By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The two Jimmy Kellys

Jimmy Kelly: Good man, not-so-good public official. An interesting take by Susan Ryan-Vollmar in this week’s Bay Windows.

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  1. o-fish-l

    It strikes me that the radical wing of the homosexual movement does itself a disservice by labeling as “homophobic” those folks who are hestitant to immediately embrace all things homosexual. Or in the BW piece on the late Jimmy Kelly this condemnation, “It’s clear that Boston will never see another politician like Jimmy Kelly — nor should it.”Have we forgotten that up until 33 years ago, and for most of the formative years of our 45+ year-old population, homosexuality was widely considered a mental disorder? Since then acceptance of homosexuality has spread like wildfire to the point where now gays can legally adopt children and even marry here.Yet for those who have chosen not to accept homosexuality at the fast pace that the radical homosexual movement demands, there is only derision, labeling and scorn. Keep in mind that in the case of homosexuals in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade, this wasn’t Jimmy Kelly going up to every clarinet and tuba player and demanding to know his/her sexual preference. No, this was Jimmy Kelly and many others who believed that a troop of marchers whose only claim to fame was their homo, bi or transexuality, with a chant of “we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it” had no place at a family event. Jimmy Kelly’s parade stance is as right today as it was then. His temerity will be missed.As for Kelly’s resistance to forced busing and other alleged racial atrocities, one eagerly awaits for comparison BW’s post-mortem article on Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV).

  2. Steve

    I heard Ray Flynn’s comment on Kelly’s passing – Flynn remarked that he and Kelly were the main forces on the City Council opposed to busing in the 70’s.I have a dimmer memory of that controversy (I was new to Boston as a college student in 1971), but isn’t Flynn discounting the role of Louise Day Hicks?

  3. mike_b1

    My most recent memory of Kelly is him telling the Mayor to pound sand after the city began enforcing parking restrictions a child in his Ward died in a house fire because (in part) the rescue crews couldn’t make it down her street.Kelly was a total jackass, and Ryan-Vollmar must be feeling guilty or something.

  4. Anonymous

    Nice work Mike, you’ve done it again.

  5. AmusedbutInformedobserver

    One by one they’re dying off, the foes of segregation in the Boston Public Schools. John Kerrigan. Louise Day Hicks. Elvira Palladino. Now Jimmy Kelly.Call them what they were. Bigots. Racists. Phonies playing to the cheap seats. W. Arthur Garrity Jr. will never achieve the place in history that he deserves for forcing a city to abandon an official policy of racism that was not merely institutionalized, but which was mandated by a school committee that conspired, through student assignments and school construction, to create a racially segregated school system. All the revisionist historians cannot erase one basic truth: Garrity’s findings of fact in Morgan v. Hennigan were virtually untouched on appeal. Boston is a better place for the desegregation crisis of the 70s, Garrity now only ordered an end to officially-sanctioned segregation, he forced the school department to listen to parents and did it all while doing something that was, at the time, unheard of in a desegregation case — using the court to monitor quality of education issues.Which reminds me: Whatever happened to Tallulah Morgan?

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