OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — KFAB has terminated local conservative radio personality, Chris Baker's employment after he tweeted in response to the verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial.
Baker tweeted "Guilty!" along with an image of indigenous, people of color dancing. The tweet has since been deleted, but sparked national outrage.
In a statement to 3 News Now, Charles Taylor Walet confirmed Baker's termination.
"We are aware of the completely inappropriate and unacceptable tweet that was posted late Tuesday afternoon. Please know that this does not represent our viewpoint or our values, and we take this situation very seriously. Accordingly, Chris Baker’s employment with our Company has been terminated," the statement read.
Soon after Baker's tweet was posted and subsequently deleted, many condemned it, including Nebraska State Senator John McCollister, who told 3 News Now that the tweet crossed a line. He said this wasn't a free speech issue and Baker needs to be held accountable.
"When America conceived policing as a structure it really begins with the policing of Africans who had been former slaves and there was this birth of a nation mentality" pic.twitter.com/TWCSQ61xfp— Alyssa Curtis (@AlyssaNCurtis) April 22, 2021
"If we want the Republican party to be viable again we must take a stand against hateful messages like this. We all have a responsibility, particularly radio stations, TV stations, newspapers, to present information in a fair and balanced way. But, like I said, this particular tweet crossed the line," McCollister said.
3 News Now also spoke to Dr. Nikitah Imani, a Black studies professor at UNO who explained why he believes the tweet is offensive. He said the image Baker chose depicts Black people in a way that deems them as less than.
"What’s really being pushed there is not simply the statement that people of African descent are celebrating the verdict, but also to associate people of African descent with a lower level of civilization. That is to say, if we were going to talk about the disturbances that happened in January it would be unlikely that someone would find an indigenous group in the middle of the jungle in Europe and put them there and say this and I think people would immediately recognize that someone did do that that would be offensive," Dr. Imani said.
Baker's post caught the attention of people and organizations nationwide. CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called for an apology from Baker and his resignation. While they condemned his actions, they also said everyone deserves a chance to learn from their mistakes.
In a statement our news partners, the Omaha World-Herald, Baker blamed the incident on posting the wrong picture. He said he took it down as soon as he could and added "That's not who I am."