Boston historical society apologizes for 'dreaming of a white Dorchester' holiday card

A Boston neighborhood historical society has apologized for a Christmas card (not pictured) that was considered insensitive to some. Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash)

BOSTON — A holiday greeting from a Boston historical society has led it to quickly offer an apology.

The Dorchester Historical Society sent out a holiday card to its supporters. It read, “We’re dreaming of a white Dorchester.”

Those words are shown on the card along with a photograph of a historical building inside a snow globe with snow falling.


In a tweet Monday, the historical society representing the Boston's Dorchester neighborhood apologized for the graphic.

“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,” the tweet said. “We were simply changing the words to the classic Christmas carol and did not think it through properly.”

The society issued the apology after a tweet pointed out the wording.

“Looks like some one did not proof this. The message of a white Chrismtas (sic) implies others are left out. Maybe not intentional but not how it appears,” the tweet read, appearing to imply that the message was racist.

Although the society said the holiday card was designed with Irving Berlin’s 1942 “White Christmas” in mind, some Dorchester residents said the choice of wording was a mistake.

"With everything going on today, with the white Christmas, they could have choosen better wording," resident Lavesha Stinson told WFXT.

“It could go either way. It could depend on how you take it,” another resident, Jessica Stephens, told the news station. “Some people can't wait for a white Christmas, so it would all just depend on how you take it.”

Dorchester is one of the Boston’s most diverse communities. African-Americans make up 45 percent of the population. Hispanics make up 18 percent and whites make up 22 percent.

"Thank you for alerting us to this matter as we certainly do not want to project that message, even if completely accidentally. Again, thank you," a follow up tweet said.

WFXT was unable to reach the president of the Dorchester Historical Society for comment Monday.