Some street racism in the Back Bay

WBUR reports.



    Free tagging: 


    Prepare yourself for the flood of hyperbolic comments.

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    And here's mine; I've lived in several major cities in my life and in Boston for quite a long time.

    I have never witnessed worse outward and accepted racism than I did just outside of Baltimore.

    That being said, this is a stupid article.

    Good thing the writer didn't walk across the Common to Park Street. They would've needed a fainting couch from the vapors they caught from the drunks, junkies, and pimps calling each other far worse.

    Radio go die

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    Wbur is so hopelessly out of touch.

    Obama's Fault

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    His presidency was just so divisive (or so I've been told). Certainly nothing to do with our city's tendency to sweep its sordid history under the rug while taking umbrage to anyone mentioning there is racism alive and well here.

    The whole versus the parts

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    I'm a Bostonian. I wasn't born here, but I've lived here for nearly 20 years. Hell, by "here" I don't even mean Boston proper, but a nearby community.

    And here's the thing: there are racists in Boston. Yip. All over the place. Some, overt and shameless. Many more have a racial bias that they know of and willfully hide due to social expectations. Loads have racial biases they don't really fully understand that they even have.

    But, for me, that's different from saying that Boston is racist. The former identifies individuals, the latter indicts the entire population. And maybe it's a matter of degree. Maybe Boston is structurally racist, and our collective failure to change the structure is indeed racist. I think that's a great discussion to have.

    Ultimately, I think the push back is that the difference between "some of the people in my city are racists" and "my city is racist" is significant, and yet the two seem to be used interchangeably.

    Just any FYI

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    If you weren't born in Boston, and live outside of Boston then you're NOT a Bostonian.

    Absolutely True

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    It's just that Boston is so famously thin-skinned about it. Instead of clutching our pearls or denying the possibility of a reported incident, we should own it. You can't fight against something if you blindly pretend it doesn't exist.


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    Sad that this happened.

    I would guess the person shouting the N word doesn't even live in Boston. This a-hole just like the Keytar Bear attackers are giving our city a bad name.

    - A South Boston community member.


    From the WBUR link:

    -- Editor's Note: This story contains an offensive word --

    That is the sort of courtesy that saves monocles. They used to just offer an apology at the end of the article. We progress.

    Anyhoo... I am Ubering yesterday and at the intersection of Grove and Washington in Westie when from the backseat of a car some kid shouts from a barely open tinted window "You look like Kodak nigga!". I am scanning my brain for any sort of sense or memory of what looking like a Kodak meant, then I spot a guy taking a right on the other side of us and he was shiny bald. I refrained from correcting the youth as I save such indignant venting for the proper venue which is the internets.

    The preceding yammering contained an offensive word.

    And also

    From the WBUR article:

    --"Hey, nigger, walk on the sidewalk like you should," a white man said, in a clear Boston accent, at a black man walking in the opposite direction.--

    I cannot picture anyone with a Boston accent using that word structure. Eddie Murphy used to often do an impression of how white people talk and THAT fits the word structure.

    Oh, well, if you can't personally picture it, case closed

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    "Hey, nigger, walk on the sidewalk like you should," a white man said, in a clear Boston accent, at a black man walking in the opposite direction.

    I witnessed something like this myself in Stoneham - drivers would shout "Go back to Africa, nigger" or "You don't belong here, nigger" at a black intern who worked with me.

    This stuff happens, even if it contradicts your ignorant ideal.

    You're not responding to what

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    You're not responding to what was quoted. He didn't challenge the use of the word, but the structure of the whole sentence. A stupid argument to make in this context, sure, but it is an odd sounding arrangement of words that lifelong Bostonians wouldn't identify as local. Sounds more like how an elderly New Yorker might talk, if we're sticking with stereotypical accents.

    Ah, Hello Whitesplainer!

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    What next - you going to tell all those silly women that periods don't come with cramps? From your highass position of all knowing of all truth?

    Of all the websites I visit regularly...

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    This one is the most tolerant of whitesplaining. I really don't understand why the editor is so eager to let white people commenters tell everyone else how it really is.

    Maybe Nothing

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    I know lots of young people - both white and black, while talking to both white and black friends - who call each other that with no thought of offense intended. It means no more to them to say "my n----" than saying "my man" or "my brother".

    I personally find it repugnant, but I've heard it often. And if this incident got no angry response, then maybe they knew each other and it was really nothing? Certainly not the likeliest thing, but a possibility.



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    He didn't say "my n----", he said "HEY N----, get on the sidewalk." On the n-word spectrum I'd put that much closer to "Did you whistle at that white lady, boy?" than to "Hey, my brother."

    The audio is in the link

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    The recorded transgression is just after 1:05 in the audio at the WBUR link.

    It sounds like the white guy is trying to get the black guy's attention almost as if he thinks he can be friendly with the term. It feels like that stupid white teacher from years ago who said he differentiates the word when it ends in -ah (okay for him to say) versus -er (not okay).

    Sure the Boston accent definitely squashes the end of the word into an -ah, but there was no anger in the voice on the recording. It was as if he was saying "Hey pal, walk on the sidewalk like everyone else" but decided it was okay to use what he thought was an acceptable form of the n-word to do it instead of "pal"....which was entirely the wrong decision.

    Real friendly

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    I don't think I'd call that tone an attempt at friendliness or misplaced camaraderie.


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    It wasn't friendly. More informative/correcting. But also not angry or harsh.

    To me, it just seemed the word choice was extremely stupid more than intentionally denigrating and malicious. That doesn't make its use any less foul though.

    I concur

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    I've heard the word use by all groups in reference to all groups. But still, I wouldn't stand for a white person referring to me as their N, or my N, or any other use of the term.


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    Dear white people we are not our ancestors
    Dear white people it is not OK to call a black person the N-word.
    Dear white people yes our beloved city is racist