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Fired TV anchor Wendy Bell needs Black culture tutelage

When Pittsburgh news anchor Wendy Bell made disparaging, stereotypical, "broad brush" statement, obviously she didn't know much about the African-American community

Wendy Bell stereotyping young Black men  showed a lack of respect for African-Americans

Wendy Bell’s tone of racial naiveté…

“You needn’t be a criminal profiler to draw a mental sketch of the killers who broke so many hearts,” Bell wrote about as yet unidentified gunmen who had committed the murder of six. “they are young Black men, likely in their teens or early 20s.

“They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers and their mothers work multiple jobs. These boys have been in the system before. They’ve grown up there. They know the police. They’ve been arrested. They’ve made the circuit and nothing has scared them enough. Now they are lost. Once you kill a neighbor’s three children, two nieces, and her unborn grandson, there’s no coming back. There’s nothing nice to say about that.”

When Pittsburgh WTAE news anchor Wendy Bell made the aforementioned statement, obviously she didn’t know much about the African-American community apart from the numerous sensational crime stories her network and others probably report on Black society every day — as though newsworthy stories of a positive, redeeming nature don’t happen in Black America. For making such a disparaging, stereotypical, “broad brush” statement, Bell was terminated, and rightfully so.

But ABC affiliate WTAE must bear the blame, as well, for hiring reporters and anchors like Bell whose knowledge of Black culture amounts to a kindergarten understanding. Perhaps the management and news staff at WTAE should all voluntarily take a semester of instruction in African-American studies to broaden their understanding of Black history, Black culture, Black relations with police, etcetera, etcetera, ad infinitum!

Especially if they are going to continue covering the African-American community!

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is Publisher and Editor of Compton Herald. He attended junior and senior high school in Compton, and is an alumnus of California State University, Los Angeles.

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