Ok, it feels like we need to start with the biggest news story of the week in Worcester- remote learning? the long awaited Public Safety meeting on body cameras? the WooSox had a ceremony to celebrate not being done yet? College students are back, and Holy Cross COVID parties have already begun?
All serious contenders, to be sure. But no, we can’t begin with any of these, because yesterday, the Telegram time traveled to, if we’re being generous, 1985 (coincidentally when the Worcester Regional Research Bureau was founded), to print one of the most blindingly racist screeds we’ve read in a long time. Bill Shaner does you a great service by pulling out some of the most horrific bits here, so you COULD just read this. We don’t want to link to Roberta Schaefer’s hate speech, so we won’t. We’ll just say this- “Blacks” is not a noun. And if you don’t believe us, perhaps The Poynter Institute for journalism (from 2007) can help you out. There’s OH SO MUCH MORE of some racist uncle’s post tryptophan Thanksgiving musings masked as pseudo intellectual garbage, but we have trouble even getting into it because YOU CANNOT SAY “BLACKS” WHEN TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE. It’s not surprising that a paper that openly refuses to acknowledge publishing standards for gender identity needs to be told this, and still, we were shocked that anyone would print this C- paper from a correspondence course at Trump University. Yes, it’s that bad. That racist. And that, honestly, confusing. All the racism that’s fit to print might have you missing the T&G’s former columnist Clive MacFarlane, whose in depth thoughts on the state of politics, you can read here.
Back to body cameras. After a lackluster “report” on body cameras from the police to the Council, the Public Safety Committee finally had a meeting to answer important questions about how 11 million dollars in taxpayer money would be spent to… just kidding. There were very few answers. And lots more questions. And Chair Toomey cut off the mics of almost anyone who tried to bring facts about the information in the report to the table because it wasn’t in the report but here’s the thing… there was almost nothing in the report! If it sounds a little mind numbing and infuriating, you are correct. But here’s the good news- there’s still more time because they did not do anything about it. Also, there was supposed to be an additional Public Safety meeting, allegedly about youth violence, but it got canceled. Important reminder, the police budget is more than 50 times the budget for the youth services department. Anyway, if you want to know more about body cameras, and why people who want to see more accountability from the police are by and large against them, check out Bill Shaner.
Onto WooSox… nope! Just kidding. Jerseys are not news.
Worcester Public School families are not returning in person to schools for at least the first quarter of school, with the plan to switch to a hybrid model beginning in the second quarter. Tracy Novick has more here. There’s a lot of concerns, stemming from two overlapping challenges- (1) our federal government and state have failed to give any feasible guidance on how to keep kids safe, fed and educated this Fall or resources to make it possible and (2) our school administration already has gotten coverage from the Boston Globe about how badly the Spring was handled, so the trust is low. Add this week’s Globe feature about families experiencing DCF involvement because of lack of virtual attendance, and there’s a lot of unknown unknowns, as they used to say. There are many questions we need to keep asking if it will be safe to return to our very outdated buildings, especially on testing on contact tracing.
Some audio roundups-
WE BURIED THE LEDE