I live in Massachusetts, and it’s often hilarious, at least from a distance, to see the towns try to govern themselves and usually fail miserably while making themselves look bad. Take, for example, the town of Marshfield, Massachusetts, and its longstanding ban on arcade machines, which the town decided to uphold recently, thus making the news again about what a bunch of weirdoes they are.
If you don’t live in New England, and aren’t familiar with how the people around here think, you might actually take this ban at face value and consider the people of Marshfield to be clueless backward hicks afraid of technology. But you shouldn’t. Why?
Because it’s not some sort of Puritan spirit keeping Pac-Man away from Marshfield; it’s hot spicy racism with a side of arrogance! Yes, they’re clueless backward hicks afraid of Black people!
Let me explain.
Despite its liberal reputation and Black governor, Massachusetts is actually pretty racist as a whole (the federal authorities in charge of desegregating the schools in Boston didn’t leave until the ’80s), and small-town Massachusetts is not only racist, but smug about its moral position over the city of Boston, which is a bad place because it’s full of Black people. Not that the state is on the verge of mass lynchings, but the attitude of “all Black people are lazy criminals” is very easy to find, usually in somebody committing welfare fraud.
If you think I’m joking, just go to BostonHerald.com or Boston.com and look up any article about crime in Boston: you’ll see a long list of comments about “urban thugs” and how Boston is this crime-ridden, festering hellhole and Boston totally shouldn’t get any of their valuable tax dollars from their industries of teen pregnancies and stabbings.
Which brings us back to Marshfield. The justification for this ban is that arcade machines would attract “undesirables” (one guess what that’s code for) and that children would steal to play these machines. Oh, also, that it might pave the way for porn, which is kind of ridiculous since Marshfield is maybe an hour drive from Rhode Island, which has a strip joint on every block.
In short, it’s classic, ugly New England: hide behind your morals to justify your biases, even if you know they’re wrong. Now, who wants to hold a meeting of Black geeks where we put some arcade machines on a flatbed and drive it through Marshfield?
[ via the Arcadians at Kotaku ]