Annissa Essaibi-George Speaks On Race, Identity, And Boston Mayoral Race

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — City Councilor and mayoral candidate Annissa Essaibi George dismissed questions about reports of her describing herself as a person of color. All of this year's mayoral candidates identify as people of color.

In a story published Tuesday by the Boston Globe, Essaibi-George felt her identity as the daughter of Arab and Polish immigrants was questioned. The article stated the following:

Some residents have raised questions about her identity.

“People tend to be a person of color when it’s convenient,’' said Jacquetta Van Zandt to the councilor on Van Zandt’s Politics and Proseccopodcast during Black History Month. “How do you identify? And how do you show up in the world?”

Following the report, she responded on Facebook saying, "The Boston Globe has determined that I do not meet their self-established definition of a person of color, and reported that “some” are questioning who I am and how I show up."

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She made it clear that in sharing her story, that does not mean she equates her "life with, or discount, the struggles of other races and ethnicities. I'm open about how people project an identity of their choosing onto me - and that can be both a privilege and a burden."

Essaibi George said at a news conference, "I think it's absolutely ridiculous that I stand before you with a record of achievement, a record of great work on the Boston City Council, a record of investment in both my neighborhood and in my business and in my work in the classroom, to talk about my identity."

At the news conference at Mattapan Square, former Boston Police Commissioner William Gross endorsed Essaibi George for Boston mayor.

“This is the person that I wholeheartedly believe, can bring the city together, or make it more cohesive and make Boston what it is today and continue to make it number one in the country,” Gross said.

Gross continued that the at-large city councilor, who lives in Dorchester, earned his backing since he has seen her first-hand hold officers accountable.

“I'm very proud today to be here with Commissioner Gross, and to talk about the future of our city and continue the work that I started on the council,'' said Essaibi George

WBZ NewsRadio's Mike Macklin reports:

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(Photo: Mike Macklin/WBZ NewsRadio)

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