Is Boston the Most Racist City in America?

Gawker and Deadspin writer aims to rank the country's most racist cities—and Boston is at the top of his list.

Earlier this month, a writer at Deadspin named Boston as the second-most racist city in the United States.

As evidence, writer Drew Magary noted only that he knew a handful of people from Quincy, one of whom “referred to black people as ‘colored’ people.” 

But our fair city could get bumped out of the top five. Magary, posting on Gawker, has asked the public to help him rank the country’s most racist cities.

Each city in question get a miniature profile, and Boston’s—which posted Tuesday—includes some damning anecdotes.

Among them, the busing crisis of 1974, the fact that the Red Sox were the last integrated team in baseball and the racist taunts slung by Bruins fans at a black NHL player, Joel Ward, earlier this year.

On the other hand, Boston was a hotbed for the abolitionist movement of the 1800's. It's the same city that worked with James Brown to prevent rioting in the wake of Martin Luther King's assassination.

More recently, we saw a glimmer of tolerance in Charlestown. After a vandal wrote “Islam sucks” on a sign, another vandal marked the sign with “”

What do you think? Should Boston be in the running for most racist city in America? Is it growing out of its racist ways? Was Boston ever really racist?

j December 06, 2012 at 05:07 PM
If my peers are people who do not know the difference between there and their, then I don't want to be THEIR peers.
mplo February 13, 2013 at 08:49 PM
I have to disagree with you somewhat, Kathryn. Racism means prejudice against someone due to their race and/or ethnicity. First of all, many of the poor and powerless whites are racist, which means that racism doesn't have to have power behind it to be what it is. Secondly, there is racism between the various non-white groups, as well as the whites and non-whites here in the United States, which became very obvious at around the time of 9/11, and at the time of the riots in South Central L. A., when that area exploded, and nasty attacks against Korean-Americans, both property and their persons occurred. When people who have little or nothing to begin with are under great pressure, racial, cultural and ethnic differences all too often and too easily flare up, making relations between people extraordinarily difficult.
Matthew February 13, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Uh...NAACP (CP stands for "COLORED PEOPLE"). Ugh...liberals and their obsession with racism.
Sally March 20, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Well, Virginia had an African American governor in 1989. Not sure that's a great litmus test. If you look at the distribution of real estate, professional level jobs, and political positions, Boston is light years BEHIND Atlanta and Northern VA.
Sally March 20, 2013 at 10:15 PM
I grew up in Boston, but have lived in the DC area for most of my adult life. I have traveled to Atlanta a lot for business. I have also traveled for personal reasons to more than 20 countries, and to many states. Everytime I return to Boston to visit I am amazed at the obvious segregation that still exisits. Even more disturbing is the attitudes that are so unchanged. Just walking down the street there is such a negative vibe between people. JP is SLIGHTLY better than other neighborhoods, but not great. My colleagues who are minorities say they wouldn't move to Boston for a job. They don't want to live in a place where they would have to think so hard about where to live or where to spend their free time. Boston is better at race relations than it was 25 years ago, but it has a long way to go, and denial of the problem continues to impede progress.


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