TV presenter should participate in diversity training

The Freeport # 3039 branch of the NAACP voted at the annual meeting held on Monday, December 13, 2021, to write an open letter of concern and complaint to WIFR-TV and express our extreme dissatisfaction and disappointment that Andy Gannon, the Channel 23 The Morning News anchor used a racial slur when talking about the Negro Baseball League.

The word was offensive, not only to the more than 175 members of the NAACP Freeport Branch, but to other socially aware citizens around the world. Additionally, we fully support the letter submitted by the Rockford Branch of the NAACP to WIFR on December 6, 2021.

On the evening of December 6, Mr. Gannon apologized and was visibly absent from his anchor seat for several days. We are pleased that management has taken immediate action to remedy the situation.

However, when a public figure, a news anchor, uses the ‘N’ word on air, there have to be consequences that bite, consequences that ensure that doesn’t happen again in the future.

Following:Rockford NAACP demands action against use of racist slurs by WIFR news anchor Andy Gannon

Just as workplace diversity should be common in today’s world, as well as at WIFR, workplace diversity training should also be common.

Other WIFR employees may have been offended by the “leaflet” just as members of the public have been offended.

As such, we respectfully request that WIFR management use this blunder to raise awareness of the work environment by requiring Mr. Gannon to participate in diversity training.

We all recognize that when people “inadvertently and accidentally” use racial slurs, a “slip” or “false rhetoric” often occurs because that word is part of a person’s vernacular and values.

Therefore, as general members of the Freeport branch of the NAACP, we sincerely request that within a reasonable time, diversity training be required of Mr. Gannon.

Further, on the understanding that this is a personnel matter, we nonetheless respectfully request a response to this letter of concern and complaint with your thoughts and considerations regarding our recommendation.

Patricia L. Norman is the President of the NAACP Freeport Branch # 3039.

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