Michelle Wu: Democrat Mayor of Boston Defends Her Decision to Host 'No Whites' Holiday Party for 'Electeds of Color' after Facing Backlash

On Wednesday afternoon, just before the party, when asked if she believed the gathering was divisive, Wu responded with a firm "No."

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Boston's mayor Michelle Wu who faced severe backlash for hosting a holiday party exclusively for "electeds of color" on Wednesday night has defended the event claiming that there would be more times for people of all races to come together in the future. Wu's party sparked controversy from the start as invitations were sent to all 13 members of the city council.

However, within 15 minutes, the invitations were rescinded for the seven white councilors. As per a Boston Herald report, seven white council members were not invited to the event, while six people of color were resent the invitations. However, Wu remains unfazed and does not regret her actions.

No Apologies

Michelle Wu
Michelle Wu X

On Wednesday afternoon, just before the party, when asked if she believed the gathering was divisive, Wu responded with a firm "No." She maintained that there would be more opportunities for people of all backgrounds to celebrate together.

However, the mayor emphasized that the "electeds of color" party was deemed an appropriate way to celebrate "identity, culture, and heritage" in her city.

Michelle Wu
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu X

"This is a group that has been in place for many, many years," said Wu, the first Asian American mayor of Boston.

"We celebrate all kinds of connection and identity and culture and heritage in the city.

"Just yesterday we hosted our official City Hall Hanukkah lighting.

"We have had tree lightings, and we want to be a city where everyone's identity is embraced, and that there are spaces and communities we can help support."

She explained that the exclusion of white people from the invitation was characterized as "an honest mistake," and she declined to acknowledge that dividing people by race could be considered offensive.

Michelle Wu
Michelle Wu X

"I think we've all been in the position at one point where an email went out and there was a mistake in the recipients," she said.

"So there was truly just an honest mistake.

"There are multiple ways that we celebrate with everyone. There are several parties where all the entire city council and all of our elected colleagues have been invited to."

Defending Herself

The 38-year-old daughter of Taiwanese immigrants stated that she and her team had engaged in individual conversations with everyone involved to convey that the exclusion was genuinely an unintentional mistake that occurred during the email typing process.

Michelle Wu
Michelle Wu with her husband and son X

She added: "And I look forward to celebrating with everyone at the holiday parties that we will have beside this one as well.

"And it is my intention that we can again be a city that lives our values and creates space for all kinds of communities to come together."

Wu's invitation for Wednesday's party was mistakenly sent to all councilors by her aide, Denise DosSantos.

Within 15 minutes, DosSantos followed up with an email apologizing for the invitation, clarifying that it was intended only for the city's councilors of color.

"I wanted to apologize for my previous email regarding a Holiday Party for tomorrow," DosSantos, a black woman, wrote.

"I did send that to everyone by accident, and I apologize if my email may have offended or came across as so. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused."

However, there was no apology issued for the decision to organize a racially segregated party. The apologies were solely related to the mistake in sending out the invitations to all councilors initially.

Wu was elected Mayor of Boston in November 2021, making history as the city's first female and first Asian American mayor.

Denise DosSantos
The invitation was mistakenly sent by Wu's director of City Council relations Denise DosSantos LinkedIn

Michael McCormack, an attorney and former five-term Boston city councilor, expressed that hosting an exclusive party was not in line with the typical practices of her office. He argued that former mayors Tom Menino and Ray Flynn would have invited the entire city council.

On Wednesday, Wu's spokesperson, Ricardo Patron, explained that the mayor was invited to host the annual party by the Electeds of Color group, and the host and location vary each year.

Patron clarified that the exclusive party was just one of several events occurring during the festive season. Additionally, Wu was planning a larger holiday party for the following week, which would include all her cabinet members, city councilors, and the entire legislature.

Some of those who were disinvited from the party due to their race reportedly shrugged off the incident, while others said it was a regrettable situation.