“Defunding” versus “reprioritizing” the police: language matters

The peaceful protests continue amidst emerging proposals for policy change, but will  they amount to anything? Longtime Boston leader and community activist Hubie Jones, in his unpublished book Black in Boston: A Lover's Quarrel, came to understand the dynamics of race demonstrations in the confrontations and riots of 1967 and 1978. Usually, he says, they …

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Nation at a crossroads, not a replay of ’68

The lump in my throat won't go away. It's not the onset of the coronavirus. It is the result of another terrible disease afflicting this nation, the lethal virus of racism and racial injustice. I close my eyes and see the video that grips the country, African-American George Floyd pinned on the street, the knee …

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Could this be Donald Trump’s “no sense of decency” moment?

Has Donald Trump finally reached his Joe McCarthy tipping point moment? Trump’s malevolently vicious attack on the memory of Lori Klausitis, which he wielded as a weapon to sully persistent critic Joe Scarborough, took me back to 1954.  It was in that year’s Army-McCarthy hearings that attorney Joseph N. Welch’s famously retorted to bullying behavior …

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Remembering COVID-19’s victims on Memorial Day and beyond

Donna Morrissey was a ray of sunshine. She was an authentic humanitarian, beautiful, intelligent, warm, and committed to serving the community. After early work in television, she handled public relations for the Boston Archdiocese in the first year and a half of the priest sex abuse scandal. There were times her life was threatened, and …

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Time to move on from Tara Reade’s charges

Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the popular vote in 2016. But Donald Trump was able to convince enough battleground state voters who disliked both nominees that she was worse. In 2020, he knows  he can’t win re-election running a positive campaign about himself; his only chance is to turn off enough battleground-state Republican and …

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More COVID-19 response outrages

An April 29th letter from American Airlines to its Advantage Gold Card members announced, "Caring for Your is Our Priority."  I'm so touched.  The Airline wrote that it would "begin to distribute sanitizing wipes or gel and face masks to passengers, as supplies allow. Our flight attendants will be required to wear face masks on …

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COVID-19 – lessons to be learned?

Worrying about those, including close friends and relatives, suffering from the pandemic virus itself,  fretting about its economic fallout and spending up to eight hours a day in assorted Zoom meetings, I have lacked the focus to write  a single-theme blog but wanted to share some concerns and invite your reactions. I am struck by …

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Books to consider in flight from viral infection

During our sheltering from the COVID-19 virus, reading can provide a meaningful escape from the constant hand washing, planning our grocery orders and listening to the news. The following are some of my recent immersions in fiction and non-fiction. FICTION An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is an extraordinary novel about an upwardly mobile young …

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Grasping bits of optimism and glimmers of hope

Today is One Boston day, the seventh anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, when the Tsarnaev brothers set off two crude pressure cooker bombs that resulted in three deaths, wounded hundreds of others and sheared off limbs brutally and indiscriminately.  The terrorist attack bloodied one of Boston's most iconic events and shattered our sense of …

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Trump fails 3 a.m. crisis call, before, during and after

Friday night, at precisely seven o'clock, people in our neighborhood opened their doors and, as did others across the world, clapped, cheered, used noisemakers, even honked the horns of their underutilized cars to cheer for first responders and providers of health care, some of whom live in our midst. The communal outpouring was deeply touching, …

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