Atlanta news anchor Sharon Reed publicly responded with an on-air rant to a woman who called her a racial slur in an email.
Reed read the email, in which a woman she identified as Kathy Rae called for the black news anchor to be ousted from her job, during CBS 46’s nightly news broadcast on Tuesday.
“You need to be fired for the race-baiting comment you made tonight,” she read as a visual of the email from Rae appeared on-screen. “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.”
“I’m going to hold it, because I think there’s some confusion behind the scenes,” Reed said, before launching into a detailed explanation.
“I would say to Kathy, a couple of things. No. 1: 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. It’s one we’re having tonight because it’s one that many of you are talking about at home. And it’s one that has clearly entered the Atlanta mayor’s race.”
She went on to repeat the woman’s name several times and even said the word “nigger” in the broadcast.
“So, I won’t mischaracterize your view either, Kathy Rae. I get it. On Dec. 5, 2017, you think it’s OK to call this journalist a nigger. 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.”
A runoff election to choose Atlanta’s mayor that took place on Tuesday now faces a likely recount, since less than 800 votes separate front-runner Keisha Lance Bottoms from challenger Mary Norwood, who would become the southern city’s first white female mayor if she’s elected. Atlanta has had only black mayors since the 1970s.
Bottoms led the race by a margin of less than 1 percent, which is the threshold where the second-place finisher can request a recount under state law, according to The Associated Press. Neither candidate received an absolute majority in November’s election. Bottoms led the general election, 26 percent to 21 percent.
Bottoms, a Democrat, declared herself the winner of the race early Wednesday morning, while Norwood, an Independent, requested a recount.
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