06 Jul 2022 Patriot Front’s Boston March Was Repulsive, Hypocrisy Was Worse, by Rasheed Walters
On July 3, about a hundred members of the white nationalist group Patriot Front marched through the city. With faces covered, they carried the group’s flags and shields to the beat of a snare drum. They received justifiable backlash from lawmakers and community leaders for their brazen parade through downtown Boston. Those who decried the group included Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Sen. Ed Markey and Boston City Council President Ed Flynn, among others. Footage of the hateful display by the Patriot Front has gone viral on social media and and picked up by national and global news outlets. Charles Murrell was reportedly assaulted during the march, sustaining cuts on his head, arms and hands.
The next day ushered in multiple shootings around the city, most in the predominantly Black neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan. Ten people were shot at seven different locations. The victims of the violence included an elderly Latina grandmother who was sleeping in her bed with her granddaughter, when she was grazed by a bullet that came within inches of the pair.
After a holiday weekend marred by gun violence on our streets, we should anticipate a similar avalanche of condemnation from politicians and community leaders. How better to show that Boston’s mayor, city council, community leaders and politicians truly care about the safety of the city’s Black citizens.
Mayor Wu issued a statement expressing her sympathies to the families of the victims. Absent was the fervor and intensity of her criticism of the Patriot Front. Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden attributes the mass shooting in his county on the Supreme Court’s concealed carry ruling.
The Boston shootings were not the work of the Patriot Front. The same criminals responsible for the constant influx of drugs into the area, the careless discharging of illegal firearms that often injure or kill bystanders, and the general degradation of Black and Latino neighborhoods across Boston are responsible for this. Yet, these criminals rage virtually unchecked. Reactionary police reform and budget cuts to satisfy upper-class liberals who don’t live in these communities, a softball criminal justice system that refuses to lock up these criminals with long sentences and weak rhetoric from politicians campaigning for social service all contribute to deteriorating safety in these neighborhoods. Neighborhoods under criminal siege is a major issue worthy of more than statements of sympathy.
The Patriot Front is a hateful and repugnant organization that deserves the full force of public condemnation. However, the same level of public outrage and political action should be directed at the criminals who terrorized the Black community on July 4 and are responsible for a night of lawlessness.
New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.