City Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson (Roxbury) had enough this afternoon.
Slamming her desk in frustration at what she says is the treatment of Black and Hispanic councilors, Fernandes Anderson turned a discussion about a proposed effort to redistrict Boston into a cry of disgust that started with the way Councilor Ricardo Arroyo is being treated to an exposition on fears in her district that redistricting led by a white councilor will mean minorities will remain at a disadvantage in Boston.
The two are related because Arroyo had been the chair of the council's redistricting committee until Council President Ed Flynn removed him last week over the sexual-assault allegations. Flynn named Councilor Liz Breadon (Allston/Brighton), who is white, to replace him.
At today's meeting, Breadon promised a fair process to redraw district council lines based on the 2020 census.
But Fernandes Anderson said the move has her majority-Black district roiling, she said many of her constituents figure the fix is now in and that all the white councilors will band together to approve new maps that try to minimize the fact that Boston is now minority majority. And she said she is pretty upset about it as well.
"People are not innocent until proven guilty," she said. "People are guilty first. People are crucified, people are lynched! Same old tricks, same masters though. And now everything's changed everybody is upset everybody is boiling up. People are calling me and saying, don't say anything, stay in your lane be quiet, sit down, you will lose your seat, they won't vote for you. Fight. Don't fight.
"What the fuck do I have to do [slams fist to desk] in this fucking council in order to get respect as a black woman?!?" she asked.
And then Fernandes Anderson, who was born in Cabo Verde, held up her phone, and played a voice mail she got this morning, from some white guy who told her this is a white country built by white people and "if you don't like it, when don't you take your ass back to your shithole with your stupid ass scarf on your head."
She said she gets voice mail like that all the time. She pointed at two of her white colleagues and said, "I don't hate you as a white woman, I don't hate you as a white man. I am sick and tired of this body so stupidly racially divided, so afraid, so depraved" and so afraid of bargaining over something like redistricting.
Then, returning to Arroyo, she said, "they're allegations, for crying out loud. Let the courts decide. ...This is not a court, you don't get to crucify people before they're proven guilty." Looking at Flynn, she said, "Ed, you know I love you, you know I care about you, but the way this was done is wrong."
She added, "don't come for me, because if you want smoke, you'll get smoke, I'm not afraid of any of you."
City Councilor Kendra Lara (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, Mission Hill) supported Fernandes Anderson and agreed the way Flynn replaced Arroyo with Breadon on redistricting showed, again, the disparate treatment of and said that, as a black woman, she is also a constant recipient of hate. She says she gets at least one e-mail a day calling her "a nigger whore" and that she now has to bring security with her when she attends events in part of her district because of repeated threats.
And, Lara continued, many of those threats are from a hate campaign run by Darragh Murphy, whose sister is Councilor Erin Murphy.
Lara, who has a 6-year-old, said she went through "proper channels" and asked Flynn if he could ask Erin Murphy to ask her sister to back off. Lara said Flynn asked the councilor to talk to her sister and "Councilor Murphy said she would not."
Fernandes Anderson unedited: