Despite Racism Controversy, Delaware Parade Set to Take Place

The 2019 edition of the parade raised controversy for seemingly mocking the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border

A par of hands holds confetti, with more on the ground, during a parade.
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Despite accusations of racism, an annual Delaware parade seems set to continue following a town’s approval of new guidelines.

Middletown officials on Wednesday greenlit guidelines for the Hummer’s Parade, set to take place Jan. 1, 2020. The guidelines specify that the town does not officially sponsor the parade, nor does it endorse “any particular expression of free speech” by participants.

The 2019 parade caused officials and community activists to cry foul as one float, which bore a "border detention center" depicted a child in a cage and a person in another cage with seemingly soiled underwear. Someone on the same float wore a green jacket with the phrase, “I really don’t care, do u?”, a reference to the same jacked First Lady Melania Trump wore on her way to visit a detention facility for migrant children.

Some said spoofing the humanitarian crisis at the border was mean-spirited and considered to be “punching down.” The outrage led the town to appoint a parade committee, which recently submitted the guideline recommendations.

The city’s website says the event, modeled after Philadelphia’s Mummer’s Parade, is not affiliated with the town and is “haphazardly thrown together” by residents, making fun of each year’s events.

The new guidelines stipulate that Middletown “cannot, and will not, attempt to unlawfully regulate the exercise of free speech.” Officials also asked that parade activities respect the First Amendment while recognizing the rights of others in attendance, and in such a manner so as not to incite violence or other unlawful behavior, so that the right to peaceable assembly is preserved.”

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