It seems like a troubling trend: Racists targeting black women in the media.
The recent hate-filled note written to Jemele Hill began this way: “Hell, I don’t like women broadcasters to begin with, yet alone bitch jungle bunnies …this “spear chucker needs to go away.”
“Get her outa here before she back-slides into some ebonics -laden inarticulate mumbo jumbo tirade,” the viewer wrote. “Short sound bites from male (black) jocks is tolerable. But, I’m not interested in spending all day listening to some thick-lipped gorilla, attempting to properly speak the king’s English.”
I suppose I can dismiss these racist rants against one ignorant bigot, but now it appears as if it’s open season on black women in television – a pattern I hope will end quickly.
Three months ago, Rhonda Lee, an African American meteorologist, was fired from her ABC affiliate in Shreveport, La., after she responded to a racial remark posted by a viewer on the station’s Facebook page in reference to her short Afro hairstyle.
Lee was hastily fired simply for defending her hairstyle after the viewer suggested that she wear a wig or start growing more hair. The viewer’s comments were racially inflammatory—yet Lee got the ax.
On Oct. 1, a viewer identified as Emmitt Vascocu wrote, “the black lady that does the news is a very nice lady. the only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair. im not sure if she is a cancer patient. but still it’s not something myself that i think looks good on tv. what about letting someone a male have waist long hair do the news. what about that.”
And last year, two white people who were attending the Republican National Convention had to be removed from the building in Tampa after they threw peanuts at Patricia Carroll, a black CNN camera operator, and shouted, “This is how we feed animals.”
“I hate that it happened,” Carroll told Richard Prince, who writes a diversity column, “Journal-isms”, for the Maynard Institute, “but I’m not surprised at all.”
“This is Florida, and I’m from the Deep South,” said Carroll, a 34-year-old from Alabama. “You come to places like this, you can count the black people on your hand. They see us doing things they don’t think I should do.”
And she offered this observation about the GOP convention: “There are not that many black women there.”