Here’s my apology to Micheal Brown and an Open Conversation about White Privilege and more: Two weeks ago I went viral…for all the wrong reasons. Even writing tonight part of me is still processing everything. I’m a contributor on Fox 5 DC and I was a part of a ‘Tuesday Talker’ segment where we debated the accolades of 17yr old Micheal Brown.
Micheal is the brilliant teenager from Houston, Texas who was accepted to 20 colleges including all the Ivy Leagues and got full rides to ALL of them!! You have all probably seen the video by now. As the segment was unfolding the words ‘obnoxious’ and ‘ridiculous’ were used in the set up of the story and responding to Micheal’s choice to apply to so many schools.
We were wrong to debate his accolades, and I apologized to Micheal on twitter and his mom privately on facebook. I also invited them on my podcast but I know they’re very busy. I hope someday to get to meet Micheal and congratulate him in person.
That morning the news room was busy, and the ‘Tuesday Talker’ segment had been cancelled the week before, so that day was our last day of doing the segment. With 10 minutes until air time someone pitched my producer, Allison, and me the story of ‘how many colleges is too many to apply to?’ and we all agreed to do it.
Very quickly viewers and my Hey Frase podcast listeners started to let us know we were out of line. And, the entire internet wanted to know our intent. Unfortunately, that was the problem…there was no intent. Instead of slowing down to think and talk thru the story we rushed to get it on. PLEASE don’t think that is an EXCUSE.
I also wanted to have an open conversation this week on my show to discuss the outrage, white privilege, and the reaction I received. I heard from many of you that black men are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. That instead of celebrating an exceptional young black man we debated if he should have applied to so many schools.
I was devastated. I am not that person. I have always tried to use my platform to celebrate and highlight people of color but this story made me step back and really think about stepping up. Taking action. And to be more thoughtful in my actions.
I had two guests on my podcast this week: Shawna Renee who is best known as executive producer and host of Cocoa Mode on SiriusXM, a weekly syndicated radio show. Shawna is the creative director of Say It, Out Loud, and she’s the daughter of legendary radio host and activist Joe Madison. And, Hilari Younger, former TV star on Design Stars, queen of black twitter, and she’s from Texas, not far from where Micheal lives.
I hope you will listen to this open conversation. I am looking forward to taking action, learning, and listening more.