No, the N-word didn't trend on Twitter in Boston, but that doesn't mean we're not racist

Barstool Sports finds the tweet that started the whole meme about how racist Bostonians made the N-word trend - and the tweet author's admission he just made the statement up.

Yes, he made it up, but that didn't stop the media from wailing about racist Bostonians.

Yesterday afternoon, when I heard about how racist Bruins fans allegedly are, I went looking for evidence.

I did find one deleted tweet from a high-school girl in Haverhill that showed a noose with a tagline about how she tied that for Subban (girl has since deleted her Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest accounts, girl may yet learn that nothing really gets deleted on the Internet). But for the most part, the relatively few actual racist tweets I found (as opposed to the thousands of other tweets condemning those tweets) were either from people who lived in places such as East Texas or who showed absolutely no sign of actually being from Boston or being Bruins fans. One guy posted this explanation for his racist tweet:

why do people assume I'm a Boston fan lol I just really hate Montreal with a passion.

But not so fast there, Boston. Even if Bruins fans were not tearing into Subban's race, doesn't mean we don't have issues. City Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) this morning started tweeting with the hashtag #bostonracist:

We will be truly #BostonStrong when we care about a murder on Blue Hill Ave as much as a bombing on Boylston St. #boston #BostonRacist

We'll truly be #BostonStrong when the 33 yr disparity in life expectancy between BackBay(91.9) & Roxbury(58.9) is closed.

How about 35 murders and 237 shootings? If #bostonstrong is going to be real it must mean the whole city

He goes into more detail on Facebook.



Free tagging: 



can Tweet what ever you want because Al Sharpton is an asshole. Foxlogic.


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He is. Logic

I have *zero* interest in

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I have *zero* interest in living to be 91.9, I need to move.

Independent of what one thinks of Jackson's position that's *awesome* rhetoric.

Ya it's the white mans fault

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Ya it's the white mans fault people in Roxbury shoot each other. When Tito, the black community, and white liberals stop crying over tweets and the ramblings of an 81 year old man and finally address the real problems (Black-on-black violence) maybe we can see some improvement in the age disparity.

You're not really getting what he's saying

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He's not blaming whites for murders off Blue Hill Avenue. He is saying that, as a city, we seem to care more about white murders than black ones. He's saying that if this is really one city, we should be trying to stop violence down Blue Hill Avenue as much as elsewhere - and to helping victims as much as we help victims of violence in the paler parts of the city.

It's pretty endemic. Compare the coverage Amy Lord's murder got with the coverage the murder of that kid in the Tremont Street phone store the same week got.

Jackson, in fact, has been working for some time to deal with the issue of black-on-black violence.

Tito's comments are intriguing.

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All life is sacred. But I don't understand how he sees no distinction between a terrorist act that killed innocent people and gang related killings in which criminals are killing other criminals. Does he not understand the very definition of terrorism? There's a reason terrorists choose the targets they do - they understand human nature and plan accordingly. And it's not entirely racially based. If anything it's just as much an economic thing. Scores of poor whites dying from overdoses is a problem that officials haven't been able to solve either.

I think we all agree that more can be done to address the issues facing the neighborhoods that Blue Hill Ave passes through. But Tito should not be surprised that the death of a criminal as a result of his choice to be in that life doesn't strike people as close to home as the death of Martin Richard.

Criminals killing other criminals?

You know this - how?


Are you involved with some criminal underground? Psychic?

Or just making one whopper of a wild ass assumption based on the idea that everybody in a certain neighborhood MUST be a criminal because ...

Saying that the city's

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Saying that the city's different responses toward drug violence and the worst terrorist attack in the US since 9/11 is racist is hilarious. He should be embarrassed. People care more about the marathon bombing than the recent uptick in heroin deaths too, I guess because the majority of those drug deaths are white and people are racist toward white people? Amy Lord never would have been murdered if the city didn't feel the need to bend over backwards to accommodate people like Edwin Alemany who need so many chances, because they are just so poor and discriminated against. Anyone can imagine being abducted from their safe neighborhood and murdered, that could happen anywhere. Anyone can picture being bombed while watching a sporting event. We have a pretty good idea where the drug violence is localized, most people don't have it going on right outside their door, and they won't care until it's on their street. Not because they're racist. It just doesn't affect them. Why should they care? Clean up your neighborhood instead of bitching at racism. What is he accomplishing with this?


The Marathon attack was heartbreaking. Horrible.

But it was not the worst terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11/2001, if by "worst," you mean "most fatal."

In 2012, 6 people were killed in the Wisconsin Sikh shootings.

In 2002, John Allen Muhammed and Lee Boyd Malvo killed 10 people in the DC metro area, and may have killed others in GA, LA, and elsewhere.

I'm pointing this out because when dealing with emotional events, we all start to conflate hyperbole with fact. We can be grateful for the stellar first responders who had been so well trained for large-event handling, and doctors, and hospitals in Boston for the fact that the Marathon attack was not more deadly.

But let's respect for the families and friends of those killed in the earlier attacks. It doesn't matter where someone is killed, the people who loved them still suffer.

No more or less in MD, or DC, or WI.

All violent killings cast a shadow of loss and anguish, no matter where, how. At the Holocaust Museum in 2009. At a Unitarian Church in TN in 2008. At Ft. Hood in 2009. At abortion clinics in AL, NY, FL, KS, and MA since 1990.

Or on Boylston Street. Or on Blue Hill Avenue.

Abuse of the logic

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Not every death at the marathon was a white person. Lingzi was Chinese. Did we mourn especially hard over Martin because he's white...or because he was 8?

We cared about the marathon deaths because they were the result of a bombing at an international event, not a gunfight, revenge kill, misuse of a gun, or drug war or turf spat.

I get Tito's point and I completely agree that there's disparity in this city when it comes to race. It's a symptom of a larger societal problems that have more to do with class than race. But these problems end up involving race because racial divides cut along the same lines due to past transgressions.

I feel it's an ugly complicated problem that isn't summed up well by chastising the Boston Strong movement (as much as I think it's the dumbest reaction to the marathon bombings and have said as much here before when it comes to remembrance porn). I guess if it gets people talking about the roots of the problem, then it has some positive effect though.

Speaking of the bombing,

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Speaking of the bombing, remember how the guy who did it killed three white guys in their apartment a year or two before and no one cared about it because they were involved with drugs? Even the cops didn't care. Remember the white kid who got killed in Woburn or wherever the other month because of a weed deal? Did anyone care about that murder? No. When violence is perceived to be drug related (correctly or not), people assume the victim had it coming and they don't care. Actually whenever violence is considered not to be "random," people don't care. It's not racism. Instead of telling the people of Boston to care more about dead people in Roxbury, why not try to fix the culture that's allowing all this death to happen?

More than three people killed

Three hundred maimed.

Many of the maimed survived only because of the concentrated medical resources in the area.

Then there were all the physically unharmed folks who can't unsee ...

Apples to oranges

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Innocent victims blown up by terrorists vs drug dealers shooting it out over turf (or the color of their sneakers.) Murderous nutcase on the loose (kidnapped, murdered and burned the victim) vs robbery gone bad in a high-crime neighborhood. Which crimes do you think will get more coverage?

We need more Kasanof's

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We need more Kasanof's Bakeries on Blue Hill ave , more jobs, then maybe people will be too tired form working to lurk about expending negative vibrations. We need more good vibrations...

Joseph Morante

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I don't doubt that you know his name, Adam. Just figured that if we're fighting for equality, this is as good a place as any to start.


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At what point does it cross the line from "some of us are racist" to "we're racist"? Is it definable? Or is it just a matter of semantics? Does the use of the word "we're" (in the hed) mean to say "we, as a whole city" or "we white people" or "we Bruins fans" or was it just an innocent reference to the accusations of others in the media?

"We're" seems to need defining. Maybe I'm just not reading it as I easily should; denseness is always a possibility for me. Would you care to expound, Adam?



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We pull together to do good. So why should we be allowed to separate ourselves when we do bad too? Seems to be convenient just to let us sleep well at night since we don't do bad things, they do.

Societal racism

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You, as an individual, may not be racist. Not a single person who looks at this thread may be racist.

And yet ...

It is still possible for a city, or a society, to be collectively racist, as evidenced by the end results of what happens to a particular group, which I think is what Jackson is getting at.


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with all due respect, the real problem in our society is classism, not racism. Racism is a red herring in 2014 America.

I would agree that genuine racism is a serious problem in other cultures around the world, and it manifests as Asian looking down on non-Asians, or other Asians, 'Hispanics' in Latin America looking down on blacks, and whites looking down on blacks and blacks looking down on whites (yes, it absolutely exists), Hispanics looking down on non Hispanics (yes, it exists), etc.,

The problem with 'Progressive' Americans (and non-Americans) is they single out white European or white European descended people as God awful 'racist', but generally give a pass to non-whites. I've been al over the world, and Imho America is actually one of the least racist countries and societies. Many Asians (for example, not singling out Asians for abuse), in Asia, would make a racist American blush.

Racism is not just a red herring

Classism is an issue, but racism is not just a red herring, nor is it a minor problem. And whether or not some other nations are more horribly bigoted does not mean that we should ignore the racism in America; we also shouldn't ignore the problems of sexism or of classism just because they are both worse elsewhere.

You know this because you are black?

Or because you have decided to ignore the reality that minorities still face in our society and not bother to listen to the experiences of those who have to deal with racism?

BTW ... it isn't Miss but Doctor. And I'm not ignorant of the separate and synergistic effects of class being both up from trailer trash poverty myself and a health researcher who has to deal with the distinct effects of race and class.


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Unlike you, I don't come from a relatively racially homogenous (white) rural background. I appreciate you know poverty, as do I, but the difference is I grew up in an uber multicultural, big urban environment, as a dreaded white male, but FAR from privileged. I know very well what it is to be socioeconomicall marginalized, and what it's like to be a minority within a minority. White people don't hold any monopoly on racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.

Racism is more complicated....

... than bigotry and prejudice. Members of any religious/ethnic/cultural/class group can be bigoted and prejudiced against members of some other group. Racism, however, involves a notion that one race is inherently superiority over some other -- and American law enshrined (until quite recenty, by historic standards) the notion that whites were superior to blacks and entitled to a higher degree of privilege. Even also-discriminated-against whites had a legal status higher than blacks. Successive waves of looked-down-on _white_immigrants (Irish, Italian, etc) eventually became part of the white manstream. Blacks (except in cases of "passing as white" due to their skin color and features) did not get to become whites (and still don't).

Even if your ancestors (as mine) never owned or abused a single slave, you (as a white person) and I have benefited from a system initially established to protect the institution of slavery -- and then, after slavery was ended, to keep blacks in the place they "belonged". The after-effects of centuries of systematic oppression simply don't disappear overnight (or even in 50 years) -- especially when a good-sized chunk of our country, to this days, tries to pretend away the evils of slavery (and pines over the defeat of the Confederacy).

These searching for the n

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These searching for the n-word on twitter stories are getting really tiresome. If anything it's evidence that our society is hypersensitive to all racism when 8 people on twitter with 100 followers between them tweet a racial slur during a hockey game and it becomes a news story that the MAYOR has to apologize for. No one would even know about this if some journalists didn't decide to search twitter for a racial slur, and guess what, the fact that their first response on watching that was to search twitter for the n-word says more about THEIR racism than ours as a city or country.

That said, Boston has tons of secret racists and loves to pat itself on the back for tolerance that doesn't really exist.


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marchy would get dropped.

I thought something was up

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I went looking for all these racist tweets myself, and found exactly one. I was wondering if Twitter had been really good at deleting the users in question!

All murders were gang/drug related??

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Where do some of you get the idea that all the murder victims on the other side of Boston were drug dealers or gang members? Some of the victims were neither but heaven forbid you believe that innocent people live in these areas. That type of thinking would be too hard for some of you.

If the bombers had decided to set bombs near the West Indian festival in Dorchester, there would have been no city-wide devastation and certainly no Boston Strong movement. There would have been a movement toward finding a way to tie drugs and gangs to the event and sympathy for the victims would have been limited and temporary.

I love my city. I was born and raised here, but things are not equal. We are moving toward it but we have a way to go.

I was also born a raised here

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As were my parents and grandparents. Boston isn't equal, but it goes both ways. You can't blame one party over the other. As at one point the party you're trying to blame was equally discriminated against.

Take responsibility yourself and your own neighborhood. Just like mine is for our heroin epidemic, which killed more young Bostonians than guns did last year.

Until then cross your fingers and continue to wait for a mysterious knight in shining armor to show up.


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heroin didn't kill more bostonains than guns last year, it killed more people that come to our city from maine, new hampshire and vermont for smack...

Do you have a statistic for

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Do you have a statistic for that? There have been a significant amount of individuals from Dot, Southie, HP, Rosi, Westie, that Have OD'd (that I'm aware of).

high crime area does not equal criminal

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I don't agree that we as a city wouldn't react to a terrorist attack at the West Indian festival. But I 100% agree that it is wrong to assume that because someone is killed in Mattapan, they must be a criminal. Many people in this city live in high crime areas; relatively few are involved in crime.

Good points well taken, anonmendellparent.

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The only trouble, however, is that while this:

Many people in this city live in high crime areas; relatively few are involved in crime.

is true, it takes only a minority of people who are criminals and/or troublemakers to set the overall tone and make it a very dangerous, unsafe place for the majority of people (who are decent, law-abiding citizens) to live and raise up kids.