Democrat Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is facing another racial controversy.
At an event in 2022 Wu said, “This past winter was pretty intense, trial by snow, trial by firefighters union. I’m getting used to dealing with problems that are expensive, disruptive, and white – I’m talking about snowflakes, snowstorms, snowflakes!”
Wu is so disliked, she pushed a law to stop protests outside her home during off hours.
Now, owners of five restaurants in Boston allege they have been discriminated against by Wu because of their White, Italian heritage.
The legal dispute stems from the levying of a fee on restaurants in the North End area—which is known for its Italian heritage—for placing tables outside for outdoor dining. Court documents cited a joke she made in a St Patrick’s Day speech on March 17, 2022, in which she said: “I’m getting used to dealing with problems that are expensive, disruptive and white.”
The complaint perpetuates a broader debate about what should be considered discrimination amid a shifting sense of power felt among different communities. A May 2022 poll found that 40 percent of Americans felt there was more discrimination against white people than there was five years ago.
The legal challenge was refiled this year after an initial one was dismissed by a judge in October following a motion to dismiss the case by the city government.
In 2022, Wu ordered that restaurants in the area that wanted to have outdoor dining for that summer would have to apply for a license to do so, which would cost $7,500, and the use of parking spaces would cost an additional $480 per space used.
Court documents state that the order didn’t apply to other restaurants elsewhere in Boston, noting that there were at least 114 restaurants in the nearby vicinity with outdoor dining, a majority of which were not charged for a license. Some 15 percent of all city licenses were given to restaurants in the North End.
According Yahoo! News, to the latest amendment to the complaint reads, “The common identity of a North End restauranteur is white. Male and of Italian heritage. The Plaintiffs had a right to be treated the same as other restaurants in the City who were granted outdoor dining and not be singled out to pay fees that other restaurants were not forced to pay in order to have outdoor dining because of their sex or national origin/ethnicity as appears in this case.”
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