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Keller @ Large: Gish Jen Exposes Her Own Ignorance In Boston Globe Red Sox Piece

BOSTON (CBS) - The excellent Sunday Globe package of stories and commentary about the Red Sox included a series of short pieces on our heroes by well-known local writers.

Most were pithy and interesting, but one must have slipped past the editors.

Listen to Jon's commentary:

Keller at Large Nov 4 2013

That would be the contribution of Gish Jen, a Cambridge-based writer, who chose to include in her tribute to the Sox the claim that the Boston Marathon murders had been a "trauma…that had renewed a special doubt" about our city – the doubt, apparently, that we have grown beyond the ethnic and racial bigotry of our past.

Citing historical examples from the 1950s, '60s and '70s, Jen writes:

"It's hard not to recall these things and wonder: Did we fail the Tsarnaevs somehow? It's not clear that we did. And yet for people who knew Dzhokhar especially, who had seen him at school, who had studied and partied and played sports with him, the lurking fear has been that we failed to truly open our hearts, that we accepted him, but only up to a point."

She then appears to come to a contradictory conclusion that the ethnic diversity of the Red Sox today is a positive sign, which I'm sure everyone agrees with.

But I have to take exception to this jarring bit of foolish speculation.

There is no evidence that the Tsarnaev brothers were shunned by their fellow Bostonians.

In fact, all available facts show they were showered with support and acceptance, from the financial aid of the state and the City of Cambridge to the counseling and mentoring of teachers and coaches. The only community rejection I'm aware of was when the mosque Tamerlan Tsarnaev attended nearly kicked him out for unruly behavior.

It's disappointing that someone who makes a living off the power of words would publish something so careless and false.

But that's something freedom of speech includes – the freedom to expose one's own ignorance.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.



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