McIntire Privilege. I.

An earlier post introduced the thesis of “McIntire Privilege“, a corollary to white privilege, whereby residents of the McIntire District of Salem gain benefits over other neighborhoods in Salem, without, and this is important, even being conscious of received benefits.

The thesis advanced, what are now needed are examples of said privilege, to make the abstract concrete. This will be a long (and hopefully weekly) series, there being many examples, starting with the head-scratching trivial and eventually advancing to the more consequential.

First up at the plate, a fallen tree in snowfall in Feb. 2015 in the old Quaker Cemetery at 398 Essex St., in the McIntire District.

Snowfall Quaker Cemetery

Nothing remarkable, trees fall down in snow storms all the time. What was remarkable was that this dead tree was cut and carted away within days, well before the snow had melted. One would think that Salem Dept of Public Works would have more pressing items to attend to, heavy snowfall on city streets and all.  The cemetery gate is always locked and nobody visits, so it cannot be that this is a tourist attraction or heavily visited by Salemites. More remarkable, by the spring a replacement tree had been planted.

Now there are dead and dying trees in public parks and green spaces all over Salem, in Gallows Hill Park especially, but these never get cut down and replaced so rapidly, despite plentiful public complaints from citizens. What explains this remarkable attention to civic beautification here and not elsewhere. Could it be — McIntire Privilege?


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