RACISM

Westfield State University, in Westfield, Mass.
File photo / The Republican

Westfield State University is investigating a racist message left on a dorm room door.

University president Ramon Torrecilha said he learned about this Tuesday evening after a student posted a photo on Twitter. It showed a name tag on a door with a handwritten message: a racial epithet for black people, then "live here."

About 100 people gathered in a park  in downtown Claremont Tuesday night for a vigil in response to an alleged attack of an eight year-old biracial boy in the city.

At the event, it didn’t take long before racial tensions were on full display. Organizer Rebecca MacKenzie was introducing the night's first speaker when she was interrupted by a white man, driving by and and yelling from his truck.


Claremont City Manager Ryan McNutt and Police Chief Mark Chase will attend a community event Tuesday night aimed at responding to the alleged race-based attack of a young biracial boy in town, McNutt said.

The sign outside Meekins Library in Williamsburg, Mass. It normally lists hours of operation.
Meekins Library / Facebook

The small white sign outside the library in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, usually just lists the library's hours. That changed after the white nationalist rally earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a news conference on Aug. 15, 2017, about a planned free speech rally Saturday. Gov. Charlie Baker looks on.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

The city of Boston is preparing for what is being called a free speech rally Saturday afternoon on the historic Common. Thousands of counter-protesters are also expected to show up, including some from western Massachusets.

Holyoke resident Rick Purcell and friend will be among a group that will meet in Northampton at 5:30 a.m. to carpool and then caravan to the Boston.

Purcell said he is going to the counter-demonstration because he wants to stand up to white supremacy. He said speaking out is in his legacy.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a news conference on Aug. 15, 2017, about a planned free speech rally Saturday. Gov. Charlie Baker looks on.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Following the fatal violence at a white supremacist gathering in Virginia, public safety officials in Boston are preparing for weekend demonstrations on Boston Common. But they admit they're unsure just what to expect, partly because city officials have been unable to contact organizers of a controversial rally planned for Saturday.

"All we know is what we're seeing on social media," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said at a Monday press conference during which he and Gov. Charlie Baker denounced the message of hate groups.

Scenes from a rally in Northampton, Mass., on Aug. 13, 2017, opposing white supremacists.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Rallies sprang up around New England Sunday in solidarity with the anti-Nazi protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia.

It's A School's Job To Acknowledge Race

Jul 31, 2017
Grace Lin

A few years ago, commentator Grace Lin joined the Diversity Committee of her child's preschool in western Massachusetts . When one of the members asked dubiously whether race really needed to be addressed with young children, Lin knew the answer instantly.

When I was a child, the way adults dealt with race in my community was by not talking about it.

I remember in fifth grade, after I'd answered a question correctly, a boy burst in saying, “She just knows that because she’s Chin—,” only to be cut off by our teacher.

A person wearing a Confederate flag jacket, outside Easthampton High School on May 3, 2017.
Submitted Photo / NEPR

Can a school prevent students from wearing the Confederate flag? The school committee in Easthampton, Massachusetts, did just that this week, raising questions about the rights of students and responsibilities of educators.

A person attaches a Confederate flag to a truck in this photo, which a parent said was snapped outside Easthampton High School on April 24, 2017.
Submitted Photo / MassLive

The Easthampton School Committee will decide Tuesday night whether to continue a temporary ban  that prohibits students from wearing clothing with a symbol of the confederate flag to school.

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