Intentions gone south

Letters to the Boston editor, November 6, 2009
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  November 4, 2009

Erica Corsano’s bigotry overrides some of the interesting things one might actually take away from reading her article about South Boston. Ms. Corsano, for the record — not all working-class people are stupid. Not all Irish people or Irish-Americans are boozing, bigoted brawlers; not all gay people are flamboyant, etc. The fact that the Boston Phoenix actually printed some of the remarks made in this essay astounds me.

Additionally, if you wrote about the South End in the 1970s, you’d be writing a very different article than you did today. Some of us are old enough to remember when the South End became the “New” South End. Neighborhoods transition. South Boston is transitioning too. The transitions offer positive and negative changes. One thing that never seems to change about South Boston, however, are the writers out there who know nothing about South Boston, but write about it as if they know everything. The “everyone in Southie is an ignorant racist” angle is an angle that is well-worn. I read the Phoenix for new and interesting thinking. This essay certainly doesn’t reflect anything new, and was especially uninteresting.

Cathy O’Flaherty
South Boston

I was stunned when I read the article “How Gay Is Southie?” by Erica Corsano. It was not the subject of the article that stunned me, but the repeated demeaning and cruel remarks made about South Boston and its residents. One in particular, that South Boston “is one of the assholes of the world,” is particularly harsh. I find it astonishing that an editor would allow this to be published in its paper, if indeed that publication considered itself to be a legitimate one.

Ms. Corsano not only insulted the residents of South Boston and all people of Irish heritage, but if she considers herself a mouthpiece for the gay community, she’s not helping their cause. The residents of South Boston have long endured the wrath of those commentators that felt Southie was easy prey for them to spew their hatred of “parochial, family, and community value” types. One would think that a public apology would be in order, but that would be too little, too late.

Margaret Itri
South Boston

Heavily contested
Regarding your endorsement of the Flaherty/Yoon ticket, I wonder how one expects City Hall to have more transparency under the direction of Michael Flaherty. He has been notorious for behind-the-scenes tactics for which this paper routinely inveighs against the mayor, and was convicted of violating the City Council’s Open Meeting Law. I agree that bringing Sam Yoon in was a prudent decision. But I would also question the “Obama-style” label that you’ve adorned him with.

It is very easy for a challenger to be critical, but these panaceas and Flaherty’s fear-mongering will face serious road blocks. We need results, not someone who will change their positions to simply rival their opponent.

Jonathon Attridge
South Boston

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