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letters | race and the mayor’s race

Character aside, it’s an entrenched system that yields white finalists

As Kevin Cullen points out in his Sept. 27 Metro column “On race and races,” there have been a lot of rumblings about the fact that out of a field of 12, two white Irish Catholic guys advanced to the final in the mayoral race.

However, I think these complaints have nothing to do with the content of Marty Walsh’s or John Connolly’s character. And here is where Cullen misses the mark.

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Yes, Martin Luther King wished for a day when we wouldn’t judge people by the color of their skin, but he also understood institutional racism, something that was not as easy to put in a pithy quote.

The problem isn’t how comfortable Connolly is in Roxbury or how much Walsh has worked for women and so-called minorities — when can we start calling them majorities in Boston?

The problem is the decades of power, networks, and, yes, patronage, so that even in the new and diverse Boston that we live in, privilege remains concentrated with people of a specific skin color or heritage.

As a young white woman of Irish heritage who grew up in this city, I was looking forward to a breaking open of that system. Maybe next time.

Meghan Doran


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