An Up Close Look At the City of Wilmington Okie Doke

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on August 21, 2016

Channel 28 on cable within Wilmington is a public access channel that is the locus of African American politics (and gossip) on Sundays. This is a segment from a recent Community Crossfire segment where Mayor Dennis Williams discusses the state of the city and the state of the Mayor’s race with Sammy Congo, Sam Guy, and Pastor D. If you can spend the 30 minutes or so to take a look at this, you can see how Wilmington’s African Amerian leadership speaks to its African American (mostly) audience. It’s pretty disappointing all the way around, really. If you read this blog regularly, you know that one thing that I like pointing out is how Republicans are particularly good at getting their victim on as a way to bully people into their POV. Even though they aren’t victims of anything, other than their own mismanagement or their own failure of messaging or leadership. You can see exactly the same thing here. Wilmington’s “leadership” is being victimized by Purzycki (called out by name), or others running for Mayor who — according to Williams — he has helped and who are now somehow displaying serious disloyalty in now running against him. Pastor D calls out Kelley in a particularly despicable fashion — denigrating his involvement and friendships with the families of crime victims, wondering why Kelley doesn’t bring jobs to these communities. You are quite welcome to wonder which of these gentlemen have brought any serious jobs to their communities.

This is Wilmington’s old guard — an old guard who are clearly more invested in their own interests than the interests of the people of Wilmington. Dennis Williams specifically pooh poohs the common complaint that no one sees him, but noting that he is always in “the hood” and anyone who wants to see him can visit him there. Got that? Mayor Williams is the Mayor of “the hood” and apparently not all of Wilmington. Pastor D claims that the violence is going down — even though that is clearly untrue. Both Williams and Pastor D claim that they are deeply involved with Wilmington’s children — even though neither one of them are on the front line of the fight for education here. And Sam Guy has the victim story of all victim stories — and even if the Riverfront Corp was able to unseat him to put Mike Hare in Council, that can’t say much for Sam Guy, right? Because even according to their own logic here, that story means that the community didn’t even bother to come out to support Guy. Which has been true for him for every office he has run for as long as I’ve lived here.

It’s a mess, really, and this is the kind of lack of real leadership that is Wilmington’s key problem now. I doubt that Jim Baker would be caught dead spinning up this kind of BS — he’d be too busy at least taking care of the city’s business. But this Administration thinks that they can hide their lack of leadership behind this tale of white people trying to put an end to African American leadership in this city. Of course, if the African American leadership was actually functional, they wouldn’t have this fight on their hands. It doesn’t make it any less painful to watch people try to justify incompetence behind all of the race cards being played here.

One of the many reasons why I am supporting Eugene Young for Mayor is that he is not a part of this. If he gets elected Mayor, he will owe the City of Wilmington, not these purveyors of fake victimization. It will mean that the politics of the city gets upended, with a real chance for real progress and good to happen in this city — without the keepers of the status quo standing in the doorway looking for their piece. Time to pass the city’s politics to the next generation, since the current generation doesn’t mind embarassing themselves in trying to hold power.

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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (35)

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  1. chris says:

    Desperation breeds an ugly brand of politics.

  2. AQC says:

    “Pastor D” is a leech.

  3. Franny Black says:

    This mayor and this show are a disgrace.

  4. Steve says:

    A Washington supporter wrote:
    While the Democratic candidates for Mayor of the City of Wilmington(DE) pontificate who is to be the next Mayor, only one will succeed and move on to challenge Mr. Steven Washington in the general election on Nov. 8th. Although, from what I have seen and heard from the Democratic candidates for Mayor, little will change. The People of Wilmington are concerned about creating and instituting lasting positive change in our communities. The People of Wilmington desire to be/and need to be included in the process of decision making before a decision is made. The People of Wilmington desire to focus on strategies, discourse, and redress of issues pertaining to the improvement in quality of life and safety for All of Wilmington’s constituency.

    If you are one of Wilmington’s undecided voter constituency, then listen and learn from the video link below, then go out and educate, appreciate, and communicate, inclusion and unification.

    Watch and digest Mr. Washington’s interview.
    Perhaps you will then know why Mr. Washington is the Independent Party of Delaware Candidate for Mayor, and perhaps you will also know to Vote, Steven Washington, Mayor City of Wilmington.

    Let your voice be heard, VOTE, Nov. 8th.

    Let your voice be heard, LIKE, RE-TWEET, INSTAGRAM, HASHTAG, SHARE, COPY this post to/with those whose futures are important to you.


  5. anonymous says:

    Vote Washington. Because random Capitalization matters.

  6. Dem19703 says:


    But apparently, run-on sentences don’t.

    “If you are one of Wilmington’s undecided voter constituency, then listen and learn form the video link below, then go out and educate, appreciate, and communicate, inclusion and unification.”

  7. Dem19703 says:


    There could not be three more incompetent, morally corrupt, crazy individuals in one spot without a therapist present. That group session of ignorance is what’s killing Wilmington with its oversized influence.

  8. Steve says:

    Thank you for your support who ever shared the information about Mr. Washington. For the annoymous person, seek first to understand, than to be understood.

  9. Bane says:

    Then ^

  10. Dorian Gray says:

    Well, if anyone was confused about what Williams & Co are about Cassandra’s bit should have cleared that up. The interesting thing for me is that Purzycki bashing. I smile on the inside anytime somebody smears Rob Buccini and Mike Castle’s little buddy. MS Purzycki is a carpetbagger as far as I’m concerned. I don’t buy the enemy of my enemy is my friend trope. I don’t believe that. But when one small town crook slimes the slimey, I’ll enjoy myself.

    Ironically, the most salient reason Mr Purzycki was deputized by certain moneyed interests is because Williams is an abject failure. If the mayor were even marginally competent we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. So if Williams, “Pastor” D and Mr Guy have a problem with the Buccini Pollin candidacy of MS Purzycki they have nobody to blame but themselves.

  11. Bane says:

    A little nuance. There is a deeper story here. I’mean always hard on city leadership, however we must understand this dynamic in context. The stresses that African Americans from Wilmington in this age bracket experienced in their lives cannot just be self medicated. Dennis Williams is a product of the historic racism of Delaware. As a youth this man was face to face with Delaware National Guard rifles occupying his city. These men lived through segregation and racism that many of us could never imagined. This type of trauma, and it is trauma, does not just go away with time. Without context it’s easy to just pass this off as stupidity. I don’t think that’s fair. Everyone knows I am far from a Williams apologists, but this is an example of the effects of hundreds of years of untreated mental trauma.

    Could you imagine living in a home where you experienced an incredibly traumatic upbringing, and then raising your family in that same home. That’s the only way that I can describe the situation that many African Americans living in this city and country for 40+ years have experienced. Without context it is easy to simply categorize this as simple racism. I don’t think it’s that easy. Sure some people react to trauma differently. Some are able to move beyond it without treatment. Most are not that lucky.

    With context, it is understandable that older African Americans would have an innate fear of white leadership returning to the city.

  12. Bane says:

    ^ This doesn’t make it right! It’s just for understanding

  13. Dem19703 says:

    There is one thing to have an innate fear and to exploit that fear for personal/political gain. I don’t think any of the three men here have an innate fear of anything, except being rendered irrelevant and losing influence.

  14. Bane says:

    But when you’ve been hardwired for Us vs. Them… “Us” losing influence means “They” gain influence.

  15. Dorian Gray says:

    @Bane… completely understand. That history certainly cannot be ignored. Perfectly fair. I suppose that experience can be used in many ways. This way seems the least productive and the most baldly divisive & self-serving.

  16. cassandra_m says:

    Yeah, but I’m not buying that.

    The stresses that African Americans from Wilmington in this age bracket experienced in their lives cannot just be self medicated.

    I completely get this, because these are the people that raised me. But there is a point where it is not unreasonable to live with the world as it is — not as it used to be. And these gentlemen are not having this discussion to deal with past injustice, they are having this discussion as a dogwhistle to those they think can be swayed by this argument. If you are leadership in this part of the 21st century, you should have other tools to motivate people. Racism is real and it lives in this city, but pandering to racial fears and prejudices is uncool no matter who you are. Pretending that today’s Wilmington is the same as the one they grew up in is a perfectly good reason to vote against these guys — they haven’t figured out a way to move the city forward in a way that would make this argument mostly moot, right? So they should stand aside for those who can communicate with and manage a city that has moved forward from the mid 20th century that these guys are stuck in.

  17. Bane says:

    I don’t disagree with that Dorian or Cassandra. You are right. It’s a tactic that takes advantage of other African American voters who suffer with these same experiences and are very receptive to this type of messaging given all that was mentioned earlier. In walks Mike Purzycki who looks like a walking stereotype of everything that black people think white elites are… Rich, Smooth talking, Republican, business men. It’s a perfect storm for this type of messagevent.

  18. cassandra_m says:

    This is also a tactic that specifically leaves out other people who could vote for you — Hispanics, whites, the full range of people who live in the city. It is hard to get to your future when people are hanging on to their pasts.

  19. Bane says:

    We need new leadership now more than ever.

  20. Dem19703 says:

    Leadership means inclusiveness and floating all boats, not perpetuating the “Us vs. Them” narrative.

    @Bane, I completely agree with what you are saying, to an extent. However, knowing these gentlemen, I can say confidently that they are not doing this out of some instinctual reaction. The message they put out there is calculated, purposeful, and solely for personal gain. It needs to stop and those perpetuating it need to lose their influence. This is exceedingly difficult since they are the ones with the means and opportunity to get their message across, in most cases.

  21. Sheldon says:

    So again, what about Steven Washington, Independent Candidate for Mayor, City of Wilmington? Does Mr. Washington matter, or have a chance to win this election? I say, “Yes He Can!”. After all he is already on the ballot for the November 8th general election. No one seems to include or focus on his platform of… Inclusion, Education, Appreciation, & Communication. Mr. Washington could/should be the next Mayor, and I personally like his platform, and so do others from what I have seen and heard. The Democratic machine could be in trouble of breaking down and falling apart with the divide of support and votes amongst the Democratic candidates, especially after the September 13th primary. Starting September 14th the election race will be between Mr. Washington and one of the eight Democratic candidates. What will be the Democratic Party’s strategy at that point? Perhaps, some Democratic voters will “Get On Board!” and support Mr. Washington for Mayor.

  22. Dem19703 says:

    From random capitalization to excessive and nonsensical use of “Quotes!” to make a point. The message evolves for Mr. Washington.

  23. anonymous says:

    The web site is priceless — and also hopelessly vague about Mr. Washington’s qualifications for the position. A sample:

    “He is an educator, a motivator, coach, mentor, advocate, and community leader.

    “He is a thinker, innovator, visionary, communicator, planner, proactive initiator, good listener and a successful, accomplished professional.

    “He works and attends church in Wilmington and his children attend our public schools.”

    That’s it. He doesn’t even say what job he holds or any he held in the past in enough detail to research him.

  24. chris says:

    The world has changed since the early 70s and 80’s ….these older African American folks need to understand that. Younger folks do and they aren’t fooled. They don’t buy into the old race politics- dog whistles and ugly cards being played. They use their minds and try to vote for the best candidate offering hope and a new way forward.

  25. Bane says:

    It’s just not that easy Chris.

  26. Poor character says:

    Don’t forget about Bob Cannon lying about being a resident of the 4th distract and being living on 28th street for years. Why not run in your own district? I don’t get it.

  27. jenny says:

    Channel 28 is not a public access channel. It’s a leased access channel, which is governed by a different set of federal rules. If the author can’t get basic facts correct, how can the rest be taken seriously?

  28. anonymous says:

    “If the author can’t get basic facts correct, how can the rest be taken seriously?”

    This common rhetorical trick is actually an example of faulty logic, the kind that led Europeans to avoid eating tomatoes for centuries: If the leaves are poisonous, the fruit must be, too.

    If you watched the show, you’d ask how any of the people on the couch can be taken seriously. Of course, your statement reveals you to be the fluffer for at least one of the people on the couch.

  29. Dorian Gray says:

    Yeah @jenny. Great catch. The difference between the ubiquitously understood “public access” and “leased access” really is a significant distinction here.

    I’m nominating you for the least helpful comment of the day… and that includes this worthless shit about Steven Washington.

  30. cassandra m says:

    Jenny is right, it *is* leased access and I misspoke on that. Leased access makes this worse, actually — much of the leasing is done by a small group of political types who control what goes on their programs and sell time to others who want to be on the station.

  31. Dorian Gray says:

    For the record, even without knowing or caring, I simply accepted as fact that jenny was 100% correct. I suppose we could also debate your use of the so-called or “Oxford” comma in the series of names in the second sentence you wrote. We could have any manner of argument here on any irrelevant thing.

    The distinction jenny made is not germane to the point, and also very dumb.

    I only watch those channels for the bizarre area preachers rooting out the devil’s business each weekend. Do yourself a favor sometime. Smoke a nice spliff and catch some of that act. Church of Christ is the best one. Channel 21 I think. Incredible. Best thing you’ll watch all week.

  32. Kelly says:

    I would like to know who the Delaware Liberal is endorsing for City Treasurer. Please do not say that it is Velda Jones Potter. I think the City of Wilmington has had enough of them and their corruption. They need to move on.

  33. cassandra m says:

    I don’t think that DL is planning to endorse in the City’s Treasurer race.

  34. mediawatch says:

    Neither candidate for City Treasurer is worth endorsing. The best that can be said for them is that neither is the city’s Finance Director.