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Monday, February 01, 2010


Ty dePass

As a Black activist living in Boston for 20+ years, let me assure readers that "liberal Massachusetts" is a myth.

One need only look at the almost unbroken string of Republican governors over the last 13 years, and at voting patterns for those ballot initiatives most affecting people of color in this overwhelmingly White state.

White Mass voters self-identified as "independents" have consistently supported right-of-center causes and champions. I suspect that Obama's victory was life imitating art: recalling the scene from VanPeeble's film, Putney Swope, where a Black ad man is elected company CEO on a secret ballot...because each member of the otherwise all-White board thinks no one else will vote for the "Negro."

ML King (1963) wrote that an unjust law is one that: (1) is applied unevenly, affecting some but not all, (2) thereby imposes an unfair burden on a select group, which (3) had little/no voice in creating said law.

And just as the vote for Scott Brown was largely White-suburban-based, so were votes restricting tax increases ('82), ending rent control ('96), and abolishing bilingual instruction ('02) -- on the last two, one is at a loss to understand what suburban voters gained/lost from the outcome.

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