The news director for Fox’s Duluth affiliate has drawn fire for comments posted to his Facebook page, and has issued a public apology.
On Wednesday night, according to the Grand Forks Herald, Jason Vincent posted the following to his personal Facebook page:
“Add drunk, homeless, Native American man to the list of animals that have wandered into my yard … Then he proceed (sic) to wave at me and give me the peace sign when he spotted me in the window. Wow …”
Vincent, who later said he is Native but did not give a specific Tribal affiliation, took the post down, but not before it was noticed by many people and organizations who expressed concern. Two Duluth groups, the American Indian Commission and the Human Rights Commission, issued a joint statement that read, in part, “As a white man in a position of power, he contributes to our thinking and structures of stereotypes, images, metaphors and emotions. … This is an opportunity for the community to be further educated on issues of race in Duluth, and we hope that there comes growth from this incident.”
Chair of the Human Rights Commission, Margie Nelson also said, according to Northland’s News Center, “We just hope that he has the opportunity to learn from his mistake and gain a better sense of the Native community in Duluth and an understanding of using these comments that offended so many people,”
Vincent posted apologies to the Fox 21 News Facebook page and to the Fond du Lac People’s Forum that read: “I have deleted the post and I certainly understand why it’s being taken out of context and viewed as offensive,” he wrote. “I would never insult the Native American community, especially since I myself am Native. I did not realize how poor the choice of words were I used until I looked back and saw what I had posted. I sincerely apologize for my words and to anyone offended by them.”