Here’s our two cents on the subject:
We are not at all surprised that local media outlets and blogs are trying to stir the pot when it comes to the South Boston Public Library becoming the William Bulger Public Library. Those in opposition seem to be guilty of lumping Senate President Bill Bulger with his notorious mobster brother James “Whitey” Bulger into one. They can’t separate the two individuals and shackle them together with the last name of Bulger.
Earlier this month, City Council President Bill Linehan submitted a written nomination to the Boston Public Facilities Commission for the naming of the South Boston Branch Public Library after William M. Bulger. The reasons for the dedication and naming? Well, let’s see…
- Bill Bulger was the president of the state Senate for 18 years – the longest in Massachusetts history
- He was the president of UMmass Boston from 1996 to 2003
- For 25 years, he was a trustee of the library
- Boston Public Library Foundation in 1992, a non-profit dedicated to raising money for the library
- He is a triple Boston College Eagle, a scholar of Latin and Greek and author
- He is a lifelong resident, a proud father of 8 children and numerous grandchildren, and an active and valuable member of our community
Some people don’t agree. According to the Boston Herald, a group of a dozen or so residents are vehemently opposed to the naming of the library in Bulger’s honor.
From the article:
“We don’t want to be reminded, after all that we’ve gone through, all that South Boston has gone through, about the Bulger name on a daily basis,” said Michael Burggren, 53, a 20-year Southie resident.
What you’ve gone through? You’ve lived here for 20 years. Whitey Bulger was on the run for 16 and in prison for the last three. What exactly has Whitey Bulger put you through exactly? There is no South Boston resident that would dispute the fact that James Whitey Bulger was an violent criminal who did a lot of terrible things. He will now spend the rest of his life in prison. But Billy Bulger is not Whitey Bulger.
There is no shame in the Billy Bulger name. He deserves recognition and his name on a library which he helped to preserve. We are proud of Billy Bulger’s legacy and proud to call him one of our own.
And that’s our two cents.