I grew up in Cambridge. I went to its public schools from kindergarten through high school. My parents still live in the same house. For the record, I have never called it the People’s Republic. That two young adults from Cambridge are suspected in the bombings at the Boston Marathon has caused me to think a lot about the city I love and claim as my hometown.
A lot has been written about the fact that the Tsarnaev brothers lived in what some deem the most tolerant and accepting place in the country. I have had a hard time with this, partly because, as anyone who is from here knows, there are all sorts of people in this small city. You get to know this especially well if you attend the public schools.
I can attest to Cambridge’s diversity. But I will not paint this city as utopian or ideal. This is part of the problem. The hard lesson learned here is that Cambridge is just like everywhere else. We have happy people and sad people. We have rich and poor people. We have Republicans, Democrats, Tea Partiers, and the undecided. We have good pizza and bad pizza. We also have people who seemingly are so-called good kids who may have acted in ways that are unexpectedly horrific and violent. This is diversity.