Living in Cambridge/Boston, MA while Black. | Bettina Network's Blog

Living in Cambridge/Boston, MA while Black.

THE SECOND INSTALLMENT OF THE Marceline Donaldson and Robert Bennett story as it is happening.


We have to start this article with our deepest appreciation to Carolyn Tribe who knew what was happening to the Bennett/Donaldsons and spent time finding an attorney who would hang in there with them and get Robert out of Protective Custody. Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett is certainly experiencing first hand what happens to people who wind up in some incredible places and who has not done any of the things which gets most people in those situations.


Shippen Page of Cambridge, MA. is now representing Marceline Donaldson and is one of a team of attorneys we are pulling together. Hopefully, if our current talks go well we will be able to tell you shortly who is representing Robert Bennett. If you would like to contact Attorney Page he can be reached at 174 Lake View Avenue, Cambridge, MA. 02138-2132. His telephone number is 1-617-967 0318. We are sure he would welcome your legal and/or financial help since this looks as though it will be a very long, tough grinding problem to solve and in the end we hope the results will help many who have been treated the way the Donaldson/Bennett’s have but could not fight this very intransigent, unjust and myopic system.

Mr. Page is a part of the law firm of Page and Powell and he has been a practicing attorney since 1979. He is president of the Cambridge Public Library Foundation and serves on the board of Cambridge Homes. He has been a supporter and responsible for the success of many local nonprofits over the past 35 years.

We are, in addition, putting together a team of attorneys because from the very intransigent and ugly way we see this growing it will probably move on to substantial law suits.


Marceline visited Robert yesterday and she came back heartbroken. I can’t imagine how it feels to have lived with someone so long, 24/7 and now have to face this kind of situation. I wonder who the Cambridge/Somerville people think they are?

Mostly, she was appalled to see how glassy Robert’s eyes were. It looked as though he was being given sedatives and/or some other kind of drugs. His lethargy went along with that description. His mind was sharp, however. They had a conversation in which Robert remembered everything they discussed and participated in the discussion with no memory lapses. Trying to claim Robert is mentally unstable is the worst of this, considering he is a Harvard graduate with a doctorate from Harvard’ Graduate School of Arts majoring in Near Eastern studies and having taught for some 35 plus years Hebrew Scripture, Ancient Hebrew and other Semitic languages plus his work in archaeology and the books he has written. Cambridge/Somerville is trying to push all of that under the cover while they carry out this really vicious action against a very substantial African American man. Is this how African American history is changed? Is this how those who contributed and their contributions shove out the window never to be included in anything except a broken dialogue pushing and creating the negative black stereotypes which are strong in the minds and hearts of many in the Cambridge/Boston area?

Think of the amount of public money being spent and the resources being sucked up to push this unjust, unnecessary and really evil thing. It is clearly, among other things – extreme racism. That is not unknown to Cambridge. Check your history and you will find the $10 million of public money Cambridge spent – in damages – because of the way they treated a black woman a few years ago. I think there are also smaller amounts that have also been spent to allow this kind of bigotry to thrive, grow and hurt many. The money being spent on calling out the police to do this dirty work must have been substantial. I seem to remember a Cambridge policeman going to Skip Gates house to ring his doorbell, call him out of his house in a gross and unnecessary attempt to demean, disgrace and embarrass him. That bottle of beer at the White House does not wash out that action – it happened – and clearly was a racist act. From what I know of Marceline, who doesn’t drink any alcohol – there will be no such “beer reconciliation.”


We have had lots of response to our last email trying to keep folks up to date on what is happening. The question everybody asked was – who are the women pushing this – and who started this? The names we have come up with are Angela Clary and Norah Al-Wetaid.

When we can, we will put in this series of articles copy of the unbelievable Protective order – obtained by not giving notice to Robert Bennett so he was not able to respond – does that come from the Court’s racism? Not feeling an African American should be given those rights but should be rushed into the police state quickly before the opportunity passes?

We will also publish the Affidavit ofNorah Al-Wetaid and the Affidavit of Marceline Donaldson responding to the unbelievable number of easily provable lies in what Somerville Cambridge Elder Services promoted.

The City and State Government that funds this group and supposedly exercises some kind of management over them needs to do their job and have a better hold and knowledge about what they are doing. There is something at stake here that the Donaldson/Bennett’s have uncovered and we are beginning to understand what that is. Future articles will lay all of that out in full.

The agency’s affidavits and materials filed with the Court have never known the names of the people they are filing against. If you don’t know who you are legally accusing – one of the first rules should be – your action is questioned and denied. An agency like Somerville/Cambridge Elder Services should at least know the names of people they are making such egregious claims against. They don’t even know that much.

A second rule is that the people managing the agency on a state level needs to know if the people who work for them are accurate and not out there making wild accusations which negatively affects others lives and the quality of their lives. To allow such irresponsible people out making such charges is the height of irresponsibility and the appropriate Commonwealth People need to immediately investigate what this is really about. Robert Bennett’s wife is characterized as Marceline Davidson all throughout their filings. That is not her name. The agency also mis-named others they quote. If the people making such charges are found to be so irresponsible they need to be fired and the agency cleared out of such ways of acting.


We have suggested that the Bennett/Donaldsons be prepared to file major law suits against all offending parties because their Constitutional and all other rights have been trashed as though we are a country in which the police, the Court’s and others can go wild the way they have here, negatively affecting people’s health and lives.

Before the police pushed into the Bennett Donaldson home forcing him to leave home and family, Robert Bennett was doing very well. He took long walks in-between those police ‘arrest’ times; enjoyed the sun and great weather; had good organic food; and so much more. The food he has been exposed to since has been unbelievable and its quality seriously questionable as to whether it would help heal or destroy the health of those eating such.

Since he has been pushed into first the emergency department which works with those who have alcohol, drug and mental problems that would negatively affect the public if they were not pushed into the hospital and then into a section of the hospital for those under “Protection” – which means you cannot visit him because he is not listed as a patient. He has to be hidden from who? His wife who cared for him for over 36 years? Their relationship is well known in the community because they moved in many circles in the Cambridge/Boston areas as well as nationally – and many people in different countries know them and their relationship intimately because of the business they were in before the police, the Courts and others did everything and are continuing to do everything they can to destroy that business.


Letters talking about the Bennett Donaldsons are pouring in – we will print some of them so you understand what we are dealing with here. This is not something to take lightly. When you read about this does it sound familiar? Does it sound like what is going on at the border to immigrants where families are being separated? When you read the articles in Bettina Network’s blog which preceded this you will have some questions about who weaponized people – friends, family of the Bennett Donaldsons against them – for this to happen.


So much has been put into the affidavits which are lies. That is what has me over the top. I read them and was appalled. There is the accusation of Robert Bennett having broken ribs with the implication that it came from his wife. The hospital verified that this was not true – Robert Bennett did not have anything wrong with his ribs.

There is the accusation in the affidavit that Robert Bennett had prostate cancer and his wife refused to get him treatment. That is also not true and Robert Bennett was capable of going to the doctor himself, but did not. This affidavit both makes Robert Bennett’s wife responsible for something which was supposed to have happened years ago and has taken away Robert Bennett’s humanity and ability to lead his life and make his own decisions. Isn’t that where this society goes when they are trying to destroy an African American man? First take away his right and his ability to function on his own and make decisions for himself.

The reason to seek treatment – not to seek treatment – take medicine – not to take medicine – is a decision reserved to each one of us. To do this to someone who does not want the services of Somerville/Cambridge Elder Services is beyond humanity. Are there problems – financial and/or otherwise that Somerville/Cambridge Elder Servicesis having that they need to force people to accept their services or else? That is certainly what this looks like. Since the Bennett Donaldsons thanked Somerville/Cambridge Elder Services for their offer, but no thank you, it is as if they rejected the services of a mafia and they are now paying the price the mafia extracts for refusing such. Where are we? the USA – really? I don’t think so.


There needs to be some laws passed here that monies spent by Somervile/Cambridge Elder Services and all the other Elder Services in other areas of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts need to be replaced by the people who so clearly and so easily spent the agency’s monies and other resources un-necessarily because what was most important to such people was the satisfying first of their bigotry needs to keep themselves as higher than, better than the people they are supposed to be serving. Certainly declaring a person as indigent who is not and who clearly is known not to be indigent shows a very evil kind of bigotry operating within that agency which needs to be stopped..

In addition, the Somerville/Cambridge Elder Services needs to be investigated for other violations which they clearly have committed in this process of acting more like a mafia group than a group responding to the actual needs of those they serve.

They no doubt have helped some people. That does not justify them in their destroying the lives of others. A thorough investigation needs to happen and the agency closed until it is completed. There needs to be a report produced which shows who, what, when and how this agency, which is not carrying out its mandate, but has let the bigotry of its employees get in the way of doing an acceptable job is going to do to change. And such an agency needs to be and do a job which is much than just acceptable. How many people could this agency have helped with the money being spent on this action.


One reference letter written follows to give you an idea as to who the Bennett Donaldsons. We have received many more and will publish several of them so that you know more fully what this is about.

March 10, 2020

“To Whom It May Concern:

I have known Marceline Donaldson and Robert Bennett for twenty years. While serving the Shady Hill School as Executive Director of the school’s Teacher Training Center, Robert and Marceline have been gracious hosts of college students traveling from across the United States to Cambridge, MA. Shady Hill partners with Bettina Network to recruit aspiring teachers for Shady Hill School and graduate students for Boston University and Lesley University. When students or families travel to Cambridge seeking a place to stay, I highly recommend that they stay with Robert and Marceline. Their home is warm and inviting and their kindness knows no bounds. Guests usually reach out to me at the end of their visit and report that their time with Marceline and Robert was the highlight. They have been instrumental in helping these students transition to the area and successfully complete their apprenticeship and master’s degrees in education.

Recently, Robert and Marceline hosted two students from Morehouse College who were visiting Shady Hill School…..Because of Marceline and Robert’s wise counsel, kindness and support, (Name withheld) has decided to apprentice at Shady Hill School, the Epiphany School, and Boston University in the fall of 2020. I have Robert and Marceline to thank for playing a significant role in supporting Shady Hill School’s recruitment efforts and the partnership between Shady Hills and Morehouse College led by President David Thomas, former Associate Dean of Harvard University’s Business School.

Robert is a generous and kind person. I witnessed an expression of love and compassion for his wife, his family and his sister when he co-led the Eucharist for friends and family who honored the memory of his sister as a lovely memorial service several weeks ago. It was moving to witness not only Robert’s compassion but also the ministerial role he played while also celebrating his sister’s life. It is a memory and an experience hat has stayed with me and will stay with me.

My gratitude for Robert and his wife Marceline is deep. I treasure them, trust them and love them.



That is one of many such letters we have received. We will publish several of them so you know who the people are who the Somerville Cambridge Elder Services very clearly tried to destroy – and how they have played with Robert Bennett’s health and life, while claiming to be concerned about him and his health.


My concern is that Robert Bennett needs to be home NOW. Considering the Coronavirus it would be criminal for him to be locked up in MGH instead of being home. I saw him walking to the post office on Thursday (the day before the police ‘picked him up’. He was clearly in a great mood, talked about things we needed to talk about, and his strength was amazing. If he is held in the hospital and they are quarantined because of the coronavirus that should result in some kind of action against the people responsible. Return him home.


You asked? The person who gave Marceline that bible quote which helped her through the day was Lynette Saxe Leveau. The quote – for those who didn’t see the comment on Facebook was ” “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”


The Bennett Donaldsons are going to need help paying these legal bills. We hope you will help them and let us know if there are other ways you can help.

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