THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
BOOM AND THUD ON FOURTH OF JULY

Red, white, and blue — and a sea of white

July 7, 2010

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I WATCHED the Fourth of July Esplanade program and fireworks on TV. The last part of the program was broadcast across the United States, presumably as an example of what a true American celebration should look like. I searched in vain for more than a few faces in the crowd that weren’t Caucasian, and couldn’t imagine what people of color must have thought to see that huge group of white people. Even the representatives of the armed services and the Boston Pops itself were overwhelmingly white.

I’m not sure what the reason is behind this lack of participation of people of color in this event. I would suspect that they don’t feel welcome, and I would be interested to know why, and what can be done about that. At any rate, I was embarrassed for our city of Boston, which is trying hard to project an image of inclusion and to leave behind the racism of the past.

Perhaps we can look upon this Fourth of July celebration as a teachable moment, learn a little about what America really should stand for, and somehow make things different in the future.

Mary Lou Eshelman
Newton

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