In response to Fierce34's comment:
The bank robber was described as a black man with light complexion, between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall. Mr. Brown, who played his college basketball at Jacksonville University in Florida, is 6 feet 1 inches tall, with dark skin. Ms. Edmondson is white.
After checking his wallet, the police let Mr. Brown go, saying it was a case of mistaken identification.
But Mr. Brown, his fiancee and his lawyer, Alan Margolies, think it may have been another outbreak of the racism that has sharply divided Boston in recent years and to citywide concern over the shooting of Charles Stuart and his wife, Carol, a year ago. A movie about the murder of Mrs. Stuart, which Mr. Stuart initially attributed to a black gunman, is to be shown on CBS-TV tonight, despite protests from her family.
The police action against Mr. Brown has shaken Wellesley, a pleasant town of 27,052 citizens, all but a handful white. With its comfortable homes, its country club and the bucolic campus of Wellesley College, Wellesley does not like to think of itself as racist.
But Monday night the Board of Selectmen held a meeting, attended by 200 residents and the chief of police, John K. Fritts, to discuss the incident. Ronald R. Cloutier, one of the Selectmen, said to Mr. Fritts, ''One of the questions I keep being asked is: 'Would this have occurred if Mr. Brown had been a white person.' ''
You conveniently left out the parts that vindicate the police action ... this wasn't racism... It wasn't even profiling. The dispatch the police received said Brown was the same person that had robbed the bank. The police would have been derelict in their duties had they not stopped Brown based on the info you left out;
The police had just received a call from the manager of a branch of the South Shore Bank across the street that a person resembling a man who had robbed the bank of $1,800 on Tuesday was outside the post office. The manager acted after a secretary, sitting at the window, saw Mr. Brown go into the post office.
Ronald R. Cloutier, one of the Selectmen, said to Mr. Fritts, ''One of the questions I keep being asked is: 'Would this have occurred if Mr. Brown had been a white person.' ''
''Exactly the same procedure would have been followed,'' Chief Fritts responded.
When the bank manager called the police she said a man who looked ''strangely like'' the robber was across the street. But when the police dispatcher then put out the alarm, he said it was the same person as the robber.
Was this the result of incompetence, racism or a simple mistake?
Brown doesn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea: He loves Boston. “One incident happens and people dwell on it. It happens in every city, but Boston is stigmatized by it,” Brown says. He repeatedly tells me that he has nothing but fond memories of playing here, that he wishes people would know the whole story before so quickly judging the city. “If you go back in history, especially with the Celtics, they had the first black player. The first black coach. There are a lot of things people forget to put in there. There are racial problems in every city. You go to the wrong neighborhood in any city and you’re black or you’re white or Hispanic or Italian or Irish, you might be in the wrong place.”
Despite defending Boston to anyone who will listen, and especially to me, Brown acknowledges that altering the perception of the city is a difficult task. He knows because he’s tried, making his case to players and journalists alike. He hasn’t gotten very far. Most of the bitterness toward Boston is so deeply rooted now that it feels almost impossible to change anyone’s mind. A lot of it goes back decades, festering for as long as some people have been alive. “People think the core of Boston is Italian and Irish,” Brown says. “The Celtic. The Patriot. The Tea Party. Paul Revere. It’s that history.... Being from Florida or the South, people would say to me, ‘Boston’s just like Up South.’ That’s what they called it: Up South.”
There is an undeniable paradox in a New England city ostensibly filled with progressives, located in a state run by the nation’s second black governor, being repeatedly described as bigoted. Because in some ways things have changed, and so has Boston. Where once the town’s heroes were white men named Yaz and Larry, today the biggest stars, along with Tom Brady, are unquestionably Papi and Manny, KG and Randy Moss—men who defy old stereotypes about who Boston will or won’t embrace.
“In the case of Boston, what’s interesting is that it’s known for certain ethnicities—Irish and Italian,” says University of Southern California professor Todd Boyd, one of ESPN’s go-to experts on matters of race. “But it’s never been seen as a black city. On the other hand, it has a reputation for being a liberal city. That’s ironic, and I think, for some people, that’s a bit of a contradiction that’s caused some confusion. Well, how can a city with such a liberal history be racist? These are the things that need to be discussed. We need to talk about it openly.”
During his three seasons in Boston, Celtics center Al Jefferson was willing to discuss the issue of racism, though he never quite understood what the big deal was. “People always ask me if it’s true, if Boston’s like that,” says Jefferson, 22, a Mississippi native. “The only thing I have bad to say about Boston is it’s cold. I never experienced anything bad about Boston. Never. The only time I ever hear about it is when I go back home and the older cats ask me about Boston. Tell you the truth, I didn’t even know it was a big issue.” Jefferson, of course, was traded from Boston to Minnesota in the deal that made Garnett the Hub’s latest crush. “Kevin Garnett is in for the most glorious experience of his life,” says Bill Walton, who spent three years in a Celtics uniform, and who now does NBA commentary for ESPN.
And I bet the KG will confirm both Jefferson's and Walton's comments.
The real bigots are people like Fungus who ignorantly keep the lie alive by spreading stories like he did here and referring to the city as racist along with those that live here. He's not even in the country! What does he know other than what he hears or reads and even then he only absorbs the part of the written word that he's interested in using to project his biased side of the story in every argument he makes.