Saturday, February 27, 2021

Radio Anchor Fired for Calling VP Candidate Kamala Harris ‘Colored’

Kamala Harris - Getty
Kamala Harris – Getty

*An Ohio radio station anchor – Kyle Cornell – is out of a job, after he called Sen. Kamala Harris the “first colored vice-presidential candidate.”

Cornell made the comments on the air during a Cleveland Indians’ baseball game.  His exact words were spoken in a news promo about Harris’ historic feat, which  he said, “The U.S. officially has its first colored vice-presidential candidate.  More coming up after the game on News Radio WTAM 1100 Cleveland.”

Cornell was fired within hours of his words, but later apologized.

“I could have definitely worded that differently, though I have heard it in different areas,” Cornell told Cleveland’s WKYC News 3’s anchor Tiffany Tarpley during an interview shortly after he was fired.   “But it doesn’t make it right that I said it and I take full responsibility for it.  I cannot use that anymore because it is offensive and it’s not right.”

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Kyle Cornell - Kamala Harris
Kyle Cornell – Kamala Harris

In Fox News’ coverage of the story, the network noted that calling a Black person “colored” is “outdated and has a racially negative connotation, especially since the word stems from the racist Jim Crow era of segregation in America.  Fox, however, points out that the NAACP, the 111-year old civil rights group, uses the word when the organization spells out its full name:  National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Cornell, however, remains apologetic about his usage of the word, but was adamant when Tarpley pressed him with a three-word question:  “Are you racist?” asked Tarpley, who is Black.

“Absolutely not!” Cornell responded.

Nevertheless, Cornell’s separation from WTAM was swift and decisive.

“We take this matter very seriously and addressed it immediately,’ said Ray Davis, the station’s program and promotions director.  “The term used is extremely offensive and does not align with our station’s core values and commitment to the communities we serve.  He (Cornell) is no longer with WTAM.”

 

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