Lynch: Not exactly a non-bigot

… and certainly no advocate of religious tolerance, or neighborliness, or the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of religion.

From a few years ago, when Lynch faced a primary challenge (read the whole thing):

Lynch: Moslems should move proposed Manhattan center out of respect for ‘us’ | Universal Hub.

D’Alessandro said he supported the rights of a Moslem group to build a cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero: “We have a constitutionally protected right to practice our faith as we see fit, and you know, those rights, those core values mean the most when it’s uncomfortable for us to adhere to them,” he said.

Lynch disagreed: “Respect and tolerance lives on a two-way street. I know a lot of those families who lost loved ones that day, I know a lot of firefighters who, their families, who perished that day and I just think it would be a huge win for the Imam to move that mosque and I would hope they would do that as a symbol for us and our fallen.”

“Us”? “Our fallen”? So if you’re Muslim, then you’re not one of “us”?

I have nothing but contempt for that kind of argument, for that kind of thinking, that kind of stereotyping, ignorance, tribalism and bigotry. I don’t know who it appeals to, and I don’t care.


UPDATE (by David): You can watch the video of the WGBH debate in which Lynch made the comments in question here – the exchange over the Manhattan mosque starts about 15 minutes in. Actually, the whole thing is worth watching to hear Lynch talk at length about his vote on health care, among other things.

Recommended by mel-warshaw, stomv.


6 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Just the fact that

    this came up shows his tendency to demagoguery on these push-button issues. Last I checked, lower Manhattan is not anywhere near Steve Lynch’s district. Not much more than a century ago, however, people were upset about Roman Catholic churches being built in the neighborhoods that are Steve Lynch’s district. Because “they’re not us,” these Catholics are all terrorists (Molly Maguires, IRA, anarchists).

    It is not surprising given Lynch’s history. Let’s not forget this is the guy who based his first-ever campaign on the incumbent State Rep’s failure to support Wacko Hurley when he cancelled his St. Patrick’s Day parade rather than allow a gay group to march in it. Lynch’s whole career has been built on pandering to a certain element in his home neighborhood. If he’d first run in 1974 instead of 1994, he would have been Louise Day Hicks.

    • I'd agree

      As a North Cambridge born and bred Irish Catholic I feel we get a bad rap by getting lumped in with some of the bigots in Southie. But to deny that element does exist is to deny the truth. Just as some family members are still proudly anti-racist Kennedy Democrats like our grandparents some cousins say some pretty stupid things sometimes and have the same racial resentments Reagan was able to exploit to win over white ethnic voters. Lynch is the typical Reagan Democrat, he likes unions and patronage but likes little else about the social safety net and social compacts that disproportionately benefit people that are ‘his’. Even in his speech he said the Senate has no room for ‘people like us’. Its sad but true he will be quite formiddable, especially if Brown stays out, since a lot of the lunch pail crowd still thinks this way. But bigotry in any form should be condemned, he was strongly anti-gay as recently as ten years ago and strongly anti-Muslim as recently as two years ago. He still disfacors womens rights and skepticism over the rights of minorities in general.

      This fight once tore the Democratic party apart, but the Obama coalition is a broad based coalition and Markey is of it and Lynch is not.

      • Yes

        In the early 1900s my grandmother’s family moved from the South End to JP. Other people in the family lived in Southie for decades. My grandparents always felt like Southie was a different world.

    • Rooney asked about it, right?

      Also, was Lynch’s position on this much different from that of the ADL at the time? I didn’t like his position, but he’s hardly the only guy who held it.

  2. Reminds me of...

    That passage reminded me of:

    “Calling me the least liberal member from Massachusetts is like calling me the slowest Kenyan in the Boston Marathon,’’ [Stephen Lynch] said.

    which, in turn, reminded me of:

    Dave Schmirer, a social studies teacher there, remembers [Scott] Brown’s visit well. Schmirer had planned a series of debates for his and another civics class on the issue of gay marriage. He needed a speaker who opposed it and invited Brown. During the lecture, Brown drew the parallel that having him speak against gay marriage was like having a black student speak for Metco. “Don’t you agree?” he said, settling his gaze on one such student. Brown had no idea if that student was in Metco. (It turns out he was.) But the comment unsettled Schmirer. “It wasn’t racist,” he says. It just lacked a certain sensibility, a sensitivity, even.

    In the next civics class, things got worse. Brown wondered aloud if Metco students had been brought to Wayland High as a potential boon to the athletics program. Now Schmirer wasn’t the only one who felt unsettled. Students, too, found the comments inappropriate, Schmirer says. They asked Schmirer to bring Brown back to explain himself. Brown returned about a week later.

    He didn’t really know why he needed to return, despite Schmirer having spoken with the senator’s staff about this visit. So, even if Brown’s staff hadn’t relayed Schmirer’s message that the students wanted an explanation, Brown himself had failed to see the impact his comments had had on others. He’d walked out of Wayland High one week earlier without regret. “It was like [the incident] hadn’t registered,” Schmirer says.

    This time, both classes met in a large conference room. As students started in with heated questions, Brown “basically apologized,” Schmirer says. Brown told the students he didn’t realize he had said something offensive.

  3. This is yet another reason why primarying from the left is important

    Without a guy like Mac D’Alessandro in a Democratic primary against Lynch, we’d never have this nugget.

    Primaries don’t just benefit the electorate in the election — they benefit the electorate in future elections by providing a controlled, measured opportunity to get to know all of the candidates a little better.

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Thu 27 Apr 7:02 AM