Living in Cambridge/Boston While Black! – Part 3 | Bettina Network's Blog

Living in Cambridge/Boston While Black! – Part 3

This is the third segment on what is happening with Robert and Marceline. It is horrible and the racism is being compounded by the way this is being handled. The agency responsible is Somerville Cambridge Elder Services. They are known to be racist and work beautifully with many in the Harvard Square area (all white) and rumor has it they put blacks in institutions the way they have Robert and drain their insurance and other benefits while labeling them “indigent”. The move they make against blacks in the Cambridge Somerville area always characterizes the black and their families in the most negative stereotypical way possible. Why are they still being allowed to destroy Robert and Marceline and why is there and has there been no investigation over the years – at the very least closing this agency? This has been going on for at least 20 plus years with people around this agency knowing what has been happening.

More to the point what involvement do the Courts have in this situation? They have to be involved – when you think they facilitated this by making a decision without any notice to the other side. Clearly, they look as though they are implicated somehow. And the Cambridge Somerville administrative people who are heads of these agencies, particularly this state agency has done nothing to investigate these goings on and the attorneys who represent these agencies. They have to know what is going on within them.


I saw Robert and Marceline walking together in Harvard Square last Thursday. – March 5th. They are the cutest couple. What amazed me when I heard this, that was a day before Robert was forced into Massachusetts General Hospital. They went into the post office and were talking to an African American woman in the most animated way. It looked as though they were having a great conversation.

I saw them a bit later as I turned onto Memorial Drive. They were sitting on a bench by the river.

Since then and hearing that Robert was put into Mass General by the police and kept there – I thought about the contrast. He was in the sunshine, walking with his wife, enjoying life and maybe that was too much for the people involved in this. Apparently, the next day or the day after he was confined in an institution where he is in bed all the time, under police supervision, no sun, no walks around his neighborhood and his wife kept from seeing him because of the bad influence she would have? Good and bad take on very different meanings in this context.

Values count! These values are that an African American man can’t walk around Harvard Square in pleasant circumstances, talking to friends, sitting on the benches by the river. We have to stop that, other African Americans might find that a great picture of life and come to live in Harvard Squarte themselves and then what would we do – have an integrated neighborhood? That is being stopped in the ugliest way. I know Robert and Marceline have had to fight almost daily the intrusions on their lives living where they do. This fight is beyond despicable.


I saw Robert Bennett and his wife on Thursday, March 5th in Harvard Square in the post office talking to Mrs. Clark. He looked great. I waved as I passed and they all looked as though they were having a lovely conversation. Is that what caused all of this? I can’t believe I really live in a place where this happens. With all the people pouring into New England from places like California, is this how we get housing for them? Since they are mostly white we have to move blacks out of white areas to find room for these white immigrants among their own kind? Even if it means doing this?


by: Marceline Donaldson

I would like to tell you how Robert is doing, but I am not allowed to see him. There has to be a Security Guard and a Policeman present for me to talk to Robert and one time I tried the hospital people turned me down because they were short of personnel and didn’t have a Security Guard and Policeman to be able to allow me to see him and then I am only allowed 30 minutes.

I wanted to keep all of you up to date on what is happening with daily updates, but that won’t be possible. We have hired attorneys and you know what that means. They don’t want to work in full, real time exposure.

We hired Burns and Levinson as attorneys to work with Shippen Page to bring some justice out of this farce.

Things were horrible in the deep south where I grew up, but I experienced nothing like this.

The attorneys don’t want me to put out all the gory details because they have their work to do and prefer to do it without my writing about what they are doing. After it is done I will have the freedom to write about this, but in the meantime you will hear very little from me. I wanted to share the letters we are receiving from all over, but I won’t even be able to do that. Those letter are going to the attorneys.

It is unbelievably painful not to see your husband of 36 years with whom I lived 24/7. We have never been separated this long ever.

When I saw Robert in the hospital my heart broke. Before the police picked him up he was beautiful and vibrant and strong. Now he is almost shriveling as he sat in a large chair with pillows propping him up looking just miserable asking me to take him home. The mean, viciousness which put him there and is keeping him there is beyond my ability to understand.

Most heartening about all of this is the support from so many people who call to let me know they are there if we need anything. What they don’t have is the magical power to get Robert out of confinement enforced by the police. Call it what they want, the establishment has put an African American man under the police in spite of his not having done anything even close to what would have put him under police control. They have also weaponized my family and friends.

I think constantly of what I used to hear as a child. It was, at the time, related to the holocaust – ‘ if they come for me in the morning and you do nothing and they come for my family in the afternoon and you still do nothing, they will come for you in the evening and there will be no one to help you because there will be no one left.”

We have great lawyers with Lisa Cufier with Burns and Levinson and Shippen Page. The cost is going to be exorbitant. One way or another the goal of destroying us and getting rid of African Americans in the Brattle Street-Harvard Square area will have been achieved. We’ve had lots of problems with people doing all kinds of little harassment over our time living in Harvard Square. We overcame that. We cannot overcome this without your help.


For those of you who have asked – the attorneys we hired are:

Lisa Cukier is a firm partner and Executive Committee member. She concentrates her practice on all aspects of estate and trust litigation, fiduciary litigation, probate law, child custody, parentage issues and divorce, planning and litigation for blended families, adoption, guardianship and conservatorship, and elder financial exploitation.

Recognized for her expertise and skill, Lisa is a frequent speaker on the topics of trust and estate litigation, estate planning, and family law, including undue influence and financial exploitation of elders. She is also a regular contributor to various publications, including Boston Spirit Magazine, and a columnist for the Weston Town Crier and Wicked Local Wayland.

Lisa serves as private adjudicator, Special Master, Guardian ad Litem, and mediator. 

You can look at the last Bettina Network Blog and you will see a paragraph telling you something about the other attorney – Shippen Page of Page and Powell attorneys.


Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to receive an email notice when a new item is posted