After a talking about the role race played in the Atlanta mayoral election with her colleague, CBS46 anchor in Atlanta, Sharon Reed, received a letter from a viewer who decided to call her the N-word.
The email was from a woman named Kathy Rae and read: “You need to be fired for the race baiting comment you made tonight. it’s o.k for blacks to discuss certain subjects but not whites… really??? you are what I call a N***r not a black person. you are a racist N***r. you are what’s wrong with the world.”
Reed wasn’t going to stand for the racism and decided to the woman down live on-air. She made it a point to let the viewers know that in addition to being a bigot, this viewer was ignorant and couldn’t even spell the N-word correctly, having used only one “g,” though live viewers didn’t know that, since the word was censored.
Then, Reed went on to address the email itself.
News anchor Sharon Reed responds on air to a viewer who calls her the N-word. This Atlanta Mayoral race has people fiesty tonight. pic.twitter.com/Vgri3oXnGN
— Billy Michael Honor (@BillyMHonor) December 6, 2017
“Number one, you mischaracterized what I said,” Reed said. “I didn’t say that white people can’t talk about race. Quite contrary, we think that race is an authentic discussion to have. It’s one that we’re having tonight because it’s one many of you are talking about at home. It’s one that has clearly entered the Atlanta mayor’s race. And that’s why, behind the scenes, my colleagues and I, white and black, we decided: ‘Hey, let’s go for it, right?’ because we do try to keep it real here, and I think we do a very good job of it.”
“When arguing with someone, you have to be careful not to mischaracterize their viewpoint, so I won’t mischaracterize your view either, Kathy Rae,” Reed continued, speaking directly into the camera. “I get it. On December 5, 2017, you think it’s okay to call this journalist a n****r. I don’t.”
“But I could clap back and say a few things to you. But instead, I’ll let your words, Kathy Rae, speak for themselves. And that’ll be the last word.”