The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.
— Martin Luther King
Change takes time. But it's still happening, even if we can't see it.
SOMETIMES I FEEL SORRY for any BEAR Group people who joined us during the Christie regime. They didn’t get to see the awesome things we did before our giant parasite of a governor latched his huge pinchers into New Jersey. Like how our attorney Doris Lin got the hunt stopped in court... for three straight years. Or the day TEN of us were arrested for civil disobedience and direct action. And how we influenced not one, but THREE administrations to stop the hunts.
Those were the days. But don’t be fooled into thinking this giant gubernatorial bloodsucker hurt us in any way.
We are still bending the arc of the moral universe toward justice for black bears. It's just that most change takes time. (think Gandhi, MLK, the Suffragettes) And sometimes we have setbacks. But change still comes, even if it's hard to see.
Remember how 92.4% of the public comments to the DEP were AGAINST the hunt? That was because of us. And when the DEP tried to fudge those numbers, we went to Trenton and counted every single comment and set the record straight.
The public outcry about Pedals? Our advocacy played a huge role. We not only helped share his message and raise donations, but I believe that the existing groundswell of support for bears – that we created – helped tremendously.
IT WAS CHRISTIE who blocked the moral bridge. Were he a statesmen like governors before him, he would have stopped the hunts. Instead, his bullies in the DEP showed their true colors, allowing Pedals to be killed by a bow hunter.
But there are consequences for everything, and so the arc bends. Thanks to our advocacy, our director Angi Metler, and to our champion, Senator Lesniak, we now have a black bear protection bill. And it's named for Pedals.
PEDALS’ LAW, when passed, will ban bear hunting for 5 years, while non-lethal bear management is implemented. (I’m talking real management. Not the fake kind that the DEP spits out.) That means bear-resistant containers in bear country, and a ban on baiting by hunters. We’ll have a true bearsmart New Jersey. And we'll be well on our way to banning the hunt.
This is how the arc bends. Slowly, but towards justice.
BTW, have you noticed the background pic on the Senator Lesniak's Pedals' Law page? Does it look familiar? It should :) That’s us at the weigh station, standing up to the DEP and laying the groundwork for change. Bending the arc.
The hunt is going on now. To quote our director, Angi Metler, please be good to yourselves. Please click here to follow the BEAR Group on Facebook for action alerts. To make a tax-deductible donation to help save bears, please click here.
Original artwork by DigitDreams.