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Mayor Apologizes for Racist Language

While rumors of racial slurs and other untoward behavior continued to encircle New Jersey mayor Sal Bonaccorso, he steadfastly denied any involvement, calling the accusations offensive. But once evidence proved otherwise, the mayor was forced into a quick about-face. Mayor Bonaccorso said in a YouTube video, “It was wrong. I am embarrassed and ashamed to have spoken that way about a race of people.”

His swift admission was prompted by the release of several audio recordings as part of an investigation. It unearthed not only the racial slurs themselves, but the fact that the city of Clark Township had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements and other legal proceedings to prevent them from being found.

The recordings were part of a lawsuit that had been drafted by Antonio Manata, previously a lieutenant with the Clark Police Department. He had complained for years of rampant racism and sexism in the department, but felt his progress at reporting the troublesome behavior had been stonewalled by the mayor and other top leaders. To document the behaviors, Manata made a series of secret recordings of the mayor and other high-level CPD officers. When he threatened to expose them, the town agreed to pay large sums of money to get him to drop the lawsuit and relinquish the recordings.

At a town council meeting after the story came to light, Bonaccorso tried to plead his case with the community, saying he disagreed with the decision to settle. But Clark resident La’Tesha Sampson, said she was disappointed at the mayor’s lack of apology. She called his initial response “really, really disturbing.”

The criticism after that council meeting is what prompted the mayor’s YouTube apology. Bonaccorso says he’s learned a lot from recent protests for racial justice, especially those that occurred in the wake of George Floyd’s killing during the summer of 2020. He just hadn’t learned enough to be truthful about his mistakes … at least not until he had no other choice.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Jesus reserved his harshest criticisms for leaders who made a show of respectability but gave voice or thought to evil in private.

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