Baltimore Mayor Taunts Right-Wing Trolls With Brutally Honest New ‘DEI’ Definition

Brandon Scott responded to conservative critics who blamed diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for the city's deadly bridge collapse.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott provided a new meaning for the acronym “DEI” after conservative critics linked him to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in response to the deadly Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

“I know, and we know, and you know very well, that Black men, and young Black men in particular, have been the bogeyman for those who are racist and think that only straight, wealthy white men should have a say in anything,” said Scott on Wednesday’s edition of MSNBC’s “The ReidOut.”

He continued, “We’ve been the bogeyman for them since the first day they brought us to this country, and what they mean by ‘DEI,’ in my opinion, is duly elected incumbent.”

Scott weighed in on the attacks after an X account called him “Baltimore’s DEI mayor” in response to a clip of him asking people to pray for families of those impacted by the collapse. The post has gained 25 million views, 13,000 likes and 5,900 shares.

Host Joy Reid informed viewers that Scott was elected with “70% of the vote” back in 2020 by a city with a predominantly Black population.

“So by right-wing logic, a ‘diversity hire’ would have been a white man,” Reid said.

Scott later told Reid he knows what those critics “want to say.”

“But they don’t have the courage to say the N-word, and the fact that I don’t believe in their untruthful and wrong ideology, and I am very proud of my heritage and who I am and where I come from, scares them,” Scott said.

He continued, “Because me being at my position means that their way of thinking, their way of life of being comfortable while everyone else suffers, is going to be at risk, and they should be afraid because that’s my purpose in life.”

DEI has become a frequent target for right-wing attacks in recent years including in Florida, which has banned the use of state and federal funds for DEI programs at public colleges, and Texas.

Others such as Florida congressional candidate Anthony Sabatini declared “DEI did this” in response to the collapse while Utah Rep. Phil Lyman, a GOP gubernatorial candidate in the state, took aim at Maryland port commissioner Karenthia A. Barber, the first Black woman to hold the title.

“This is what happens when you have Governors who prioritize diversity over the wellbeing and security of citizens,” wrote Lyman, who later posted that “DEI=DIE.”

Lyman told The Salt Lake Tribune that the post was “not our best moment” and described it as a “knee-jerk reaction to some of the things others were putting out there,” adding that someone on his team made the comments without his approval.

Lyman’s posts are still online as of early Thursday morning.

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