Atlanta news anchor responds on-air to being called n-word by viewer

The Hill 10 months ago

An Atlanta woman who sent a racist email to an African-American TV news anchor in the city got a taste of her own medicine Tuesday night when the anchor read the email along with the woman's name live on-air.

Atlanta news anchor Sharon Reed responded on-air Tuesday night during CBS 46's nightly news broadcast, during which the anchor ripped the woman for using the "N" word in 2017.

“You need to be fired for the race baiting comment you made tonight” Reed said, reading the email from Kathy Rae. “It’s o.k. (sic) for blacks to discuss certain subjects but not whites. really??? (sic) you are what I call a N*ger not a black person. You are a racist N*ger (sic). you are what’s wrong with the world.”

“I’m going to hold it, because I think there’s some confusion behind the scenes,” Reed responded, before explaining that she never said white people couldn't talk about racial issues.

"I would say to Kathy, a couple of things. You mischaracterize what I said. I didn’t say that white people couldn’t talk about race. Quite the contrary. We think that race is an authentic discussion to have," Reed continued. "It’s one we’re having tonight because it’s one that many of you are having at home. And it’s one that has clearly entered the Atlanta mayor’s race."

She then turned on Rae, adding that she would take the high road rather than respond with insults.

“So I won’t mischaracterize your viewpoint either, Kathy Rae,” she continued. “I get it. On Dec. 5, 2017, you think it’s OK to call this journalist a n*gger. I don’t. But I could clap back and say a few things to you. But instead, I’ll let your words, Kathy Rae, stand for themselves. And that’s the last word.”

Atlanta currently faces a likely recount in the city's mayoral race, which was supposed to end in a runoff Tuesday. Less than 800 votes separate frontrunner Keisha Lance Bottoms from challenger Mary Norwood.

If elected, Norwood would become Atlanta's first white female mayor and end a run of black mayors for the city that has continued since the 1970s. Norwood is running as an independent, white Bottoms is supported by the state's Democratic Party.

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