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12 of 13 Boston city councilors agree: School Committee chairman had to go, but his resignation is only the first step

At-large City Councilor Michelle Wu and 11 of her colleagues - joined by several state legislators and US Rep. Ayanna Pressley - tonight released a statement condemning what they called now former School Committee Chairman Michael Loconto's "deeply offensive" and "blatantly racist" words during the exam-school hearing last night.

Andrea Campbell (Dorchester, Mattapan, Roslindale), who is running against Wu for mayor next year, did not sign Wu's statement, but had earlier expressed her disgust for the hot-mic incident. Councilor Frank Baker was the only councilor not to express his thoughts publicly.

All the other councilors said Loconto's resignation cannot be the end of the matter.

The Wu statement compared Loconto's short remarks to the way some Republican Senator from Georgia deliberately mangled Kamala Harris's name at a Trump rally and adds:

We must restore trust with BPS families, and urge action to ensure accessibility, inclusion, and equity in all decisions in the City of Boston, Suffolk County, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Campbell said the next chair of the School Committee needs to be a person of color.

In addition to 11 of the 13 city councilors and Pressley, signers of Wu's statement include state representatives Nika Elugardo, Russell Holmes, Kevin Honan, Dan Hunt, Jay Livingstone, Adrian Madaro, Aaron Michlewitz, Liz Moranda, Mike Moran, Dan Ryan, Jon Santiago and Chynah Tyler. Also signing: state senators Joe Boncore, Sonia Chang-Diaz, Nick Collins and Sal DiDomenico, DA Rachael Rollins and Register of Probate Felix Arroyo.

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But many of the several politicians listed above remained silent when Monica Cannon Grant made far more offensive and racist statements about interracial marriage and they still support her.

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And?

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Perhaps she too should resign from the public office she holds. Oh...

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We do need to stop comparing people who are not elected or appointed to powerful positions to those who are not. This reminds me of when people compare Trump to random Twitter used number 7. As if it is ok because some random Twitter guy says something bad about white people for Trump to support hate groups. The two are not equal in standing.

That being said she is a pretty vile person but somehow enjoys favor with many powerful people. I always felt that those who prop up this woman should be held accountable when she goes off on some crazy tangent. She has done this many times,they have had fair ample warning that she walks along that live wire and one of these days it will zap them.

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I prop Monica up all day and have for years. Now do that lunatic Rayla Campbell who has never answered me once out of all the times I asked her to her face what she was doing when Monica was feeding the hungry at the height of the pandemic.

What were you doing to feed people?

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I guess I should be paying more attention.

(looks at list of committee members)

Wait. What?

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committee.

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Yes he had to go because there is no place for that especially from an adult in that position. I think people are taking it way to far though.

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Are useless. The guys gone, what does the accomplish? Nothing, like most of you during your time in office.

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They called now former School Committee Chairman Michael Loconto's "deeply offensive" and "blatantly racist" words during the exam-school hearing last night.

Offensive yes, "blatantly racist" is a stretch. This superheated everything is racist rhetoric needs to be toned down.

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This superheated everything is racist rhetoric needs to be toned down.

"Please stop reminding me of how many white people are still completely racist."

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I think we can all agree that words matter. The challenge I see is that the racist label in this context eliminates the gap between insensitive comments (bad, unacceptable from public servants) and outright hate groups (torch-bearing parade chanting “Jews will not replace us”).

I know nothing about this guy beyond these comments and perhaps he is “completely racist” but it’s a stretch to basically say he’s an irredeemable bigot because he mocked culturally unfamiliar/different names.

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Flip out over one subjective adjective. That's a perfectly reasonable defense of this guy, and not at all representative of "white fragility."

What if he's not "completely" racist? What percentage of racism is acceptable?

Whatever percentage racist he is, he's racist enough that a bunch of stupid racist fake names sprung into his mind when he was supposed to be in a public meeting, serving the public, and he's racist enough that he couldn't stop himself from saying those names out load, so that's racist enough for him to show himself out.

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Bad actions have gradients. When every bad action is "teh worst!!1!11!one!!!" it becomes impossible for folks to sort it out. And, importantly, folks who are sympathetic but not overly eager on the issue start to turn out and you lose potential allies.

Show some subtly with words. And maybe, just maybe, don't cancel anyone over every infraction.

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On white tears...

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is basically their humanity. Mocking names like that because you think it´s "funny" or because you don´t understand them means you fundamentally do not recognize their humanity and believe they are less than you.

Tell me how that´s not a big deal.

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Frank baker has to go all he’s worried about is being in the old boys club

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Right? Like that’s literally all he appears to care about. For what? though The club isn’t coming back and it doesn’t much exist in the public sector of Boston anymore at all.

Just go.

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He is? What makes you say that?

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Is the only counselor who understands his job, constituent services. The rest or useless virtue singling *#%+.

Prove me wrong!

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He’s literally the only one

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People have gotten used to not having good councilors so they dont vote. The ones that show up at the ballot are the highly political left who elect whomever virtue singles the most.

This useless statement is typical of what the council as a whole produces.

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During the public testimony portion of last night’s virtual Boston School Committee meeting, Chair Michael Loconto was heard making comments mocking the names of several Asian American residents who signed up to testify.

These comments were not only deeply offensive, but blatantly racist and harmful to our efforts to create policy in partnership with community members impacted by these important decisions. Many individuals in our communities have faced this type of racism our entire lives. This behavior has been normalized and emboldened by the hateful rhetoric of this current Presidential administration and its allies, recently highlighted in Sen. David Purdue’s public mocking of Vice Presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris’ name. We cannot let this stand in Boston.

Names carry deep significance and are fundamental to our identity and pride as a people. And yet our names have historically been weaponized for racist rhetoric, feeding stereotypes that cause so many to be seen as perpetual foreigners in this country. Last night’s incident reinforces not only the history of racial discrimination, but also a pattern of residents and families of color being shut out of important decisions and spaces of power in our city.

This type of discrimination cannot and will not be tolerated from any leader who has the privilege of serving our communities, especially at a time when we should all be coming together to solve the crises stemming from this pandemic.

Mr. Loconto’s resignation is a step in the right direction. But we must not lose focus. We must restore trust with BPS families, and urge action to ensure accessibility, inclusion, and equity in all decisions in the City of Boston, Suffolk County, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Michelle Wu, Boston City Councilor, At-Large
Kim Janey, Boston City Council President, District 7
Ricardo Arroyo, Boston City Councilor, District 5
Kenzie Bok, Boston City Councilor, District 8
Liz Breadon, Boston City Councilor, District 9
Lydia Edwards, Boston City Councilor, District 1
Annissa Essaibi-George, Boston City Councilor, At-Large
Michael Flaherty, Boston City Councilor, At-Large
Ed Flynn, Boston City Councilor, District 2
Julia Mejia, Boston City Councilor, At-Large
Matt O’Malley, Boston City Councilor, District 6
Nika Elugardo, State Representative, 15th Suffolk District
Sonia Chang-Díaz, State Senator, 2nd Suffolk District
Russell Holmes, State Representative, 6th Suffolk District
Jon Santiago, State Representative, 9th Suffolk District
Rachael Rollins, District Attorney, Suffolk County
Ayanna Pressley, U.S. Representative, MA 7th Congressional District

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i heard michelle wu on radio concorde last nite (they have a half english/half kreyòl programme on thursday nites).
they touched on how her office having a couple haitian-american and other cultures makes her mindful that the immigrant community are the ones that continually are left out.

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Additional elected officials added their names; they're now in the story.

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So called leader. Words matter.

If the school committee continues as a non-elected body, let's see more appointments of Asian Americans.
Perhaps the next Chairperson.

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Honestly, I'm not surprised. Boston parents have complained that he's disrespectful and dismissive when they testify at hearings. I would have given him the benefit of the doubt, but listening to the hot mike, it's hard to mistake what he really meant. Then add in the past history at other hearings, it fits a pattern.

Throw in a bit of lying and gaslighting. Eyeroll. (Oh, wait, that's what he does when he has parents pleading their cases in front of him.)

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I’m surprised at the lack of fallout regarding these comments from School Committee member Jeri Robinson from the October 8th meeting:

School Committee Member Jeri Robinson at the October 8, 2020 School Committee meeting:

"I see the percentages of Asians and white students versus the percentages of Black and Latinx students when these cohorts are so different. . . I would like to know what are the numbers instead of just the percentages because, you know, we've only got 8 or 9% Asian but 53% of that 8 or 9% are represented, so, when we look at the numbers [of Asian students], does it look any better? ...We know that many of our white families/children are receiving extra tutoring from the day they are born almost because many [white] families are likely looking at this [exam schools] as a possibility... We know that many Asian students also take education differently and have a lot of support"

-- SC Member Jeri Robinson, 10/8/20

"When we look at the numbers [of Asian students], does it look any better?"

You can hear it live at 3:57:05 to 3:58:07 at the link:

https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainI...

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