You Can’t Make an Omelette …

Poem and illustration by Mary L. Rice,

Is Boston Super Racist?

Readers weigh in on the question posed in a Between the Lines of the same name in the March 30-April 5, 2017.

Via Facebook

Evan H Gregg: “Beloved Boston?” This is Western Mass, kid. Only people from Boston love Boston around here.

— Ben Easton: Well put, man! What grinds my gears is those stupid traffic message signs — “Use yah blinka!” — that they put up out here. It’s like, if you’re trying to be cute, you can dump those on the Mass Pike from exit 9 to Boston (anywhere east of 495).

— Evan H Gregg: I’m a little more concerned with the unbalanced distribution of state tax money and general lack of respect or support for anything “westah woostah.”

Steven Carrion: Wicked racist guy, hey!

Thomas Fleming: Before I moved to New England, yeah, definitely had that reputation.

Julia Clark: Whaaa? Why are we talking about Boston? A poor representation of Massachusetts as a whole (so to speak), I find it super annoying when Western Mass people try to bond with Boston — which is a forced attitude.

Jim Countryman: Yes.

Lucy Muller: Look, some people will always be racist or just not like a person for one reason or another. Concentrate on yourself and your behavior.


I was struck by your comment: “I don’t see the racism that people of color see because of my privilege.”

A few years ago a friend visited me when I lived in Boston, and he kept asking: “How are you doing here?” Well, after the third inquiry I asked what he was getting at. He told me Boston was the most racist city he’d ever visited, and he was concerned about me living there. I told him I didn’t get that impression, but I’d take his word for it because I suspect some people would feel comfortable saying things around him as a white man, that they’d never say around me as a black woman.

Perhaps this anecdotal story answers your question. Some white people pay attention to the hateful comments made about people of color, and some do not.

— Denise Presley,

South Hadley