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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
Mon October 7, 2013
Rev. Eugene Rivers Defends His (Lack Of) Voting Record
A few weeks ago, Boston activist Reverend Eugene Rivers III made news with a front page story in the Boston Herald after the Boston mayoral preliminary election when he excoriated communities of color for their lackluster turnout.
Rivers made headlines again when Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker wrote that Rev. Rivers was part of the reason for that lackluster turnout- having failed to vote in the election for the candidate he so publicly supported, Charlotte Golar Richie.
As it turns out, the Reverend hasn't voted for any candidate since he worked on the 1983 mayoral campaign for Mel King, which he admitted in a response he wrote for the Herald.
Rivers joined Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on Monday (as he does every Monday for a segment called "Open Mic") and admitted he had no excuse for not voting. Rivers, who co-founded the Boston Ten Point Coalition, said he could not remember the last time he voted, and even alluded that he may have never voted.
He maintained it was "wrong" not to vote, but said not voting since the 1980s is "inconsistent, not hypocritical".
The real issue here is about ideas, argument, and debate (...) I never have purported anywhere to speak for black people. It is a lie for anyone to suggest at any time in this little teeny town that I have attempted or purported to speak for black people. Now, what I do do is speak to issues that I care about. That's it... It's a lie."
Listen to Jim and Margery's full interview with Rev. Rivers below: