The Sad (and Dangerous) Case of Boston Globe’s ‘Irish Immigrant Privilege’

Jun 23, 2017
7:06 AM

This is not the first time we have raised the issue of how the so-called “liberal” Boston Globe has had this ongoing problem of propping up and decriminalizing Irish immigrants over Latin American ones. You can read what we wrote in 2013, where it was clear that when it comes to how the newspaper depicts undocumented Irish immigrants, they are never “illegal” or “criminals,” but when it comes to Latin American ones, well, that’s a different story.

Earlier this week, we were alerted to the Globe’s “Irish Immigrant Privilege” once again when our founder tweeted out the following:

The tweet was about a June 20 column the Globe’s Kevin Cullen wrote: “If John Cunningham is not safe, no one is safe.” Cullen’s piece focused on how the Trump administration was now going after Irish immigrants like Cunningham and how morally wrong it was. As much as we agree that Cunningham’s story is tragic, it didn’t help that Cullen downplayed Cunningham’s undocumented status, especially when the Globe has a had a real history of always emphasizing a Latin American immigrant’s criminality. (You don’t think so? See this. Or this. Or even this.)

Yes, the “liberal” Globe has had no problem portraying Latin American immigrants in the same light as President Trump does.

Coincidentally (or was it?), just two days after Cullen wrote about Cunningham, the Globe columnist published a similar story about Francisco Rodríguez, called “If Francisco Rodriguez is deported, we will be a smaller, meaner nation.” The publication of Rodríguez’s story almost immediately after Cunningham’s story felt too forced, especially since sources from Boston’s immigration rights community tell Latino Rebels that the story was pitched to Cullen after he wrote the Cunningham one because of the very same reason we raised: that the Globe loves to romanticize Irish immigrants over Latin American immigrants in Boston. Whether the pitch story is true or not, the Rodríguez story appears to us a mea culpa by Cullen.

While we are it, Cullen’s Boston Irish worshipping doesn’t apply just to the city’s Irish undocumented population. It also applies to John Kelly, the current Department of Homeland Security secretary. Months before Cullen was telling his readers about the immorality of Trump deportation policies through the lenses of Cunningham and Rodríguez, he was praising Kellyone of the top executors of Trump’s immigration enforcement plan— as a son of Irish Boston, saying that “the job was made for him.”

That is the issue Cullen wouldn’t want you to know right now—one of the Boston’s Irish Own is actually one of Trump’s top immigration enforcers.

And to think, about four years ago, we were praising Cullen for being a Rebelde. We are still fans of his copy, but maybe he can begin to understand that Boston is no longer an Irish town and that if he wants to use his words to change that narrative, we are all for it. But if it is more of the same, we won’t stay quiet.