Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Boston Mayor hits hot water over ‘no whites’ Christmas party invite

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Boston City Council found itself in an unexpected controversy when an email invitation to a holiday party exclusively for “electeds of color” was mistakenly sent to all councilors. Denise DosSantos, the mayor’s director of City Council relations, initially extended the invitation on behalf of Mayor Michelle Wu, creating a ripple of reactions.

DosSantos quickly followed up with an apology, clarifying the error and expressing regret if the email caused any offense. The incident stirred mixed responses among councilors, raising questions about the nature of the exclusive party.

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Outgoing City Councilor Frank Baker acknowledged the exclusionary decision as “unfortunate and divisive.” However, he personally wasn’t offended, stating, “To offend me, you’re going to have to do much more than not invite me to a party.”

Councilor Brian Worrell defended the party, emphasizing its role in reflecting “all kinds of specific groups” within city government. He pointed out that the Elected Officials of Color group has been hosting such events for over a decade.

Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson, an African immigrant and Muslim-American woman, supported the concept of groups meeting based on shared interests or backgrounds. She highlighted the intention to create spaces for like-minded individuals without excluding anyone.

While some councilors criticized the move, it was defended as “commendable” by others. Wu’s spokesman, Ricardo Patrón, clarified that the mayor, as an elected official of color, was asked to host the holiday party for the Electeds of Color group, emphasizing that similar inclusive celebrations were planned.

However, the decision to host an exclusive party deviates from past practices, with some expressing concerns about the potential divisiveness in a city already grappling with racial tensions. The incident raises questions about the role of inclusivity and exclusivity in civic events and the potential impact on unity within the city councilBoston Mayor hits hot water over ‘no whites’ Christmas party invite


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