The Boston Police Department cemented the city’s racist reputation with an insulting—but not surprising—tweet on Sunday night that brought quick condemnation.
For Black History Month, Boston police officials decided to honor a white man. “We pay tribute to @celtics legend #RedAuerbach for being the 1st @NBA coach to draft a black player in 1950, field an all African-American starting five in 1964 and hire the league’s 1st African-American head coach (Bill Russell) in 1966,” Boston 25 News reported, quoting the post that was deleted within an hour.
The response to hailing former Boston Celtics Red Auerbach as a civil right hero was widely condemned, including this tweet from Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson who ran for mayor of the city in 2017.
This “All Lives Matter” approach—honoring white people during Black History Month—comes after the Boston Globe published a scathing rebuke that said Boston deserves its reputation as a racist city. “Here in Boston, a city known as a liberal bastion, we have deluded ourselves into believing we’ve made more progress than we have,” the report stated, pointing to evidence of persistent inequality and racist attitudes.
After the Twitter backlash, the Boston police issued an insincere apologized, saying “our intentions were never to offend.”