Atlanta has been in the grips of a tight mayoral race as term limits deemed Mayor Kasim Reed ineligible for re-election. A tight runoff between Democratic black candidate, Keisha Lance Bottoms and white Independent candidate, Mary Norwood kindled racial tensions across the city echoing those within the national political landscape. Amidst all this angst, Atlanta CBS news anchors-Ben Swann, Alicia Roberts and Sharon Reed-were tasked with the responsibility of reporting all aspects of the election, including the racial ones.
This coverage angered one viewer in particular, whose rage she directed squarely at the lone black reporter, Sharon Reed. In a scathing letter to Reed, viewer Kathy Rae wrote, “You need to be fired for the race baiting comment you made tonight. It’s okay 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.” What the woman probably didn't expect was the on-air clap back that followed.
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
As producers displayed the content of the email on screen, Reed responded, "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." She went on to say that she would allow the viewers' words to "speak for themselves."
Welp! I'd say that just about sums it up. Stay mad Kathy.