Showing Moral Courage: Mayor Marty Small, Sr.

[June 2, 2020]  After a peaceful day of protests in Atlantic City, New Jersey, mostly black rioters, started destroying storefronts throughout the city.  Atlantic City is small compared to Minneapolis, New York City, or Seattle.  But it’s mayor, Marty Small, Sr., is a big man, a man with ideas on how to make the lives of his citizens better.  And, he was the only city mayor I would find who had the moral courage to stand up to the looters and vandals destroying his city.

“I’m shamed, embarrassed, hurt.  Media from all around the world (are) calling me because of what happened in Atlantic City tonight.  Y’all set us back today. …  Y’all let it happen.”1Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small, Sr.

Storefronts were broken into, and items were stolen.  The local newspaper, The Press of Atlantic City, showed more than 50 photographs, many of the pictures displaying groups of looters taking merchandise from stores.  This past Sunday afternoon, about 300 people gathered for a peaceful protest of the killing of George Floyd and police brutality.1  Soon, however, this gave way to looting and confrontations with local police.

This is sickening, y’all,” Mayor Small said, who was present at the protests and saw the looting.  “You all got to live here, and you all let it happen.”  Mayor Small’s comments are a rare glimpse into an honest man who wants the best for all his citizens regardless of race, income, or status.  From those who know him, he tells things as he sees them.  Mayor Small is questioning the motives of those looting and burning.  What do they expect to gain?  Today, he was showing the moral courage that our big city mayors should consider immulating.

Discussing the problems of Atlantic City at a press conference, he also talked about economic inequalities and suggested that residents have a hand in it, as well.

“People want to blame others for the black community’s issues. … Problem is, let’s be honest with one another.  We’ve got to get our (expletive) together.”

Sometimes being a leader means being blunt.  That do that to get the attention of those around them.  Despite the newspaper editing his comments, I can say with conviction that when Mayor Small talks, people listen.  Here that, big-city mayors?  Pay attention to this man.  He speaks from the heart and speaks with courage.


Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

21 thoughts on “Showing Moral Courage: Mayor Marty Small, Sr.

  1. Len Jakosky

    He is indeed rare to act with such courage.

  2. Bill Sanders, Jr.

    Good article again and all should read it. The news media will ignore people like Mayor Small because he doesn’t fit their narrative.

    1. Doug Smith

      Media bias is a fact of life. That is why we need to get the word out about good people like we see in this local mayor who called out the looters and those that would destroy.

  3. Stacey Borden

    I’ve enjoyed your short series on those real people who show moral courage. Moral courage is very difficult. A Vietnam combat vet I know said moral courage is more difficult than physical courage. This guy has two silver star medals and four purple hearts to show for his physical courage. Moral courage is something everyone struggles for.

    1. Linux Man

      Yes, must be a really good man with morals (very rare these days).

  4. Watson Bell

    There is no surprise that most people no longer trust either politicians or the media. Both have behaved badly over the past few days.

    1. Max Foster

      We can ‘see’ a person’s true character when they act during times of great stress. We are seeing the true colors of those in politics and in news organizations. Too bad most of them have not acted with honor. I hope this mayor of Atlantic City is rewarded for his service to his community.

  5. Lynn Pitts

    Thanks Gen. Satterfield for giving everyone a small glimmer of hope by showing us that there are some good folks in government.

  6. Joe Omerrod

    Makes me feel better that there are really politicians out there who are willing to do something constructive rather than add fuel to the fire. There is a place for peaceful protests but in American today the lines are blurred between peaceful protesters and violent mobs. They are, for all intents, one and the same. By day peaceful, by night vandals.

    1. Karl J.

      And the good people like AC mayor Marty Small are drowned out by those who would subvert their responsibility for power.

      1. Georgie B.

        … and that is the sad part of this whole thing. I also think that our lockdowns during the COVID-19 crisis is part of the explanation for greasing the skids of recent violent protests.

      2. Newbie Yunger

        Right Karl and Georgie, but no excuse for the wanton destruction we are seeing happening across the nation. Those who want to get the word out about police brutality (very rare nowadays) are having their message co-opted and destroy by those who would destroy.

  7. Randy Goodman

    If everyone did what this guy in Atlantic City did to call out the looters and arsonists, the results would be much better. Protesters would have gotten their message out and businesses would not have been destroyed. Damage would have been at a minimum. This is how a good community deals with problems. However, the destruction has completely obliterated the message of blacks in America. We only see violence from blacks. Sad situation.

  8. Newtown Manager

    Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr.held a press conference following Sunday’s protest events at Michigan and Arctic Avenues The Walk in Atlantic City Monday June 1, 2020. A cleanup effort by community leaders and members toke place immediately after Small’s presser.

    1. Eric Coda

      Looks like someone is doing something constructive. Good for them!

  9. Tom Bushmaster

    Smart of him to call out criminal behavior. Long ago this was not considered courage, so much as common sense.

    1. Greg Heyman

      Good thing that this small city has a real mayor and not some PC ideology nitwit.

    2. Harry Donner

      Good for Atlantic City, NJ. You would not expect this from a small town mayor who normally look to the big cities to see how to act. I guess this guy will not be running for governor anytime soon.

      1. Yusaf from Texas

        Right and don’t expect it either.

      2. JT Patterson

        Hi Harry. You are correct, once again. We see people jockeying for political power. Like Keith Ellison DA of Minnesota, who now will “Lead Prosecution Of George Floyd’s Death.” Ellison is a racist of the worst kind. He is the last person that should be leading an investigation into a racist incident.

        1. Harry Donner

          Thanks JT and all those who commented. Much ablidged.

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