Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Letter from a New Jerseyan

A rant:

I was reading a book by one of my recent favorite authors (and a NYT bestseller, at that), when I came across a passage in the book where the main character and her friend--in the span of two lines-- insulted New Jersey.


And I nearly threw the book across the gym. (I didn't, of course, because it's a BOOK and books are precious, precious things... but I did think about it.)

In that moment, the idea for this post was born.

Dear Authors (and Publishers),

I am from New Jersey.  I love being from New Jersey.  I am one of your readers and contribute to your income.

Remember that NJ is the most densely populated and second wealthiest per capita state in the US.  (Source: , )  We. Buy. Books. Too.

Can you please be a little bit more original and quit bashing on a percentage of your readers?

I understand that we've traditionally been an easy target.  I'm not QUITE sure why, but people seem to love to hate us.  Stereotypes about our state seem to abound.  (psst... most of the cast of the Jersey shore-- esp the most obnoxious ones?  Not from NJ-- source: )

BUT, remember:
  • That accent that people love to imitate?  I really don't know many people from NJ who actually sound like that.  I'm REALLY tired of people saying that I don't sound like I'm from New Jersey.  We don't all sound like "The Nanny."
  • Every time people from most other states bash us... they're actually smacking NJ after benefiting from our money. "New Jersey has the highest disparity of any state in the United States between what it gives to the federal government and what it receives. In fiscal year 2005, New Jersey taxpayers gave the federal government $77 billion, while only receiving $55 billion. This difference is higher than any other state and means that for every $1 New Jersey taxpayers send to Washington, the state only receives $0.61 in return. This calculation is applied correctly after making the federal government deficit neutral, as sometimes the federal government spends more than it receives. As of 2005, New Jersey has never been above 48th in rank for per capita federal spending (with a rank of 50th for the majority of that time) since 1982, while being second or third in per capita federal taxes paid to Washington." (source:
  • Most of our state is wooded and farmland.  We're known for our cranberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and peaches.  We have beautiful forests and beaches, from the rolling hills of Warren and Sussex counties to Appalacian trail to our Pinelands and our very (well known) shore.
  • We don't all have big hair or have a taste for gaudy clothing
  • And, no, we're not all in the mob.
So, the next time that you feel like bashing our state... please don't. Because it's not nice, it's not funny, and frankly, it's getting old.

Issy, a proud South Jersey girl

PS: I'll write another post soon showcasing some of the really beautiful places that I love in my home state

A beautful November day in the NJ Pine Barrens (this picture was taken less than 1/2 mile from my home)

1 comment:

  1. The most I remember seeing of NJ is the NJ Turnpike. It's not somewhere we've ever stopped off and visited, so I look forward to being educated about your much-maligned home state. I have to say, though, I bristle similarly at the way people from the South are often portrayed. Yes, there are dim-witted, hillbilly hicks in the South. But not everyone's like that. Most Southerners I know (and that's quite a few considering I live in NC) are bright, funny, and articulate. One's accent doesn't define a person... and being from the UK I could *so* blog about that... and perhaps I will one day soon! Thanks for the idea, Isabel!! :)