WCCO-AM host Cory Hepola had strong words for a listener whose "incredibly rude" text suggested he was jumping on the "racial bandwagon" because his wife is Black.
The former KARE 11 host responded on air after receiving the text from a listener, whom he didn't identify, and later shared his response on Twitter.
The text, per Hepola's tweet, read: "I’m not trying to be rude, but would you be on the ‘racial bandwagon’ if your wife wasn’t Black?"
Hepola is married to Camille Hepola, who formerly worked with him at KARE 11 and is now the communications manager at the City of Brooklyn Park.
Hepola explained why it is he speaks out about race on air, saying it's "not a political stance, this is a human stance."
"I speak out so that others who don't have a platform have a voice. I speak out as a white male so that other people can feel empowered and so that we can lift others," he said.
"I speak up so that others, who haven't had the same opportunities, who don't have the same background or experience, can speak up," he added.
Referring to the listener, he said: "I'm not going to come down on the text ... I want us to learn from this text. It's incredibly rude. When you start a sentence that says saying 'I'm not trying to be rude, but...' you're basically saying 'I'm about to be rude.'
"Using the term 'racial bandwagon,' this isn not a fad! This isn't like Zubaz, this isn't like having a mullet in the early '90s ... 'oh this is the race thing, the racial bandwagon' – we are talking about human beings, we're talking about people who haven't had the same opportunity, potentially, as you or me.
"Now my wife's experience as a Black woman is not the same as every other Black male, Black woman, white woman, white man, all these experiences are unique."
Hepola's WCCO-AM show this week also featured a discussion on race, the second part of which you can watch below and features Minneapolis-based motivational and educational speaker Dr. Verna Price.