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Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is facing backlash for her “Electeds of Color” event, a holiday party she held alongside six minority members of Boston’s City Council Dec. 13. Mixed race writer and filmmaker Eli Steele and netizens on social media called out the Democrat for throwing her exclusive no whites allowed holiday bash.

Before the gathering took place at the city’s official reception hall Wednesday, Denise DosSantos, the director of City Council relations, accidentally sent an “exclusive party invitation” to every member of the City Council – meaning all seven white members of the legislative body received the invite, according to the New York Post. 

Wu, 38, quickly rescinded their invitations.

During an interview with local news station WCVB Channel 5 Boston, Wu — the city’s first Asian American Mayor — said she spoke with all white members of the City Council before her “Electeds of Color” holiday party took place. 

“We had individual conversations with everyone so people understand that it was truly just an honest mistake that went out in typing the email field,” Wu explained. “I look forward to celebrating with everyone at the holiday parties that we will have besides this one as well.”

According to Wu, elected officials of color from all levels of government in Massachusetts have been gathering privately to “create a space for people to celebrate” for more than a decade. She insisted that the POC holiday party was not intended to harm anyone, WCVB Channel 5 Boston noted.  


“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,” she added. 

Wu’s “Electeds of Color” bash was slammed with criticism by writer Eli Steele and netizens across social media. 

Writer and filmmaker Eli Steele — who is half Black and half Jewish — called Wu’s event “a racially segregated holiday party” and pondered whether he would have been invited to the POC gathering in a lengthy op-ed for the Daily Mail Dec. 17.

“My mother is Jewish, and my paternal grandmother was white. But my paternal grandfather was black and had Native American ancestry. Would I be allowed in the doors?” Steele penned.

“I have waded these racialized waters before, so I can imagine that the mayor, when confronted with my complex identity, would have replied, ‘Of course, you are one of the ‘Electeds of Color.’”

Still, the writer said that even if he was invited to the function, he would demand “an explanation” from Mayor Wu about the party’s minority-only policy.

“Neither my complexion nor my race reveals anything substantial about me or my character,” Steele continued. “You’re wrong, Mayor Wu…For this is not progress.”

The pissed-off writer added, “Mayor Wu and her fellow modern-day segregationists have more in common with the racial essentialists of the past than with a majority of Americans today.”

On X, formerly Twitter, upset netizens called Wu “a racist” and argued that there would be “outrage” if white members of the City Council threw an “all white” party, excluding minority members. Other users wondered if the Mayor’s husband, who appears to be white, was allowed to attend the POC holiday event.

However, a few people stepped in to defend the gathering. City Councilor Frank Baker, who is white, told the Boston Herald, that he wasn’t upset when he got his invitation to the holiday bash rescinded.

“I don’t really get offended too easily,” Baker said. “To offend me, you’re going to have to do much more than not invite me to a party.”

Boston city councilor-at-Large, Ruthzee Louijeune – who attended the event — defended the holiday party. 

“It is not at all divisive, it is creating spaces for people, and communities and identities with shared experiences to come together,” Louijeune told NBC Boston after the holiday gathering. “We are still breaking barriers, and it is so important for us to carve out and create that space.”

Outgoing City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo, who was also present during the gathering, shared a similar sentiment.

“I think someone wanted to make this inflammatory, and they have clearly succeeded – I have two microphones in my face asking me about an annual holiday party and whether or not I should care about their feelings that there is a holiday party for people of color they weren’t invited to because they don’t share those experiences,”  he said.

What are your thoughts? Was Michelle Wu tripping for having a POC holiday party for minority members? Read some of the reactions below.


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