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I live in lovely old Tacoma, Washington. I go to a community college and was having a lecture today in my history class about immigration. My professor told me that the Irish were the scum of America when they came over during the potatoe famine during the 1800's. She told me that in order for them to be accepted by Americans they began lynching African-Americans. Now I knew that, but she said that racism towards people of color continues on today in South Boston, the Irish ghetto. She told a story of one of her students that was born into an African-American father and Irish-American mother and lived in Tacoma her whole life. She then went to her Grandfather's funeral in Boston. After the funeral, she was stoned! I was particularly shocked to hear this. Boston is MY FAVORITE city in the US. I admire its liberalism and density and diversity. I couldnt imagine such things going on there. Im Irish as well. I couldnt imagine doing such a thing. Nonetheless, I am writing this article to ask you, the people of Boston, if this is true to your knowledge. Please, help me sort out my confusion. Thanks!

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Did she happen to mention what decade this funeral took place in?

Southie is no longer an Irish ghetto, it's a Yuppie ghetto.

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While there are still quite a few Irish in South Boston ( even newer immigrants)and Dorchester, it is mostly yuppieville now. I agree w/ Cotuit. People that say racism still exists today in Boston in such broad terms have not been there in a long time.

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My prof told me the attack happened three years ago. I agree with you Jerry, this was probably myth though. Good, I still like Boston!

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I work in South Boston teaching students at a school who are mostly Cape Verdean, Hispanic and African-American (I myself am Cape Verdean) and while South Boston is not as bad as it was 10 of so years ago it is still bad...

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My brother and I had rocks thrown at us when we were living in Southie and we're Irish-American!

That's anecdotal though, never had any other problems there. It's actually a pretty safe area these days.

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My professor told me that the Irish were the scum of America when they came over during the potatoe famine during the 1800's.

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Interesting post. I'm a life long resident of South Boston. Your description of SB as a 'yuppie ghetto' is unfortunately accurate. Gentrification has forced out young families with kids and the elderly. I'm at a loss to see the benefit in this. The character of the neighborhood is all but gone.

I know some of the newcomers will take issue with this, but in 3-5 years from now when they move on after marrying and having kids they will be replaced with another yuppie who will repeat the cycle.

I think the mayor has failed SB in the area of affordable housing. For the neighborhood of South Boston it's too late. People have moved to the suburbs and raising their families there. They won't be coming back.

I'm not sure what the future holds, but I'm not opptimistic.

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Lynching? Not in Boston that I know of and I never heard of anyone having rocks thrown at them after a funeral. However, there are certainly parts of the city where African-Americans (and conversely, to a lesser extent, whites) wouldn't go in the 1970s. South Boston and Charlestown were two of those places for African-Americans, parts of Roxbury for whites. My wife grew up in Boston in the 1970s and has an adopted African-American brother the same age as she is so they lived through that era and remember it very clearly, including having rocks thrown at her school bus, although she isn't sure if it wasn't just kids throwing rocks to throw rocks. Even as recently as ten years ago we had an African-American friend who declined to visit Savin Hill (aka Stab and Kill) with us because of memories of past racial incidents. South Boston (and the rest of the city) has changed a great deal in the last 15 years and the idea of South Boston as an "Irish ghetto" really doesn't apply anymore.

The irony in Boston's case is that even as the Irish were arriving in the 1840s, Boston was a hotbed of abolitionist activity. Irish/African-American racial conflict started at that time because the two groups were competing for jobs at the lowest end of the economic scale.

There is a good book about the subject: Liberty's Chosen Home--The Politics of Violence in Boston, by Alan Lupo

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Thank you all for your help. After being in this prof's class for a while, Ive came to the conclusion that shes a nut! :blush:

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