Herald photographer Mark Garfinkel talks to Stanley Forman on the 40th anniversary of his photo of a black man attacked on City Hall Plaza during a busing protest.
And proceeded to have a successful professional life in Boston..
Unfortunately, there were no cameras, no 21st century phones, no professional reporters around the night my father, a white man, was deliberately shot in the back and left paralyzed in a racially motivated hate crime not too long after the iconic Ted Landsmark photo. My father's shooting was not reported by the major new outlets of the late 1970s Boston except for one local tv new station.my family were told city hall and police were under orders to downplay anti-white hate crimes in the city because presumably it was bad for business, they were afraid of a white backlash, among other things.
such as name, date, location, and other circumstances?
As for the circumstances,he was.simply jumped in the street.after.work by a gang of young black guys, they said nothing to him, didn't rob him, just surrounded him, and one shot him in the lower back. They left him lo like that in the street neat our home.
would like to hear more about this. (I believe you that it happened. All stories should be heard.)
I, too, believed that it happened, and think that everybody's stories need to be heard.
The fact that this whole period is not talked about, and not enough people have been able or allowed to tell their stories is one of the reasons that so little progress regarding race relations have been made here in Boston, and throughout the United States, generally.
It might have something to do with the fact that telling any story that doesn't fit today's political agenda would have you branded a bigot and a racist for the rest of your life.
Only if you are, in fact, a bigot and a racist.
Think about this for a minute: when a black person is attacked by a white person, especially by a white cop, there are always those who claim that it couldn't possibly have been racially motivated. If they were so afraid of being branded for life, gasp, pearlclutch, as you say, we wouldn't see this happen all the time, would we?
went on to have a successful professional life here in Boston.
From what I've read/heard, however, the media was required to not only downplay the black-on-white violence, but the white-on-black violence, as well.
happen in Boston's South End, btw? Just curious, because, a number of years ago, I got to meet a guy who'd lived in the South End at the time, who was a pharmacist, and who was shot in the back and permanently paralyzed when he entered his home, surprised two burglars in the act of ripping off his South End Condo. The white guy in question threw some cash to the burglars and tried to make a run for it, but was shot in the back and paralyzed in the process, rendering him a paraplegic.
He stayed in our building for the summer that particular year, but was having an extremely hard time dealing with the result of his injuries.
I mean, I want to believe you.
Then again, we all wanted to believe Chuck Stuart, too.
Perhaps your father was involved in some things that he shouldn't have been, and not necessarily involving black guys.
The only thing he was guilty of was being white and not moving his family out of a neighborhood that in a span of a decade became overrun with violent street crime, much of it motivated by racial hate. He could have sold our house but by that point it was next to worthless.
As others have said, how do you know it was specifically hate crime (attacking solely for racial reasons) and not something else (attempted robbery, general thuggery, etc)?
However, I think that this story is another "internet counterpoint story" unless there were witnesses or you can link to some supporting information.
I'm sure you are familiar with any number of stories in the past decades where a white person says "a black guy" (Charles Stuart, Susan Smith, many others) or "a Mexican" (a woman who said that she was kidnapped when she just didn't want to go through with her wedding) or similar marginalized type of person was responsible for a crime, and reality doesn't turn out to be nearly as tidy.
Provided that you are honestly talking about an actual father and incident here, be aware that many "good working people" turn out to have gambling and drug problems, or problems with organized crime situations, and the like. Too many of these problems end badly, and the survivors don't always want to (or aren't always able to) talk about it honestly.
Who disbelieve what really happened to my dad.This kind of violence, and yes it wss absolutely racially motivated, was commonplace, simply not reported by the media of the day. Anybody who lived in the city, especially lower middleclass and working class, would have no issue believing it occurred and could tell similar stories. I have a much easy time talking about this with black people than a lot of whites, especially if they come from non-diverse, non-urban, areas. It seems many people get their opinions and ideas about things like life growing up poor, working class, even lower middle class, in a big city, from popular culture, tv, movies, media. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it's 95% of the time very flawed and inaccurate. This is especially true since the advent of political correctness, but it was also by and large true before then. One of the biggest taboos is race, specifically racism against whites, which as far as popular culture,tv,movies,media doesn't exist. Another big taboo subject is class, specifically white poor, and working class. Popular culture generally mocks such people in ways they wouldn't dare do to a 'person of color' or other PC protected group.
1. you haven't linked to any reports on this incident
2. you haven't answered questions about the circumstances or witnesses
3. you are an anonymous poster on a forum where nobody knows who you are
4. there is a long history of vague responses to Landsmark photo threads on this forum that amount to "BUT BLACK PEOPLE HURT WHITE PEOPLE TOO", followed by vague anecdotes.
5. there is a long history in this country of members of marginalized groups being framed or lynched on the say-so of a white person who does not want the truth of whatever mess they have found themselves in to get out.(See also "Lindbergh Baby" for a white migrant example).
If I walked into a bank and said "I'm a billionaire, but I need money so that I can pay a fee to get at my money", and did so without verification or identification, what would your response be?
Will ya? And gaffin, what about that tawana brawley and that dude lacrosse team?
Yes, two cases completely negate decades of history.
Very, very Trumpian. Oh, hey, speaking of which, what about the Central Park Five?
What a great example. So, if five thugs assault and beat the crap out of your daughter and hold her down while one actually rapes her, four of them are innocent little angels that should go free? Scary enough, we have debleedheartio with similar beliefs running the whole city instead of this here online circlejerk.
Sorry if the facts disturb your bigotry, but the whole point of the case was that four men were convicted of a crime they didn't commit and that a man running for president wanted them put to death, to the point of taking out full-page newspaper ads. Not sure why the fact that their lives were ruined is any better than what happened in the cases you cited.
But you're getting off track as you run the very specific details of the crime through your mind over and over again. The discussion here is really about a photo taken in Boston 40 years ago.
You will find no online reports of the incident, and was not reported on by the media of the day, except one TV news outlet; I stated this is my first post. The internet did not exist. I do have a copy of the of the original police report, very faded now, and doesn't say much, that's it. And no, I will not scan it and post it online. There are far too many crazy people in the world, online and off line, who could take it as an opportunity to troll, stalk, do worse. Anyway, like I said, the police report is very basic, and Boston police of that time did very, very little to solve the crime or keep my family up to date and informed, same with the Suffolk DA's office. The FBI were also involved because it involved a hate crime, they showed up once at my home, never heard from them again. I was later informed by someone who would have inside knowledge that all involved had directions from higher ups to downplay the racial angle and the violence in general.
Lots of very bad things happen that the media do not notice or choose not to report. I can easily see the authorities suppressing news that they thought might exacerbate the tense situation that existed during that time. It's sad that your father's case was allowed to fall through the cracks.
Also, the Internet is not good at finding and retaining information about non-headline events that occurred before it existed. I once tried to find reports online about a particular public servant's long string of egregious acts when I was young -- acts that were well-publicized at the time -- and came up empty.
From the 1970s? And you're saying, simultaneously, that this guy is a liar and a racist fabulist but that he should also share up detailed personal information about a family tragedy that has already been dismissed and downplayed? Did that story really smack of Internet fiction to you? Because having grown up here, I can believe both that a bunch of angry racist thugs from South Boston attacked Ted Landsmark AND that the racial anger and violence in the neighborhoods flowed both ways. It's not an either-or thing. You don't believe this guy? Google Evelyn Wagler. Google the rabbi from Mattapan who was burned by a Molotov cocktail. It was a crazy fucking time. IMO when we don't try to look at the whole thing in a broader David Simon-esque way (which both Michael Macdonald and Common Ground do) you don't understand or heal or move on. This era is still a festering sore for a lot of Boston people--black, white, especially the ones who left. I'd love to see more conversation, fewer accusations.
That;s the way it should be, but, unfortunately, there are far too many people who refuse to believe that the racial tensions and hostilities that were running so high here in Boston at the time cut both ways, which is a huge obstacle for people really coming together, learning about each other, and therefore arriving at some true understanding of one another and where they're coming from.
I'll also add, however, that both Rene Wegler's grotesque murder, and the Mattapan Rabbi getting acid thrown at him (it wasn't a Molotov Cocktail, or he would've been permanently damaged!) by two Mattapan youths both happened prior to the Federal Court busing order coming down in Boston.
like gambling, substance abuse, or anything that would cause him to have been shot. He was simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time, period. He was a victim of the rampant violence and street crime of that period. You throw out stuff that you know perfectly well I can't prove to your satisfaction, why? If I told you my wife, sister, daughter were raped by a white guy, I don't think you'd be giving me the 3rd degree.
It is hard to describe the level of random street violence and crime of that period, to someone who has never experienced such a thing. It was extremely common. I was jumped, beaten up, robbed at least 8 times as a kid going to school, each time it was because I was white. This was by groups of older guys and girls. They made it very clear in the language used why they were jumping me. My mom had her pocket book snatched multiple times AFTER the shooting of my father. All true.
I tend to believe you. You can see from some posters here that maybe weren't in the area in the 70's that they seem to have a hard time believing that things were that bad.
Tensions were very high on all sides. It was a very ugly and violent time and neither "side" was better than the other. There were noted a couple of racial incidents in my family (not immediate) of members being assaulted.
Somehow Boston was able to move on but many scars are still there.
I personally know people who were bused out of their neighborhoods to different schools during that time, and the buses they were riding would regularly be stoned. This did cut both ways.
I was too young for busing but even in the aftermath years...it's hard for newer arrivals to imagine the level of racial hostility and tribal, territorial craziness. The general level of "TOWNIES RULE!!" and "fuck you cracker/n*****/honky!" on the bus, at school, the graffiti everywhere, was just so much more on the surface.
I don't think that one can compare one person with the other, if one gets the drift.
How would you know it was a hate crime if they didn't say anything?
Because in those days everything was black vs white and white vs. black.
You couldn't escape it, most importantly the kids couldn't escape it.
There were no such labels as "Hate Crimes" in those days. it was what it was.
Talk to people that went to school during that era. You didn't even have to have kids in school to be caught up in it.
It's Washington Mall. (Google Map it.)
The Old State House is in the background.
The building to the left in the picture, is 28 State Street, home to New England Merchants National Bank which eventually was renamed Bank of New England. 28 State Street is now home to Citizens Bank.
The photographer was likely standing in the plaza when he took this photo.
He was looking down Washington Mall towards State.
It's all in the angle.
Look closely, the picture depicts a white man holding Ted while Rakes spears him with the American flag.What really transpired was that Ted was brutality assaulted but not by Rakes but by others. The man holding him was former City Councilor Jimmy Kelly who was picking him up after hooligans from Charlestown beat him senseless.
The proof Stanley's own pictures of the event. Rakes received probation but was cleared of more serious charges because Stanley and Ted both admitted the flag never touched him.
Ted is a great guy who became close friends with Steve Rakes and the iconic photo is on display at the News Museum in Washington DC.
Sometime ago, I read an interview by Ted Landmark himself, in which he pointed out that Joseph Rakes, the 17 year old South Boston kid with the American flag, had actually swung the flag at Ted Landmark, barely missing him, since Ted Landmark leaned away from the flagpole right in the nick of time, thankfully. Ted Landmark, however, was punched in the face by another white tough, receiving a broken nose and glasses, and was kicked by another white tough. Ted Landmark was injured and had to be rushed to the hospital.
I, too, am glad that Ted Landmark recovered from his injuries from that assault. What's amazing, however, is that he forgave the kids who did that to him! I'm admittedly not so sure I could've done that, if I'd been in Ted Landmark's place, but then that's just me. Glad to see that Joseph Rakes' older brother, Steve, acted decently towards Ted Landmark, however.
Here's another admission, however: Even though James Kelly of the SBIC (South Boston Information Center) picked Ted Landmark up after he'd been brutally assaulted and knocked cold by the kids who did that to him, I'd have never put my trust in James Kelly, because he was one of the leading orchestrators of all the unrest back than, and help create the kind of climate that led to the horrific assault on Ted Landmark (not to mention tons of other stuff!) in the first place.
A number of years ago, long after this grisly incident, I saw an interview on a TV program called "Inside Edition", by one of the Townie guys who'd attacked Ted Landmark (and was now a grown man.), and who openly and candidly admitted: "I punched him (meaning Ted Landmark) in the face and broke his nose and glasses. I don't mind admitting that I'm ashamed of what I did."
In All Souls. It was definitely a nasty melee but more than anything it was an astounding photograph in how it captured a narrative and mood--more than just a documentary evidence pic.
Despite the fact that the pho)to was a tad misleading (it made it look like Joseph Rakes had speared Ted Landmark with the flagpole, even though Rakes had swung the flagpole at Landmark, who leaned away from the pole just in time!), it (meaning the photo) really did capture the overall mood and the fact that tensions here in Boston at that time were really running at an all-time high.
For starters, the fact that Joseph Rakes even attempted to attack Ted Landmark with the flagpole, in itself, indicates the kind of person that he (Joseph Rakes) really and truly was.
Secondly, Joseph Rakes is/was a murderer, as it turned out. Thomas Dooley, , also a South Bostonian, who was dating Joseph Rake's sister, Patricia, hit on her during an argument. Joseph Rakes called on Thomas Dooley to meet him at a now-defunct Southie bar known as Kelly's Cork & Bull. Joseph Rakes then clubbed Thomas Dooley over the head with a lead pipe, after kicking him in the mouth. Just before losing conscientiousness, Thomas Dooley managed to contact the police and identify Joseph Rakes as the guy who'd hit him over the head with the pipe. He (Thomas Dooley) died of his injuries a week later.
Joseph Rakes went on the lam for about five years, out of the United States, to either Bermuda or the Bahamas, thereby managing to avoid spending any time in jail.
The victim is Ted Landsmark, Dean of Boston Architectural College. He accepted an apology from the perpetrator and his family nearly 40 years after the incident.
Another one of Ted Landsmark's attackers, who was also a Charlestown Townie, paid a visit to Ted Landmark, who was then the director of Public Safety under the Flynn Administration, in his Boston City Hall office, almost 20 years later, when he (Johnny Powers, the other Charlestown Townie, who'd attacked Ted Landmark by kicking him a couple of times.) was a grown man, with a young son of his own, admitted that what he'd done had been bothering him since, and apologized to Ted Landmark. The two men sat in Ted Landmark's Boston City Hall office and talked for two hours.
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