Is Boston, the mothership of East Coast progressives, a hotbed of racism or is the city getting a bad rap?
This debate got going again when Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones made national news. He spoke out about being taunted with racial epithets as well as having a bag of peanuts thrown at him by the bleacher creatures in Boston’s historic Fenway Park during a recent baseball game. All this stirred up the long-standing reputation of the Boston sports fan for being hard on visiting African-American players, no matter what the sport. I could cherry pick from multiple quotes from current and former athletes that plays into the city’s reputation, but this 2007 quote from former player Gary Matthews, Jr. sums up conventional wisdom succinctly, “They’re loud, they’re drunk, they’re obnoxious; it’s one of the few places where you hear racial comments.… It’s just different.”
The sensitivity to Boston’s reputation could be felt in the sharp and swift condemnation from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, “The incident as it’s been reported at Fenway is outrageous and disgraceful. I’m glad they kicked the guy out. I hope they never let him in ever again. There is no place in Massachusetts, in Boston, anywhere, for that kind of language or that kind of behavior.”
The irony of course is delicious. In Boston during the recent Presidential election, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump 81% to 14%, and Boston area liberals have no problem playing the race card for political advantage. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has even gone so far as to blame Donald Trump’s election on “an ugly stew of racism.” So the idea that dear Boston, a city the left owns, may have a race issue has them all a little flummoxed. Since the incident at Fenway, the left and its partners in the media have gone through a lot of self-reflection on what the problem is with Beantown.
So what is the problem with Boston? Well, for one, the crowd at Fenway is too white. The Associated Press dug up a University of Hartford sociologist Woody Doane who, I kid you not, studies sports, society and whiteness, said of the ballpark, “It’s a white space.” Others played on this theme, hinting that the city in general is too white, noting that although half the city residences are non-white the diversification happened much later in Boston than other cities in America. That is part of the problem.
We also heard from another college professor that the problem with Boston is that white people can’t live up to their expectations, and because of this they have to act out. This wisdom comes from University of Connecticut sociologist Matthew Hughey. “They can’t live up to the levels of superiority they’re told they’re supposed to naturally have, so they turn to symbolic things or people to build a sense of identity and to take out a sense of frustration,” Hughey said. “Sports can be that sense of identity.”
Others blame it on the 1970s when many city residents were upset about Boston students being bused. The cockamamie theory, I guess, is close to 50 years later those residences are taking busing out on African-American players? It is only a matter of time before the left finds the real culprit for Boston’s alleged bigotry, those 14% who voted for Donald Trump. They must be the problem.
As you sort through the media’s and college professors’ analysis of the problem with Boston, you come to an unmistakable conclusion. The problem with Boston is white people tend to be racist. Of course that is an ugly stereotype. And didn’t this whole problem start when some yahoo fan or fans started yelling inappropriate things based on ugly stereotypes of African-Americans?
If I may, allow me to interject some math into the problem with Boston. The Red Sox will draw close to three million people to their games this year. Let’s assume one-tenth of one percent of the fans is a nut job, which would still give us 3,000 people who may do something offensive. I hardly think one-tenth of one percent means that Bostonians are racists.
There are over seven billion people in this world, made up of at least 500 distinct ethnic groups. No one ethnic group has a monopoly on racism, and I’m sure you can find some in each crowd. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to attack the individuals responsible instead of a whole subgroup? More appropriate? Yes, but a lot less fun to the left.