On yesterday’s program, Mandy Connell (read our story about her from March) had a discussion about socialist countries that allegedly don’t lift their poorer citizens out of poverty. It was rather extensive and she spoke about the United States being different. Gave examples like Oprah Winfrey, folks who grew up poor only to rise up to lead billion dollar companies.
But it wouldn’t be a political/news show without mentioning President Barack Obama. Connell referred to the President as a “half-breed” when saying the U.S. allows people like him to rise to the presidency. Right after she said it, you could tell she knew she’d made a serious mistake. She indicated she’d said “half-breed” because it was the first thing to come to mind.
To say I lost my cool in reaction is an understatement. I was offended and disappointed beyond words. My assistant took my phone (She could have scratched my new iPhone! It was major. Hell hath no fury like a homo scorned.) away and dared me to email anyone about it until cooling down for several hours.
I’ve only known Mandy a few months, true. That’s long enough, however, for me to understand that she’s not a racist. She’s really not. I defy anyone to get to know her and prove me wrong. She’s also not a homophobe. (Hello, from South Florida, was friends with notoriously gay congresscritters.)
What she said? That is definitely, 100% racist. Offensive. Disgusting. Maddening. She’s not even from Kentucky, where racists grow on trees. The governor and speaker of the house have even uttered racist crap. But what Mandy said was awful to the point of infuriation.
So I cooled down (in 102-degree heat and crazy humidity) for an entire day. Then reached out to Mandy for comment.
Here’s what she had to say:
The only thing I can do is express my embarrassment that was the phrase that came to mind and apologize for the offensive way I was trying to convey my point about the President’s mixed heritage. It was inappropriate, and truthfully, I was shocked when that tumbled out of my mouth. My only excuse is that when talking for three hours without the opportunity to choose words in advance, sometimes my brain doesn’t do the good or right thing. I am human.
While there is no excuse for what she said, I’m relieved that she was truthful and open. We spoke a bit more in-depth and it’s clear to me that Mandy is is remorseful and completely embarrassed. Not because she got caught. But because she said “half-breed” and she knows she’s hurting herself and countless others.
This is not an apology for what she said. It doesn’t make it better. It’s only a tiny step forward. The only thing that can heal what went down is to prove to this community in an un-Rush Limbaugh-like manner that she’s a good person. And I hope she does that.
I expect that she’ll be apologizing on today’s show and will prove to her audience that she’s worthy of a second chance.
Just wanted to share my take on things.