OpinionBridge named after conservative South Boston city councilor targeted...

Bridge named after conservative South Boston city councilor targeted by activists – Boston Herald


A brand new controversy over two former conservative Boston metropolis councilors whose names adorn a bridge and a Metropolis Corridor room could possibly be brewing, exposing a long time previous divisions and placing present elected leaders in a tough place.

A former Boston metropolis council staffer and activist is demanding town “dename” a South Boston bridge and a Metropolis Corridor listening to room after the late Jimmy Kelly and “Dapper” O’Neil, who he says had been hostile towards Blacks and staunchly against busing.

“Wherever we discover (racism) we have to reduce it out shortly,” stated Jamarhl Crawford, the previous staffer and neighborhood activist stated in an interview. “I don’t care about hurting folks’s emotions.”

Crawford despatched a letter to the Boston Metropolis Council and Mayor Michelle Wu’s workplace proposing the thought to strip Kelly and O’Neil’s names, placing Wu and councilors in a doubtlessly painful place.

Meaning the controversy might play out on the ground of the council, the place former Mayor Ray Flynn’s son Ed holds the gavel.

Crawford’s proposal might open the door to new awkward scrutiny of different heroes of South Boston just like the late U.S. Rep. Joseph Moakley and Flynn, who had been additionally against busing.

Moakley’s title adorns the federal courthouse and Flynn’s title is on Massport’s Black Falcon Terminal in Southie.

Kelly supporters level out that if his title is stripped from the bridge, others in Southie could possibly be focused.

“Joe Moakley was towards busing, does that imply they’ll strip the Moakley Courthouse of its title?” former state rep and Southie activist Brian Wallace wrote on Fb. “Don’t fear, Jimmy, we have now your again.”

Kelly died in 2007 and town named the bridge after him a couple of months later. He was a fierce defender of Southie and was one of many main opponents of court docket ordered busing through the Nineteen Seventies.

Not all outstanding Black leaders are for Crawford’s concept. The Rev. Kevin Peterson, founding father of the New Democracy Coalition who’s now pushing to rename Fanueil Corridor, stated altering the title of the Kelly bridge will solely be useful if it results in “deeper dialogue” about race.

“But when persons are motivated to vary the title out of racial revenge or out of emotions of recrimination then it’s a fruitless effort that may solely fire up tensions between the Blacks and Irish within the metropolis. It’s clear that Councilor Kelly wasn’t a racist in methods we see Peter Fanueil as a white supremacist.”

However Crawford stated his proposal will expose the “hypocrisy” of the Boston Metropolis Council on the difficulty of racial justice.

“The very first thing they will do is take care of precise racism that occurred within the Boston Metropolis Council,” he stated.



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