This Is Still Our F***in' City

05/10/2017 08:25 pm ET Updated May 11, 2017
Jim Rogash via Getty Images

Do you remember that day in 2013, following the Boston Marathon attack, when David Ortiz declared on live television, that “this is our f*ckin city!”? During a time that may have crushed some cities, the city of Boston showed the world that if you mess with us, we will shut down the city, we will find you, and you will pay.

Most recently, the Boston Red Sox showed that if you act like a racist jerk in their ballpark, they will find you, kick you out, and ban you from that magical place for the rest of your life. Boston is a city of pride; do not tread on our values and don’t even think about messing with our people.

Last week, after hearing the story of Calvin Hennick, a Boston man attending a Red Sox game with his mixed race family, I was inspired. Hennick stuck up to another fan that used the N-word to refer to the national anthem singer, and then that ignorant fool was kicked out of the stadium. Hennick didn’t let that behavior slide and we all have something to learn from this.

It’s 2017; a person of color or a mixed race family shouldn’t stick out in a crowd for any reason other than the fact that family is a beautiful thing. Shame is taught to us at a young age by what is pressed on us by others; we shouldn’t shame others based on an uncontrollable part of their being. We should all be celebrated.

All races and cultures should be accepted in this country; especially when there is no action or intent of hurt to others. Mutual respect is key. You need to give respect to earn respect; never forget that. Treat the woman tidying up the office at the close of business the same as you would treat the CEO. Value others based on their character; isn’t that what’s most important when we face our maker?

Isn’t it time we stop judging? Open our minds and hearts up enough to let go of our prejudices? I continue to make a deliberate effort to instill in my daughter the knowledge of her right to her own voice; her duty to speak up when something is not right. One of the worst things to teach a child is to be passive in instances of injustice; that it doesn’t matter, that it’s not their problem, that someone else will handle it.

My daughter is being raised with so much pride in who she is and with acceptance of others; it would be unfathomable to her to ever think otherwise.

Ever hear of the bystander effect? Tolerance of injustice is just as guiltily of an action as being an oppressor. We live in America and intolerance is everyone’s problem to solve; so what are you going to do about it going forward? Make it your problem. Be the solution. Teach your children to want to be the solution. Stop standing back to let history repeat itself. Even if you’ve never personally experienced injustice, you can still make a difference when you witness it.

Your intentional noble action may be the catalyst that causes a visible platform, such as a Major League Baseball team, to ban racists for life. What a huge statement and demonstration of the fact that one is not going to act like an a**hole in our ballpark; in our city.

Our courage and civic duty to stand up against intolerance will raise the next generation with acceptance as a part of their being. I know it may take a lot of bravery to do the right thing, but it can feel so damn good to so many people when you step up to the plate.

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