In a striking turn of events, Boston City Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson, representing District 7, faced criticism after a video emerged showing her not participating in the oath of office during the inaugural ceremony. The video, which went viral on social media, captured Anderson neither raising her hand nor reciting the oath along with her colleagues.
The situation escalated when several Boston leaders, including Council President Ruthzee Louijeune, indicated that Anderson’s failure to properly take the oath invalidated the votes she cast that day. Subsequently, she was directed to retake the oath four days after the initial ceremony. Mayor Michelle Wu affirmed the necessity of the verbal oath for official service, and it was reported that Anderson complied with this directive on the following Thursday.
However, Anderson’s response to the criticism was one of defiance. Initially blocking the Boston Accountability Network (LOT) on X, she reportedly dismissed the backlash as “anti-immigrant racist vitriol.” In her defense, she argued that her internalization of the oath, as a prayer between herself and God, was more sincere than merely mouthing the words. Her X account later became private, making it challenging to verify these statements.
Anderson, known for her strong political activism and controversial actions, has been a polarizing figure. Described by Libs of TikTok as a “radical activist,” she has been involved in pro-Muslim and pro-Palestinian activities. She has proposed a “Hijab Day” in the city and has been criticized for her stance on Hamas and Palestinian solidarity, exemplified by her public display of a photo of Rep. Rashida Tlaib wearing a keffiyeh.
Adding to the controversy, Anderson has faced allegations of anti-white bigotry, based on screenshots of previous tweets, and criticism for employing family members on her staff, which violated council rules and led to a fine.
The situation with Councilor Anderson highlights the complexities of political office, the importance of adherence to protocol, and the consequences of actions that can be perceived as disrespectful or defiant of established norms. This incident, along with Anderson’s history of contentious actions and statements, continues to stir debate and scrutiny.