Letter to the Editor: Councillor Baker's flawed stance on McCormack lease

To the Editor:

In response to Frank Baker’s Aug. 12 commentary on the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester Field House project on the McCormack field, I feel it necessary to point to the hypocrisy and paternalism that underscore his words.

Baker criticizes opponents of the field house project as being “sneaky and nefarious” and pushing “a false narrative at the 11th hour,” when in fact those who are pushing the project have engaged in acts that could be described using those exact words.

The fact that this land was ever annexed to begin with shows that the power brokers in this city have set the course for this project from the beginning, with absolutely no regard for the members of the McCormack and Harbor Point community.

The “false narrative” being presented “at the 11th hour” sounds like exactly what School Committee chair Michael Loconto pushed after 11p.m. during the meeting on Aug. 5, when he made an 11th-hour edit to the proposal, saying McCormack students would get “priority access” to the field house, as if that means anything or is anything close to what the community has been asking for.

This is the only response he could muster to the years and countless testimonies of community members saying they do not want their green space taken away.

Baker’s paternalistic perspective led him to find it “confounding” that other city councillors centered the voices of the students and community members, the Black and brown constituents that he labeled “underprivileged.” He clearly centers the voices of the white men with the power to broker these deals and is certain that he and they know better what these “underprivileged” kids need.

This is the definition of paternalism, one of the hallmarks of white supremacy culture. 

In this national moment of reckoning, we can either confront this clear example of systemic racism and try to change it, or we can pretend that because “proper protocols have been followed” this project is justified.

- Sarah Cook

The writer is a longtime math teacher at the McCormack School.