The Importance Of Racial Sensitivity

Wednesday, March 18th 2015, 11:02 pm
By: News 9

In light of the SAE Fraternity debacle at OU, it's important to note that we all could take a lesson now and then in racial sensitivity.

Last Thursday, News 9's Steve Shaw used the phrase “The jig is up,” when he talked about an alleged bank robber here in Oklahoma City.

Leta Terrell is retired, and lives near Lamont, OK, and was watching News 9 that night. She emailed the following day, and told Steve to research what the true meaning of “the jig is up” is.

He looked it up on the internet, and was surprised and humbled. A century ago, that phrase was used to describe a black person who had just been lynched. Wow, Steve and several co-workers at News 9 had no idea.

However, after doing more research in the past few days, Steve asked Leta Terrell what she thought about the phrase “The Peanut Gallery.” Terrell said she didn't think it was racist.

Well, a hundred years ago, this is what “The Peanut Gallery” meant. “It was the cheapest and worst section of theaters where many black people sat during the vaudeville era.”

So in the end, Leta Terrell contacted News 9 to educate Steve, and it turns out they both got an education.

Perhaps she summed it up best. “You don't' say things like that, you just have to be very careful about what you say,” she said. Amen.