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Wilmington senior living facility apologizes for publishing inappropriate joke in newsletter

Cambridge Village of Wilmington.
Benjamin Schachtman
Cambridge Village of Wilmington.

Some residents at Cambridge Village in Wilmington were unhappy about a “laugh for the day” column, printed in the high-end senior living home’s newsletter for staff and residents.

The so-called joke, printed alongside a photo of four dogs of varying colors, was essentially that a man signed his pets up for welfare. The joke describes the dogs, saying they are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English, and have no clue who their Daddies are,” and notes that they expect to be fed and provided with shelter and medical care. The punchline of the joke is that the dogs will soon get their first welfare check and have been registered as Democrats.

Those concerned felt the joke was playing on negative racial and political stereotypes. One person on staff at Cambridge Village, who wished to remain anonymous, said they “felt awful seeing this.”

Cambridge Village of Wilmington’s Executive Director Kevin Mullins told WHQR in an email that management had been made aware of the joke, which it had failed to catch before it was published.

“Within the past few days, Cambridge Village of Wilmington became aware that two employees published an article in a resident newsletter that may be perceived as expressing a point of view of negative racial and political stereotypes. Cambridge Village does not share and did not endorse the article, but failed to catch its inclusion during the editing process. Cambridge Village of Wilmington took prompt action to issue an apology to employees and residents, disciplined the involved staff, and is in the process of further enhancing its management training, newsletter, and communication policies,” Mullins said in a statement.

As part of their mission statement, Cambridge Village of Wilmington's “guiding principle is to offer ‘Optimal Living’ [a trademarked phrase] for residents and a positive, supportive work environment for employees.”

Executives did not provide further comment in response to questions about what constituted the apology, or how the employees involved were disciplined.

Camille hails from Long Island, NY and graduated from Boston University with a BS in Journalism and double minors in Classical Civilizations and Philosophy. Her story focus revolves her deep care for children, young adults and mental health. You can reach her at cmojica@whqr.org.