A City Without Heroes

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

NewarkThe City of Newark is in the middle of its first post-Booker mayoral race, Save Jerseyans, and on Wednesday evening, candide and councilamn Ras Baraka happily accepted the backing of former Mayor Ken Gibson at a Robert Treat Hotel campaign event.

“Having Ken Gibson on my side is the ultimate reference check,” Baraka told PolitickerNJ. “It’s the ultimate  in street credibility.”

Councilman Baraka clearly doesn’t care about Gibson’s resume which includes a guilty plea to a federal tax evasion charge in 2002.

Yes, Mr. Gibson is the first black mayor of a major northeastern city. He also oversaw much of the Brick City’s decline and ended his public career in disgrace. Failures come in all colors, folks. I’m unimpressed by historical auras. Results are what matter.

There are plenty of substantive things we can do to help our cities, and the introduction of school choice reforms should be at the top of everyone’s list. What you and I can’t do, Save Jerseyans, is rescue a dead culture that exalts guys like Sharpe James and Ken Gibson as heroes but denounces folks like Condi Rice and Allen West as “traitors.” America’s cities need real heroes: role models who demonstrate that you can succeed in America by keeping your nose clean, working hard and supporting your family. Newark doesn’t need more base crooks or shallow celebrities to give its children warped views of success; they’re already drowning in them.