T here’s no way that we can sugar coat this one: it’s a terrifyingly f**ked up time to be a journalist of color right now.
Univision nighttime reporter Ilia Calderón traveled to Yanceyville, North Carolina with the rest of the news team to interview Chris Baker of the Loyal White Knights chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. In a video shot by the news network, Univision vice president of news María Martínez Guzmán said Calderón stayed in the car as the team filmed inside Baker’s house. She described the things found inside the house as horrific, as the camera panned to statues and artwork praising the KKK.
“I’ve never seen anyone look at a person with so much hate and resentment,” Guzmán said, describing the way Baker looked at Calderón.
“When you look at me, what do you see?” Calderón asked Baker.
“I mean I’m upset that I’ve seen you,” said Baker. “I mean, I see you every day, all your type. I’ve been here over 20 years and we’ve never had a Black person, or whatever you wanna call yourself, you’re a mongrel to me.”
The interview continued and Calderón told them she was a Colombian immigrant, but Baker did not let up.
“To me you are a n*gger, that’s it,” he told Calderón.
“At that moment I felt scared and unsafe,” she said in a video post-interview in Spanish. “I knew they were going to disrespect me, but I never imagined the level [of disrespect].”
As scary as these interviews are to watch, these are crucial conversations that need to be had within communities of color, whether it’s Latinx people within themselves or cross-culture conversations between Latinx people and others from the African diaspora.
The entire interview will be available on Univision’s Aquí y Ahora on Sunday August 20, but you can watch a few snippets down below.