ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, called on Tribune Media Company to implement a new anti-racism training.
On Friday, Nasheed tweeted out a thread explaining that she had thought a lot about what KTVI (Fox 2) newscaster Kevin Steincross said believing that regardless of his intentions, his words should not “be swept under the rug,” it would be “unacceptable” to do so.
“It sets a precedent that this kind of language is okay when it is not,” Nasheed said.
Nasheed attended the St. Louis University and Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis’ annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Tribute on Thursday where she received the Martin Luther Kinng, Jr. Political Service Award.
“One quote from Dr. King was printed on the award: ‘A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.’ That quote describes the kind of leadership our city needs in this divided time,” Nasheed said.
In terms of Steincross, Nasheed said she believes in redemption and that everyone should have a chance to redeem themselves. She noted that Dr. King believed in that as well.
“It would be easy for me to call for Steincross’s termination or resignation – and trust me, I thought about it,” Nasheed said. “But our city is already too fragmented. Our entire country is divided, and race lies at the center of that division.”
Nasheed said she is asking that Tribune Media Company, KTVI and Steincross to take steps to bring St. Louis City together and to prevent the situation from occurring again. She is asking that Tribune Media provides “intersectional anti-bias, anti-racism training for all of their global employees, including those at Fox 2.”
The call for media is not just to Tribune Media, but to all media outlets, and the training is consistent with the Ferguson Commission’s Calls to Action, which asks for development of media training “bias and systemic context with specific focus on impoverished communities, people of color and boys and men of color.”
Nasheed is also inviting Steincross to spend a day touring St. Louis City with her. During the tour, she plans to introduce him to her constituents in the 5th District who have been “negatively impacted by racist language.”
“To all people, I encourage you to listen to your neighbors when they say something is hurtful. What doesn’t seem like much to you, might mean reliving trauma for someone else. In any case, we can and must do more to close gaps and build bridges,” Nasheed said. “Large and small, we are all accountable!”