It’s hard being a DEI in a time like this, ain’t it?

In the aftermath of the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland on Tuesday, many on the right have blamed the tragedy on DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives.

Thus, “DEI” seems to be turning into a new alt-right buzzword in the same vein as “CRT” and “Woke” — dog whistles meant to rally like-minded readers against efforts at racial equity. See, for example, this X user calling Baltimore’s elected mayor, Brandon Scott, the “DEI mayor.”

This post in particular kicked off a wave of backlash amongst Black Twitter, who immediately saw the tweet as thinly veiled racism, essentially calling Baltimore’s mayor the n-word. Of course, Black Twitter loves a good joke, and because “DEI” was so oddly used as a not-so-subtle adjective, they ran with it.

This post from user Alecia Renece explains, that calling Mayor Scott the “DEI Mayor” was meant to harm Black folk, who instead turned it into a joke, thus de-weaponizing something that was meant to hurt us.

Will it stop alt-right agitators from coming up with a new dog whistle? No, but at least Black Twitter will always be prepared to push back against bullshit.