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White News Anchor Says She’s Not a ‘Colored Woman’ But Has ‘Kinky Hair’

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Atlanta’s CBS 46 Michelle Burdo Apologizes For Referring To Black Woman As ‘Colored’. www.naturallymoi.com

Michelle Burdo

Reported by Andrew Scot Bolsinger

Though common in the Deep South, say 50 years ago,  use of the term “colored” to refer to Black people is anything but common now, which is why so many took offense when a television anchor use of the derogatory term during a live broadcast on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta.

It was anything but a “better morning” for  television anchor Michelle Burdo, who has since apologized for using the offensive term when she referred to a black woman during a summer hair tips segment Monday morning, according to published reports.

“Let me tell you something,” Burdo said to a guest on the show who is an expert in hair. “I’m not a colored woman, but I have kinky hair just like her and when you straighten it every day, it’s….”  Burdo  said before awkwardly pausing.

She “then realized at some point what had spilled out of her mouth, paused awkwardly, giggled, and then the segment’s guest expert filled the pause with the word healthier,” NewsOne reported.

At the end of the show the next day, Burdo apologized for using the antiquated term.

“Yesterday, I made a pretty insensitive remark during one of our segments here on ‘Better Mornings Atlanta.’ I apologize…. Once again, I truly want to say from the bottom of my heart that I really am sorry about that comment. I made that comment in reference to my hair color but I used an inappropriate term,” she said.

Video of the gaffe was posted to the Internet and outrage soon followed. The video has since been removed.

According to Access Atlanta, Lane Michaelsen, the CBS 46 news director, said in an e-mail that he made sure Burdo issued an on-air apology but did not state whether she would be reprimanded.

Source

Andrew Scot Bolsinger won more than two dozen press awards during his journalism career. He is a freelance writer, author and operateswww.criminalu.co, which is focused on prison reform. He can reached at Andrew.Bolsinger@gmail.comand can be followed @CriminalUniv on Twitter.

17 Comments

  1. Phaedra

    July 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    She has black blood in her I can see it she is mixed her eyes look brown. .

  2. Drea

    July 3, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Colored? Really? “Look at the picture that I COLORED”….
    IGNORANCE DOESN’T HAVE A COLOR! HOW ABOUT THAT? APOLOGY NOT EXCEPTED IN MY EYES? WHO AM I, RIGHT? SOME DAMN BODY THAT DOESN’T REFER TO OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS AS A BOX OF CRAYONS’…STOP IT!

  3. Anita

    July 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Last time I bought a box of crayons – white was one of the colors. I really don’t know why these people can’t get off this “Colored” thing. If you’re not colored, what are you? Transparent?

  4. Anike

    July 3, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    What is even worse is that Black folk use the term,”Good hair” or “a good grade of hair” vs having a tight curl pattern.

    Any attmepts to explain how this self talk is defeating is met with extreme resistance especially if they or their babies “got good hair”.

    A century since physical slavery many minds are still enslaved by narrow thought patterns.

  5. Ann G.

    July 3, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    She probably did not mean any harm, she should have said, “I’m not a woman of color but I have kinky hair” although our hair is not what you would call kinky, it is very tightly woven curls. We as Black people need to read about our own hair so that we can stop using certain words to describe our hair such as “kinky” and “nappy.” No she is not White nor are we Black, fact: we are all people of color!

    • Jeana

      July 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      I agree 100 percent.

  6. godfather05

    July 3, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Brother in the wood shed here.

  7. SweetTweet

    July 3, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Anike I agree with you. What exactly is “kinky” and “nappy”? Antiquated terms?

  8. michel

    July 3, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Looks like “My Sister” has a full bottom lip, kinky,wavey,curly hair…is this an AHA Moment or is the cat trying to hide or come out of the “BAG?” She may have “evolved” when she was made to “Apologize.” If no more she has been put on notice/told not to be so comfortable. I would say she is Evolving!
    I firmly believe no matter what your heritiage is … and that can be questionable at best…Ignorance is Ignorance is Ignorance…
    People should be called out…this helps All of US to Grow. If you feel comfortable enough to say “Stupid things” when you are in the Public Ear…you should be made aware…Perhaps we can all use some History lessons…at least “called out” or “INFORMED.”
    One good lesson is…Stupid is as Stupid Does and no matter what you must not be too comfortable and that goes for “All of Polite America.”

  9. Clarissa Bennet

    July 3, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Surprised she didn’t say “negra.”

  10. ericaf

    July 4, 2014 at 7:51 am

    What’s wrong with being colored? I remember as a child hearing an Indian woman ask if she looked black because she had chemically curled her straight hair and her husband thought she looked like a n!gg£r. The conversation was as comfortable as possible. Nothing has changed 50yrs later. Ignorance will not die. She’s young and should have known better. If you delve into her background she will be more black than Kinta Kunte.

  11. Candice

    July 4, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Black people create racism by buying into the whole light skin dark skin debate. There worse than white people on racism

    • Wiser

      July 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      Candice, light and dark are not a debate, there are true differences.

      FYI, Black people can NOT be racist! Discrimination, prejudice and racism are totally, totally, totally different, just like “light” and “dark” skin.

  12. kookie

    July 4, 2014 at 11:05 am

    No need for reprimand.

  13. Sistagirl from the Boogie Down Bronx

    July 4, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    If she has thick hair with a woolen like texture that some have depicted as “kinky” and others have depicted as a “deep curl pattern.” Perhaps she is indeed a a woman of color. I recommend that she submits her DNA to the DNA Ancestry Project and find out for sure… Perhaps it is less threatening and she prefers to identify in other ways… However, there are some signs that indicate certain things and “kinky hair” is one of those definers of something else…

    Take that however the h^*& you want little girl newscaster with the ethnic surname!

  14. elrancho2

    July 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    To be honest, I would be honored to be thought of or labeled as “colored” because anything would be better than being considered “white”. The only comfort I gain from being white, is knowing that I am not the average ignorant and racist white man. Hopefully, I am a little better than that.

  15. ty

    July 4, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Ummm… some of us still use the phrase “women of color”.
    Same difference to me.

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