Boston is a Racist City

I wrote earlier about my objections to Renée Graham’s saying that Boston is a Racist City.  Yet don’t disagree with much of what she said.  Things have happened in Boston.  Lots of them.  She left out how Bill Russell was treated.  And more.  There is a legacy of events of racism here in our city.  She writes about them and catalogs them.  And her latest column is a sort of apology for the broad strokes all the while cloaked in a more accusations.  Yet phrases from the article are so true and hateful.  If I, a white man, included the words of “Jeff N.” directly, well, his words were hateful.  I can’t say them.  I can’t reprint them.  I get that.  And she and I, I won’t address her by her first name, I’ll respect that we haven’t met, I won’t offer that familiarity, we don’t disagree on all that much.  But the words “Boston is a Racist City” cross a line.  They are a label, a broad brushstroke of hate that includes all.  There is a lot of good in Boston.  But those words dismiss it.

I said a little of it with what I wrote before.  Her words were too broad, they incited further division and ignored the things that have happened to lesson the hate, the divide.  They are good in that they called out the haters, but they painted the healers with the same ugliness.  It’s not simple.  Yeah, I get what inherent bias means.  We both, we all have it.  It holds us all back from the healing.

I also get this.  Words of incitement don’t heal.  And the divides, the hatred, won’t stop until white people like me keep telling the racist bastards that you are not part of the world that matters.


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