Metro

Historical society ‘truly sorry’ for ‘white Dorchester’ holiday card

The Dorchester Historical Society has come under criticism for using this awkwardly worded slogan, which has since been removed from its website.
www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org
The Dorchester Historical Society has come under criticism for using this awkwardly worded slogan, which has since been removed from its website.

An awkwardly worded holiday greeting card has prompted the Dorchester Historical Society to issue a public apology.

The postcard featured the slogan “We’re dreaming of a white Dorchester,” along with an image of the Dorchester Historical Society’s headquarters inside of a snow globe, and surrounded by falling snowflakes. The illustration had been used to promote the historical society’s upcoming holiday open house on Dec. 9.

When concerns were raised about the slogan, the Dorchester Historical Society tweeted a public apology and said it was meant to be a playful twist on the lyrics to “White Christmas,” and nothing more.

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“We are very truly sorry about our graphic used for this event,” the historical society tweeted on Monday. “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.”

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In a separate tweet, the historical society explained that the postcard never should have been printed.

“Unfortunately, although this postcard was designed with the Bing Crosby song in mind, it should never have gone to press,” the 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.”

The historical society’s website has since been updated and the image has been changed, and the controversial slogan has been replaced by the phrase “May your Dorchester days be merry and bright.”

When Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh was asked to comment on the gaffe, Walsh said he believed the historical society made an “honest mistake,” and noted that it’s a nonprofit organization with limited resources that is run by volunteers.

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“You know, they’re good people, the Dorchester Historical Society,” said Walsh. “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.”

Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.