Robert Reoch Replies in Boston Globe
Robert Reoch Offers Perspective as Students Rally Against French Consul General for “Bum Rap”
Crime in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan is Topic in Boston Globe
I was recently privileged to have had another letter published in the Boston Globe. It never occurred to me to share this stuff on my blog, but that’s what blogs are for, right? This public discussion concerns a meeting with students from the Codman Academy Charter Public School in Dorchester, MA, who invited the French consul general, Fabien Fieschi, to visit with them that they may ask him to remove negative travel advisories to French tourists that depict their communities as being dangerous. The French consul general did not relent, however. He politely informed that his job is to protect and represent his fellow fellow citizens of France through unbiased travel warnings. I wrote to the Boston Globe to show my agreement with the consul general and to share my objective observations since moving to Boston from San Diego over ten years ago. My published letter follows below. Read more on the Boston Globe web site.
Robert Reoch Boston Globe Letter
Re “C’est la vie in Dorchester” (Metro, Jan. 16): The idealism and naiveté of the students of Codman Academy Charter Public School are what spur progress. I appreciate their community pride. However, I cannot help but agree with the view held by Fabien Fieschi, consul general of France, that the communities of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan have earned a bad rap.
When I moved from San Diego to Boston more than 10 years ago, I put a map of the Boston area on my wall to help me familiarize myself with the area. I used my map to locate stores and restaurants I’d seen in TV ads, or to identify communities from which news stories had come. I was finding my way around. Within three months, I realized that nearly all of the crime being reported was coming out of the same three neighborhoods: Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan.
Ten years later, this same observation is reinforced daily. Those same neighborhoods continue to be areas where innocent people are victims of gang- and drug-related crimes. Most of the violent crimes occur at night, though recently they’ve occurred in broad daylight.
Just as visitors welcome warnings about dangerous cliffs overlooking certain beaches, they also want to know how to stay out of harm’s way by avoiding any major city’s known crime areas. It’s common sense.
People outside of Boston, even outside of this country, make objective observations without the sentiment of community pride. We should pay attention.
I hope the bright students at Codman Academy take forward a goal to effect change within their communities, not just in spirit, but in reality.