Council Confusion: Invitation Error Sparks Outrage
A well-intentioned invitation from Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s office sparked unexpected controversy when it was erroneously sent to the entire city council. The invite was intended for the “Electeds of Color Holiday Party,” and its broad distribution led to an apology from the administration and a deeper conversation on unity and division in politics.
The Mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu, just invited only "electeds of color" to a holiday party.
The email was mistakenly sent to all city council members, including the white ones.
Do you think this is racist? pic.twitter.com/BlReGDNoNS
— Reader + (@readerplus_) December 13, 2023
The Invitation Faux Pas
Denise DosSantos, Director of City Council Relations, sent out an email which stated, “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,” as reported by WFXT-TV. However, this message, meant for a subset of the council, reached all members, prompting DosSantos to quickly issue an apology for any confusion or offense caused by this oversight.
Response from the Council
Councilor Frank Baker, among those unintended recipients and who is white, described the incident as “unfortunate and divisive.” Despite this, Baker clarified that he personally wasn’t offended, as detailed in a Boston Patch report.
A Legacy of Celebration
Mayor Wu responded to the mishap by highlighting the longstanding nature of such groups and events, drawing parallels to the city’s celebration of various cultural festivities, such as the official Hannukah celebration and tree lighting ceremonies. Wu emphasized Boston’s commitment to honoring all forms of identity, culture, and heritage, underscoring the city’s dedication to being an inclusive space that supports diverse communities.
The incident, covered by the Libs of TikTok and other outlets, garnered a range of reactions from incredulity to criticism. Commenters expressed concerns about the legality and morality of the exclusion, with Ian Miles Cheong, a conservative social media figure, remarking, “I guess segregation is good again,” highlighting the divisive nature of the event. Other comments questioned the legality of the party’s funding and the implications of such a mistake in a politically and racially sensitive environment.
Uniting a Diverse City
Mayor Wu’s administration faced a delicate moment, one that inadvertently stirred a dialogue on inclusivity and division within Boston’s political arena. This episode serves as a reminder of the careful balance required in celebrating diversity while fostering unity.