Delaware Racism: It Is Reality And It Is Not Going Away

Delaware Racism

Racism in Delaware is very real. We saw it clearly with the situation at a Delaware Military Academy basketball game.  Alleged racial slurs were yelled out by DMA students.  When the A.I. Dupont High School basketball team was told to stay in their chairs after the game, members went to go towards the seats where they heard the horrible words.  No adult will come forward about this and use honor instead of protecting their charter school.  Why?

Racism is rampant in Delaware.  Our media, especially The News Journal, does not do enough to curb this.  Every time they post any article about issues that could possibly involve race, the hatred pours out in their comments.  Perhaps they remove these but they have no filters whatsoever to prevent words like nigger being thrown out there.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this comment from their poll last night about the DMA/AI incident:


I don’t condone the use of that word by anyone, whether they are black or white.  It is a word from history that signifies a time when black people were owned by white people.  I don’t believe any race or culture should own the word.  It is ugly and full of hatred.  We all bleed the same blood.  We all smile the same smile and we all shed the same tears.  Maybe because I was raised in a home where the value of respecting others was instilled in me at a very early age is the reason I can’t even fathom this kind of hatred.

President Trump, for all his faults, does not bring out this kind of hatred in people.  It is there and always has been.  There are those who may not like the words but fail to do anything about as evidenced by this comment from a DMA parent:


Fear of retaliation.  I’ve heard those words so many times to justify bad decisions in others.  If you find those words unacceptable then do the right thing and speak up.  What kind of message are you sending your child?  That it is okay for others to say things that are unacceptable in today’s society?  That adults can act just as bad as kids which further perpetuates racism?  Speak up parent!  By hiding things and covering them up, you are teaching your own child that it is okay for these things to happen.  It is not okay.  It is not right.  Your job as a parent is to prepare your child for adulthood and instill in them a sense of right and wrong.  We all want to protect our children, I get that.  But if doing it has a cost that could make anyone think certain things are okay are you really doing your job as a parent?  If administrators allow this to continue, what does that say about the school you chose to send your child to?  Taking away a senior night, which is the first I’ve heard of any punishment for DMA students, is not enough.  If this indeed happened, that would indicate wrong-doing on the DMA team and cheerleaders.  If no racial slurs were thrown out, why a punishment at all?

Schools like Delaware Military Academy, Charter School of Wilmington, and Newark Charter School all have very low African-American populations compared to the schools around them.  Some have even suggested they allow this culture of racism to continue so they get more white students.  This furthers segregation in Delaware, especially around Wilmington.  If these charters truly cared about diversity, they would do something about it.  Instead, we get long drawn-out essays, significant expenses surrounding school uniforms and sports, and specific interests that dissuade low-income families and minorities from even applying.  Despite the many who have called them out on this, our General Assembly turns a blind eye to this and allows this to continue.  Despite federal guidance suggesting any specific enrollment should be designed to let students with the highest needs in.

Did the A.I. DuPont H.S. coach do the right thing?  Many have suggested he did.  By suspending the team for the rest of the season he sent a message that despite what others say reacting to it can only make the situation worse.  But what about those players who are being called one of the most vile words in existence?  The News Journal wrote an editorial and said the coach made the right decision.  However, they did not mention one word about the alleged racial slurs.  To me, that word is meant to strip away the humanity from a person and make them feel like less then a human being.  Even though the above comment no longer appears in the comments of a poll they put up last night they allowed it to go up.  Even by putting a poll up to see if the coach did the right thing without all the information conveyed to those answering the poll, they are slanting the issue.

Delaware is an odd state.  We are a state between the south and the north.  One only needs to look at the riots in Wilmington in the 1960s to see Delaware’s history with race issues.  We still struggle with this in the present.  Generations of hatred against black people still exist to this very day.  But no one wants to really bring it out in the open.  Those of us who try are chastised and told to shut up.  That we have no idea what we are talking about.  But it continues, every day.  Every time we allow any institution to further issues of race, we are allowing the problem to continue.  Any time we allow a school, a building of education, to not have student populations that match the local area, we are letting it happen.

The charter schools I mentioned were a cure for not-so-wealthy parents of white students who couldn’t afford to send their kids to private schools.  They didn’t want their kids in “those” schools so some of our legislators created the perfect situation: schools with predominant white populations and barriers that effectively prevented “those” kids from even getting into that system.  And many parents rushed towards the opportunity.  Attack one of those charters and the parents will come out in full force to defend the school with a “How dare you” attitude.  They will defend these institutions that further discrimination at the cost of their own souls.  They don’t even see they are doing it.

Any person who makes themselves better than another with words designed to hurt someone based on race, gender, disability, age, or social status is discriminatory.  They are racist.  They are advancing their old-world vision on present-day society.  Anyone who fails to speak out about these things happening is living in a fear basket cuddled up in a blanket called enablement.  You are allowing this to continue.  You are just as bad.  If your child was given a hard time at school would you not speak up for them?  Most of us would.  We wouldn’t worry about fear of retaliation because it is the right thing to speak up for your child and advocate for them when they are unable to.  So why would you not speak up when you see your child’s environment is hostile and ugly?  That can be just as damaging as any situation where someone comes after your child.  You are failing as a parent when you don’t speak up about injustice.  If we all did that when we should, there wouldn’t be so much injustice.  It would send a clear message that this will not be tolerated.  It is unacceptable.  We will not be a victim to your cruel words and hatred.

Children are the most susceptible and vulnerable population in this country.  They absorb what is around them.  If parents show racism as issues at the dinner table or use words to describe people that are not good, kids pick up on it and at a very early age.  It becomes part of their personality.  It goes both ways with race.  Putting down the white man in front of your kids can elicit the same behaviors in kids.  I go back to “Remember The Titans”.  If it really went down that way, I don’t know.  It had to have been “Disneyfied” to some degree.  But the message is clear: when we band together we are all one.

I am not afraid to speak out.  I will not stop defending the rights of any human being on this planet.  And you can throw all the stones in the world at me but I will not let your cowardice stop me.  This is why I loathe the use of high-stakes standardized testing in schools.  It is just another system that puts up divides instead of unity.  Far too many parents say “I don’t want my kid going to that school.  Look at their test scores”.  And they cycle continues.  For the Delaware racists, you know who you are.  You know what you harbor in your innermost thoughts.  You may think you are right.  You may go to church on Sundays and count your blessings.  You may believe you have the might of angels behind your beliefs.  But what you lack in humility and grace takes all of that away.  As for media like The News Journal, telling half a story isn’t addressing any issue.  Covering up things that went down and hiding behind “accounts on social media” as if that whitewashes what really went down is not journalism.  It is cowardice.

Almost a day since I broke this story, DMA Commandant Anthony Pullella has not responded to my request for information about this incident.  I can’t say I’m surprised.  Many charter schools like to live in their own bubble and want to ignore the outside world.  As if they are the beacon of society and can do no wrong.  Why shouldn’t they think that?  Our own state government has allowed them to thrive in that belief.  Our legislators can sit in their legislative chambers and condemn actions that took place 150 years ago but when the time comes for them to address the true issues that are perpetuating racism, discrimination, and segregation in our state, far too many of them do nothing.  Especially when it comes to education.  There are those who will fight on these issues, reps like Kim Williams, John Kowalko, and others.  But they do not hold the majority.  All too often, bills are saturated with words that eventually continue Delaware’s backwards slide into racism.  Some don’t even realize this at the time.  Critics of issues involving racism and discrimination are all too often marginalized in this state.  Our issues become back burner because money and power have the influence in Dover, not what is right.  It becomes politics, not morality and doing what is right.

Unless you have been spoken down to like you are less than you are as much as African-Americans have in our very racist state, how can you effectively say you are right?  Have you ever walked in the shoes of someone who has been demeaned and humiliated?  If the answer is no, then kindly shut up.  We don’t want your hatred spewing out of your mouth.  I will never condone violence as a response to hatred.  It does nothing except make the situation worse.  But to point out the potential of violence without addressing why it got to that point is highly irresponsible.



19 thoughts on “Delaware Racism: It Is Reality And It Is Not Going Away

  1. I wasn’t at the game, but I think clarification needs to be made here. Where they using the N word with an er ending or an a ending. The reason I question this is, kids today say nigga like hello. It’s ridiculous, but it may not have been as racial as it is being portrayed.

    Also, when you look at the population of black students at CSW, DMA and NCS; has anyone considered that maybe some students don’t want to adhere to the high standards of these schools?

    For crying out loud, Family Foundations Academy and Eastside Charter are 90% black or higher each. Any white families bitching about their kids not going there? NO. No one is claiming anything is racist there.

    Bottom line…If you go to DMA you have to adhere to Naval standards. If your kid is an asshole, military school is probably gonna kick their ass and not be a good fit.

    CSW is a Math and Science school. If your kid is an asshole, he/she may not have the brain power to be successful at CSW.

    I don’t know enough about Newark Charter, other than they have that 5 mile radius bullshit.

    My point is this…people cry racism over the dumbest bullshit these days, because that is their “get outta jail free” card. If both parents and children could just go to events and not act like assholes, then the world would be a better place.


    1. I’ve spoken to people who were there that have stated that nigger, with the er, was used. I myself have spoken with someone at DMA and she said that there is A LOT of racism going on in that school. She was called a nigger, with ther er, lover because she dates black men and has black friends. She said administration knows all about these issues. This is not an instance where people are just calling racism, this actually happens.


      1. I asked my high school senior has he encountered issues. We were discussing DMA and their racist attitudes. This is due to him encountering some other students who transferred where he attend from DMA, participating in sports.
        Now when it comes to CSW, the school was suppose to have been established as an innovative, student participating school in preparation to students to enter the college arena. It was under the Phoenix and Banking Academy, both ran by Parker McMullen. Fast forward, Ron Russon who use to head St. Marks come on board, making Charter an ‘exclusive’ school. After funds were established from Verizon, DuPont, Astra Zeneca as a school assisting all students especially Minority Students. Cab as many know was established for the arts, theater. (My oldest attended CSW when it began as Math/Science Academy)
        Fast forward. As my generation moved into adulthood, many looked for schools who would shelter their children, while giving a Free private schooling in a public school setting. Schools in Red Clay such as Dickinson, AI DuPont and McKean resent the fact inner city students attend these schools. I worked at a bank in Pike Creek where many White parents still presented their ‘disdain’ for inner city children attending schools in their community since desegregation!
        For anyone to say Delaware, as a State and the Public School system is NOT racist are in a slumbered state of mind!


      2. Like I said, I wasn’t there, I was just looking for clarification. These days everyone and their brother call each other nigga and it goes without a blink. My issue is in a school setting is that NEITHER version belong in a school.

        Either way, the 3 or 4 basketball games that I have been to this school year have had several verbal altercations. The real problem is that our society is a bunch of assholes who do not know how to conduct themselves in public. By society, I am referring to whites, blacks and Hispanics. Everyone seems to have forgotten how to act when you are attending a school function. Hence the reason why so many police officers are working these games.

        I go…I watch the game…I don’t say shit…

        I just find it hard to believe that with all of the interracial couples and bi racial children in today’s world, that anyone really gives a fuck anymore…but maybe I am just not surrounding myself with assholes.


        1. Unfortunately they are. There are still people who believe each race, religion and alien should remain only with their ‘kind’. Not disputing what you are saying. Personally, I believe if there was some regulation of the word derivations, removing it from the language, then what would be used?! I stated in another comment on this subject two things: The school, classroom and workplace is not the place to use any of the variations: Nigger, Nigga, Niggas, Nigs etc! There is NO endearment of the term for me, or the history. 2) AI DuPont has a suspension DMA should have one as well. Maybe both schools should yield to DIAA policies and procedures.
          I’m not hanging around assholes either as I hang out with a high school senior, 8th grader and 6th grader since I’ve gotten guardianship of two teens. As far as I’m concerned, grades and behavior need to be on point, demonstrative of decent/right sportsmanship. I stopped watching the NBA when Jordan retired, until my cousin entered the NBA. Poor sportsmanship, fighting and abuse has turned my head from many sports!
          Also, if my previous comment appears to be to you, I thought it was just a general comment/opinion. This comment is in reply to your above comment


          1. I completely understand your POV. Unfortunately, if kids and parents keep acting like this, games will be a thing of the past. Society, as a whole, seems to be going to Hell in a handbasket! Sadly.


    2. It doesn’t matter. As the heart of the world’s Capitalist system, Delaware has a unique responsibility. What people in Delaware say and do is the landscape of the world’s most powerful corporate managers.


  2. I don’t know a teenager who doesn’t use the N word.. they say it’s ok as long as you don’t have ‘er’ on the end but always ‘a’. Makes no sense to me but I’m 50 not 15 so I know I can’t always relate to what they say. I agree with you Wanda, it’s not ok no matter how you say or spell it.. the kids will also tell you if you want to look for who is endorsing it and making it ‘ok’, it mostly comes from the music they listen to.. all teens, all races!
    Also, you have a cousin who plays pro basketball? That’s pretty cool!! Would love to get his take on this topic, wouldn’t you? I’m sure he hears a lot traveling around the country.


  3. To address a few things; Josiah while you have the best of intentions and seemly not a racist bone in your body. It is the attitude or notion that “if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exisit” that validates those who do. Now to the point of “er” or “a” for both you and PENCADERMOM, it doesn’t matter. When used in malice a whole host of words are offensive that might be used by others on a daily basis.

    Whether it’s “the music” or “surrounding yourself with assholes” it starts at home, and what the parent allows their child to say and do.

    I invoke self censoring when listening to music with the n word in it, but that’s me.

    To blindly assert that racism isn’t really at play in some instances, perpetuates the issue. We all need to be better at this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good luck censoring what your children listen to and what they do or say when they are out of earshot. Again, I didn’t say I was ok with it.
      I just scrolled through urban dictionary and am copy and pasting this def., although it was several definitions down, it’s what I think of when I see or hear the word:
      Slang term for homie, friend, buddy, etc., used primarily by African-Americans but has spread to other races as well;
      “‘Sup my n&*^a?” “How’s it hanging my n*&*a?” “Yo, n*&%a wassup?”

      (I edited the spelling out as I don’t even want to write it..even with an ‘a’.)

      I wasn’t at the game so I don’t know if it was used in malice or not. And I don’t believe the author of this or even most of the people commenting were.. most of the comments I’ve read on Delaware online, etc. are hearsay.


      1. I should edit that.. it’s not what I think of when I hear or see the word, but it’s what I think a majority of the younger generation thinks of.


    2. It doesn’t matter how you spell it.

      It’s evolved from it’s insulting place in history, look to classic literature of time period (Mark Twain captured it’s usage), to a catalyst of instigation. It’s an enzyme of our current culture that we could all do without. That word and its meaning does everyone a disservice by arguing which spoken version is more appropriate vs not appropriate at all.

      It reminds me of ebonics. Need help – file:///C:/Users/Goddess/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/IE/RGYPA7LD/ebonics.pdf While I disagree with this author’s final conclusions – that ebonics could have been a lynchpin linguistic revolution, the history and public comment from national leaders create a perspective that should be carried over to today’s current use of the particular word, in all of its forms, at hand.

      But, arguing over that word is nothing more than a distraction from the real issue. A basketball team ignored its coach and rushed the other teams supporters. Provoked or not. Not one, Not two, but the whole team. And that rush could have resulted in violence and injury. This is not the way we teach our children to deal with crude usage of an incendiary word. It cannot go unpunished. Period.

      AI has a developed school culture that demands more of its students. I commend AI for this.

      Now, it is up to DMA to address their own school culture. If DMA fails to do so, then I would support all districts who refuse to play DMA. While it may be appear as a forfeit for the refusing district, it is a loud and silent protest that also denies DMA’s students from attaining their goal – to play the sport they enjoy. If DMA will not punish its own instigators, their peers at other schools can in a peaceful protest.

      That is what we should all be teaching our children.

      Now, don’t even get me started on the “R” word…


  4. It’s a shame that this crap isn’t addressed at ANY school.
    But I don’t agree with the guy who wrote this. Attacking charter schools was not necessary. Racism is alive and well in public schools as much as charters. I can only speak on NCS as all my kids attended and still do…they do not condone bullying of any kind and would not brush under the rug.
    And his stupid comment about low monitory attendance there…maybe he should’ve done his homework. That school is pretty diverse, and no one is discouraged from applying. Hundreds apply every year. Hundreds.
    Maybe the author should keep his opinions of charter schools out of an article about racism in DELAWARE…or is the article actually titled..”Racism in DE Charter Schools” ???


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