We’d like to give a happy TLO welcome to new Oklahoma County Sheriff Tommie Johnson III!
He was officially sworn into office yesterday, and in doing so, became the first Black man to serve as Oklahoma County Sheriff. Knowing what we know about racism in our state and country – especially when it has to do with law enforcement– it’s a historic event, and represents a twinkle of progress in today’s still-chaotic, seemingly apocalyptic times.
Naturally, KWTV News 9 was on the scene and on the story and sent Kelsey Kernstine into the Oklahoma wind to document the historic occasion. They aired this report on the 5pm news that, for some reason, includes a good chunk of footage of Wayland Cubit – the black man who faced Johnson in the 2020 election.
Check this out:
Yesterday, in a story about Republican Tommie Johnson III being sworn in as OK County's first black sheriff, @news9 aired b-roll footage Wayland Cubit – Johnson's black, Democratic opponent in the 2020 election. pic.twitter.com/N2enyDjRdf
— thelostogle (@TheLostOgle) January 5, 2021
In all fairness to News 9, I doubt there was anything malicious about the mistake. My internet research tells me the cross-race effect is a real thing, and as their staff page shows, News 9 doesn’t really have a lot of black employees on hand to catch this type of stuff. Plus, it’s not like Wayland Cubit was wearing a shirt with his name on it…
Okay, so maybe he was.
Either way, I guess word got back around to News 9 that they showed the wrong black guy who was running for sheriff in the story and they quickly fixed their mistake. You can watch the corrected video here.