Boston is a city with a troubled past when it comes to race relations. But during my time here, I’ve seen nothing other than growth, opportunity, and community involvement from government, civic leaders, and community leaders to continue to improve race relations, crime, and other key issues in Boston.
But since Jesse was in town this week for the convention, he has to strut about, as the Boston Herald reports today:
Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the city’s black leaders are spitting mad over racial potshots the Rev. Jesse Jackson took at the city of Boston yesterday.
“Jesse’s talking trash and blowing smoke. This is Jesse’s showboat,” said the Rev. Eugene Rivers, chair of the National Ten Point Coalition and one of the city’s most respected leaders on racial issues.
Jackson stoked the Hub’s racial fires yesterday as he headed into the FleetCenter on the second day of the Democratic National Convention, saying Boston has yet to live up to its promise as a center of racial justice and equal opportunity for minorities.
“There is such a class gap between the haves and the have-nots,” Jackson said. “If you look at inner-city Boston and the suburbs, it’s like there is a doughnut and then there’s the doughnut hole.”
Jackson added that Boston falls short of being a model for urban democracy around the country.
“Boston must work even more diligently at being the academic center it is, at being the shining light on the hill,” Jackson said. “This can be the city with an urban agenda that becomes the ideal for all of America.Boston ought to aspire to no less.”
But there’s more to this story, you see. Jackson has apparently never once challenged, reached out, or consulted with Mayor Menino on any racial issues – or any other topic for that matter.
But Menino immediately fired back at Jackson, calling his statements not only “unfounded” but “unfair.”
Menino added that in the more than 11 years he has been mayor, Jackson has never called or reached out to him in any way on racial issues or any other topic.
“It’s nice he comes into our city and makes a statement like that,” Menino said with more than a hint of sarcasm.
I’ve met Menino. He’s not one to stand by idly and let Jackson get away with something like this. Nor should be.
It’s the politics of racial destruction all over again. I’m glad to see Menino and Reverend Rivers standing up to his smoke.