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Gayle King Gets Roasted for Insulting 'White Guy' Who Dared Take Off Work on Juneteenth

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Maybe Gayle King needs to brush up on what “national” means in “national holiday.”

The “CBS Mornings” co-host might have been joking Monday when she opened the show noting that a white on-air co-worker was off for Juneteenth while she and two co-hosts, who happen to be black, were working.

But a good many viewers and those who caught it on social media were definitely not amused.

“Is it lost on anybody that the only white guy at the table’s off today to celebrate Juneteenth, and we’re still here!” King said, as co-hosts Nate Burleson and Vladimir Duthiers laughed out loud.

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King was talking about Tony Dokoupil, the white member of the cast, who was absent. Whether Dokoupil’s day off had anything to do with Juneteenth or was simply a long weekend in June wasn’t addressed, but it wouldn’t take a civil rights lawyer to read an implicit insult in King’s words: “How is he off on our day?”

“I hope Tony’s enjoying his Juneteenth holiday,” King said, maybe to take the sting out for the benefit of her viewers. “Welcome to ‘CBS Mornings.’”

To be fair, it is a mildly amusing observation — even if it’s not anywhere near as funny as the laughter from Burleson and Duthiers seemed to make it. But making it the way King did, on national television in a blatantly race-conscious context, was in exceptionally poor taste.

Do you think what Gayle King said was racist?

It also showed a remarkable ignorance that shouldn’t be expected in a prominent newswoman.

It’s true enough that Juneteenth was an unofficial black holiday going back to the 19th century, long before the act establishing it was passed by Congress and signed by the pandering President Joe Biden in 2021.

For anyone who’s managed to escape it in the two years since, it commemorates the occasion when Union troops entered Texas at the end of the Civil War with news that slavery had been ended in the defeated Confederacy.

That was an obvious-enough reason for the event to be commemorated by black Americans, whose ever-more-distant ancestors were directly affected by Southern slavery.

But since Congress and the president have decided to make the day a federal holiday, that means it’s for all Americans, regardless of their skin color.

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And that brings King’s joke into the realm of the near-offensive, like a TV host complaining that Irish Americans are hung over every March 18 or Mexicans go missing every Cinco de Mayo.

James Golden, better known as “Bo Snerdley,” the former producer and call screener for “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” passed the clip on to his more than half-million Twitter followers.

As anyone familiar with Rush fans would guess, they weren’t happy with King’s take.

Here’s the thing that maybe King didn’t think of.

If Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery, it’s also a holiday in honor of the countless white Americans who spent their lives — and gave their lives — to make sure that that happened.

That includes abolitionists who worked to eradicate slavery in the Northern states in the first decades of the United States. It includes the crusading newspaper editors and politicians who worked hard — if not always successfully — to keep slavery from spreading from its Southern roots into the states joining the Union.

It includes the famous — like John Brown and Harriet Beecher Stowe — as well as the church congregations and clergymen who worked to end slavery long before President Abraham Lincoln put his signature on the Emancipation Proclamation or Reconstruction Republicans ratified the 13th Amendment.

It includes, maybe most of all, the at least 360,000 (and possibly many more) overwhelmingly white soldiers who died in the Union Army over the course of the Civil War, giving, as Lincon put it, their “last full measure of devotion” to ensuring the Union cause prevailed and slavery in the United States was destroyed.

There’s no question that the peculiar institution of slavery was a stain on the history of a country that was truly “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” But it was not an ineradicable one.

And many, many white Americans did more to erase that stain than any race-baiting “squad” member in Congress or mob of Black Lives Matter rioters ever will or could. If Juneteenth was celebrated in that context, without endless, empty Democratic virtue-signaling, it just might pick up more support than another day off on the federal calendar.

Maybe this tweet put it best:

The funny thing is, given the wording “To Every US Citizen” and the fact that the writer appears to be an avid fan of the Manchester United soccer team in the United Kingdom, there’s a good chance it wasn’t even written by an American. Which just makes it all the better.

Gayle King could take a lesson.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.
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