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President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania have tested positive for the coronavirus. The White House now says that the president is experiencing mild symptoms. Delmarva Today host Don Rush talks with Salisbury University Political Science professor Michael O'Loughlin and longtime Wicomico County Republican John Bartkovich about the news and its political implications.

Sports and Race (Part 2)

Jun 10, 2020
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National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell has now apologized for how it handled the player's protest over police abuse against African Americans. Mike Lurie is an east coast sports writer and a commentator of Delmarva Public Radio. He reflects on the issue of race and the world of sports. (Part 2)

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BOWLING GREEN, Va. (AP) — A Virginia county supervisor has apologized for comments he made on social media that were criticized as singling out disabled and nonwhite students.

The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star reports that Caroline County Supervisor Clay Forehand publicly apologized at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday.

Forehand made a Facebook post last week saying teaching has become challenging because federal guidelines prohibit students from being removed from a classroom for acting up based on race or ability status.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A federal judge has ordered Virginia to stop asking marriage applicants to identify themselves by race.

The order issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Rossie Alston in Alexandria comes in response to a lawsuit filed by three couples challenging the requirement. Their lawyer, Victor Glasberg, said the requirement was a vestige of the state's Jim Crow era.

Alston had already ruled in favor of the couples earlier this month, but he was asked to clarify his ruling.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's attorney general says couples planning to get married in the state will not have to disclose their race on their marriage application.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that clerks were notified of the change in an email late Friday, about a week after three couples filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state requirement .

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland commission on lynchings that were committed in the state is holding its first meeting.

The Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission is meeting Monday in Annapolis, Maryland. A measure unanimously approved by the General Assembly this year authorizes the panel to hold public hearings around the state to research racial lynchings that happened in Maryland.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A federal jury has ruled against a former Delaware State University professor who sued officials at the historically black school after he was arrested during a protest.

The jury ruled Tuesday that Jahi Issa, who is black, failed to show he was discriminated against or subjected to hostile work conditions based on his race. It said he also failed to show that the school retaliated against him for filing an employment discrimination complaint.

The jury also said campus police didn't falsely arrest Issa or violate his First Amendment rights in 2012.

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The NASCAR race in Dover will take place at noon today.

It was postponed yesterday because of rain that washed across the one mile track.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the only event that took place on Sunday was a concert by the Charlie Daniels Band.

Dover is marking its 50th season for the race and winners will get a 60-pound Miles the Monster trophy.

The last time the city held the race on Monday was in 2007.

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Virginia’s First Lady Pam Northam has gotten into some hot water.

During a tour of the governor’s mansion cottage by some African American children she handed them some cotton and asked them to image being slaves.

That’s according to Leah Walker director of the state Office of Equity and Community Engagement in the Virginia Department of Education.

She wrote that during the tour which included Walker’s daughter and two of her fellow pages – the only African Americans in the group -- were asked to hold the cotton the First Lady retrieved from a bowl.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, is clinging to office amid rising calls from within his own party to resign over a photo of someone in blackface in his 1984 medical school yearbook.

Northan denies being in the yearbook photo even though he had apologized for it Friday and said previously that he was in it.

The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus said Sunday that Northam "still does not understand the seriousness of his actions."

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Virginia teacher is on paid leave after her Martin Luther King Jr. Day exercise sent a 6-year-old black boy home in tears.

Vicki Chen was trying to teach a lesson about discrimination to her first graders at Greer Elementary in Charlottesville. She modified a controversial experiment that a third grade teacher, Jane Elliott, did with an all-white class the day after King's assassination in 1968. Elliott's idea was to treat the white children differently according to eye color so they could personally experience discrimination.

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The FBI says that the number of hate crimes were up last year from 14 in 2016 to 29.

The law enforcement agency says that’s highest number since 2009 when there were 37.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the 93 percent increase is far above the 17 percent jump nationwide.

In the First State 14 of the incidents involved race, ethnicity or ancestry.

Among the incidents was a swastika spray painted on the hood of a car.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Delaware GOP's executive committee has voted to renounce the Republican nominee for a U.S. House seat after he went on a Facebook tirade.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the vote Thursday to censure Scott Walker is intended to make it clear that the party will not provide any financial backing or other support to Walker. He shocked the state by winning the Sept. 6 Republican primary.

Walker said he is unfazed by the party's action. He said he works "for the people" and not the Republican Party of Delaware.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A black candidate claims Virginia Democrats are disenfranchising her by trying to remove her from the ballot of a tight congressional race.

Shaun Brown filed a court motion Friday against a Democratic lawsuit aimed at ending her candidacy.

Brown is a former Democrat running as an independent in the 2nd District on Virginia's coast. Republican Congressman Scott Taylor and Democratic challenger Elaine Luria are in a close race.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Political observers say Virginia's race for governor has become one of the state's most racially charged campaigns in recent memory.

Shaped by President Donald Trump's moves to crack down on immigration and a deadly white nationalist rally over Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, the contest's most notable feature has been its bare-knuckled rhetoric on issues involving race, made by both candidates and their allies.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former President Barack Obama is bemoaning the rise of racial politics.

Speaking at political rallies in New Jersey and Virginia, Obama said past prejudices the country thought it had "put to bed" have reemerged.

The first black president offered himself as proof that the country has moved forward, telling the crowd in Richmond, Virginia - the former Capitol of the Confederacy - that he is a distant relative to Confederate President Jefferson Davis on his mother's side.

"Think about that," Obama said. "I'll bet he's spinning in his grave."

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CROFTON, Md. (AP) - A man who pleaded guilty to committing a hate crime by hanging a noose outside a middle school has delivered a public apology, saying he didn't mean to scare or discriminate against anyone because of their race.

Nineteen-year-old Conner Prout stood before roughly 60 people at a meeting of the Caucus of African American Leaders on Tuesday and apologized for his role in a stunt that sent Crofton Middle School students running to the guidance counselor's office in tears, the Capital reports .

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The fate of former Forty-Niner quarterback Colin Kaepernick has roused a national movement with players in not just the professional leagues bending down on one knee during the National Anthem to protest the treatment of African Americans by police. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush took up the issue with East Coast sports writer and commentator Mike Lurie to examine the issue that has not hit the NFL.

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This weekend many in the city of Cambridge marked the 50th anniversary of the riots shook that the town in the midst of the civil rights movement.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that around 200 gathered at the Bethel AME church on Saturday under the banner, “A Community Conversation on Race”.

It was 50 years ago that a fire on Pine Street symbolized the upheaval of the times.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Organizers of the Baltimore Book Festival say they have decided to disinvite Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who led others to believe she was black.

The decision by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts came days after defending its choice to have her there. The office said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that after hearing opinions from its constituents, it had to consider how Dolezal's appearance would affect the audience and the other authors.

The festival is scheduled for September. It has been held for 21 years.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A medical marijuana company is seeking an emergency motion forbidding the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission from issuing any final licenses to grow the drug.
 
The Baltimore Sun reports that Alternative Medicine Maryland asked a Baltimore judge on Monday to issue a temporary injunction since the commission appears poised to grant final licenses.
 

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Delaware's 10th District Senate race has seen nearly a million dollar poured into the campaign that will decide if the upper chamber will go red.  The seat was vacated by Bethany Hall-Long when she became Lt. Governor after the last election. Now, Democrat Stephanie Hansen and Republican John Marino are vying for the seat. But, there is another candidate in the race: Joe Lanzendorfer with the Libertarian Party. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with him to see how he differs from the two main contenders.

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CLARKSVILLE, Md. (AP) - Howard County police have arrested a man they say vandalized 15 properties in Clarksville.

The department said in a news release that 24-year-old Taylor Richard Allen was charged with 42 offenses, including destruction of property, malicious burning and committing a hate crime.

Police say between April and December, they responded to numerous vandalism incidents, including swastikas and other graffiti being written or painted on sidewalks, footpaths, playgrounds, mailboxes, cars and other property.

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Some white supremacist fliers have shown up on a University of Maryland campus.

They were found at the College Park facility and put out under the American Vanguard logo which is associated with white supremacy.

The Washington Post reports that the flyer read, “We have a right to exist.”

It claims that – what it calls – whiteness is under attack with fears about becoming a minority by mid-century in the United States.  

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SNOW HILL, Md. (AP) - A former small-town police chief who claims he was ousted by local officials for refusing to fire two other black officers has been convicted of misconduct in office.

Former Pocomoke City police chief Kelvin Sewell was convicted of misconduct following a trial Thursday and sentenced to probation. A jury acquitted him on a charge of conspiracy.

Sewell and former Pocomoke Police Lt. Lynell Green were indicted in July on misconduct charges relating to a Nov. 21, 2014, crash.

Green is scheduled to be tried Dec. 19.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department wants to intervene in a private lawsuit brought by Pocomoke City's former police chief and two other black officers alleging race discrimination.

The Justice Department filed the motion to intervene Wednesday in federal court in Baltimore.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A lecturer at the University of Virginia has apologized after comparing the Black Lives Matter movement to the Ku Klux Klan on social media.

The Daily Progress reports that adjunct lecturer Douglas Muir apologized after responding to a Facebook post about Black Lives Matter, calling the movement the biggest racist organization since the KKK. In a statement on Oct. 11, Muir said his actions were wrong and apologized to his students and the community.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - An Ocean City marina is selling T-shirts featuring the phrases "White Lives Matter" and "Blue Lives Matter" to spread awareness - about the conservation of white and blue marlins.
 
The NAACP is not pleased about this.
 
White Marlin Marina worker George Lamplugh, who designed the shirts, says he means no offense, and that fishermen know a good joke when they see one.
 

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A Black Lives Matter sign was vandalized on the property of the First Unitarian Church in Wilmington on Friday or Saturday.

The word Black was cut out of the banner.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the church issued a statement which said the vandalism was an effort to silence the voice of the church.

In the statement the church added that the largely white congregation put the sign up not only as a spiritual commitment but also to begin “a conversation within the community about institutional racism and violence aimed at people of color.”

A Nation Divided

Jun 16, 2016
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As Virginia's only Latino state lawmaker, Alfonso Lopez made it his first order of business to push for a law granting in-state college tuition to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally since childhood.

The bill died in committee.

So Lopez tried again the next year. And the year after that.

Now, in his fifth year in office, Lopez is gearing up for one more attempt in 2017. 

"If we had a more diverse (legislature) and more Latinos in the House of Delegates," he says, "I don't think it would be as difficult."

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