So apparently, all budget holes are filled, loans are paid back, and business is running smoothly in New Jersey. Everything must be running smoothly if the governor is taking time out of his very busy schedule of closing businesses down to bother with a silly nitpicking over the title "freeholder."

The term, which has been considered racist by many people who have nothing better to do but decide that things are racist, is another word for county commissioner.

According to an article on newjerseyglobe.com, Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-Middletown) criticizes Gov. Phil Murphy for taking time away from all the many problems that plague New Jersey to focus on this change. The article quotes the assemblyman stating, “We’re in the middle of a pandemic with the state budget facing a $10 billion hole, unemployment in disarray, the DMV with long lines and fist fights at its locations, and businesses going under every day." He continued, “But now Gov. Murphy has decided to focus his energy on changing the name 'freeholder?' This is absurd.”

According to an article on usatoday.com, Murphy, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin said in a joint statement, “As our nation tears down symbols of injustice, we must also tear down words we use in New Jersey that were born from racism." While none of us should be proud of it, when you come right down to the truth, the entire country was born during a period of TRUE “systemic” racism. It’s one of the things that we have acknowledged and have tried to correct and make amends for.

There’s gonna be a lot of name changing if we rely on that to be the criteria for what symbols, statues, titles, and names we eradicate from the American landscape and lexicon. And while it’s true that New Jersey is the only state in the union that uses the term, don’t we have more important things to think about? Although I suppose if Murphy gave up his favorite hobby of coming up with restrictions and laws for New Jersey and opted for this new one — removing images and words that offend people — instead, I’d be much happier about it.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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