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.