Veteran Broadcaster Fired Over Offensive ‘Indigenous’ Remark

( – Oklahoma’s 92.5 KOMA radio station will no longer host the voice of Ronnie Kaye after he was removed from the air following insensitive comments made toward Indigenous people. Kaye had been on the air for 19 years with WKY/Channel 4 but has been on the radio since 1962. His show, The Scene, was nationally syndicated and based in Oklahoma City. Kaye’s remarks took place on Columbus Day, which is also Indigenous People’s Day. Kaye was on air when he expressed well wishes for both holidays, but added, “I don’t know what ‘Indigenous’ means and I don’t care.”

Kaye was removed from the air without the ability to tell his listeners what happened but released a statement on Facebook. He said that he did not intend to offend Native Americans, adding “Some of my best friends are Native American.” He said that he was not allowed to give the statement on the air but would have preferred it that way. Tyler Media, which owns KOMA, also sent out an email to other employees, notifying them of Kaye’s departure. However, the email said that Kaye had retired after his 64-year stint in broadcasting and that his last show was aired on October 13.

Indigenous People’s Day is not yet a federal holiday. However, some lawmakers have been working to push through legislation that would replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day. President Biden became the first president to author a proclamation for Indigenous People’s Day in 2021. Back in 1990, the state of South Dakota began celebrating Native American Day. Columbus Day has been a federal holiday since 1937, but it began as a Colorado state holiday over a hundred years ago. Some people believe that Columbus Day should not be celebrated any longer because of the way that native Americans were treated after Europeans began immigrating to new lands after Columbus’s explorations. However, the Italian community celebrates Columbus Day to honor their heritage.

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