Baltimore Mayor Accuses Racists of Hijacking DEI Language

By: Georgia | Published: Mar 29, 2024

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott has been at the center of a controversy after being labeled a ‘DEI mayor’ by an account on X, formerly known as Twitter, in the wake of the deadly collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Scott, who won the mayoral election with 70% of the vote, refuted this label, stating that DEI, in his case, stands for ‘Duly Elected Incumbent.’ 

The Misuse of DEI as a Pejorative Term

Mayor Scott claims that the term DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) is being weaponized by individuals who wish to discredit successful black professionals without resorting to overtly racist language. 

The mayor of Baltimore is captured speaking at a podium, wearing a bright yellow hoodie with the words "Baltimore" visible

Source: MayorBMScott/X

Despite his overwhelming electoral victory, Scott’s opponents have attempted to undermine his legitimacy by suggesting his appointment was solely based on DEI criteria, a claim he strongly denies.


A Viral Tweet and Its Consequences

A post on X, referring to Scott as ‘Baltimore’s DEI mayor’ gained significant attention after being reposted by Elon Musk, reaching 25 million views. 

A candid shot of Elon Musk in focus, with a serious expression, wearing a dark blazer over a light blue shirt, at an outdoor event

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The post sparked a widespread backlash, prompting Musk to retract his repost. A ‘community note’ was subsequently added to clarify that “Brandon Scott was elected as Mayor of Baltimore in 2020 with > 70% of the vote. He did not come into office through any DEI practices, appointments, etc.”

Mayor Scott's Response to the DEI Misrepresentation

In response to the misrepresentation of the DEI label, Mayor Scott has taken a firm stance, reinterpreting DEI to mean ‘Duly Elected Incumbent’ in his context. 

The Mayor of Baltimore is standing at a clear podium, giving a speech at a train station. He is dressed in a formal dark blue coat and tie

Source: MayorBMScott/X

He has publicly criticized the use of DEI as a covert racial slur, stating “We know what they want to say but they don’t have the courage to say.”

The Broader DEI Debate in America

DEI initiatives, aimed at increasing workforce diversity, have faced criticism nationwide. Some states argue these programs result in reverse discrimination against more qualified candidates. 

Baltimore Mayor, dressed in a tailored blue suit and yellow tie, speaks into microphones at an outdoor press conference

Source: MayorBMScott/X

Mayor Scott’s situation highlights the polarized views on DEI, with some detractors coining it as an acronym for ‘Didn’t Earn It,’ a label Scott vehemently disputes.

Mayor Scott's Personal Reflections on DEI Criticism

Mayor Scott has expressed that the criticisms he faces over DEI are rooted in fear from those who oppose his views and background.

The Mayor of Baltimore is pictured from the side, speaking into a bank of microphones at an indoor event. He is wearing a light blue suit with an orange patterned tie

Source: MayorBMScott/X

He said, “The fact that I don’t believe in their untrue and wrong ideology and the fact that I am very proud of my heritage and who I am and where I come from scares them.” 


A Night of Tragedy in Baltimore

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, a vital link over the Patapsco River in Baltimore, experienced a catastrophic failure when it collapsed into the river below after being struck by a large shipping vessel. 

Onlookers, dressed in rain gear, gaze out at a foggy river scene where the collapsed remains of a bridge are visible in the misty background. A tugboat is seen near the twisted metal of the bridge

Source: MayorBMScott/X

This incident led to eight construction workers, who were on the bridge repairing potholes, falling into the water. 


Mayor Scott Responds to the Tragedy

Baltimore Mayor Scott, in an emotional press briefing held Tuesday morning, addressed the collapse as an “unthinkable tragedy.” 

Baltimore's Mayor is seen in a heartfelt embrace with a person in military uniform, whose last name 'Birckhead' is visible on a tag

Source: MayorBMScott/X

He emphasized the importance of focusing on the victims and their families, as well as expressing gratitude towards the first responders for their efforts during this crisis.


Technical Failure Leads to Collapse

Investigations into the bridge collapse revealed that the vessel, named Dali, experienced a total power failure, which resulted in a loss of both navigation and engine controls before the crash. 

A cargo ship, laden with multicolored containers, is wedged into a collapsed section of a metal bridge in misty weather conditions. Tugboats and a fire rescue marine vessel marked "Marine Emergency Team 21" are present in the water near the ship

Source: 2Trump2024/X

The exact cause of this power outage remains unknown, with ongoing investigations seeking to uncover the details of the failure.


Federal Support for Reconstruction

In response to the disaster, the administration of President Joe Biden announced its intention to fully fund the reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. 

President Joe Biden sits behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office, hands clasped together, attentively listening to individuals seated across from him

Source: POTUS/X

This commitment from the federal government demonstrates the national importance of the bridge.


Mayor Scott's Focus on the Victims

Despite questions about the timeline for rebuilding the bridge, Mayor Scott maintained that the current focus should be on the people affected by the collapse. 

A group of individuals, including the mayor and a man in a Coast Guard cap, engage in a conversation on a misty port. In the background, a large container ship is visible amidst a foggy backdrop, possibly near a bridge

Source: MayorBMScott/X

He stressed the importance of prioritizing the lives and well-being of the victims over discussions about infrastructure reconstruction.


Community Unity in the Wake of Disaster

The tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge brought the Baltimore community together in a time of grief and solidarity. 

In an outdoor setting, a firefighter in high-visibility gear shakes hands with the Baltimore mayor wearing a jacket labeled "Office of Emergency Management"

Source: MayorBMScott/X

Led by Mayor Scott, the city united to support the victims and their families, demonstrating resilience and a collective determination to recover from the disaster.