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KDFW FOX 4 DALLAS NOT OUT OF WOODS
NAACP Weighing Options For Action Against FOX
DALLAS- A state NAACP official says that KDFW FOX 4 TV is not out of the woods for its decision and actions to lock out and refuse to talk to Dallas NAACP officials
“This is not over,” said State NAACP President Gary Bledsoe. “There will be a next stage occurring in this process, unless FOX decides to do the right thing.”
The stubborn rejection by FOX 4 officials has sparked concerns about racism and other issues at the station.
FOX4 is part of News Corporation. The New York Post is also part of News Corporation and is owned by international media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
NAACP CEO Ben Jealous and other state NAACP officials are also monitoring the situation and working on plans to deal with the issues dealing with hiring and racial insensitivity being displayed by the company.
The controversy began over a New York Post cartoon of a racist depiction of President Obama earlier this year.
The NAACP is pressing for the termination of the editor and cartoonist at the New York Post and is encouraging diversity across the board including at FOX 4 in Dallas by hiring African-Americans and Hispanics in upper management.
Dallas officials are upset because local FOX affiliate KDFW FOX 4 locked them out of FOX offices and still refuse to open lines of communications about the situation, equal opportunity employment and issues of racial sensitivity.
Currently, no Black or Hispanic holds an upper management position at the Dallas television station.
“We still need to sit down and talk with her,” said Dr. Juanita Wallace, who serves as the current president of the Dallas NAACP Branch. “We are outraged by the lack of professionalism and the failure to respond to local concerns. I cannot imagine anyone with such a public profile in the community not being willing to sit down with people from the community to talk about these and other key issues affecting the community.”
According to Wallace, she and a representative from the national NAACP office went to the station of Feb. 26 to meet with (KFDW General Manager) Kathy Saunders to discuss the New York Post cartoon degrading Barack Obama - the nation's first African-American president.
Instead of Saunders meeting with the group or setting up a time to discuss issues and concerns, the entourage was met by a security guard at the door who refused to allow her and the representative to even enter the building.
She renewed her vow to continue to fight with FOX and continue until the company stops disrespecting Black and Hispanic communities.
“Denying us access is a setback and is mindful of the days of Jim Crow, segregated lunch counters and separate but equal facilities. We should be able to talk,” she said. “As long as FOX refuses to sit down, they are not refusing to talk to Juanita Wallace, they are refusing to talk to with the NAACP, the organization and African Americans and Hispanics.”
She and other leaders from the local chapter of the nation's oldest civil rights organization want a top to bottom review and overhaul that not only opens doors of opportunity and reflects the diversity of the community.
“It is a reminder to start serious in depth discussions about race, diversity and cultural awareness in editorial offices starting with FOX 4 in Dallas,” she said.
Wallace maintains that the current upper level management structure, blatant actions and negative behavior on the part of officials at the station demonstrates a disregard for and unwillingness to change minority promotion policies and management diversity at the company or select minorities to upper management.
Bledsoe said the failure of FOX to do the right thing and react negatively to the NAACP demonstrates the leadership void in management at the company.
“With no diverse staff there is no sensitivity to Black, Hispanic or minority issues,” he said. “This is a huge issue and a serious concern.”
According to Bledsoe, the result of the lack of diversity give way to reduced value on Black and Hispanic life, increased negative stereotypes and the shaping and manipulation of opinions about ethnic groups.
“This case will remain open,” he said. “The next step is holding until the situation is reviewed at the national level. We will act when we get their recommendations for additional action.”