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OPINION | LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Offenses pile up

by Special to The Commercial | October 14, 2021 at 2:46 a.m.

Offenses pile up

Jon Gruden referred to DeMaurice Smith, a Black man, as having "... lips the size of Michelin tires."

An employee in Pine Bluff says similar things almost daily about Black people on the radio that are just as insensitive and offensive as Gruden's words, and he remains on the job in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and on broadcast on CW Arkansas.

This employee only mocks Black clergy, calling them pulpit pimps, and makes fun of members in their congregations. Black women are called fat, saying the women attend church to watch the preacher to wet their panties, among other vulgar statements. Black people are constantly mocked, and this employee is allowed to weaponize the airwaves as a tool to bully and beat back, and beat down Black folk if they say anything against his demeaning of the Black community.

The owners bear full responsibility for their employee. Sponsors have some responsibility, too, for cleaning up the offensive and insensitive language used by this employee. What happens in Pine Bluff is akin to the Jon Gruden incident, i.e., the employee has a history of on-air comments, referring to Blacks as monkeys, fools, stupid, Uncle Toms, mammies, etc., which is wrong and must be addressed by owners.

Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben were taken off food products because companies realized people were offended. The name "Redskins" was removed from the Washington Football Team because owners saw that it was offensive to Native Americans. Jon Gruden got fired because his comments were offensive too; therefore, it is time for the local radio stations to come to reality that the caricatures portrayed of Black people in Pine Bluff by their employee is very offensive and should be scaled back.

The Rev. Jesse C. Turner, executive director, Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration, Inc.

Print Headline: Offenses pile up

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