Dot rat lodges complaint over Dorchester warning with French embassy - in Beijing

Mike Shaw, now living in Beijing, posts a copy of the letter he delivered to the French embassy there over the official government warning to French citizens to stay out of Dorchester:

Did you know that the largest party ever thrown in my city’s history did not come when one of our sports teams won a championship, which your Ministry said might be a dangerous time to be in the city? It happened when we first learned that the Parisians who had supported our fight for freedom had risen up and stormed the Bastille prison. There was feasting and drinking and fireworks for three straight days. 3 million people may have come to Boston when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, but the parade for our baseball team lasted just a few hours. Our great friends across the seas making a stand for liberty, equality and fraternity shut down what was then North America’s most important port for days.

Fellow Dot rat Lawrence O'Donnell joins in:

H/t Dorchester Reporter.



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      How much more overblown can this get?

      By on

      To quote the great Nigel Tufnel, "none more overblown."

      Sweet lord, if the folks complaining about this reasonable advice from the French embassy invested as much time and energy into fixing some of the real problems that dorchester faces, perhaps the advice would not need to be given in the first place.

      I can't believe its 2013 and we are arguing over whether it's advisable for foreign tourists to walk around dorchester at nite.

      Sorry, Perception Is The Problem

      I lived in Dot for 30 years. Other than schoolyard scrapes, nothing bad happened to me there. I was assaulted in Harvard Square, racially assaulted in Central Square, had my car broken into Beacon Hill, Kittery, and Allston. The point is that bad stuff happens everywhere.

      What gets my ire is a blanket statement about where I grew up from the Google Earth perspective. Bad things happen in Dot, yes. Can you walk there at night, in most places yes. As a native Dorcastrian, I would like a wee more consideration from Paris before a general degradation.

      Relative fail

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      Statistics, please.

      Try here

      Compare Boston with smaller St. Louis. In 2012, the breakdown was like this-

      Violent Crimes overall- Boston 5,266, St. Louis 5,661
      Murder- Boston 57, St. Louis 113
      Aggravated Assault- Boston 3,050, St. Louis 3,571

      Other posters, looking to seem tough as they have lived in other cities, where apparently proper English is unknown, have noted that Boston has relatively little crime, that it much safer than other cities. Therefore, if Boston, or specifically a third of the city, is unsafe, wouldn't it be easier for the French government to make a blanket statement that cities in the United States are unsafe and that citizens should take due care. Heck, if they did that there would be no issue.

      However, the game is perception. I'm with Costello. Sure, there are parts of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan that are unsafe, but the communities overall are relatively safe. I run through all three of them, Mattapan more than the others. I'd walk down any part of Dot Ave any time of day, the irony being that the part I'd feel least safe in is the Southie part.

      Take a walk down Dot Ave some day, or visit Mattapan or Dudley Squares. The Shirley Eustis House is supposedly nice (poor hours keep me from verifying it.) Heck, go down to Carson Beach and walk to the Kennedy Library some nice day. It's a great walk. Don't be scared by the French, they scare too quickly.

      Thanks Anon

      My car got broken into 23 years ago, not 20. How'd you know. Why don't you post with your name instead of snide remarks behind anonymous postings? I hope your children lose in beauty contests to Malcolm Gladwell.

      That's not a rebuttal.

      That's not a rebuttal. Pointing out the person making the criticism is anonymous does not negate arguments. Including an argument arguing against your argument. If the a person based on some kind of authority, then questioning the person of personal bias or some kind of quality (like lack questioning person's expertise) may invalidate some kind of point said by person. But I don't see it being applicable when this anon's point was your point was based on being anecdotal (pointing that out does not require expertise or impartiality or anything else I may missed - it just requires anecdotal evidence is a fallacy or not).

      Noting that never getting your car broke in 23 years ago in Beacon Hill but not in Dorchester hits the definition of being anecdotal. Like it or not, the anon is correct in that claim. The best counterargument is pseudonym-unregistered-above-you with counterargument of the statistics of Dorchester. That point of that argument that the statistics, while higher in the area than other areas within Boston, may have merit of not being high enough to make such specific warning. It is truth that Boston dangerous area is far lower than other dangerous area of America. In absolute terms - where the numbers are relatively less than other areas, but still dangerous enough to make a recommendation as the French Consulate - is not quite as established in that commentator.

      But nonetheless, that is actually a decent rebuttal with some merits though leaves some debatable questions. Calling out the anon for not revealing his/her name is not. And it annoys me enough to write this. I guess I am writing under a pseudonym which I prefer to keep as taught to for being on the internet. I can make quite a number of arguments on the importance and principle of it while it seems more and more areas seems to be moving against both anonymity and pseudonyms. But regardless, if I copy and paste his lines under my pseudonym, does it all of a sudden makes it more true or false? Does it signing with my real name?

      I recognize after lurking and sometimes participating that the unlike comments if more likely to come from an anon (despite sometimes some registered members does it too... maybe including this post as I'm not sure it would be that well liked). I do not contest that. Also, the anon could have made that point without going into snark for the last sentence. Snarkiness annoys me a lot too, though it didn't annoys me enough in this case to make a post (For the record, I made a few post in the past attacking that too, but it been a few months to a year). However, for some reason, arguments against the person without pointing out any reason while it would have any bearing to the claimed point does bother me a lot and, in this case, enough to write this.

      I swear to god...

      By on

      Only Boston would make this much of a fuss over something like this. HOW DARE THEY TALK ABOUT MY CITY LIKE THIS??

      It sucks to me that this

      By on

      It sucks to me that this conversation has to be about why the French consulate is so obviously ignorant without mention of the reasons for why they might draw this conclusion. If you really seek to change minds, first acknowledge the reasoning behind that which you claim is ignorant. I watched the Lawrence O'Donnell response and there was zero mention of the reasons why the French consulate might make such statements. That is counterproductive and in no way is about changing minds. They are looking at statistics; which sadly, is all an unfamiliar person has to go by. On statistics, yes, you are more likely to be a victim of crime in certain neighborhoods over others. This does not mean that the entirety of the neighborhood is crime ridden. But if you aren't from Boston, you may find yourself wishing you had this advice if you don't know the street to street politics here. People should stop pretending there isn't a problem and at the very least level with the reasons for why someone might think there is. That's the only way to change minds.

      Emblematic, I guess...

      Lawrence O'Donnell's tenuous grasp of his Boston accent mimics his relationship with facts. Race-baiting has been very profitable to both MSNBC and the O'Donnell family. Ask any long-term Southie resident.

      Why would these French

      By on

      Why would these French tourists need to be in Dorchester anyway? Seems like reasonable travel advice.. I can't think of a reason they would go there in the first place. By letting them know where they may want to avoid seems very sense able.. Dorchester is not St. Louis or east Atlanta but it is Dorchester......

      To visit the JFK Library

      By on

      Which was once in a very unsafe part of Dorchester. Beyond that, they would maybe be visiting friends and relatives. Mattapan has a large concentration of Haitians, as does the part of Dorchester close to Mattapan (of course, as my mother would say, Mattapan is a part of Dorchester anyway.) I know Haitians in Boston who have relatives in France.

      In the end, the French took a swipe at Dorchester, and Dot Rats don't take such things lightly. I am a bit sad that residents of Roxbury and Mattapan haven't made noise. French tourists might want to visit the Malcolm Little house on Fort Hill, or enjoy the zoo at Franklin Park. Or do something in Mattapan. It's basically residential, so I cannot even think of what a tourist would visit.

      Let's be honest the only

      By on

      Let's be honest the only people offended by this are from "that side" of Dot Ave. and like the French tell their kids to avoid the parts with all the basketball courts.

      Which side of Dot Ave is Codman Academy on?

      By on

      That's right, the "basketball court" side. As posters on an earlier article on this noted, the east side is the good side, the west side is, what, more dangerous than Ciudad Juarez. Yet it is students from the "dangerous" side of Dot Ave that are on national television (okay cable, and at that is the story really that big?) making a stink about it.

      You know there are basketball courts throughout the city? And they even play basketball in France.