LETTER: ‘A disgrace’ if upcoming Jersey City Ward F and mayoral debates don’t replace moderator


In a letter to the editor, Jersey City resident Fidel Hernandez explains why it would be “a disgrace” if Militinia Bland is able to moderate upcoming Ward F and mayoral debates, respectively, claiming she has exhibited bigoted behavior towards homosexuals.

Facebook photo.

Dear Editor,

That Militinia Bland is the host of the upcoming Jersey City Ward F debate on October 22 and Mayoral debate on October 28th is a disgrace.

Militinia must be replaced as host because the residents of Ward F deserve debates that are untainted by a long and documented history of hate, bigotry, and homophobia.

The Ward F council candidates Frank “Educational” Gilmore, Jermaine Robinson, and Vernon Richardson, as well as mayoral candidates Lewis Spears and Steven Fulop, must refuse to participate until a new host, uncorrupted by bigotry, is announced.

As a gay man who lives with another, and whom is neighbors with the Blands, I have had Molotov cocktails thrown at my home and been the personal victim of a long anti-gay smear campaign waged by Militinia and her sister implying that all gays have HIV and that my housemate and I are pedophiles merely for being gay.

Militinia and family have dredged up the old canard of bigotry targeting the gay community with never quiet “whisper campaigns,” public posters in the neighborhood, and even with actual physical violence.

In 2018, Richard Bland, nephew of Militinia and son of Elvira Bland, plead guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault.

Richard Bland copped a plea to avoid a heavier sentence for paying other people to commit the brutal day time beating of my housemate which resulted in his hospitalization and the wiring shut of his jaw.

Inculcating hatred and bigotry targeting any group should be disqualifying in and of itself for the role of host and moderator of a debate; actually inciting acts of senseless brutality and violence even more so.

This pattern of anti-gay homophobic behavior cannot be rewarded. The candidates must demand a new moderator and host, lest they are stating that anti-gay bigotry is okay in their book.

That neighbors have disputes and people do not always approve of others is natural and part of being human.

What is unacceptable, beyond the pale, and against the very foundations of the Christian ethics of loving thy fellow man as well as hating the sin but loving the sinner, is the anti-gay crusade waged by Militinia Bland and family.

As documented in the news, my housemate forgave the man hired by Richard Bland to attack us because we are gay. He argued before the court and the judge, that not only can people change and express remorse, but that his attacker was being used by the Blands.

I believe in forgiveness and that people can change as well, but the Bland’s, and Militinia in particular, have as of yet not done so.

Rather they have remained committed to homophobic harassment and a loud “whisper campaign” slandering gays in the community.

For the people of Ward F, gay and straight, black and white, Christian and every other type, the Mayoral and Ward F candidates must say a loud and proud NO to bigotry, gay-bashing, and hate crimes by refusing to participate until Militinia Bland is replaced as host and moderator of the debates on October 22 and 28th.

Fidel Hernandez
Jersey City resident

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  1. It is shameful that so many minorities would accept this kind of Mark Robinson style of hate. These people share the same values, IMO, than that of North Carolina’s lieutenant governor.
    If this kind of hate happened near the waterfront, it would not go over very well.

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