Boston’s Democratic Mayor Michelle Wu’s administration caused problems with an email invitation she sent for a Christmas party for officials. While City Council relations director Denise DosSantos sent out the invitation email to all city council members, the invite was only for “electeds of color” and had excluded white officials.
“On behalf of Mayor Michelle Wu, I cordially invite you and a guest to the Electeds of Color Holiday Party on Wednesday, December 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Parkman House, 33 Beacon Street,” the letter read.
Realizing her error, DosSantos sent a follow-up email fifteen minutes later to apologize for sending the email to all council members instead of only council members of color.
“I wanted to apologize for my previous email regarding the Holiday Party for tomorrow. I did send that to everyone by accident, I apologize if my email may have offended or came across as so. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused,” the second letter read, per Boston 25 News.
The idea of a race-segregated Christmas party did not go down well with some of the white officials, including Councilman Frank Baker, who said he finds it “divisive.”
“But what are you going to do about it. You don’t want me at a party, I’m not going to come to a party,” he said.
In reaction to the news, many social users also took issue with the party, with one user calling it “toxic racism.”
“So much for diversity or inclusion… blatant, toxic racism is alive and well in Boston,” the user wrote.
So much for diversity or inclusion… blatant, toxic racism is alive and well in Boston.
Boston Mayor Faces Backlash Over Christmas Party Excluding White Officials https://t.co/wXSRLL4a1x
— Brent (@Badger2084) December 14, 2023
“Michelle Wu has repeatedly let white people know she hates them. Despite her racism Democrats elect her, cheer her & support her. Seems like all officials in Boston are racist,” another person tweeted.
Michelle Wu has repeatedly let white people know she hates them. Despite her racism Democrats elect her, cheer her & support her. Seems like all officials in Boston are racist.
Boston Mayor Faces Backlash Over Christmas Party Excluding White Officials https://t.co/8essdAsOxQ
— T.S. Waters 🇺🇸🇧🇷🇮🇱 (@Never_Alt_Left) December 14, 2023
Amid the criticism the party received, Wu attempted to justify it saying that different kinds of events are designed for different groups of people.
“I can understand someone might be confused or worried if certain people weren’t being invited at all or were being left out of any type of celebration. But I assure you, everyone on the Boston City Council has got an invitation to multiple types of events and holiday parties,” she said.
Wu has been involved in allegations of racial discrimination in the past as her policies and comments have both raised eyebrows. Earlier in the year, a group of five restaurant owners filed a lawsuit against her, claiming they were singled out for city fees largely due to the fact that they are white with Italian heritage.