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The Growing Impact Of Social Media And The Mellinnial Backlash: Delaware State University White Athletic Coach Under Fire For Perceived Racist Post

Some say it was just a song and are genuinely confused regarding the fall out and outrage related to Delaware State Head Equestrian Coach Jennifer Ridgley’s social media post on Facebook, where the once esteemed University leader who is white, was depicted riding in a vehicle with another unidentified female on her personal time, singing lyrics to a rap song by troubled and controversial gangster rapper “Tekashi 6ix9ine” (real name Daniel Hernandez), which contained lyrics about gun violence, included vulgarity, and some say appeared racist considering the cavalier manner in which Ridgley conducted herself in the short video clip with no regard for her employment at an Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

The offensive video clip was posted on Ridgley’s Facebook page on June 30, 2019, but once it began to circulate a couple of days ago, a growing outcry from within the University’s Alumni and the greater Del State community began calling for her termination from the University and spread onto social media as well. The incident has also sparked growing debate regarding when an employee is actually free from their responsibilities in education and other professional industry. Ridgley has a tremendous record as a leader of the University, while the Delaware State equestrian program has grown to national prominence under her direction, and is a basic fact about her tenure that may serve as a buffer from growing ridicule that is related to her social media post.


“We send shots, shots, shots, shots, shots nigga!
It’s always 6ix9ine this and 6ix9ine that!
Niggas on my d#@k and on my yack.
These niggas lookin’ for me you could hit my jack.”

— Gangster Rapper 6ix9ine

The core of the debate as depicted on threads within social media appears to be predicated on the fundamental argument of our constitution’s first amendment, the “freedom of speech and expression.” A basic freedom for which every American is entitled to based on the nation’s original charter, but in the age of digital technology coupled with a millennial societal code, such freedoms aren’t exactly guaranteed anymore depending on your personal conduct that some within society may deem offensive. Its a trend sparked by young people in the 21st century that has powerful backlash and consequences when private life meets the age of digital technology.

Those who criticize Ridgley’s action say she should have known better when you consider the political climate in our country, our current President, and his white supremacist political base. Although it really was a song that Ridgley was singing on her own time, those lyrics have a disturbing and controversial stigmatization, and is troubling to many Americans considering the epidemic of gun violence in our country. “We send shots, shots, shots, shots, shots nigga! It’s always 6ix9ine this and 6ix9ine that! Niggas on my d#@k and on my yack. These niggas lookin’ for me you could hit my jack,” certainly aren’t the kind of words you would expect to hear coming from a leader in higher education.

In the below attached undated communication to the Delaware State University community that was signed by President Dr. Wilma Mishoe and Provost Dr. Tony Allen, the public was advised that Ridgley had been placed on administrative leave pending an ongoing investigation into the social media post from her Facebook page. While some applauded Mishoe’s swift action related to the incident, others were disturbed that Ridgley would in fact be paid while on leave from her job with the University, but its not that simple. While her actions may have been alarming and offensive to many, unless there was a social media or code of conduct clause in her employment contract or within the University’s collective bargaining agreement with its employees, the institution has no just cause to just simply terminate her. She is in fact entitled to due process under the University’s policy practices. It almost seems more beneficial for the University to simply payout her current contract, to just simply rid itself of her. That’s an action I’m sure may be plausible and legal.

Now that the University has spoken and taken action to at the very least, temporarily remove Ridgley from her coaching position, those who have looked into her actions more closely like most, are probably concerned and wondering why a song by a 22-year-old rapper, singing about gun violence and other explicit language referring to the nether regions of the human anatomy would be interesting enough to an NCAA athletic coach, that it not only appeared humorous to her, but allowed it to motivate her to post the content on social media. Its probably very logical reasoning to consider if at any point Ridgley ever thought about the potential backlash that the content contained in her personal video would create, or if it even mattered to her at all.

A volume of posters on social media simply referred to Ridgley’s behavior as a brief lapse of judgement, but its important to note that after the video was created, there is another process, like actually uploading the clip to Facebook that has to occur before it can be viewed by anyone else. So, what part was actually the moment of poor judgement? Not just that though, after all of the controversy related to rap music over the years since its inception into mainstream music in the early 1970’s, it suddenly became a music genre that drew widespread concern from parents when their children began singing musical lyrics that contained vulgar terms such as “nigga”, “bitch”, and “hoes.”

Since Ridgley’s job requires her to interact with a volume of very impressionable young adults, perhaps its an aspect of cultural etiquette that Ridgley was ignorant to, but regardless, as a leader at an Historically Black College and University, Ridgley should more than reasonably have known better than to allow such behavior to be as widespread on social media as it has become. It was extremely arrogant and disrespectful for her to make such a video public. Her posting the video was no coincidence and likely was deliberate. Why though? More importantly, why would any middle age working adult professional allow themselves to be cast in such negative light, especially related to music by “Tekashi 6ix9ine” who was convicted in January of this year for federal crimes after confessing to racketeering, illegal firearms possession, and aiding in attempted murder as part of a violent crime ring, the Trey Nine gangsters. Also, in a separate 2015 case, Hernandez pleaded guilty to criminal sex acts with a 13-year-old after claiming he believed she was in fact 19-years-old.

There are a volume of students who come to Del State from various inner city communities to escape the kind of violence depicted in the song that Ridgley was singing, in pursuit of higher education which could lead to better financial opportunities for them. Its simply counter productive for a leader in higher education of any capacity to not only allow themselves to be scrutinized in such a fashion, but also become such a distraction in the workplace that it may cause them to lose their employment, which in many cases is completely justified when such an unnecessary negative image is brought to the doorstep of any institution of higher learning.

Also, some say that the writing was on the wall and Ridgley should have been dealt with years ago after a student protest on campus back in 2010 regarding the disbanding of the University’s Equestrian team that was announced by then University President Dr. Harry Williams. The students rode the school’s horses onto the main campus and blocked the entrance to the administrative building, in protest of the equestrian program being disolved, and allegedly at the behest of Ridgley. Yet, while Ridgley has come under fire for her social media post that some called racist, the coach may be a problem of Delaware State’s own making.

Several decades ago when HBCUs began suffering financially, a growing trend emerged where institutions that were historically black had to reinvent themselves to keep their doors open. The former Morris Brown College collapsed under the financial struggles described, and even South Carolina State nearly went under. In Dover the lack of funding forced Del State along with other HBCUs to diversify as a sound strategy to survive economically. While those running the respective HBCUs won’t readily admit it, the takeover of black Colleges and Universities began several decades ago. When diversification was ushered in as a business marketing strategy, Del State and others began aggressively recruiting white students, white faculty, and white staff out of necessity to simply survive. For those who don’t believe its true, do your own research, and you’ll discover how the demographics of a volume of historically black institutions of higher learning have flipped.

While Delaware State’s student body is still composed of roughly 73% of its enrollment, 65% of the faculty and staff are now white. A fact which supports the argument of diversification in an effort to attract more white students. Unfortunately, when you recruit staff for a specific and limited criteria, often times the result is obtaining educators who don’t foster the kind of pride that once existed in an HBCU like Del State, and many of these same educators often feel empowered to do essentially what ever they please. Ridgley’s video clip was despicable on its face, but the outright gull to post it on social media was as if she dared the University to do something about it.

That’s why I’m glad that Dr. Mishoe didn’t even flinch in making the decision to take corrective action in this incident, as it has become a distraction, is disrespectful to our young people, and is exactly the kind of poor judgement that should never be indicative of the caliber of educator employed at Delaware State University. I join my Hornet family who applaud Dr. Mishoe’s swift action related to this matter, and only hope that the necessary process begins to govern this kind of behavior in the future for anyone associated with the University. This kind of disrespect for the legacy of Delaware State should never be tolerated. Needless to say, financial support by Alumni will always serve as a remedy to help prevent such dire measures that the University may be forced to pursue for financial stability at the expense of losing its cultural identity in an effort to survive economically.
(To comment, select the “Read More” button. bottom right of the blog post, and scroll to the bottom for comment features).

The People’s Champion

I’m Crime Blogger David Adams

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

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Some say it was just a song and are genuinely confused regarding the fall out and outrage related to Delaware State Head Equestrian Coach Jennifer Ridgley’s social media post on Facebook, where the once esteemed University leader who is white, was depicted riding in a vehicle with another unidentified female on her personal time, singing lyrics to a rap song by troubled and controversial gangster rapper “Tekashi 6ix9ine” (real name Daniel Hernandez), which contained lyrics about gun violence, included vulgarity, and some say appeared racist considering the cavalier manner in which Ridgley conducted herself in the short video clip with no regard for her employment at an Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

The offensive video clip was posted on Ridgley’s Facebook page on June 30, 2019, but once it began to circulate a couple of days ago, a growing outcry from within the University’s Alumni and the greater Del State community began calling for her termination from the University and spread onto social media as well. The incident has also sparked growing debate regarding when an employee is actually free from their responsibilities in education and other professional industry. Ridgley has a tremendous record as a leader of the University, while the Delaware State equestrian program has grown to national prominence under her direction, and is a basic fact about her tenure that may serve as a buffer from growing ridicule that is related to her social media post.


“We send shots, shots, shots, shots, shots nigga!
It’s always 6ix9ine this and 6ix9ine that!
Niggas on my d#@k and on my yack.
These niggas lookin’ for me you could hit my jack.”

— Gangster Rapper 6ix9ine

The core of the debate as depicted on threads within social media appears to be predicated on the fundamental argument of our constitution’s first amendment, the “freedom of speech and expression.” A basic freedom for which every American is entitled to based on the nation’s original charter, but in the age of digital technology coupled with a millennial societal code, such freedoms aren’t exactly guaranteed anymore depending on your personal conduct that some within society may deem offensive. Its a trend sparked by young people in the 21st century that has powerful backlash and consequences when private life meets the age of digital technology.

Those who criticize Ridgley’s action say she should have known better when you consider the political climate in our country, our current President, and his white supremacist political base. Although it really was a song that Ridgley was singing on her own time, those lyrics have a disturbing and controversial stigmatization, and is troubling to many Americans considering the epidemic of gun violence in our country. “We send shots, shots, shots, shots, shots nigga! It’s always 6ix9ine this and 6ix9ine that! Niggas on my d#@k and on my yack. These niggas lookin’ for me you could hit my jack,” certainly aren’t the kind of words you would expect to hear coming from a leader in higher education.

In the below attached undated communication to the Delaware State University community that was signed by President Dr. Wilma Mishoe and Provost Dr. Tony Allen, the public was advised that Ridgley had been placed on administrative leave pending an ongoing investigation into the social media post from her Facebook page. While some applauded Mishoe’s swift action related to the incident, others were disturbed that Ridgley would in fact be paid while on leave from her job with the University, but its not that simple. While her actions may have been alarming and offensive to many, unless there was a social media or code of conduct clause in her employment contract or within the University’s collective bargaining agreement with its employees, the institution has no just cause to just simply terminate her. She is in fact entitled to due process under the University’s policy practices. It almost seems more beneficial for the University to simply payout her current contract, to just simply rid itself of her. That’s an action I’m sure may be plausible and legal.

Now that the University has spoken and taken action to at the very least, temporarily remove Ridgley from her coaching position, those who have looked into her actions more closely like most, are probably concerned and wondering why a song by a 22-year-old rapper, singing about gun violence and other explicit language referring to the nether regions of the human anatomy would be interesting enough to an NCAA athletic coach, that it not only appeared humorous to her, but allowed it to motivate her to post the content on social media. Its probably very logical reasoning to consider if at any point Ridgley ever thought about the potential backlash that the content contained in her personal video would create, or if it even mattered to her at all.

A volume of posters on social media simply referred to Ridgley’s behavior as a brief lapse of judgement, but its important to note that after the video was created, there is another process, like actually uploading the clip to Facebook that has to occur before it can be viewed by anyone else. So, what part was actually the moment of poor judgement? Not just that though, after all of the controversy related to rap music over the years since its inception into mainstream music in the early 1970’s, it suddenly became a music genre that drew widespread concern from parents when their children began singing musical lyrics that contained vulgar terms such as “nigga”, “bitch”, and “hoes.”

Since Ridgley’s job requires her to interact with a volume of very impressionable young adults, perhaps its an aspect of cultural etiquette that Ridgley was ignorant to, but regardless, as a leader at an Historically Black College and University, Ridgley should more than reasonably have known better than to allow such behavior to be as widespread on social media as it has become. It was extremely arrogant and disrespectful for her to make such a video public. Her posting the video was no coincidence and likely was deliberate. Why though? More importantly, why would any middle age working adult professional allow themselves to be cast in such negative light, especially related to music by “Tekashi 6ix9ine” who was convicted in January of this year for federal crimes after confessing to racketeering, illegal firearms possession, and aiding in attempted murder as part of a violent crime ring, the Trey Nine gangsters. Also, in a separate 2015 case, Hernandez pleaded guilty to criminal sex acts with a 13-year-old after claiming he believed she was in fact 19-years-old.

There are a volume of students who come to Del State from various inner city communities to escape the kind of violence depicted in the song that Ridgley was singing, in pursuit of higher education which could lead to better financial opportunities for them. Its simply counter productive for a leader in higher education of any capacity to not only allow themselves to be scrutinized in such a fashion, but also become such a distraction in the workplace that it may cause them to lose their employment, which in many cases is completely justified when such an unnecessary negative image is brought to the doorstep of any institution of higher learning.

Also, some say that the writing was on the wall and Ridgley should have been dealt with years ago after a student protest on campus back in 2010 regarding the disbanding of the University’s Equestrian team that was announced by then University President Dr. Harry Williams. The students rode the school’s horses onto the main campus and blocked the entrance to the administrative building, in protest of the equestrian program being disolved, and allegedly at the behest of Ridgley. Yet, while Ridgley has come under fire for her social media post that some called racist, the coach may be a problem of Delaware State’s own making.

Several decades ago when HBCUs began suffering financially, a growing trend emerged where institutions that were historically black had to reinvent themselves to keep their doors open. The former Morris Brown College collapsed under the financial struggles described, and even South Carolina State nearly went under. In Dover the lack of funding forced Del State along with other HBCUs to diversify as a sound strategy to survive economically. While those running the respective HBCUs won’t readily admit it, the takeover of black Colleges and Universities began several decades ago. When diversification was ushered in as a business marketing strategy, Del State and others began aggressively recruiting white students, white faculty, and white staff out of necessity to simply survive. For those who don’t believe its true, do your own research, and you’ll discover how the demographics of a volume of historically black institutions of higher learning have flipped.

While Delaware State’s student body is still composed of roughly 73% of its enrollment, 65% of the faculty and staff are now white. A fact which supports the argument of diversification in an effort to attract more white students. Unfortunately, when you recruit staff for a specific and limited criteria, often times the result is obtaining educators who don’t foster the kind of pride that once existed in an HBCU like Del State, and many of these same educators often feel empowered to do essentially what ever they please. Ridgley’s video clip was despicable on its face, but the outright gull to post it on social media was as if she dared the University to do something about it.

That’s why I’m glad that Dr. Mishoe didn’t even flinch in making the decision to take corrective action in this incident, as it has become a distraction, is disrespectful to our young people, and is exactly the kind of poor judgement that should never be indicative of the caliber of educator employed at Delaware State University. I join my Hornet family who applaud Dr. Mishoe’s swift action related to this matter, and only hope that the necessary process begins to govern this kind of behavior in the future for anyone associated with the University. This kind of disrespect for the legacy of Delaware State should never be tolerated. Needless to say, financial support by Alumni will always serve as a remedy to help prevent such dire measures that the University may be forced to pursue for financial stability at the expense of losing its cultural identity in an effort to survive economically.
(To comment, select the “Read More” button. bottom right of the blog post, and scroll to the bottom for comment features).

The People’s Champion

I’m Crime Blogger David Adams

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus

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