A popular radio host was suspended Monday for posting a racially charged rant on his Facebook page, blasting President Barack Obama and his supporters.
“Recent remarks from well-known local radio talk show host Bill Way on his personal Facebook page says more about who we are from his derogatory statements concerning the president of the United States and the first lady,” said Harrell Carter, president of the Jackson-Madison County of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People during a press conference Monday morning.
“Mr. Way does have the freedom of speech, of which people of color — all colors — have given their lives to defend. We feel sorry about his anger and frustration but we cannot condone those statements.”
According to the Jackson Sun, popular radio personality, Bill Way, posted the following message on his Facebook page Friday:
“A short message to Obama voters. To vote for him with a 9.2 unemployment rate, a sh**load of Benghazi lies, $16,000,000,000 in debt and an israeli war, ... a pimp walking prez married to cheetahs daughter…expect what you will most certainly get. bye bye medicare. hello homeless.. I love America except for the idiots,”
Carter said he worked at 101.5 FM for 11 years, ending his time with the station in February 2010. “Mr. Way and I certainly have had our differences, but it’s always been basically respectful,” Carter said. “I don’t know what the circumstances were, but this was surprising and disappointing.”
Many at the news conference called for the morning host of “It’s Your Turn” to be fired.
"You're feeding a stereotype of a southern bigot," resident Tim McDonald told Jackson's WMC-TV.
Way, who according to his Facebook profile is a Christian, issued an on-air apology Monday, but the station,101.5 FM in Jackson, didn’t let him finish his show. The station’s general manager Larry Wood said the comments were not a reflection of the station's views.
“We certainly don't condone the comments from Bill and appreciate his public apology,” Wood said, according to CBS Charlotte. "We're discussing his comments and apology. Considering the gravity of the situation, for now, by mutual agreement, Bill is taking a few days off."
Rickey Brown said he has been friends with Way for more than 30 years and that the radio show host has touched many lives in his career, The Jackson Sun reported.
“I trust and pray this incident will bring about healing, kindness, forgiveness and goodwill in the future,” Brown said. “How do we expect the Lord to forgive us if we cannot forgive each other? Bill has a deep love for people, animals, music and all the blessed gifts that God has given us. Please join me in prayer for the anointing healing of our community and helping support a man who has entertained us all his life.”
Carter said any discussion of the country’s problems needs to begin from a position of mutual respect. He said Americans are “tired of actions and comments like these given by people whose only objective is to create racial disharmony and infuse hatred in our community.”
"We need Mr. Way to take ownership of his words and let's see if we can't talk and create a dialogue with his help, with the station's help, with the sponsor's help," he said.
Station officials told WMC-TV News that Way is off the air until at least Monday.
Way did not return calls from The Jackson Sun seeking comment.