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Historical society apologizes for 'dreaming of a white Dorchester' card

Hope Schreiber
·Writer
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What was meant to be a twist on a Bing Crosby classic raised more than a few eyebrows in a Boston neighborhood whose majority population is nonwhite.

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.

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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.

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“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.

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The Dorchester Historical Society has often highlighted the area’s diverse history and appears to have intended no ill will in its choice of slogan.

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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