In the run-up to the Atlanta mayoral race, in which a white candidate, Mary Norwood, faced off against a black candidate, Keisha Lance Bottoms, the issue of race became a focal point of the election. It even touched a local TV news station, in which anchor Sharon Reed of CBS 46 addressed her own racist encounter with a viewer named Kathy Rae.
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
Reed read the contents of a racist e-mail from Rae live on-air.
“you need to be fired for the race baiting comment you made tonight[.] it’s o.k 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”
Reed defends her position by asserting that “race is an authentic discussion to have… and one that has clearly entered the Atlanta mayor’s race.”
“When arguing with somebody, you have to be careful not to mischaracterize their viewpoint. So I won’t mischaracterize your view either, Kathy Rae. I get it. On December 5, 2017, you think it’s okay to call this journalist a “nigger.” I don’t. But I could clap back and say a few things to you. But instead, I’ll let your words, Kathy Rae, speak for themselves.”
The journalist’s takedown comes on the heels of a mayoral race that went down to the wire late last night.
In a surprise victory for Democrats, Bottoms defeated Norwood by a razor thin 759-vote margin to become the next mayor of Atlanta, Georgia.
Norwood, for her part, has called for a recount, while Bottoms declared victory.
— The Atlanta Voice (@theatlantavoice) December 6, 2017
While both candidates supposedly espoused progressive policies, Norwood’s candidacy was tainted with its troubling links to the Republican Party.
For example, Norwood’s financial disclosures included:
- $38,693.88in expenditures to Critical Point Consulting, a firm owned by a former employee of GOP Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
- $49,333.40to a consulting firm (Campaign Consulting Group, LLC.) owned, operated, and patronized by the Republican Party and its candidates.
- $50,783to GOP consultant with former ties to a Super PAC created by Newt Gingrich.
Norwood also refused to back Democrat Jon Ossoff over Republican candidate Karen Handel in the heavily promoted special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.
Despite the nonpartisan label, Atlanta voters were clearly able to distinguish between the true Democrat and Republican in this race.
Notable politicians such as Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), as well as rappers Killer Mike and T.I. gave Bottoms their endorsements in the days leading up to the election.
In the aftermath of this race, CBS’s Sharon Reed should be applauded for the class with which he handled this disgusting situation. The time for overt, unpunished racism is – rightly – over, a fact that Kathy Rae has learned the hard way.