The Dorchester Historical Society has issued a public apology and removed a postcard from its website after receiving criticism that a Christmas slogan, “We’re dreaming of a white Dorchester,” was exclusionary.
Dorchester historical society apologizes, says it's horrified by Christmas card it sent out to advertise an upcoming event. pic.twitter.com/144ukLTxj5
— WBZ NewsRadio (@wbznewsradio) November 27, 2018
The image that bears the phrase, which is a nod to the popular Christmas song, features the Dorchester Historical Society’s headquarters inside a snow globe and was meant to promote its upcoming holiday open house.
Some considered its wording offensive.
who thought this was a good idea 😳😳😳 pic.twitter.com/SBc8TzSVFu
— Caroline Holland (@choll12) November 26, 2018
“The message of a white Christmas implies others are left out,” one Twitter user wrote.
The Historical Society was quick to change the phrase to “May your Dorchester days be merry and bright,” and issued the following apology on Twitter: “We are very truly sorry about our graphic used for this event. This was an unfortunate oversight on our part and the event photograph has been removed from our social media. We were simply changing the words to the classic Christmas carol and did not think it through properly. Unfortunately, although this postcard was designed with the Bing Crosby song in mind, it should never have gone to press,” another tweet stated. “We are very truly sorry that this was a message that was sent out and we want to apologize for its unintended consequences.”
One Twitter user came to the defense of the volunteers who help run the Dorchester Historical Society.
I know the backstory here. Well-meaning older person riffing on the Bing Crosby song who clearly stepped in it, and was pretty horrified when they realized the unintended implication.
— welcome to dot🎄 (@WelcomeToDot) November 26, 2018
Thank you, we certainly are not happy with its VERY unintended implications; horrified might not be strong enough of a word.
— Dorchester Historical Society (@DotHistorical) November 26, 2018
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh spoke out on the incident, telling the Boston Globe, “You know, they’re good people, the Dorchester Historical Society. They certainly didn’t mean anything mean or vicious or racist about it. I felt really bad when I saw it last night because they do a lot of good work. They’re a nonprofit that doesn’t have a lot of money…and I honestly think that they made an honest mistake.”
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