The Spectacle Blog

A Horrible Boston Globe Op-Ed

By on 11.6.13 | 1:34PM

The Daily Caller picked up on a Boston Globe commentary today and dubbed it “the worst Boston Globe op-ed” they’ve ever read. Hyperbole aside, the piece exudes an unreserved wretchedness. 

While it begins with Shakespearean musing and optimism, pointing out all of the reasons to rejoice over the ideal ending of a baseball season, its author, Gish Jen, quickly descends into an unnecessary and inappropriate place.

After praising the Red Sox for embodying Bostonian “redemption, resurrection, and resilience” after the marathon bombing, Ms. Jen had this to say:

For Boston has, after all, always been as a city upon a hill, except. Except that the Sox were the last baseball team in the league to integrate. Except that Celtics legend Bill Russell had his house broken into and his bed defecated on. Except that we had all that trouble around busing. And what about our redlining of Jews? It’s hard not to recall these things and wonder: Did we fail the Tsarnaevs somehow? 

Allow me to translate: We are a model city, as the Red Sox proved, but we must acknowledge that, deeply ingrained in the societal consciousness of Boston, is racism—which you cannot argue with given that the Red Sox were the last team in baseball to have black players; given that someone once defecated in the bed of Bill Russell; given the slow desegregation of schools; given the discrimination against Jews. Because of bigotry past, we have no choice but to peer at the world through a lens of watchdog sensitivity. We must be comfortable with the idea that it was our racism that caused the Tsarnaevs to bomb us and we must respond by opening up our hearts in empathy.

This message is all too disturbing, and it’s hard to believe that the Globe thought it appropriate for publication at all, let alone only days after the conclusion of the World Series. 

The title of Jen’s piece reads: “These Red Sox are indisputedly, irrevocably us.” If we are racists at heart, which seems to be her narrative, that makes for an awkward turn of phrase—even more so because “indisputedly” is not a word—but I digress.

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