I am rather famously not Irish. I'm probably making a pot of Italian chicken soup and some homemade French bread tomorrow. (But we'll probably be drinking Guiness.)
I had a blog queued up and ready to go until I read this.
I have never been to Boston's St. Patrick's day parade, and it's certain that I never will go now. And let's not be voting for the bigot Lynch now, mmkay?
In 1994 the 39-year-old President of Local 7, Ironworkers, in South Boston decided to challenge the neighborhood’s incumbent State Representative in a primary. His main reason: said State Rep had failed to support Wacko Hurley’s discrimination with throat sufficiently full. Running as the candidate of “our values,” he stormed to victory. He then spent the next few years in the state legislature, voting against GLBT causes every chance he got.
In 2001 the area’s longtime Congressman died in office and this fellow, now a State Senator, won a multi-candidate primary by crusading as the “conservative candidate.” Again he won. His name: Stephen F. Lynch. In 2009 he took to the U.S. House floor in praise of the bigot Wacko Hurley. And now he is asking for our votes, in a Democratic primary against Rep. Ed Markey, to join Elizabeth Warren in the United States Senate. Of course, running statewide in 2013, he’s totally for gay marriage but won't repudiate the parade and continues to participate. One word: never.
I suppose it's to be expected, after all South Boston is where the original tea party
took place. But even before teabagging became acceptable again, the parade organizers had a distinct conservative bent.
It should be noted that Wacko Hurley’s reactionary politics extend beyond excluding gay people. In March 2003, as the Bushies were preparing for war in Iraq, a group called South Boston Veterans for Peace applied to march in the parade. Their request was summarily denied. Hurley told a member of the Veterans for Peace, John Redue of Somerville, that the group did not have an “appropriate message” for his parade. Redue, who spent nine years in the Air Force, said he was “more shocked than anything else. People apparently don't think you can be for peace and support the troops at the same time. I think questioning policies . . . is the duty of patriots.
And of course, they're not above taking their parade and going home.
In 1993, the year I became aware of the New York controversy, GLIB again sought to march in South Boston. Despite the 1992 court order, Wacko Hurley and the Council said no. Again GLIB went to court and won. Again GLIB marched, with snowballs and saliva joining the beer cans and smoke bombs of 1992 on the projectile list, and police sharpshooters on rooftops just in case things escalated.
In 1994 the process repeated itself. Wacko Hurley said no, GLIB went to state court and again won in the trial court. That decision was affirmed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), the highest court in the state. This time, though, GLIB did not march. Why? Because Wacko Hurley and his council simply cancelled the 1994 parade rather than allow GLIB to march again. Said Hurley, “They’re not going to shove something down our face that’s not our traditional values. We’ll go on until we have a parade of a family nature."
This is the face of the Irish in this city, and before the nation? Way to channel Westboro Baptist, guys!
(Note - Aloysius Gonzaga
is the patron saint of Messina, Sicily. From whence my great-grandmother Angelina came over a century ago.)