Last week, I was given the once in a lifetime opportunity to follow Sen. Kamala Harris as she campaigned in Charlotte for the 2020 presidential election. I was so excited to cover the potential vice president of the United States, but it wasn’t a perfect day for me.
“We are going into the hood,” a fellow journalist said as we were driving through East Charlotte, a predominantly Black and Latinx neighborhood.
After hearing his words, my first emotions were anger and disgust, but I chose not to react. I was the youngest journalist, as well as the only journalist of color in the press pool, and I thought, “How would everyone here see me if I said something to him?”
East Charlotte is known for its diverse immigrant community and cultural diversity of people from around the globe. Practically all types of international businesses can be found in this area. My family and I frequently visit this area to go grocery shopping and eat at various Latinx businesses in the neighborhood.
The words this journalist used would be unacceptable if he were to use them in an article written for any publication, or if broadcast on live television. So why would he use those words privately on the bus?