WILMINGTON — While state Rep. Gerald Brady, D-Wilmington, apologized for using a racial slur, Delaware Republicans are calling for him to resign.
In a statement, Jane Brady, president of the Republican Party of Delaware, called the Democratic response to Rep. Brady’s conduct “weak” and not supportive of women or Asian women.
She said, in a telephone interview Friday, that his behavior calls for “action and not just words.”
“It shows a lack of leadership not to respond more appropriately to these incidents,” Ms. Brady said.
The Delaware Young Republicans also issued a statement calling on Rep. Brady to “resign immediately.”
“If he does not, actions must be taken to remove him from office,” the statement reads.
Rep. Brady used a racist and sexist slur for Asian women in reference to sex work in a June 27 email he inadvertently sent to an advocate for decriminalizing sex work.
A letter signed by Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf, House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst and House Majority Whip J. Larry Mitchell states Rep. Brady will be made to attend an “appropriate sensitivity training course to help you better understand and appreciate how deeply your words affect people.”
Rep. Brady also was asked in the letter to “open a dialogue” about his email with local Asian American organizations and works to “rebuild” trust with Asian American communities.
The Young Republicans, however, called the training a “poor joke and a slap in the face to decency.”
“We expect more out of our elected officials,” the letter reads.
Rep. Brady apologized in an email shared with an upstate newspaper. Through a spokesperson, he wrote, “there is no excuse I can offer that explains my embarrassing and shameful words that insulted, stereotyped and dehumanized an entire culture while making light of a serious human rights crisis.”
Ms. Brady was critical of Rep. Brady’s apology however, saying it mirrors a trend where the focus of apologies is put on education over action.
“My mother educated me when I was 10 not to talk like that,” Ms. Jane said. “Certainly I knew by the time I was in college not to talk like that. You treat people with respect — I learned that when I was very young and (Rep. Brady’s comments) were disrespectful to the staffer, to women and to the Asian Pacific women community.”
Saying his actions reflect poorly on the state, she said the only acceptable response to Rep. Brady’s comments would be his resignation.
“At that point, he has no formal duty to Delawareans,” Ms. Brady said. “When he’s representing the people of his district and of the state of Delaware — the laws he passes affect the whole state — then I think we have a right to expect a certain kind of behavior that he did not exhibit in that email.”
Ms. Brady said a lack of repercussions against Rep. Brady shows an “arrogance of the majority.”
“When people act with callous disregard for another person, it’s a sign of arrogance in my view,” Ms. Brady said.
“We have a majority that’s been in control for so long, I call it the arrogance of the majority. I think this is part of it. In the legislature, (Democrats) can do as they choose. They don’t have to really be accountable to most of the state.”
The Young Republicans’ statement also noted a “serious lack of accountability,” it reads, for elected officials naming Sen. Darius Brown, D-Wilmington, and Rep. Andria Bennett, D-Dover, as recent examples.
Sen. Brown was removed as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee following his arrest on two misdemeanor charges related to an alleged domestic dispute in late May. He has also been removed from the committee entirely.
Rep. Bennett was charged with third-degree assault in 2020. The charge was dropped by the victim in May.
While Ms. Brady called Rep. Brady a “likeable guy,” she reiterated that there should be consequences to his conduct.
“People like Gerald Brady in the legislature,” Ms. Brady said. “But this is inexcusable conduct and he shouldn’t be representing (Delawareans).”