Sharon Reed, the former Channel 19 news anchor who's now in Atlanta at CBS 46, responded live on air last night to a viewer who sent her an email calling her the n-word. Race has taken center stage in Atlanta
as the city, which hasn't elected a white mayor since 1973, voted in a tightly contested run-off election between two candidates, one white (Mary Norwood) and one black (Keisha Lance Bottoms). Bottoms prevailed last night by a slim margin — less than one percent of the vote.
Responding to the station and Reed's coverage, an emailer identifying herself as Kathy Rae sent Reed a message calling her "a racist N****r."
"You what's wrong with the world," it read. "You need to be fired for the race baiting comment you made tonight. It's OK for blacks to discuss certain subjects but not whites, really? You are what I call a N****r not a black person."
Reed's perfect response, transcribed and in video from last night's newscast, is below.
"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 you are talking about at home and it's one that has clearly entered the Atlanta mayor's race.
"That's why, behind the scenes, my colleagues and I — white and black — we decided, hey let's go for it.
"When arguing with somebody you have to be careful not to mischaracterize their viewpoint, so I won't mischaracterize your view either, Kathy Rae. I get it. On 5 December, 2017, you think it's OK 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 will be the last word."