Baltimore mayor says he’s ‘ignoring the noise’ of DEI blame for bridge collapse

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott (D) said Sunday he is brushing off the “DEI mayor” labels that began circulating after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse last week.

Shortly after the collapse of the bridge in Baltimore, social media posts circulated that attributed the incident to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. In turn, some called Scott, who is Black, the “DEI mayor.”

Asked on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” about the labels, Scott said, “Listen, I am a young Black man and young Black mayor in this country. We know that there [is] a lot of racism, folks who don’t think I should be in this job.”

“I know that, I’ve been Black my whole life. I know how racism goes in this country. But my focus is always going to be on those people. I didn’t want to be out there that night answering questions about DEI. I’m worried about the loss of life,” he continued.

Scott, 39, said he aims to prove these people wrong by doing his job “in the best way” he can and “ignoring the noise” of such criticism.

“And ignoring the noise of folks who simply want to be devices and are afraid that their way of life, where people that don’t look like them and think like them can be in control, can be in power and actually be better at the job,” he said.

Last week, Scott argued these critics “don’t have the courage to say the N-word,” and said their remark “should not be even in conversation.”

A cargo ship named Dali was heading for Sri Lanka overnight last Tuesday when it collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which collapsed into the Patapsco River. The 984-foot Singapore-flagged ship is believed to have lost power while trying to leave the Baltimore Harbor, according to state officials.

Four construction workers who were filling potholes on the bridge at the time of the incident remain missing and are presumed dead among the wreckage. Two other workers were rescued last Tuesday, while the bodies of another two workers were recovered from a truck submerged in the water the following day.

The search for the missing was halted last Wednesday as concrete, debris and the superstructure believed to be around the vehicles made it too dangerous for divers. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) said divers will return to the waters once it’s safe to do so.

The removal of the first part of the bridge began over the weekend, and officials hope this will eventually allow for a temporary restricted channel to get more vessels into the water around the collapse site.

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