Senator Greenstein and Assemblyman Benson Join Nast Opposition
State Senator Linda R. Greenstein and Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson have joined the growing opposition to the nomination of Thomas Nast for the New Jersey Hall of Fame. The Senator and Assemblyman have sent a joint letter to the Board of Commissioners of the NJ Hall of fame to request that Nast be removed from the nominees. The letter to the Board of Commissioners stated:
While Mr. Nast is undeniably an important historical figure, he was also a proponent of the bigotry of his time. His method of publicizing and opposing the corruption of political machines, such as Tammany Hall, involved portraying Irish-Americans as remorseless, apelike savages. Such cartoons as “The American River Ganges,” “The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things,” and “St. Patrick’s Day 1867” spurred offensive stereotyping of the Irish.
As Legislators representing a sizeable Irish-Catholic community, we respectfully request that the Board remove Mr. Nast’s name from the list of nominees. It would be an injustice to have a man who has committed such an offense against so many of the people of New Jersey be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, especially when there is a multitude of other deserving and respectable candidates.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter. If you wish to discuss this issue in more detail or have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to your prompt response.
Linda R. Greenstein; Senator, 14th District
Daniel R. Benson; Assemblyman, 14th District