Atlanta news anchor Sharon Reed made it very clear on Tuesday evening: watch what you say to her.
Reed, an achor on CBS 46 Atlanta, and her fellow anchors have been covering the racial dynamics that played out in the mayoral race between Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Black woman, and Councilwoman Mary Norwood, a White woman. Bottoms won, but Norwood has already filed for a recount.
Reed was a part of a recent on-air discussion that, apparently, irritated one of the viewers so much that she wrote a scathing email.
“You need to be fired for the race baiting comment you made tonight,” wrote a woman named Kathy Rae. “It’s OK for blacks to discuss certain subjects but not whites… Really, you are what I call a ni**er not a black person. You are a racist ni**r. You are what’s wrong with the world.
Reed saw the email and her live clapback is television gold.
“I would say to Kathy a couple of things,” Reed begins. “Number One: You mischaracterized what I said. I didn’t say, ‘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 you are talking about it at home. And it’s one that clearly entered the Atlanta mayor’s race. And that’s why, behind the scenes, my colleagues and I —White and Black— we decided to let’s go for it. Right? Because we do try to keep it real here and I think we do a good job of it.”
Adding, “When arguing with somebody, you have to be careful not to mischaracterize their viewpoint. So I won’t mischaracterize your view either, Ms. Kathy Rae. I get it. On Dec 5, 2017 you think it’s OK to call this journalist a ni**er. I don’t. 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’ll be the last word.”
Reminiscent of Demetria Obilor’s response to a bitter television viewer who tried to fat shame her, Reed respectfully put Kathy in her place.
The silver lining to nasty viewers who spew negative comments, is that these anchors are watching and responding —with much more class— too.