Weatherman fired for uttering a racial slur on air

Um I live in the ol’ racist south, I have relatives that are extremely racist, at least the stuff they say, and all while growing up through the years never heard one of them say coon as the epithet of choice, seriously like maybe there are two old racists in nursing homes that still use it.

It happened again, in St. Louis.

In addition to the “oo” sound in “Junior”, you also have it in “Luther”. So, you’ve got “King” wedged between 2 “oo” sounds. Speaking quickly, I believe this spoonerism would be very easy to make with no ill-intent, nor unintentionally dredging up racial engram memories from using the term as a slur with friends or family.

No doubt people have used this mispronunciation as a blatant or stealth racial slur, and those people should be held accountable. But, listening to Kappell’s actual flub and knowing what we know about this case (e.g. no one has come forward with claims of Kappell having made racial slurs in the past; it would be career-suicide for an on-air personality to risk slipping in a racial slur intentionally, etc.), I believe the odds of Kappell’s flub having any racial overtone are extremely low, to the point of being nearly non-existent.

Accusations of racism should be limited to people who actually do or say racial things with ill intent (there are plenty of those types of people). Ruining this man’s career over what overwhelmingly appears to be an unintentional spoonerism does nothing to help fight cases of real racism. It does just the opposite.

Because, if you believe something is wrong, then you can’t continue to tolerate it. It is the paradox of tolerance. If you tolerate intolerance, then you are yourself intolerant. If you believe racism is wrong, then your goal has to be to eliminate it. Otherwise, you don’t think it is wrong. That’s what “wrong” means: it should not happen. It should not exist.

Why do I care if racism is driven underground? If they can only do it among themselves, but have to act and speak like non-racists everywhere else, then that accomplishes the goal of eliminating racism. They can’t even vote for racists, because racists can’t run because they’d instantly lose because everyone would hate them.

Freedom of speech inherently means that I have the right to protest someone being on the air. Freedom of association means I don’t have to watch and financially support you if you have a racist on air.

Freedom of speech cannot be forced into a situation where I have to accept everything everyone does. I don’t have to accept someone who has said “Your mom deserves to die.” It doesn’t matter that freedom of speech says they have the right to say it. I can refuse to have anything to do with them.

I am sympathetic to the guy simply because I think it could have been a slip of the tongue. But the idea that I should accept him if he is a racist? Sorry. I believe racism is wrong.

And the idea of this being a left/right divide is a red herring. If he did say “Coon,” he is a racist, by the definitions of both sides.

I also note that cryptofascists exist, and specifically plot on how to make their ideology more acceptable, and appealing to freedom of speech is one of their main arguments, as is making sure that racist statements have plausible deniability. We cannot pretend they aren’t out there, trying to take racism back into vogue.

And we accepted racism before, so there’s no reason that the right circumstances couldn’t arise that we’d accept it again. We’ve already seen people who have been taught all the reasons that racism is wrong since birth starting to embrace it again due to the tactics of the Nazis, by making it cool.

I don’t think you are addressing UltraVires’ point. He is asking how one’s view of race has anything to do with meteorology or the reporting of weather. Should we ban racists from being air traffic controllers or mechanical engineers? It’s not germane to the job.

I think that we can safely remove the benefit of doubt.

I’m not sure whether he was always like that or whether the crazies got to him after the “coon” incident.

~Max

And don’t forget the very real possibility of demonic possession. We absolutely do not want to judge this man unfairly.

I blame Antifa.

I did address his point. His point was, since it won’t affect this hypothetical KKK member’s ability to do his job, why should he be fired? And that was my answer. Whether it affects his job is not the point. The point is to not tolerate intolerance. It is to say that racism is unacceptable, period.

I do not at all agree that you should only fire a KKK member only if it affects their job. Heck, I’ve directly advocated that no one should do business with a certain KKK leader who lives in this area. I believe that at least trying to be non-racist should be a bare minimum requirement to participate in our society.

None of that is to say I thought the guy should be fired only for the slipup. I said that he should only be fired if they had past history to use to assume it wasn’t just a slip of the tongue.

I still actually find myself unsure despite him buying into some conspiracy nonsense, as even I’ll admit that have an attractive explanation for those who think they’ve been unfairly punished. If he genuinely wasn’t racist, I could see the firing leading him into buying into their worldview.

It is the one actual counterargument to firing everyone in a zero-tolerance way. However, if we go back to UltraVires’s hypothetical, an actually KKK member would already buy into this stuff, and the benefits outweigh the risk, IMHO.

There is actually a somewhat consistent pattern of people becoming conspiracy theory nutjobs after being media pariahs. David Icke, for example. They can’t accept that they did something stupid, so they decide that the only explanation is an evil conspiracy. Democrats and the media for this dude, shapeshifting aliens who may or may not be Jews for Icke.

I blame trump.

Do you realize you just responded to a two-year old post?

~Max

Right, I wasn’t being sarcastic (perhaps Baal_Houtham was).

Aristotle called it hamartia, or “missing the mark”. After such a mistake, usually one borne of ignorance or accident, the tragic hero becomes susceptible to whatever evils cause his (or her) eventual downfall - internal (character flaws) or external evils (provocateurs), or both.

~Max