PHOENIX — The leader of a local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter has resigned amid backlash over an incident involving the use of profane language toward a Phoenix reporter.
Don Harris, president of the Maricopa County NAACP chapter, has resigned, nearly a week after commenting “Nice t*ts” toward a Channel 12 reporter. The NAACP Executive Board voted to accept Harris’ resignation during an emergency meeting on Monday night.
Harris was leaving a meeting on Jan. 27 discussing a movement to ban the use of a racial innuendo after a photo of several local teenagers depicting the slur went viral last month.
According to the Phoenix New Times, who first reported the incident, a Channel 12 cameraman asked Harris if the meeting “fixed anything” in terms of eradicating the word. Harris responded on camera, “It doesn’t fix anything. We’re on a pathway now to making things better.”
The Channel 12 reporter told Harris “Thank you,” before moving on to another meeting participant. Harris, who was then speaking to a New Times reporter, commented, “Nice t*ts” toward the reporter.
The comment was caught on tape, which can be heard on the Phoenix New Times’ website.
Following the incident, several Valley leaders called for Harris’ resignation, including civil rights activist Rev. Jarrett Maupin. Maupin said in an interview with KTAR News’ Mac and Gaydos that he suggested Harris step down from his position.
Before his resignation, Harris spoke with KTAR News’ Mac and Gaydos on Jan. 28, saying he would not let a sexist comment undo all the good he has done for the Valley.
“I’ve done a lot of good in this community, and I’m not going to have that good set aside by a stupid, errant comment by myself,” Harris said.
Channel 12 released a statement on Jan. 27 as the media began to pick up the story, saying they stand by the reporter and would treat the story with a “fair, unbiased approach.”