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Councilor O’Malley on Swastika Graffiti: Boston Will Make Sure All Citizens Feel Safe

Last night a resident found a swastika carved into their recycling bin on Wenham Street, and Jamaica Plain’s City Councilor Matt O’Malley was quick to disavow the symbol of hatred.

City Councilor Matt O'Malley
City Councilor Matt O’Malley

In a Facebook post, O’Malley wrote about the election, the divisions of our country, the unity needed and how to make a positive difference in our community.

I’m a proud progressive and a proud patriot. These two notions are not in conflict. In fact, I would argue that patriotism means supporting all Americans: regardless of what they look like, where they were born, whom they pray to, or whom they love.

It’s times like these that we need to take stock of what we have. I am so proud to live in and represent a city that celebrates diversity, values intellectual curiosity, exemplifies community policing, and above all else, recognizes that we’re all in this together. That will never change. We are a city of good and kind people in a country that is already great. 

Like many of you, I was disappointed and stunned with the election results of Tuesday. I proudly supported Hillary Clinton because of her vision, record, and strength. Most of you joined me in that support, while others did not. And, due to much of the campaign rhetoric, many people are scared about what’s to come.

While some may suggest that we all collectively move on and get over it, I think it’s important to note that some really terrifying events have occurred over the past two days. Yesterday, a resident of Jamaica Plain woke up to see a swastika drawn on her recycling bin. I’m not suggesting that the hateful graffiti was necessarily politically motivated, but I think we can all agree that the divisions in our country have never run deeper.

Please know that all of us belong in Boston. Many of you are familiar with John Winthrop’s characterization of Boston as a great city on a hill, but his full quotation is “We shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.”

Once again, Boston will demonstrate its leadership. We’ll make sure that all of our citizens feel safe. We’ll make sure that all of us feel protected. We’ll make sure that everyone feels supported. And we’ll make sure that no one feels alone.

I will follow Hillary Clinton’s advice to give President-elect Trump an open mind going forward. All Americans want their president and their country to succeed. To attain success, I would argue that the progressive patriotism that has made Boston a thriving and welcoming place for all is a good model to follow.

Going forward let’s continue to support each other, stay active in our communities, or get involved with one of our stellar nonprofits like the MIRA Coalition, Planned Parenthood, Ethos, Community Servings, Fenway Health, or the Hyde Square Task Force. As always, please let me know how I can help you. We need to continue to work together and to care for each other by staying connected. We’ll always be stronger together.