Opinion: Protesting The Name "Olde Freehold Day"

Again, I am protesting the name of the upcoming celebration which is "Olde Freehold Day."  

The name suggests life in Freehold as it was in the 20th century as well as 2003.  

Olde Freehold practiced segregation and bigotry against its black residents. Blacks had to go to an all-black school.  Blacks were not allowed in restaurants, hotels except as servants, maids and janitors.  Blacks were not allowed to join the police and fire depts.  

In 2004, Freehold was sued in federal court because the muster zone was closed and they were not allowed to assemble in public places.  Free suffered several race riots in the latter part of the 20th century.  

I say celebrate Freehold but not the old hateful bigoted Freehold.  
Let all of us move away from that.
                                                Tom Baldwin

Vic Trolla May 09, 2014 at 10:03 AM
Tom, back in that day this disgusting behavior was unfortunately practiced nearly everywhere a large African American population coexisted with caucasians. Many towns across the country have their own town days like Olde Freehold Day. I have gone for years and my kids loved it. I have never seen any inkling that this fun day that integrates everyone celebrates "the old hateful bigoted freehold." If you were to go, you would enjoy great music, eat delicious food, play games with the kids, meet new businesses and organizations in their booths and enjoy the pretty surroundings of the lake and park. You would meet all kinds of people (black, white, hispanic, etc.) and see how well everyone gets along. I'm not trying to insult you, Mr. Baldwin, but it appears that the only one holding on to those bad old days is you. We live in a much better place today, please join us.
thomas baldwin May 09, 2014 at 10:59 AM
mr. trolla: i thank you very much for your comments. they were very thoughtful and i feel very insightful. every word you stated was very truthful. what i am trying to get across is not that freehold is the only city holding celebrations such as this, but their celebration is more involved in the present. i don't think anyone in their right mind wants to celebrate a time that was filled with injustice. i will concede that the freehold celebrations of the past were fun filled and enjoyed by everyone in attendance. i just have a hard time understanding why there is such an objection to leaving out the word, "olde". for example, christmas day is when christmas and all that it stands for is celebrated. labor day is when everyone especially celebrates and remembers the struggles, sacrifices and triumphs of the working man. the same with independance day when we celebrate the sacrifices our ancestors made so we could be free from the tyranny of the united kingdom. words have meanings. i am the first to agree with you that we live in a much better place today. let us celebrate "freehold day" the better place rather than olde freehold which represented the worst of times....tom
Vic Trolla May 09, 2014 at 12:21 PM
Thank you very much for your gracious response, Tom. I appreciate the time and your passion in discussing why "olde" is distasteful to you. You do have some validity there. I think you mean that the historic visions people have when they see that word not only has to do with old wooden buildings, farms, general stores, carriages and women in bonnets, but also how blacks were treated. Interesting viewpoint that I never thought of before due to my own ignorance.
thomas baldwin May 09, 2014 at 07:30 PM
mr. trolla: again, i thank you very much for responding to my post. it is greatly appreciated. i believe that you are right. most people respond to all the things that you have said when it comes to remembering the olden times. there certainly is nothing wrong with this. i love to remember dear relatives and friends that have passed on, the old buildings, cars, stores and things familiar with times past that were associated with happy memories. however when you are remembering times past, people have to remember all things in general, like the great depression, the great war, korea, the inequalities, the holacaust, and everything else that this country and the world has gone through. i have failed to mention vietnam that the younger generation suffered through and the present day wars that we have been involved in. so when "olde" in mentioned as a theme for a celebration involving a whole city these can bring back memories that can be difficult for a great number of people. it is not living in the past. i dare any one in their right mind to tell a person of the jewish faith that to remember the atrocities that happened to their ancestors is living in the past. mr. trolla, the last thing you are is ignorant. again, i appreciate your taking time to read and respond to my most...tom baldwin


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