Monday, December 11, 2017

So I Live in the Most Racist City in America

The Boston Statehouse on the morning of the election protest
When I first came to Boston I thought it'd just be for education then I'd bounce. Five years after graduation I left Boston for NYC and vowed never to return.

Well we know how that went...

When Michael Che's comments about Boston being the most racist city he's ever visited went viral my reaction was tepid. 

Yes, Boston is racist, but *most* racist? 

Hardly. 

Now that the Boston Globe has announced a deep dive on the topic, I'm watching the series with a close eye. Similar to my thoughts on what it was like raising black kids in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, experiencing racism in Boston has involved layers of insulation: I recognize that I'm insulated by having a lot of friends and family here, socioeconomic status and an incredibly diverse neighborhood across all demographics. 

What Boston does have is access to: education, culture, social and health programs etc. 

When it comes to racism, of course you will find it nationwide, and it definitely comes in different forms. And no, I'm not ignorant of the type of racism that runs rampant in many liberal and progressive circles of northern whites, but the thought of racism coupled with some of the most backwards gun laws and other life-threatening legal statutes plus the thumbing of the nose when it comes to critical thinking and self-education on social issues that I see in other regions of our nation makes me confident in raising my children here in Boston. 

I also recognize that I'm definitely in a unique position coming from being raised in Ohio, schooled in Boston+5 years working here as a young adult followed by 7 years in NYC-metro then 2 in New Hampshire (and no, it's not the whitest state) before returning to Boston last fall. It's given me a unique perspective. 

Let's just say I'm happy where I'm at, and it's taken much effort to cultivate my community. 

But it's not just about me and how I *feel* Boston's racial climate is. 

We have to make it better for everyone. This conversation sponsored by the mayor's office on Saturday is a start. If you're local will I see you there?

More thoughts on this to be shared, but for now follow the Boston Globe series here...

 

P.S. Head over to my Instagram Live feed for a video of my thoughts on coping in the wake of such news as today's NYC Port Authority bombing (and I'm making my favorite Christmas cookies too while I talk...all about balance, I guess). 

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