This is a follow-up to a story we first reported on Thursday of last week. WFNI-AM sports talker Joe Staysniak, who is white, told listeners that black people need to say “I’m going to stop being a victim.” Emmis has decided to suspend Staysniak one week without pay.
CEO Jeff Smulyan said, “”Emmis takes very seriously its commitment to the communities in which we proudly serve and reaffirms its dedication in rooting out injustices and oppression in any form.”
Here’s an excerpt of what the host said when a caller, who was black, challenged him on his position.
Staysniak: “You’re denying anything. You’re denying responsibility, denying anything that could be on your part that has to go toward making this better.”
Caller: “Some blacks are poor and uneducated.”
Staysniak: “So you hate a police officer, you’re afraid of a police officer because of that? At some point you have to stand up and you have to say ‘I’m going to stop being a victim’ and say ‘This isn’t going to happen to me anymore.”
And on Friday, Staysniak apologized: “I am making a commitment today to the listeners of this station, my coworkers and the black community to be open to hearing the voices of those who grew up in circumstances different than my own to better understand the experiences facing the black community. I pledge to listen first rather than talk. I pledge to use my platform on the radio to be a force for change and unification to end discrimination in any form once and for all. Please know I stand against racism in any form and again apologize for my insensitivity.”