Boston City Council candidates apologize for discriminatory language in old social media posts

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“I am incredibly sorry for the ignorant and horrible things I said. … I regret using such horrible words and apologize for hurting anyone with these comments,” Coletta said in his statement.

“No matter how long I have used this language, the evil remains,” his statement said. “These words do not reflect the person I have become over time and the woman I am today.”

Del Rio, Coletta’s opponent in the race to fill the seat that will be vacated by current Senator Lydia Edwards, released a statement Wednesday afternoon criticizing Coletta for her past language and said the comments were “hurtful for the black community and the LGBTQ+ community. .”

“These communities know all too well similar rhetoric in their daily lives and how this rhetoric breeds animosity, hatred and violence. Words matter,” Del Rio said in the statement.

But soon Del Rio apologized for her own offensive old social media posts.

About two hours after Del Rio posted the statement on Twitter on Wednesday, another user of the platform responded with a screenshot of Facebook comments Del Rio wrote 15 years ago where she also used homophobic language and racist in messages intended for his friends.

In a phone interview Wednesday night, Del Rio said she hadn’t seen the screenshot of the Facebook comments. After a reporter showed her the screenshot, Del Rio, 36, confirmed that she wrote the comments when she was around 21 while attending NYU.

“These comments come from someone who is completely uninformed,” Del Rio said, referring to herself as a younger person. “Since then, I have been proud and happy to have dedicated my personal and professional life to understanding discrimination…It is certainly unfortunate that I used this language and played with these topics. It’s a big mistake. »

Del Rio said she doesn’t regret the statement she made about Coletta’s old social media posts.

“If we see any form of discrimination, racism, homophobia against a community, we have to speak out against it,” she said. “If I’m the one making the comment, I want to own it and apologize.”

Reached by phone Wednesday night, Coletta declined to comment beyond the statement she posted on Twitter the day before.

Del Rio and Coletta are vying for the seat of District 1 which represents East Boston, Charlestown and the North End. Coletta previously served as Edwards’ campaign manager and chief of staff.

Edwards, who won a special election for Suffolk and Middlesex’s first race in January and is the only black member of the Senate, said on Wednesday the comments show the two candidates “weren’t perfect and weren’t perfect allies,” but she also said focusing on comments made more than a dozen years ago “is a waste of time.”

“As a politician, as a friend, as a human being, I will never judge anyone today based on comments they made 15 years ago on social media,” she said. “I think they’re both amazing women and I won’t — and I encourage the people of District 1 and the City of Boston not to either — judge the social media posts of 15 years ago and rather judge these women by who they are today.

“Tania is an amazing mother, kind person and hard worker chasing her dreams,” Edwards continued. Coletta “has been my sidekick and she’s a woman who fought for women to gain political power. They both have something to contribute and I suggest we focus on the conversations and issues of 2022 . »

Edwards, who will step down from the city council at the end of April, has not officially endorsed either candidate.


Nick Stoico can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @NickStoico.

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