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Kevin Slaten's Racial Rant Got His Show Canceled. He Had a Point, Though

Categories: Media
KevinSlatenGraphic.jpg
Graphic by Rick Sealock
Kevin Slaten's recent racial rant got his show canceled on KFNS (590 AM)
So the general manager of the sports radio station KFNS (590 AM) was quoted in the Post-Dispatch this morning explaining that host Kevin Slaten's racial rant on black voters last week "led to" the cancellation of his show.

Surprised? This is the same radio host, mind you, who once told an RFT staff writer preparing to publish a profile on him: "I'm going to destroy you.... I'm not threatening you. I'm promising you."

But what did he say this time? According to the PD:

The next time someone tells me that the black voters are not bigoted, stick it in the trash can because black voters are bigoted -- ninety-three percent [of the black vote went] for Obama, six percent for [Mitt] Romney -- you're bigots. You might not be bigots in your normal life, but when you vote you are bigots. ... That's how you vote.

He also reportedly said:

When it comes to black voters and a black president ... you're not going to vote for a white guy if there's a black choice. And I think that's despicable, and I think that black voters ought to be ashamed of themselves for voting that way because of race. And that's what they did.

Now, exit polls have suggested that 93 percent of black voters cast their ballots for Obama. That much is true.

It doesn't necessarily make them "bigots," as Slaten suggests. According to Merriam Webster's definition, a bigot is "one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance."

It could be that black voters passed over Romney not out of hatred for whitey, but rather, out of group solidarity with Obama. And then, even to go that far would simplify a complex choice: Race is one of many factors voters consider, alongside ideology, the economy, character and experience of the candidates, etc.

So Slaten was off on that one. However, he also made another point that had more truth to it:
There was a black preacher that said, 'Vote for the black man.' If there was a white preacher that said, 'Vote for the white guy,' he would have been pillaged.
(We think you meant "pilloried," Kevin, but you were ranting on the air in the heat of the moment; we understand.)

On this score, Slaten kind of has a point.  Dyed-in-the-wool liberal Ray Hartmann, founder of Riverfront Times and a regular on Donnybrook, recently made a very similar point on St. Louis Magazine's website:
Missouri doesn't do the diversity thing in statewide elections.... More than a quarter of a million voters in this state wouldn't elect a black man at the same moment they were giving landslide wins to white candidates in his own party. I'm not seeing red about that. I'm seeing white.
Hartmann appears to be saying that white voters picked Romney out of white solidarity. This is equivalent to Slaten's claim that blacks voted for Obama because he's black.

But where are the enraged people calling for Ray Hartmann's head? (Not that he could ever get fired from a magazine he owns, but you get the point.)

In 2012 America, this is how it works: It's okay for a person to accuse his/her own race of bigotry. It's also okay for a black person to accuse whites of bigotry. But it's decidedly not okay for a white person to accuse blacks of bigotry. Just ask Kevin Slaten.

There might be understandable historical reasons for this state of affairs. But it's still a double standard.

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35 comments
dick
dick

slaten sucks me

greasedog
greasedog

What remains lost in this argument of wheather black voters were being bigoted against Romney is about 90% of black voters are Democrats. Those Democrats would've very likely voted for the Democratic nominee regardless of race. So, subtracting 90% from 93% leaves you 3%. So, maybe 3% voted for Obama because he's black. Not 93%. Why does 3% represent all?

Black voters did not come out in support of Herman Cain. Why? Because he's a Republican. Black voters clearly voted idiology. Not race.

FINALLY
FINALLY

Whether K.S. was right or wrong, everyone that heard his show knows that Kevin will Somehow... Someway manage to blame Tony La Rusa AND McGuire for him losing his job. Remember, Kevin is a lawyer, and he will rip callers to shreds if they miss use a word or God forbid disagree with him. He will never admit he was wrong, and if he does apologize for this, you can bet he'll have his fingers crossed while doing it. While the essence of his point is valid, his use of the word 'bigot' is not. I find it funny that a lawyer doesn't know what the definition of a word is. Karma is a biotch Kevin. And after all those callers who you called idiots, morons, dumbasses, etc. for disagreeing with you, and even the ones you cut off or hung up on, its nice to see that someone cut YOU off.

shizzbliggy
shizzbliggy

So if Hillary Clinton ran against Herman Cain for president who would black people vote for? Yeah your arguments are invalid!

badasslefty
badasslefty

In my opinion most people are missing the issues of economics and abortions. Those were the most talked about issues I've heard (out loud) discussed.. I think people are forgetting there are more struggling Americans than comfortable and or well-off.. Just my two cents!

spawny500
spawny500

This is ridiculous.  In general, black people(and just about every other minority) vote democrat.  Black people were simply voting Democratic like they always do, especially when the other party is pretty much filled w/ some hate filled whites like Rush Limbaugh and Ted Nugent.  Why would any black, or anyone for that matter have voted for Mitt Romney??  Now, I will say this, the fact that Obama is black did bring us out to the poles.  This is not generally the case when there is a white democrat running.  We will vote for them, but the turnout wouldn't be all that great.  I will pose another question to make my point, would we have voted for Clarence Thomas if he was running?   Hells no!!  Lastly, I'll say this.  Every effing president has been white.  There have been no black presidents.  If there had been more black presidents in the past, we might be more inclined to look past race, but the FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT??, pretty much aint gonna happen.  Now, lets revisit this in the future.  We should be much more willing to look at other races when a black person is running.   

bizniche28
bizniche28

"Originally, black people favored Hillary Clinton because of her husband's policies for the poor and disenfranchised."Gee, that's a very inconvenient fact for Slaten and the writer of this article.  Especially this part: "black people favored Hillary Clinton".  I guess they were just putting their bigotry o pause. smfh.

brandwmch
brandwmch

In the case of white voters: they were clearly not voting out of solidarity behind a particular political ideology, because they voted in numbers for members of Obama's party who shared his ideologies, but did not vote for Obama.  THIS IS THE DOUBLE STANDARD.  That Black voters did not vote for Romney is not racist.  Black voters have been solidly behind the Democratic Party for decades upon decades, voting between 90 and 95% democrat every election.  Racially focused people see "black people voted for the black guy", but in fact, they voted for the democrat who favored their long-established political ideologies. 

Where Black voters differed from MO white voters is over their BIGOTRY. Black voters voted for both black and white members of their party, whereas white voters of the democratic party in MO voted against Obama despite their party affiliation - clearly race played a part.

Calling black voters bigots because they voted for Obama is ignorant and oversimplistic.  They voted for a Democrat, as they have since the early 20th century.  Fun Fact, during Obama's early primaries, he had a terrible time securing the black vote.  Originally, black people favored Hillary Clinton because of her husband's policies for the poor and disenfranchised.

capkbc
capkbc

I listened to the show, and Kevin was stating facts, and did NOT cross the racial line.  Her was over the top (which they pay him to do), but again he didn't cross any line to be fired.  I guess the truth hurts so much in this country, that people dont want to hear it.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

If you grant that blacks can decide to vote for a black man over a white, not due to hatred of the white, but unity with the black; please reverse the situation and tell me you would not call the white voting for the white out of unity as racist. It is racism if you make your judgement based on race. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.taught us a better way - judge one on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Opposing Obama's policies does not make one a racist, despite the leftists attempts to paint the opposition as one. The opposite would be opposing Mr. Clinton's wife and her policy just the same as they opposed Algore's policies and John F Kerry's policies. It is the policies they oppose, not the the skin color. Hermann Cain ran a great campaign until the media went on another high tech lynching of a black conservative. And Condellezza Rice is well respected an often considered a potential conservative candidate by those labels as racists. I suspect Cain and Rice would not gather a majority of the black vote running against a white liberal man. for that we can conclude it is the policies, not the skin color. Just do not try to spin it in one direction without the same spin in the other direction.

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

A white man said "black." Doesn't that automatically make him a bigot? This country will never move forward if we can't say what's on our mind. Just keep sweeping it under the rug.

gzotta
gzotta

 

PC Police and Racism

Albeit from me to defend Kevin Slaten for having his show canceled for comments he made during his show on November 8, 2012 regarding the presidential election, since he would constantly cut me off when I called into his show when he began to lose the argument. So maybe it is a bit of Karma, but his show should not have been canceled for what he said.

            According to an article by Dan Caesar in the St. Louis Post Dispatch Kevin Slaten’s  sports-talk radio show on KFNS (590 AM) the Fan was canceled after he made the following comments: “The next time someone tells me that the black voters are not bigoted, stick it in the trash can because black voters are bigoted — 93 percent (of the black vote went) for Obama, 6 percent for (Mitt) Romney — you’re bigots,'' he said on the air. "You might not be bigots in your normal life but when you vote you are bigots. ... that’s how you vote.

 

“There was a black preacher that said, ‘Vote for the black man.’ If there was a white preacher that said, ‘Vote for the white guy,’ he would have been pillaged.’’

Slaten added, “When it comes to black voters and a black president ... you’re not going to vote for a white guy if there’s a black choice. And I think that’s despicable and I think that black voters ought to be ashamed of themselves for voting that way because of race. And that’s what they did.’’

  Yet, it was Attorney General Eric Holder who said we are a nation of cowards when it comes to discussing racism. Talk about the “pot calling the kettle black.” It is the racist Holder who refused to prosecute the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation in Philadelphia during the 2008 election and is reluctant to prosecute black on white crime giving the green light to the black mobs committing acts of violence against whites throughout the country.

“We are a nation of cowards?” Possibly, for some; and the reason is survival. When Kevin Slaten brought up the topic the PC police descended upon him and his show was canceled. What he said was true, but they not only voted for Barack Hussein Obama because he was black, (although Obama is a mulatto, his mother was white and his father was black), they also overwhelmingly voted for him because he is a Democrat/Statist, which is the party of “stuff.”   For it is the Democrats who want an ever increasing amount of people dependent on Government for their votes to stay in power, which is akin to slavery. Instead of working the fields the people only need to pull the D lever. Nevertheless, the problem of racism will not be solved if someone who is white brings it up and is fired for it. 

 

Ben Williams
Ben Williams

African American's vote overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates, so to say they voted for Obama just because he is black is idiotic. The author might want to read a little something called "American history" before agreeing with Slaten's rant. If the author was going to actually address the issue of race and politics, they might want to make at least a passing reference to Lee Atwater, one of the most important architects of the modern Republican party. Here is a pleasant quote from him explaining the Southern Strategy: You start out in 1954 by saying, "N****r, n*****r, n***r." By 1968 you can't say "n****r" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "N****r, n****r." I can't imagine why African Americans might want to refrain from voting for Republican candidates.

JabbaNuts
JabbaNuts

More tired ignorant bullshit that always and only comes from frustrated white men. Never mind you are totally wrong about the equivalencies here (you can't call something a double-standard if there are still extant "historical reasons" for an inequality, which nullifies the double-standard). So-called black racism is nowhere near, sociologically or historically, white racism. Nor are black and white identity politics symmetrical. You can read any number of books about this -- start first with Lipsitz's "Possessive Investment in Whiteness." This is also why Hartmann is making the opposite case (when whites do vote in large numbers against their own interests, it's indeed because of the soft bigotry of institutionalized racism), which does make sense, and not Slaten's race-mongering belch.   

Luckily race wasn't even at issue. Bigoted? How about they voted in their social interests. How about they voted on the budget and health care and women's rights and welfare and Social Security. How about every fucking post-election poll says so. 

 

Sorry too many black people voted and voted still in their economic and social interests. To say that Slaten has a point is to diminish and dienfranchise their vote. 

 

This is spackled-together race-baiting where class-based reasons will do just fine. It's sensationalist and specious, and while it might pass muster as a Heritage Foundation memo and be precisely the kind of "dumbed-down conservatism" Bobby Jindal now wants the GOP to abandon, it's especially thin gruel for such a revered, hallowed yet somehow awardless institution as the Daily RFT.

Todd Williams
Todd Williams

Who cares - he's a useless turd that for some reason a lot of people listen to. I don't care for him or listen - he's just like all of those other St. Louis radio "personalities" who think they're awesome because they work in a 22nd ranked media market and have a microphone....Guy Phillips, Steve and DC, Frank O'Pinion, etc. They have their place, they clearly have listeners, but who cares what they have to say. Just stop listening if you don't like what they are saying.

megarock
megarock

Sorry Kevin, should have kept your mouth shut. KFNS is a SPORTS station, not 97.1 FM Talk... and you have been in radio long enough you should have known better than to rant on like that. Did a majority of wealthy white men vote for Romney? Sure they did. Did a majority of Mormons vote for him? Yep. They didn't vote for Obama because he's black - they voted for him because he is a Democrat.

Robert Winkelmann
Robert Winkelmann

How is that any more racist than 75% of all old white men voted for Romney? You have to remember something - when a political party caters specifically to rich white men and tells everyone else they are either illegal immigrants, lazy ass people on welfare or piece of crap union thugs it kinda sets the tone for the election. Plus, Slaten should remember he works for someone and if they disagree with your analogy they have the right to can you. Just ask JC Corcoran.

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

I guess it's only coincidence that Obama's first election had unprecedented black turn out?

DoucheMcGee
DoucheMcGee topcommenter

He should've known he's paid to talk about sports, not politics.

 

He'd still have his job if he had just shut up about the election.

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

^ "I think that black voters ought to be ashamed of themselves for voting that way because of race."

dangelo_nick
dangelo_nick

Want a double standard?  Ask yourself why it's OK for so many "serious" journalists to examine the African American pro-Obama stats while no one that I've seen has done a similar examination of the Mormon vote.  Sure, John Huntsman likely voted for Obama, but I bet the numbers are totally lopsided.  Can we conclude, then, that Mormons generally do not vote for Christians?

Eron
Eron

He deserved to get fired because I voted for President Obama, have a Caucasian wife, have mostly non-African American friends, and last, but not least, I am African American.  Like one of the early posters stated, most people vote for their favorite party, not skin color.  Herman Cain wouldn't have received 93% of the African American vote and Mr. Slaten failed to mention that most Caucasians may have voted for Romney because he is a "white" candidate.  He is the bigoted one and that is why he is currently out of a job for the second time in a couple of years.  

 

Aerin
Aerin

Is this article a joke? Racism isn't just being mean, or giving preferential treatment to someone because of their skin color. Racism is a system of societal dominance in which one racial group oppresses the other. That means that one racial group has unearned advantages in life *because of their skin color* that other groups don't get. It's not a double standard for members of an oppressed group to identify more strongly with their own people than with a member the group that's oppressing them. That's not bigotry, that's a reasonable response to witnessing the social advantages that are given to white people and denied to people of color. Frankly it's really offensive, not to mention ironic, to suggest that black people are the ones being bigoted in this situation.

Lisa Corley Davis
Lisa Corley Davis

Almost 90% of African-Americans voted for John Kerry in 2004, 96% in 2008, and 93% in 2012. The fact that minorities historically OVERWHELMINGLY vote Democrat for a vast variety of social and political reasons is a much more sensible (and far less inflammatory) explanation for this election's overwhelmingly Democratic vote by African-Americans. ...and yes, no doubt he's a bigot. The firing was absolutely appropriate.

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

And what Steve and DC said SO VERY LONG ago was beyond stupid. They tried to defend their use of the "n-word" as it was describing a specific kind of African-American, not all of them. This, certainly warrented a firing. I heard it live as it happened. They, like Kevin Slaten, thrive on saying dumb things. That is why they are called "shock jocks." And, no, his firing is NOT a violation of freedom of speech. Look it up. It is not a violation for a company to fire someone that they deem makes them look bad.

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

Of course he is. He, like many making the same point, fail to fully analyze the issue so that they can justify their bigotry. African-Americans OVERWHELMINGLY voted for Al Gore, a white dude. And for how long have bigoted white folks (And, no, I am not saying that all of them are bigots. But, who are we kidding here, MANY are!) LOVED only having white folks to vote for. These are the dynamics of race. What really has happened here has been going on for decades. The Democrats were the party of the civil rights movement and are MUCH more in tune with the plight of being a racial minority in the United States to this day. The Democrats are a much more diverse party. THAT is what is happening.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman

Well if you didn't vote for Obama and don't agree with his stances you are a racist. So sure why not.

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

Damn, I guess all the whites who voted for Romney are bigots!

Robin Gray
Robin Gray

Why would a black person voting for a black person be bigotry. Wouldn't a white voting white be bigotry, or for that matter, Mormans voting for a Morman? I'd venture to guess Mittens cornered the market on their votes!

Chuck
Chuck

Neither of you guys are very bright, like someone else already pointed out, Kerry got 88%, of the black vote in 2004, Gore got like 92% of the black vote in 2000. Blacks are going to vote DEMOCRATIC, whether the candidate is black or white. If it had been Herman Cain running against Hillary Clinton, Hillary would've gotten the majority of the black vote. The question should be why Romney couldn't win either one of his "home" states nor his VP candidate's home state. Those are the people that know them best and they didn't vote for them. Most of their support came from the south where people hardly know anything about them but voted for them anyway. Draw your own conclusions.

cajun622
cajun622

Where did he say anything wrong??? I totally agree!!!!!

buckswope
buckswope

African American support for John Kerry was 88% in 2004. Hurricane Katrina certainly damaged the GOP brand further within that community. Why is it surprising that a Black Democrat running against a White Mormon Republican would get 5% more African American support than Kerry got in 2004? The Southern Strategy just doesn't fly in 2012. The GOP and Kevin Slaten himself had to learn the hard way.

peterpetard
peterpetard

It is a double standard especially when you consider the african-american community in this country has serious cultural and social issues to address. I don't see any heart-to-heart talks about those problems coming from leadership in their own race...but god forbid non-blacks bringing it up.

NP_DailyRFT
NP_DailyRFT

 @JabbaNuts I heartily disagree with Slaten that 93 percent of black voters voted for Obama solely because he's black -- just like I believe that you're wrong, JabbaNuts, to assume they did same solely for "class-based" reasons (and since you mentioned it, what's the "class" breakdown of black voters?).

 

Voting -- as I mentioned in the post -- is a complicated choice. It depends on tons of factors. Where Slaten kind of had a point is when he basically said that blacks voting for black candidates is fine, but whites voting for white candidates is considered bigotry. How about we apply the same standard to both cases, and agree that people vote for their own complex sets of reasons?

 

Slaten was wrong, but he should be criticized on the merits of his (poor) argument, not on the fact that he's a white dude making it.  (In my mind, a double standard is still a double standard, whether or not it makes sense in light of history, and whether or not people are comfortable with it.)

 

And by the way, you're prob right: Daily RFT is in no danger of winning any awards anytime soon. 

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