Teens jump guitar-playing ‘bear’ in racial attack

What does it say about America that a guy can’t dress up like a bear and play some music without getting jumped?

It happened again to Keytar Bear, who is an iconic busker in Boston.

Nobody knows Keytar Bear’s true identity and there’s a reason for that.

“I’d say, I’m trying to kill racism in my own way,” he said in a 2014 interview. “I want to be responsible for the demise of racism. You don’t know if [I’m] black or white, you just see a little bear. He’s playing music and he’s having fun.”

According to Boston.com, three teenagers from New Hampshire “repeatedly hit Keytar Bear in the face, ripped off his bear costume head, and hurled racial slurs at him and those who tried to stop the public assault. The street performer’s amplifier was also reportedly damaged in the attack.”

He was playing outside Faneuil Hall — irony, anyone? — in 2014 when someone sucker punched him and broke his nose, one of three assaults that year that elevated him to cult status when Bostonians started raising money to get him playing again.

A $500 GoFundMe campaign went over $4,000 this afternoon, the latest effort in the city to push back against the racists who walk its streets and beat up its bears.

  • Gary F

    I didn’t realize that Boston had such a racist vein to it.

    • Jerry

      “Three teenagers from New Hampshire”

      Though I’ve heard that parts of Boston are pretty racist.

    • Boston has a well-deserved reputation as being a racist city of the years. But I suspect you know that.

      • Gary F

        Not until the baseball thing earlier this year did I start looking into it.
        I didn’t sense it when I went there last year for the first time, but I did mostly touristy things and didn’t rub elbows with the locals.

        • White people in Boston tend not to “sense” the racism, G.

          • Jerry

            White people tend to not be very good at “sensing” racism most places where they are a strong majority or heavily segregated.

    • Ralphy

      On July 21st, 1959, the Boston Redsox became the last MLB team to integrate.
      There is a reason for that.

      I know you enjoy sports. Google any black player that played in Boston. You are likely to find stories of things on and off the field that will turn your stomach.

      • Tommy Harper

        • Ralphy

          Exactly.
          Even an icon such as Bill Russell was not welcomed outside the the court.
          One of my best friends played football for BC. When he graduated, he could not get out of Boston fast enough. To make matters worse, he was dating a local red-haired Irish girl. (They have now been married for over 40 years.) His physical presence (6’5″, 250) was enough of a deterrence most of the time, but there were many times he sat at a table in a restaurant and waited for an hour or more for the server to take their food order. The cancer he encountered every time he left campus was quite real.

  • What is wrong with people?!

  • lindblomeagles

    If the three teenagers were Black youth, they would be a gang.
    If the three teenagers were Muslim youth, they would be terrorists.
    If the three teenagers were Hispanic youth, they would be illegal Mexican immigrants that HAVE to be deported.
    If the three teenagers were American Indian youth, we’d assume they were homeless or on drugs.
    If the three teenagers are White, they are racist.
    Even now, we are judging these teens differently because they are white.
    Philando Castile. R.I.P.

    • I categorically reject your innuendo of my integrity in describing this incident. I would never write ANY of the descriptions you have written.

  • Angry Jonny

    We were in Boston for the marathon this year, and our 12 year old daughter fell in love with Keytarbear. She made about 3 different sightings. I think I will avoid sharing this story with her, because it will break her heart.