Boston Public
Chapter Thirty-Seven

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Today's word of the day is...

Delineation Alley. Ronnie gives a resistant Natalie the address of the place Guber recommended. Natalie takes it. Elsewhere, Steven flags down Dick Teachie. "Was I too subtle last night?" Teachie says that the students brought it up, and still want to talk about it, so what was he supposed to do? "So if I'm gonna get fired, just let me know. You got me, like, hangin' on a hook here." Steven walks away.

Later, in the Sanctum, there's a caucus of…black teachers? I guess that's what it is. Marla and Marilyn are giving their opinions. We know Marla's opinion, but she keeps talking anyway. Marilyn manages to get a few words in, to the effect that she thinks the word should be explored and understood, in some way. Marla interrupts and says, "Since when does anybody get to talk when I'm in the room?" Steven counters, "Marla, if you do not let her talk YOU will not be in this room." I'm transcribing this because Chi McBride puts the emphasis on "you" for some reason, instead of on "not," which would make his threat make sense. Steven asks if Marla's ever been called the word. Marilyn says she doesn't know any black person her age or older who hasn't been called it at least once. Blah blah blah "will discussing it help?"-cakes. Marla gives an impassioned speech about why not: "That word has always stood for hatred coming out of a white mouth. It has for two hundred years, and no teacher in any school is good enough to erase that with a sensitivity class. Lyndon Johnson used it over and over, supposedly in a good way. Senator Byrd used it two years ago. Didn't mean it. The word lives. As long as people continue to use it they give it life, and it lives as a symbol of hatred. The word needs to go. And so does Danny Hanson for using it."

The Un-Geon. Natalie comes in to talk to Ronnie. "We went to the shelter. They called Social Services." What? Why? "Child endangerment. There's going to be some hearing, they may declare her unfit. I'm the one who takes care of her, Ms. Cooke, she needs me! I'm going to a foster home, aren't I? First I lose my brother, then my mother." Ronnie promises to get into it. Um…did David Kelley have, like, a REALLY bad experience with Social Services at some point? They're the most evil people in the entire Kelleyverse, you ever notice that? In reality, Social Services might do SOME good, for SOMEbody, right? Right?

Delineation Alley. Ronnie explains the situation to Harry, for no reason, because he doesn't say anything useful, and we already know what's going on. Elsewhere, Dick Teachie runs into Talk Time. She asks if he's getting fired, and he says he doesn't know. He asks if she agrees that only black people can use the word. She doesn't know, but "when I hear black people use it, I barely notice. But with you…I never think of you as black or white. I guess it doesn't matter. But every time I heard you use that word, something inside me went: he's white." She walks off, and Harvey approaches. "I hear you're getting fired. Never read a book written by a Kennedy. They're just after the black vote, Danny." Teachie explains that it's a different Kennedy. "Different? They're all the same!" Scott appears and rescues Dick Teachie by taking Harvey away.

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Boston Public

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