A coalition of black pastors and NAACP members took to Legislative Hall in Dover on Tuesday to demand Gov. Jack Markell describe in detail how he will enforce what he calls the state's "zero-tolerance" policy toward racism.
Members of the Committee on Racism in State Government and a group of about 70 people gathered outside the state building, saying there is widespread racism in state government, based upon interviews with employees held during a monthslong inquiry into allegations of workplace discrimination. Committee members zeroed in on workplace strife at the Department of Labor and gave Markell a list of supervisors from the agency they say should be fired, they said.
"A nod of his head is not enough," said the Rev. Vincent Oliver, pastor of New Calvary Baptist Church in Wilmington. "A visible presence and saying 'we're with you' is not enough."
In November, state investigators from the Office of Management and Budget found a lack of professionalism and cultural insensitivity among staff at the Labor Department. The agency includes the Office of Anti-Discrimination, which investigates charges of bias.