The Selma Of The North

I grew up in the 1960s on the South Shore of Boston. Only two African-Americans lived in my hometown. The Red Sox star pitcher Luis Tiant and the esteemed US Senator Edward Brooke. My neighborhood friends opened their hearts to reveal the incurable hatred in their souls. I never spoke to them again without saying why. One young boy from Roxbury attended my Catholic high school. We studied German together. I was a D+ student. Booker was an A scholar.

I can’t imagined how he suffered at that school.

Alone, but he never complained about anything to anyone.

After college I taught at South Boston High School during the Bussing Riots.

The city was pure evil and I fled to New York in 1976.

That was over forty years ago, but the hatred against African-Americans is as strong as ever and this week various athletes revealed the vile behavior of sports fans at Fenway Park. Kevin Youklis said, “There was one incident where a fan came running down and was being extra harsh towards one of our black players, and I just got fed up and I stood up and told him to ‘Shut the fuck up, and if you don’t like it get out of here.’

“I will never forget that moment because I was boiling. You could see the tension, and it wasn’t the same tension that was towards a white player. For the most part, I’d like to say too, though, with Red Sox fans, it’s not the majority it’s a minority of people that act like that. But the minority is too big, and you have to eliminate that.”

One night at Frank’s Lounge a Brooklyn Detective of African descent told me how he and two friends went to Fenway and bought tickets off a scalper. Two Irish cops confronted them and my friend showed his badge.

“That don’t mean nothing to us here. Not for you.”

Then the cop unleashed his racist heart.

I apologized to my friend and he said, “It isn’t you. It’s just where you were born. Welcome to Brooklyn.”


To my people in Boston.

Enough was enough a long time ago.

And I am happy to be here.

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