LETTER TO THE EDITOR
December 7, 2022
Letters to the Editor
The Boston Globe
One Exchange Place, Suite 201
Boston, MA 02109-2132
To the Editor:
The mean spirited attempt to expunge the names of Boston City Council President James M. Kelly and City Councilor Albert L. “Dapper” O’Neil from public spaces in Boston is a vindictive campaign of damnatio memoriae, (You’ve heard about efforts to rename Faneuil Hall. But what about spaces named after these modern-day figures?, 12/2/2022).
Unlike many modern politicians, Kelly and O’Neill actually sought to represent the views and values of those who elected them. Neither of them got rich in public office, and neither of them retired to become corporate lobbyists.
O’Neil’s longevity in elected office was attributed to his willingness to provide constituent services to all the neighborhoods of Boston.
Kelly and O’Neil were right to oppose forced busing for the public schools in 1974. So did most Bostonians.
Federal Judge Arthur Garrity’s order to abolish neighborhood schools and bus school children to implement desegregation was opposed by a margin of 15 to 1 in a non-binding municipal referendum held in May of 1974.
An April, 1974 Boston Globe poll found that 63% of city residents were against the busing of school children out of their own neighborhoods.
A subsequent Globe poll found that less than half of black parents supported court ordered busing, while nearly 80% favored a freedom of choice plan for the public schools.
C. J. Doyle
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts
PO Box 112,
Boston, MA 02131