Slaps and Claps

Claps for the Boston Sunday Globe’s photojournalism spread by Mary Beth Meehan showing the pattern of violence in New Bedford against Mayan Guatemalans.  They fled the war in Guatamela and came here for peace and opportunity, but they’re being beaten and robbed by African-Americans and Puerto Ricans. They live in constant fear.  Seems there’s no end of viciousness that can be launched against whoever our new immigrant groups are.  As for the New Bedford police chief, he says “it’s a very delicate balance and a difficult call” to say these are hate crimes. Claps also for Globe editor Brian McGrory for giving the space for this and other long-form pieces.

Big slap: to state government’s incapacity to deliver services to the most vulnerable. Our troubles go even beyond DCF: we are in meltdown.  The Boston Herald broke the story that the Mattapan mother of the 14-year-old who shot (accidentally) and killed his 9-year-old brother had gotten help from DCF.  But when DCF sought custody of the troubled, violent older brother to protect himself and others, they were never granted full custody by the Court.  The Boston Globe story the same day revealed that our state, which is first in education, first in innovation, first in health access, is at or near the bottom in child protective services.

Claps: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh names former opponent John Barros to  lead economic development in the new administration.  It’s a huge job; overseeing the BRA is just part of it, along with the Boston Employment Commission, consumer affairs, tourism and more.  The appointment puts a bright, experienced, charismatic leader in a pivotal position to link economic and real estate development to job creation and the improvement of opportunity for minorities and others.

Slap: Israeli economy minister Naftali Bennett attacks John Kerry for being a megaphone for anti-Semitism because of the administration’s pressure on Palestinians and Israelis to negotiate seriously a next step toward a peace agreement.  This slam of Kerry came despite his decades of support for Israel and philo-Semitic issues, the fact that his brother is Jewish, the fact that there are Jewish branches in his family tree.    The New York Times deserves a slap for limiting its characterization of Bennett’s criticism as  “borderline outrageous,” but there’s nothing borderline about it.

Slap at Copenhagen zookeepers: when they shot two-year-old Marius, a healthy male giraffe, to cull the collection and prevent inbreeding.  This, despite the fact that other zoos, including one in the U.K., were willing to offer him a home.  The zoo performed the killing in front of a crowd, many of whom also watched while Marius was dismembered and parts were fed to resident lions.   Marius was shot rather than given a lethal injection so that the remains could be fed safely to the big cats.

The zoo-kills-giraffe story prompts outrage, but closer to home we should be no less concerned  about the  number of Massachusetts children who go to bed hungry at night.  Clap for  the excellent reporting on Greater Boston with Emily Rooney and what the Hyde Park   “Y” is doing to help.   A clap to her for her focus on hunger.

I welcome your comments in the section below.

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