- Clark Township Mayor Sal Bonaccorso, a Republican, said at a protest on Saturday that he was “pro-Black for all the good Black people” after a protester asked if he was “pro-Black.”
- The crowd voiced displeasure after Bonaccorso made the comment.
- Bonaccorso later clarified the comment, saying on Facebook: “An attendee asked me, ‘Are you pro-Black?’ The answer is of course, and unequivocally, yes.”
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A New Jersey mayor told demonstrators at an anti-discrimination protest on over the weekend that he was “pro-Black for all the good Black people.”
“I am pro-Black for all the good Black people that I know in my life,” Bonaccorso said. “I can’t say that I am for anybody if I do not know you. I am for people. Good people. Law-abiding, hard-working, good family, good friends, and people with good intentions. If you’re Black, great. If you are white, great. If you are Hispanic, great. It does not matter. I judge people on how you judge me.”
His remark was met with displeasure from the crowd of 50 to 100 people, many of whom were people of colour.
Protest organiser Hanif Denny told NJ.com that he didn’t believe Bonaccorso acknowledged the racial inequities many of the protesters were discussing at the rally.
“(The protesters) were talking about growing up, and kids would be afraid to drive through there because they get pulled over,” Ranalli said. “The elements (of racism) are already there.”
In a statement posted to his Facebook page Wednesday, Bonaccorso clarified his comments saying he “may have fallen short.”
“An attendee asked me, ‘Are you pro-Black?’ The answer is of course, and unequivocally, yes,” he wrote. “I also truly believe that Black Lives Matter. The Black members of the Clark Community, those who live here, those who work here, those who are visiting, and even those who are just passing through are all an integral part of what makes Clark such a great place. I pride myself on the fact that I never judge someone based on their skin colour; but, only on who they are as a person and how they treat others. I recognise that my remarks may not have accurately represented how I feel. Although I’ve been Mayor for a long time, I am still learning.”
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