Patrick describes run-ins with racism
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says the election of a black president does not mean an end to the fight for racial justice in the United States.
Patrick, his state’s first black governor, spoke at a Black History Month event at Yale University last Friday, saying he believes the nation is at a crossroads in that fight.
To make his point, he described a recent piece of racist hate mail that he received.
The letter used the N-word to describe his wife and daughters, and accused him of destroying the state.
He praised those who fought for social justice in the past, including thousands of unsung heroes, and told the crowd of about 130 people that the quest for social justice is “never static, never complete.”
Boston’s black ministers seek reconciliation
No more “do as I say, not as I do,” for Boston’s black clergy.
About 100 ministers and pastors met at a Dorchester church last Thursday to end ongoing disputes they say have compromised their outreach.
The Boston Globe reported that the gathering was partly prompted by gang members who said ministers can’t reconcile warring groups when they can’t even get along.
Rivalries shattered the alliance of the Rev. Ray Hammond, Rev. Eugene Rivers and Rev. Bruce Wall, a trio credited with starting a 1990s anti-crime effort that sharply reduced street violence.
Rivers took the blame for the dispute when contacted by the Globe.
Hammond said clergy needed to present a united front in order to win funding for needed programs, while Wall said peace was needed to preserve their moral authority.
New Bedford laying off dozens of city workers
NEW BEDFORD — Dozens of city workers here are being laid off because of a $2.8 million cut in state local aid.
Mayor Scott Lang said about 85 workers were let go last Thursday, with about 100 more following the next day. Lang told the Standard-Times newspaper that he was trying to keep the layoffs below 200 and to maintain the city’s police, fire and emergency service jobs.
The city’s move came one day after police and fire unions rejected a 10 percent pay cut and other concessions. Another city union also rejected the city’s request for a pay cut.
The layoffs will cost the city about $1.5 million for unemployment insurance, health care benefits and other costs. Lang said he hopes to get some federal or state help with those costs to avoid more layoffs.