Just one day after a New Jersey Supreme Court judge absolved Gov. Chris Christie from paying this year’s billion dollar bill for state workers’ pensions, the lead stories in the Trentonian‘s web edition carried out virtual trials on the Internet about crimes, police chases and arguments involving Trenton’s residents, all African American. Not one story appeared about the billion dollar heist by Gov. Chris Christie that was sanctioned by the courts.
In search of perspective, Liberation News went and talked to some actual Trentonians.
“It’s a shocker to me,” exclaimed Aisha, a street vendor on Clinton Ave. “We have to raise awareness about what’s important. Here Christie did not pay and it’s going to affect us all.”
“I think it’s messed up. I think they should put Christie on the front page for taking away people’s money,” pointed out grandmother Alma Jones coming out of one of the delicious Polish lunch spots in North Trenton with grandson Jerrell.
“I just think it’s racist,” explained Bianca Henderson on her porch, “It’s a disgrace. It’s not right for them to do that.”
“I don’t think it’s racist, but it’s a cover-up. It averts people’s attention making us seem like the problem,” clarified Justin Johnson. “It’s the biggest selling soap opera in the world,” added Justin’s friend King-Ameer Colvin. “No one knows who the valedictorian is from Trenton High School, but they know about crime. Did they even cover the story about the graduation?”
Trenton’s daily newspaper conceals the truth about what is really on the minds of the people of the city.
“They put in the articles bad stuff about the deceased like ‘this guy was a stick-up boy’ or ‘he was gonna kill cops’ to get us to believe that this is how it is,” said Lamar Bragwell. “They don’t tell the story of the cops
who let my friend die in the streets—they didn’t even call an ambulance until after he died,” added Bragwell.
The Trentonian, one might think, is in the pocket of the prison industrial complex.
“Their priorities are messed up; they’re locking people up for nickel bags….that’s real selfish taking a billion away from people’s retirement,” said Bragwell, shaking his head.
The residents have plenty of opinions about what could be newsworthy.
“Instead of incarceration, give us activities, youth centers,” injected Anthony Morris. “They got us thinking about the negative and not working people’s issues,” explained his friend Deon Clay. “They could write about taking away people’s Section 8 housing. See there are people on their way to work now,” comments Clay.
The prospect for change is alive, however, as the residents of Trenton are friendly and approachable and readily express their opinion. Without hesitation, one can gain a seat on the porch or interrupt a shopping trip. The people in Trenton are accessible; it’s the politicians who aren’t. Residents welcomed copies of Liberation newspaper, some offering the cover price before being asked. The residents of Trenton are united in their concern for their city.
The Trentonian is one of 366 newspapers owned by 21st Century Media out of Yardley, Pa. It could be a tool to reach 30,000 people on a daily basis about the issues most important in the lives of the people, but profits from sales come before being a medium for news and discourse.
Some in Trenton intuitively understand the process of militant journalism—it’s not about paper sales it’s about building relationships in the struggle. “We’ll have our picture taken next time when you come back to
talk to us again,” Bianca Henderson said with a big smile. This writer looks forward to meeting with Bianca and others who want to make a difference in Trenton.