Saturday, May 21, 2005

Man, Martin Luther King message does not work in Boston.

Politics: Unless they want to show racism is involved, whining that he should get the job because he is black is a slap in the face. You can't fight for equality and then turn around play the race card because you don't like the outcome.

"Angry at the University of Massachusetts for passing over a black candidate to lead its Boston campus, minority legislators and activists vowed yesterday to fight the appointment of Dr. Michael F. Collins, a Boston physician recommended for the job by UMass president Jack Wilson. Black and Hispanic legislators, two Boston city councilors, and the head of the Boston chapter of the NAACP held a press conference at the State House to express disappointment and outrage that Wilson did not choose J. Keith Motley, the interim chancellor of UMass-Boston. Motley, 49, one of three finalists, would have been the first black chancellor of the Dorchester campus. ''When do we fire somebody for doing a good job?" Representative Marie P. St. Fleur, a Dorchester Democrat, said, her voice rising in anger. ''This is larger than Keith Motley. I am outraged by [Wilson's] lack of courage to make a just and fair decision." St. Fleur and other critics said they will lobby UMass trustees to reject Wilson's choice. They also called on Governor Mitt Romney to use his influence to make sure that Motley is appointed. ....Motley, in his first public comments since Wilson's announcement, said yesterday he was disappointed in the outcome, but still confident in his ability to lead a campus. He said he will consider future opportunities at UMass and elsewhere. Wilson has asked Motley, who spent a decade as student services dean at Northeastern University, to work in his downtown office as a vice president of the five-campus university system, a spokesman for the UMass president said. Motley said he needed to discuss the offer further with Wilson. ''People make decisions, and you have to move on," Motley said, drinking tea with honey after hosting the community awards breakfast, where he choked up before receiving a standing ovation from 200 guests. ''I don't dwell on what [Wilson's] thought pattern was, and I know Keith Motley's not a failure. . . . I made history here, and I'm very proud of that." At a State House press conference, Motley's supporters were less forgiving. Representative Shirley Owens-Hicks, a Mattapan Democrat, said she believes that if Motley were white, he would have been recommended for the job. Councilor Felix Arroyo described the decision as ''not acceptable whatsoever," and Councilor Charles Yancey said it was ''a slap in the face to our children." Leonard C. Alkins, president of the Boston branch of the NAACP, said Wilson's decision ''had set back the city of Boston over 100 years."

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