James Kelly is the Chairman of the Boston City Council who built his political career using the segregationist South Boston Information Center as his base. The Boston Housing Authority recently settled a suit in which black and Hispanic tenants of previously all-white projects in South Boston and Charlestown showed that the BHA did not protect them from harassment by whites when these projects were desegregated in the early 'nineties. Kelly's response is as shown. The flap about shamrocks and swastikas came about as the result of sensitivity training sessions which the Housing Authority offered to staff and tenants, largely as a result of the publicity surrounding the harassment suit. Apparently the trainers attempted to use swastikas, shamrocks, Confederate flags, and Puerto Rican flags to inspire a discussion of the different meanings and connotations of nationalism. John Ciccone, a columnist for the South Boston Tribune,picked up the story as an example of anti-Irish and anti-Catholic bias by the BHA, and now Kelly is running with it.
Full disclosure: I'm Irish too. As Irish as anything else, that is. In a matrilineal society I would be Nick McGuire.
The figure representing the BHA is supposed to resemble its Director, Sandra Henriquez. For more about Henriquez and the BHA, see my November 15, 1998 cartoon. For more on Kelly, see my cartoon from June 26, 1999.
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