By Rosalie Tirella
The family Thanksgiving Day dinner I attended with two friends was divine! Near the New Hampshire border in a farm house we gathered, seated ’round a long, dark wood table, the one my friend’s grandad had built for his farmhouse years ago. He set his big table under the sunniest window. … There were so many veggie dishes and desserts at this Thanksgiving feast! Many cooked from scratch. The wealth and comfort of my host, hostess and their kids, brothers and cousins made me think of – and talk to them about – my beloved Worcester ‘hood: its kids, our inability to get the public library book mobile to visit our neighborhood … so many struggles.
A few days later, a few pounds heavier, I am thinking about the people in my city who are destroying my city, my neighborhoods. Sure, the family in New Hampshire with whom I spent my holiday will do nothing for my people – there really are two Americas!! – but here in Worcester there are public officials who go beyond my dinner hosts’ indifference, detachment and cluelessness. These Woo leaders actively engage in destroying the city they were elected to serve, raise up …
The in-appropriateness of CDBG funds going to the church co-owned and run by D 4 Worcester City Councilor Sarai Rivera, who is also a pastor there, was trumpeted by At Large Worcester City Councilor Mike Gaffney in the most toxic terms on his most toxic YouTube show and on the city council floor where Gaffney sees himself as a modern day Douglas (ha!). His stupidity was aided and abetted by Aidan Kearney on his (formerly) pornographic, racist, classist and sexist Turtle Boy sports blog. These two Man-Boys are arguably the most racist public figures we have in Worcester today. They are leading this city down such a dangerous path!
Together, under the guise of “crusaders for justice” – an excuse for them to whip up racial hatred in Worcester in the same way Donald Trump has incited racial violence in Anerica – Gaffney and Kearney have destroyed several key progressive Black leaders/groups in Worcester. Groups and people who work to make Worcester’s inner city BETTER. Safer. Healthier. Smarter. Even happier. Gaffney and Kearney will have none of it! Since Day 1. Together. Working as Woo’s evil tag team. They have destroyed: Black (now former) Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Melinda Boone, the Black Lives Matter protesters at Kelley Square and the Mosaic Complex, a tiny Black social welfare agency run by Brenda Jenkins. They have destroyed Brenda, too, a Black woman, a true community activist, known for her fearlessness when it came to speaking out against racial inequality in Worcester and her years of work with our inner-city Black men/youth around mental and physical health issues.
Thanks to the fiery lies and hatred fanned by Gaffney and Turtle Boy Aidan. In the Worcester blogosphere and in Worcester City Hall every Tuesday night. Then oozing into our community life …
Instead of trying to foster thoughtful discussions, open dialogues about important issues – many racial because of the city’s evolving demographics – these two man-boys fan the flames of hatred. They confused Worcesterites, lied to people. Played to folks’ prejudices. Racist Kearney posted unflattering photos of Brenda Jenkins on his Turtle Boy blog – the community roared!!! – then there was his photo of Boone’s head pasted on top of a grave stone – the community roared again!!!!
City Councilor Gaffney has called City Councilor Rivera a soldier in THE “MCGOVERN CRIME FAMILY.” Is this any way to lead a Gateway City in the 21st century? What kind of city councilor talks the way Gaffney does – especially about one of the country’s most progressive congressmen, Jim McGovern? A man who has spent his entire political life fighting for the hungry, the poor, the disenfranchised?… Many in our city.. . Gaffney’s fact finding missions on behalf of the community are sick and twisted. He uses them as an excuse to publicly mock, denigrate and destroy leading people of color in Worcester. In this way racist Gaffney keeps people of color down – in city government, in city politics, in city life, in Worcesterites’ heads.
Lately, City Councilor Konnie Luke’s has joined Gaffney and blindly jumped into the racist fray – calling for lists, names and addresses of Worcester’s refugees and immigrants. She’s stupidly supported many of Turtle Boy and Gaffney’s hate-inspired crusades. I believe Lukes hasn’t thought things out – she is not a racist but she is getting there. She is paranoid and can be sucked into Gaffney’s – or any fear-monger’s – tsunami.
The Rivera church-CDBG issue WAS a valid issue – city officials shouldn’t look like they’re getting city sweet heart deals. But if we take the longview, sweetheart deals have been going on in Worcester city government for decades. DECADES!!!! From hiring, to firing, to job contracts, to neighborhood beautification – the only difference being that, up until recently, the “winners” (or should we say “sinners”?) were white, male and Irish Catholic. So, naturally, everyone looked the other way.
It’s a new world, kids! – and many in Worcester are unwilling to accept the fact. Gaffney and Kearney keep the blinders on.
It’s called Burning the Future.