then have the others who take in the NY and Philadelphia news and the negative stereotypes and seem to never leave the couch and TV to explore NJ. These people are very negative on NJ and the things to do here.

I have seen people wearing the NJ shirts - not as many as wear NY crap though. I also agree with Beatman in regard to NY and Philadelphia - they are FOREIGN cities. Going there to see a broadway show, museum or restaurant does nothing for the NJ economy other than make it worse. Those cities are not part of New Jersey and visiting them takes money out of the New Jersey economy and put it into New York State's coffers. We have great theater and museums and restaurants in New Jersey, but so few people know about them - part of this is because of the lack of nework media in NJ as Ive mentioned before. Even so, many people think they are subpar to those cities, when they aren't. The Newark Museum would be world renowned if it wasn't living in the shadow of New York. The NY and Philadelphia media both predominately cover those cities and state's events. If something is happening in Cenral Park, NY's ABC, NBC, CBS is right there to cover it. When something is happening in Jersey City's Liberty State Park or Newark's Branch Brook Park (which was designed by the same architect who did Central Park), the news is silent. When something is great happening at one of our museums or theaters, again the news is silent.

The question is - how do we get people to go to New Jersey venues, to explore our cities and not just accept the negative media coverage as fact? How do we get the word out?

My Travel Writer, Betty Fleming, was afraid of going to Liberty Science Center for a media event. She figured it was in a "bad area". She lives in Marlton in southern New Jersey and isn't familiar with northern New Jersey at all. So we drove together and then went out to eat in Newark. It actually took physically taking her there to open her eyes. Believe me - I'm not picking on Betty. She's fantastic. This is just an example of what we are up against. If I didn't physically bring here there and show her around and yes walk Newark at night, she would have still have had her negative preconceived notions that most New Jerseyans have about our cities. If I could - I would physically bring every New Jerseyan on a tour of our cities.

Here is another example, I had been having a discussion with someone who works at MODC (Monmouth - Ocean Development Council). We were discussing things to do in New Jersey and the subject of cities came up. She had no idea all the stuff that Newark had. Then she told me how it would be great to have a bus trip to Newark for an event at NJPAC and dinner. They are in the process of planning a bus trip, but to guess where... You probably guessed it - it's to New York to see a Broadway show and then dinner. Very few in New Jersey plan on bus trips to the many cultural centers in OUR state. I have to say though - Georgian Court University in Ocean County did recently have a bus trip to NJPAC. Although AboutNewJersey.com does get event submissions on bus trips that originate from NJ - if they leave the state - we do not approve the event. They must be attending a New Jersey venue for us to approve them for our event guide.

When this attitude changes, then I wil say that we are a proud state. Once New Jerseyans no longer think that NY and PA are just extensions of NJ and that everything is interchangeable - then I will say we have pride in this state.

I have always said - I am a New Jerseyan first - an American second.

BTW - to answer the question - "New Jersey Pride: What Happened?" Well look at what political party brought pride to the state and look at what party NJ Pride declines under. Under Tom Kean - NJ pride was the highest and again under Christie Whitman, there was pride (she took NY to court on the Ellis Island issue as well as dumping of our shores). Under democrats - pride in New Jersey declines among average citizens. Look at Florio, McGreevey and now Corzine. The democrats for one thing tax the people to death and also, Republicans are federalists. Republicans believe in state rights and the sovereignty of the states. Democrats believe in nationalism and generally don't consider state borders. Under democrats - New Jersey is generally sold short when it comes to deals with NY state or PA.

There are numerous grassroots efforts to promote pride in NJ - many of these being led by democrats - but when it comes to our politicians - Republicans seem to fight more for New Jersey and instill pride in the state for the average citizen.