On Boston’s Shameful Anti-Free Speech Terror

The Boston Free Speech rally, which is being universally reported in the press as the “free speech” rally, was shamefully shut down by a heckler’s protest, surrounded by jackbooted Boston riot police. The Washington Post and Boston.com reported “a handful” of attendees, who never even got to make their speeches as they were terrorized by thousands of left-wing activists.

Shame on Boston.

The rally had been planned long before the Charlottesville white supremacist march. It was organized by John Medlar, a local college student, who has repeatedly denied any connection with Richard Spencer or any of the tiki brigade at Charlottesville.

Boston’s mayor, Democrat Marty Walsh said Friday in response to why the city granted the permit for the gathering:

The courts have made it abundantly clear. They have the right to gather, no matter how repugnant their views are. But they don’t have the right to create unsafe conditions. They have the right to free speech. In return, they have to respect our city.

Their crime? They support President Donald Trump. Anyone curious or supporting conservative values was terrified to even try to go to the rally. They were terrorized by a rabid mob willing to commit violence in the sight of the press and claim its righteousness.

This is not some shining example of tolerance, or free speech. It’s a mob of Jacobins who would turn on their own once they beheaded all the conservatives in their midst, exercising a heckler’s veto as heinous as any Alabama mob at a Dr. King speech in 1967. (I’m speaking figuratively here.)

Boston is not in any way a shining example of racial harmony. This is the city that fought school integration (“bussing”) as ferociously as any Mississippi Jim Crow county. In May, Calvin Hennick reported on a man shouting racist epithets at a Red Sox game. It wasn’t the first time it happened this season.

The leftist, compliant media is reporting this as some kind of win for civil society. But in fact it’s a terrible loss for free speech, tolerance, and a victory for hate.

Who did the Boston Herald reach out to–to find out who would be at the rally? The KKK. They were clearly trying to stir the pot. WaPo reported that Joe Biggs, who writes for InfoWars, a website President Trump favors, was planning to speak but reportedly withdrew. Yes, I know nutcase Alex Jones runs InfoWars, but it’s hardly The Daily Stormer.

In the end, basically nobody spoke except a phalanx of chanting protesters champing at the bit to beat up someone with a MAGA hat. Free speech, my lily-white tuchas (as my Everett, Mass. born-and-bred Italian Jewish stepfather would have said).

Shame on Mayor Walsh. Shame on the media, shame on them all.

C’Mon Boston, Face It, You’re Racist

Unabashedly racist. For the second time in a week, the Red Sox had an issue with a racial slur. This one wasn’t hurled onto the field, but was spoken in earshot of a five-year-old boy and his father.

Calvin Hennick is white, his wife is African-American, and his son is cute as a button. The Boston Globe reported about the incident, which got the man who uttered the slur ejected and banned for life from Fenway Park. But that’s not enough.

Boston has a problem. I have personal knowledge of it. I was born about 10 minutes north of Boston, in Lynn. I did much of my growing up in southern New Hampshire, about 45 minutes up the coast. For comparison, I live twice as far from Atlanta now as I did from Boston then.

Studying history, I learned how northerners handled race relations versus southerners. In the south, we have whites and African-Americans living in close proximity, working with one another, and sometimes literally living across the street or across the tracks. The term I heard was “close but not high.” That’s how racism manifested in the south.

Black nannies can raise the white kids, or even become mistresses to the master of the house, but they can’t ever hold high positions. That’s why in the south, there was Jim Crow and the KKK. The federal government, during reconstruction, forced racial integration of government institutions, which means that once federal troops left, things went back to the way they were. It took a lot of blood and bravery to win back rights that were granted in the nineteenth century.

In the north, it’s the opposite: “high but not close.” African-Americans could hold any position, and were venerated as free people for as long as we had a republic. But they could not mix or live among the racially and ethnically divided neighborhoods. New York City has Harlem, but has long ago abandoned most of its racial and ethnic segregation. Money is the new dividing line in the Big Apple.

Boston, however, still has a core of ethnic enclaves. The Italian North End, Irish Southie. Mattapan, Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain were always the African-American areas. Some neighborhoods have morphed through cycles of rot and are now roaring back, such as Dorchester, where my aunt lived for 50 years (her house, if she kept it, would be worth well over a million dollars). Revere, where my dad and his family grew up, went from Jewish to Hispanic, and the Jews moved west and south.

When forced school integration–“busing“–came to Boston, residents fought it tooth, nail and fist. You’d think the KKK landed in Government Center.

Describing opposition to busing as something other than resistance to school desegregation was a move that obscured the histories of racial discrimination and legal contexts for desegregation orders. In covering school desegregation in Boston and other Northern cities, contemporary news media took up the busing frame, and most histories of the era have followed suit. Americans’ understanding of school desegregation in the North is skewed as a result, emphasizing innocent or unintended “de facto segregation” over the housing covenants, federal mortgage redlining, public-housing segregation, white homeowners associations, and discriminatory real-estate practices that produced and maintained segregated neighborhoods, as well as the policies regarding school siting, districting, and student transfers that produced and maintained segregated schools.

In short, the north covered up their racism, especially in Boston, and never truly dealt with the issue because only southerners were true bigots in their eyes.

When I was growing up, it was very common to hear racial epithets and slurs, even in my own household. I hated it, and I cringe when I hear the N-word, even when uttered by rappers or casually tossed around by the “gangsta” culture.

Most people, even in ethnically segregated Boston, are smart enough not to blurt a racial slur at a Red Sox game, but there are plenty who simply don’t care. One of those hurled the N-word at Orioles outfielder Adam Jones Monday night. Tuesday, Jones was cheered by fans embarrassed by their city’s descent into racism. But then the incident with Hennick and his young son ruined it.

“It’s disheartening, saddening, maddening,’’ [Red Sox President Sam] Kennedy said of the racist behavior. “That said, we have to recognize that this exists in our culture, it exists in Boston, and it exists in other cities around the world. It’s not an indictment on Boston and this marketplace, it’s an indictment on the ignorant people and intolerant people who utter these words and say these things and they need to be held accountable.’’

Sorry, Sam. It is definitely an indictment on Boston. In March, SNL cast member Michael Che called Boston “the most racist city he’s ever visited.” When I wrote about it, I was tongue-in-cheek and focused on the Boston Globe’s hunt for homophobia and Trump-supporting neo-Nazis. Those aren’t really problems in Boston. But skin color and ethnic racism is alive and well in The Hub.

All the government intervention, marches, programs, and liberal bedwetting isn’t going to solve this problem. It’s deeply embedded. But living in denial, and passing it off as “ignorant people and intolerant people” (code words for Trump supporters to liberal ears) is never going to solve this.

Boston has to own it: the city has a large and generally ignored problem with racism. The first step toward healing is admitting there’s a problem. This problem is not tied to party politics. It’s historical, social, and deep. The sooner the city and its residents face it, the sooner it can begin to heal. Or the Red Sox can keep banning fans for life and continue to live in denial.

Boston: Where Candidates Grabbing Reporters Is OK (For Democrats)

Lowell, Massachusetts is only a few minutes outside Boston. Lowell is also former Trump body man and political sewer rat Corey Lewandowski’s hometown. Remember when Lewandowski pushed then-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, setting off a chain of events leading to an assault charge, which was then dropped, and a mass exodus of every decent journalist from Breitbart?

The press was all over it. Of course it didn’t help when little-man Lewandowski played the idiot and Breitbart threw Fields under the bus, but had he apologized, do you think the media would have have let it go? (Don’t answer that.)

Well, Boston mayoral candidate City Councilor Tito Jackson grabbed a WGBH (public television) reporter, last week. This led to the station’s general manager sending Jackson a letter of complaint.

“You engaged in physical contact with our reporter during a one-on-one interview. We stand by our reporter’s account that you grasped her forearm, pushed it aside and then removed your hand,” Redo wrote. “It is unacceptable conduct to engage with a member of the press physically–in any manner.”

Jackson called the station and apologized.

“I’m sorry… I never want anyone to feel that way… I apologize,” Jackson said. “I really respect the long-term relationship with the station and I should have picked up the phone and apologized from the get-go.”

End of story? The Boston Globe reported it as straight news and dropped it. Of course, it was just a small thing, and he apologized. No harm, no foul. And politics is so civil in Boston, right? (Don’t answer that.)

Incumbent Mayor Marty Walsh didn’t tweet anything, and kept his public comments very low-key about Jackson’s hands-on approach to a reporter. There were no calls of misogyny or investigation into this, or charges to prefer. No Massachusetts politicians, senators, or members of congress weighed in.

It was nothing. That’s because they’re all Democrats.

If Jackson had been a Republican, oh boy, you’d see the scandal machine turbines fired up at 110 percent of rated thrust.

Everything is civil, courteous and positively chummy in a race among Democrats in the true-blue Bay State. It’s even OK to grab female reporters by the arm, as long as you apologize. The whole matter will be dropped.

Would they be so eager to forgive and forget if a Republican made the same mistake and apologized? (Don’t answer that.)

This post has been edited to acknowledge the fact that Mayor Marty Walsh did publicly condemn Jackson’s behavior, according to one of our sources.

Michael Che May Be Right About Boston

Last month, SNL “Weekend Update” co-anchor Michael Che told a Boston University crowd that The Hub is “the most racist city” he’s ever visited. Then he refused to apologize amid a flood of criticism.

It might have been dark comedy, but is Che right?

The Boston Globe highlighted a ProPublica project called “Documenting Hate,” that tracks “bias incidents and hate crimes across the country since the presidential election.” I don’t know why ProPublica decided that hate and bias only existed since Nov. 8, 2016, but that’s beside the point.

In fact, ProPublica is a left-wing blog. That’s the only reason they would track “hate crimes” from the day Trump was elected president. But this is about Boston, not Trump. Boston is a left-wing town.

Separately, a hot line set up by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office recorded more than 1,700 calls through the end of February. She established the hot line a week after the presidential election for people to call if they experienced or witnessed bias-motivated threats, harassment, or violence.

Roughly 275 reported incidents required follow-up with local authorities, including police and school officials, according to spokeswoman Emalie Gainey.

Some of the “unsettling” events included 14-year-old Zaki Aloui witnessing an “intolerant driver” flashing a card reading “Show Me Your Green Card.” Horror.

“She was just seeing a brown child cross the street,” [Aloui’s mother Pamela] Pleasants said. “Given the climate in this country, that somebody felt so emboldened driving through a school campus that celebrates diversity, and felt the liberty to hold up that sign to kids . . . I was profoundly angry and hurt.”

They reported the incident to the town police. Really? When I was a teenager in New Hampshire, a young driver gave my stepfather the finger from her car. He followed her to the local shopping center and when she pulled in, he gave her a tongue-lashing. We did not go to the police (who would have laughed).

In a separate incident in Boston’s South End, Jack Donahue, a 52-year-old actor who is gay, said two men in a truck unleashed a fusillade of profanities at him last month, punctuated by antigay slurs, after he honked at them for not moving when a traffic light turned green.

It marked the third time in the past six months people have targeted him with offensive homophobic remarks — words that can cut deep, he said.

“You turn into a 12-year-old really fast because you feel silly and hurt,” Donahue said.

I honestly feel for anyone–gay, straight, or transsexual–who has to endure bullying or denigrating remarks for who they are. But tell me, how would “two men in a truck” know who Donohue is or his sexual orientation? It seems like they cussed him out for honking–a Boston tradition as old as the automobile–and used some well-worn epithets that happened to be more offensive to a gay man.

Or was Donohue sporting enough car bling announcing his gayness to the world that nobody could possibly mistake him for anything else? The Globe didn’t say.

Carro Halpin has been asking herself similar questions. Halpin, who works in a small public relations agency in downtown Boston, recently dashed out to grab something for lunch and heard a man shouting at a parking enforcement officer. The man, who was white, had parked in a no-parking zone and returned to a ticket on his car. The officer, who was black, was walking away.

The irate driver screamed profanities, calling the officer a “terrorist” and expressing relief that Donald Trump was president, Halpin said.

Ah, there it is: the link to Trump. Like nobody had ever yelled at a police officer before he was elected. Like no president ever got involved in Boston-area police and race relations (remember Obama’s “beer summit?”).

“It’s scary that people who think this behavior is OK are coming out of the woodwork,” Halpin said. The incident happened just a couple weeks after a swastika was scratched onto a car in Halpin’s Brighton neighborhood.

Halpin, who is white and 25 years old, watched in amazement as the man with the ticket kept yelling. Other bystanders watched, too. None of them said or did anything.

“I wish I did something,” Halpin said.

“I was going to call the police, if it kept going,” she said. “I wanted to say something at the guy, but I didn’t want him to scream at me and beat me up.”

These are simply stories of scared little snowflakes projecting their fear onto others. Nobody threatened to beat anyone up, but the assumption is a Trump voter would do this, and presumably scratch a swastika into a car.

Yes, Boston is a hateful, racist place. If you’re a conservative I can’t even imagine the hate you’d experience. Smell the tolerance, friends.

And the next time a liberal accuses you of being a racist hater because you celebrated Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, call the police and tell them you’re afraid they might beat you up. Let me know how that works out.