Say It Ain’t So, Marty

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Shame on Mayor Marty Walsh! In an interview with Boston Globe reporter Joshua Miller on Tuesday, he implied that President-elect Donald Trump won last month partly because of racial animus against President Barack Obama.

The quote from the Globe story Wednesday is a little muddled, but the implication, sadly, is clear. The Globe story puts the following words from Walsh in the context of Trump voters backing Trump because Obama is black:

“I would hope [that] as a country we have gone beyond that. But I’m afraid that is not the case.”

Some 62 million American voters pulled the lever for Trump. For Walsh’s comment to make sense, he’d have to be saying that some significant number of them made their decision at least partly out of racism.

More than 1 million citizens in the Commonwealth voted for Trump in the general election. Is Mayor Walsh saying that many of his fellow Massachusetts residents voted for Trump because they don’t like the color of President Obama’s skin?

How could Mayor Walsh make such an outrageous statement?

We hope he let his disappointment about the election results momentarily override his judgment. Surely Mayor Walsh understands that the election was about economic growth, jobs, immigration reform, Obamacare, and a host of other issues. We get that Walsh disagrees with Trump on most issues — but they are issues, not racial prejudice.

Unfortunately, Walsh is not alone. Progressives, as liberals now like to be called, routinely seek to win arguments by name-calling. Recall Hillary Clinton’s remarks at a campaign appearance in which she said “half” of Trump supporters were “deplorables.” Lest you think that comment is out of context, here’s what she said on September 9, 2016:

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.”

While she later apologized, it was for calling “half” of Trump supporters deplorable — not for using the word “deplorable,” or for the other vicious and untrue things she said after that.

Part of the job of any elected official in a major American city is to work towards racial justice and racial reconciliation. It is not to pour fuel on the fire of racial tensions. We call on Mayor Walsh to retract his comments about racial backlash against President Obama being one of the key reasons for Trump’s victory, as it is a disgraceful insult to fully one third of the Massachusetts electorate.