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Weaponizing the American flag as a tool of hate

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CBS News, June 2023

By the spring of 1976, the city of Boston had become a kind of war zone. The court-ordered busing designed to desegregate Boston public schools had been going on for two years, and nobody was happy about it. One woman told a reporter at the time, “They may say it’s helping; it’s tearing ’em apart!”

For newspaper photographer Stanley Forman, April 5, 1976 started out like many other days: “I went to a demonstration every day. We were always there, in front of Southie High, Charlestown High.” On this day, the anti-busing demonstration was to be on the plaza of Boston City Hall. When Forman arrived, a group of white high-schoolers had already gathered. Forman recalled, “I looked down the plaza, and I saw a Black man taking the turn, and it dawned on me: They’re gonna get him.”

The Black man was Ted Landsmark, now a distinguished professor of public policy and urban affairs at Northeastern University. In 1976, he was a young lawyer and community advocate on his way to a meeting in City Hall.

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