SNL star Michael Che created a hubbub last week when, during an appearance at Boston University, he said he wasn't sorry for calling Boston the "most racist city" he's ever visited. Good for him, writes Renee Graham in the Boston Globe. She thinks he's right—the op-ed is headlined, "Yes, Boston, you are racist"—and she doesn't want to hear any more "whitesplaining" about why he's off the mark. "He spoke his truth, and its refrain rang familiar to more than a few of us who have lived in the city, spent time here for college, or still call the Hub home," writes Graham, who is African-American. She writes that even though Boston has made inroads in combating racism—which she says can also be "environmental, economic, and medical" as well as explicit—there's still lots of work to do.
Graham addresses the notion of Boston as a "liberal city," taking a trip back in time to the '80s, when a local department store wrote down customers' races on personal checks, and how even in her first years in the city certain retailers would keep items like hip-hop CDs behind the counter so a certain type of customer (read: not white) wouldn't shoplift them. But even though Graham concedes things aren't quite like that now, she also writes that the "parochial" city is far from being off the hook. "The question isn’t whether this city is racist, but what its citizens, business leaders, and elected officials plan to do beyond occasionally talking about it." Read her full take in the Globe. (A Harvard student accused the university of being racist for kicking her off campus.)