In a recent turn of events, the Mayor of Boston has stirred controversy by hosting a holiday party exclusively for “electeds of color,” a move that has raised eyebrows and legal questions about racial discrimination. The controversy escalated when the email invitation, intended only for non-white city council members, was mistakenly sent to all council members, including their white counterparts.
The party, which is still scheduled to take place, has become the focal point of discussions surrounding racial inclusivity and legal implications. The Mayor’s decision to exclude white council members from the event has been met with criticism, with one white council member deeming it “divisive.”
Beyond the evident concerns of unity and fairness, this exclusive invitation policy raises significant legal issues at various levels.
1. Federal Law: Civil Rights Act of 1964 The United States has a comprehensive set of civil rights laws, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in public accommodations. Events hosted by public officials, especially those held in public spaces or funded by public resources, fall under these protections. The Mayor’s decision to limit attendance based on race could be viewed as a violation of these federal anti-discrimination laws.
2. Massachusetts Law: Public Accommodation Law Massachusetts has its own stringent anti-discrimination laws, such as the Massachusetts Public Accommodation Law. This law explicitly forbids discrimination in public places on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, deafness, blindness, or any physical or mental disability. Given that the mayor’s holiday party is likely considered a public accommodation, the exclusive invitation policy may run afoul of state anti-discrimination laws.
- Boston Mayor Michelle Wu planned a Christmas Holiday Party exclusively for ‘electeds of color’
- An aide to the mayor accidentally emailed the exclusive party to the whole city council chamber
- The move to host a racially segregated party sparked outrage, with one city councilor branding it ‘unfortunate and divisive’
.@MayorWu, the Mayor of Boston invited only “electeds of color” to a Holiday Party. The email was mistakenly sent to all city councilmembers, including the white ones. One white councilmember called it “divisive.”
The party is still scheduled to take place and only black… pic.twitter.com/1CJL8aKsQY
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) December 13, 2023
Excluding individuals from an event based on their race violates both federal laws and Massachusetts state laws, as well as potentially contravening local ordinances in Boston.
1. **Federal Law**: The United States operates under several civil rights laws that prohibit racial…
— @amuse (@amuse) December 13, 2023
Segregation is back, and it’s woke. t.co/V9WiCNNalQ
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) December 13, 2023