Delaware Lawmaker Apologizes for Making Asian Slur in Email

Posted on 07-27-2021

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP)- A Democratic lawmaker in Delaware has apologized for using a racist and sexist slur to refer to sex workers, saying he “dehumanized an entire culture.”

State Rep. Gerald Brady of Wilmington made the comments in a June 27 email he inadvertently sent to an advocate for decriminalizing prostitution.

The advocate had sent Brady a Princeton University study that suggested the presence of strip clubs led to a decrease in sex crimes in a New York City police precinct. The person connected the study to a 30-year period in Rhode Island during which indoor prostitution in massage parlors and strip clubs was decriminalized, and called on Delaware lawmakers to do something similar to protect sex workers.

The study sent to Brady did not directly mention Asian women in relation to sex work and strip clubs. It contained a single reference citation to a 2018 analysis of sex crimes and prostitution in South Korea in a publication called “Asian Development Perspectives.”

“Is the dude basically saying, if we provide free (sex acts) for Uncle Pervie there will be few rapes and few (a slur for Chinese women) will be shipped in CONEX containers to the Port of Wilmington-” Brady replied from his official government email address.

The message was intended for a private citizen whom Brady knows, asking the person to read and summarize the study, according to Drew Volturo, spokesman for the House Democratic Caucus. Instead, Brady hit “reply” and emailed the original sender.

Delaware lawmakers have exempted their emails and the emails of legislative staff from Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act, but Brady’s email was shared with The News Journal.

“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,” Brady wrote in a statement issued through a spokesman.

Brady, who is executive director of the Delaware AFL-CIO, has served in the state House since 2006, following a decade on the Wilmington city council. His legislative biography describes him as “soft-spoken but direct” and known for his  “honesty, kindness, and willingness to work with and lead others.” ( See link to story below)

Part II~ Statement in Social Media by Rep. Brady today:

“Serving in the General Assembly has been an honor and a privilege for me, a highlight of a professional career that included years serving on Wilmington City Council and decades in the Delaware National Guard. I have always prided myself on providing excellent constituent services to all residents I have been elected to represent.

However, my recent actions – using a deeply offensive anti-Asian slur and attempting to make a crass joke about human trafficking – make it more difficult to effectively provide the kind of representation all residents of the 4th District expect and deserve. All residents should have elected officials who serve and treat others with dignity and respect, whether it’s in public forums or in private communications.
There can be no excuse for my actions, and after careful reflection these past several days, I have decided that I will not seek re-election when my term ends. I cannot in good conscience ask the voters to put their faith in me again after I betrayed theirs. I can only humbly and unequivocally apologize again for my actions, for which I am solely responsible.
I will complete the prescribed sensitivity training and work to make amends with the Asian American community. I will use this as an opportunity to heal the wounds that my words have created. I will continue to work tirelessly to address the issues impacting my constituents as well as the citizens of Delaware.”