By Rev. Michael Vaughn
At the time of this writing Gov. Cuomo finds himself in “hot water” over the use of the “n-word” during a radio broadcast. The question that I have is should he resign and have his political career completely destroyed? I say no but I also say why not? I can imagine the calls for resignation, denigration, etc., if President Trump or a member of the Republican Party or a local weatherman had used this word. When things like this happen, we run the risk of setting a double standard and showing how people of a political persuasion get a pass while others do not. This is Ok as long as we say that is our rationale instead of pretending how hurt we are by a statement that someone has made.
Earlier this year a meteorologist for the local NBC affiliate here in Rochester was fired because he mistakenly used a racial slur on the air. There were calls from all corners of the Rochester area for him to be fired as people were so hurt by his statements. Even the mayor of Rochester weighed in on him being fired. The outcry caused swift action by a weak news station that bowed to the pressure of people and fired the meteorologist. Regardless of how hard and how much he apologized; it did not matter; he had to go! Nevermind the fact that there was no other evidence of him using racial slurs in the past or even being racist in the past. His slip of the tongue changed the trajectory of his life and his family’s forever. After the firing I can only guess that those calling for his firing felt good about what they had done to this man. Now that the powers that be had done a great deed for those they represent, I was sure that after the incident with the governor, they would have been demanding his resignation. Holding a press conference stating how hurt they are that he used such a word and that they will need to see him removed from office as the only means of feeling whole again. However, there has yet to be a press conference calling for his removal from office, I guess I will wait (you do know that I am being sarcastic?).
Let’s look at the two (2) situations side-by-side. One was a local meteorologist that the most he could do to impact our lives is giving an incorrect forecast and we don’t take an umbrella and we get soaked because he said it was going to be sunny. The other is the Chief Executive of the State of New York who affects our lives by every swipe of his pen. Many things get passed that we may not have any idea about. One the local meteorologist made a slip of the tongue and from his statements didn’t even realize that he has said something wrong and when confronted apologized immediately. The governor’s statement wasn’t a slip of the tongue. He was speaking clearly and knew what he was saying and didn’t believe that it was a big deal because, in my opinion, he does what many Democrats do, they take African-Americans for granted. If, as Black people, we are upset over the meteorologist so much so that they get him fired, in order to be consistent, we have to withdraw our support from the governor of New York State! This however, will not happen because there is always a double standard when it comes to these types of things. That is why folks cannot be taken seriously and why I personally have little tolerance for an organization like NBC, who I have made a conscience decision to avoid their news casts since they caved to fake pressure over what was clearly a mistake.
Do I believe that the governor should resign? No I do not (even though I’d like him to because I don’t agree with 99% of what he stands for)? As I didn’t believe that the meteorologist should have been fired. This is being consistent, something that others need to practice; I’ll see if they do!
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Rev. Michael Vaughn currently serves as senior pastor at New Wineskin Church in Rochester. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)