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Why Ivan Thomas and Zach Phillips are Wilmington’s Dream Team

Amid backlash to the #ItsTimeWilmDE campaign, the truth-talking duo is just what our racially fractured city needs.

Zach Phillips and Ivan Thomas discuss race on "The Making of It's Time Wilmington." (Screenshot)
Wilmington’s “It’s Time” campaign (#ItsTimeWilmDE), launched in October at the Wilmington Love celebration in Rodney Square Park, had a rocky start.

First it was postponed due to weather. Then the campaign’s showpiece, the “It’s Time” video by Short Order Productions, received a chilly reception from different parts of the city.

The response was almost entirely about race, and how it’s perceived in Wilmington. For some, the video was a “whitewash” of the city; for others, it was (derogatorily) “all black people.”

(Fact check: Black/White racial breakdown in the video is actually fifty-fifty, while the city’s demographics are 57 percent Black and 33 percent White).

If the video had been made in another time, these perceptions probably would have existed oblivious of one another. Thanks to the cross-racial partnership of Ivan Thomas (founder of DeTv) and Zach Phillips (founder of Short Order) as co-hosts of The Wilmington Show, a new #ItsTimeWilmDE web program, the challenges of marketing a minority white city are out in the open.

DeTv posted a special edition of the show on its Youtube channel, titled “Making of The Wilmington Campaign Video,” and it’s definitely worth a watch. The discussion, while clearly one between friends, is raw. There’s frustration. There’s misunderstanding. But they are listening to each other.

There are no easy answers given (except for one, as Thomas explains why he shot down Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher” as the campaign video’s soundtrack). But the questions the reactions to the video bring up are important ones.

Check it out here:

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