Here we are in 2019, and Black people continue to be the target of microaggressions and dated stereotypes.
Last Thursday, during a live broadcast on KOCO, Black morning news anchor Jason Hackett was compared to a gorilla by fellow co-anchor Alex Housden. Following a segment about a primate at the local Oklahoma City Zoo, Housden, who is a white woman, put her foot in her mouth by suggesting to Hackett: “Kind of looks like you.”
Shockingly, Hackett replied: “He kind of does, actually, yeah.”
A viewer shared the jaw-dropping clip on Facebook, garnering more than 92,000 views and much criticism from the social media community, Insider reports.
things that are worse than being compared to a bedbug for 500 Alex https://t.co/l0HRd0bTuS
— stacy-marie ishmael (@s_m_i) August 27, 2019
How is this “ok” today?
It’s gotta be more than “words matter.” @cocoalex’s comment is unacceptable. More than an apology is needed. Alex, what are you going to do in this teaching moment to educate others abt racism and bring community together? https://t.co/IuiJd7EsgG
— Sarah Glover (@sarah4nabj) August 27, 2019
The following day, after being virtually dragged on social media, Housden returned to air alongside Hackett to offer her co-host a tear-filled apology.
“It was inappropriate, and I hurt people,” she said. “I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I hurt [Hackett].”
Housden went on to insist that she would “never do anything on purpose to hurt Hackett.”
In turn, Hackett accepted his colleague’s apology, saying that while she is a close friend of his, her remarks deeply affected him.
“What she said yesterday was wrong. It cut deep for me, and it cut deep for a lot of you in the community,” Hackett said.
Hackett added that this instance is a “teachable moment” and a reminder as to why “words matter.”
“We’re becoming a more diverse country, and there’s no excuse,” he remarked. “We have to understand the stereotypes. We have to understand each other’s backgrounds and the words that hurt, the words that cut deep.”