BLOOMINGTON - Good Morning America host Amy Robach had to apologize two years ago for slipping on what is considered a racial slur, "colored people," and it just may be that WGLT's new reporter Amy Cullen may have to follow Robach's lead.
Friday morning WGLT featured a story about Bloomington-Normal Unit 5 School District not having a fair distribution of African-American teachers in their schools that raised eyebrows downstate. Cullen's original version said:
The story went on to see the term used again:
After a Facebook reader pointed out the term's use and asked that it be changed, the editor stepped in. The sentences are now modified, the piece says, to reflect more "precise" quotes.
The situation caused quite the stir among the station's following - so much so, a reader pointed it out to Illinois Review.
Is the term "colored people" offensive? we asked conservative Dr. Eric Wallace, publisher of Freedom's Journal Magazine.
"Yes," Wallace said. "The word 'colored,' when referring to Black Americans, is an archaic reference. It’s been out of our vocabulary for decades because it is seen as derogatory toward Blacks and used mostly by White southern good ole boys."
"It’s almost as bad as calling a Black man 'boy' or using the 'N' word. Anyone who uses such a term is clearly out of touch and possibly borderline racist. He or she is definitely insensitive. The proper term is 'African American' or as many Conservatives Blacks prefer, 'Black American,'" Wallace said.
Should the radio station apologize for the use of those terms - obviously a mistake?
"From what you told me, it sounds like an unfortunate use of a word. I’d give her the benefit of the doubt and just thank them for making the change," Wallace, who also serves as a pastor in Chicago's south suburbs, said. "I don’t get bent of of shape over this kind of stuff. We need to extend grace whenever possible. I don’t think it was meant as a slight against Blacks. She probably meant 'people of color.'"
Those upset about the original wording of the story told Illinois Review the community is already on edge because of a recent tax hike and the superintendent's substantial salary hike.
Illinois Review has reached out to Ms. Cullen for a comment. We'll update as soon as we hear back.