A conservative radio station owner in Tennessee has come under fire after he made a racist comment, referring to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre as “Buckwheat.”
On Monday, during a segment on WKOM's “3 Dudes with a View” program, the hosts discussed recent developments in the state regarding access to gender-affirming care by minors.
The show discusses local information and politics, and according to an online description, the program reflects "the tone of the community with informative and entertaining talk weekday mornings on WKOM 101.7 FM with Delk Kennedy, Jim York, Clayton Harris."
Kennedy owns the station.
The men discussed a federal appeals court’s ruling to allow a state law banning access to gender-affirming care to take effect while it is being challenged in court.
After going on about how children should be protected from these procedures and that Tennessee values dictate that kids shouldn’t have access to this type of care, Kennedy asserted several false claims about health care for transgender people and the laws surrounding access to this treatment in Democratically-led states.
“President Biden has come — both he and Buckwheat Jean-Pierre have come out and in favor of a national law, allowing minors without the consent of their parents to have gender changing procedures. And in some cases, states have enacted laws —California, places like that — where if a child wants gender-changing surgery and the parents won’t consent, the child can be removed from the home as abused and neglected, placed in foster care, and be given the gender changing procedures.”
None of this is true. Gender-confirmation surgeries are almost never performed on minors. Major medical associations in the U.S. support gender-affirming care for trans youth.
Later in the conversation, Kennedy again referred to Jean-Pierre as “Buckwheat” while discussing Biden’s decision to send cluster bombs to Ukraine.
“What’s interesting to me is that Jen Psaki, the former White House [Press Secretary], she had Jean-Pierre Buckwheat’s job before she came out just a year or two ago, saying that cluster bombs were a war crime. And guess what Joe Biden did last week? He sent cluster bombs to Ukraine. And yet that’s how stupid they think the American people are. They think they can get away with this.”
Throughout the 1930s, Buckwheat was a Black child character in the Little Rascals or Our Gang series. He was widely regarded as a racial stereotype.
By Tuesday, the station had seemingly been inundated with messages from people who pointed out the owner’s racist comments.
“Apparently, you calling her Buckwheat just really set these white folks off,” one of the hosts told Kennedy.
“There we go, Buckwheat, Buckwheat, Buckwheat,” Kennedy replied.
“Actually, that’s a compliment to Karine Jean-Pierre,” he said, mispronouncing her name.
Jean-Pierre is the first Black lesbian to hold the position of top spokesperson for the president of the United States.
Kennedy claimed that because on the show, The Little Rascals, the character Buckwheat was intelligent, he was actually giving her praise.
“It is a compliment because the character Buckwheat if you go back and look at the old Little Rascals movies, is an intelligent, admirable character,” he said before several times calling the White House Press Secretary “Claude Jean-Pierre.”
He repeated, “Buckwheat in Little Rascals is not some stereotypical old song of the South Darkie. He is a very admirable, smart, capable person.”