Despite the apparent seriousness of the the word and the tragic
history behind it, for some reason there are still a few White
people that haven’t gotten the memo on why they—of all
people—should not use the N-word. And apparently
veteran 11 Alive reporter Valerie Hoff is one of
The now former news professional resigned Monday, two weeks
after she jokingly used the racial epithet in a private
message to a Black man on Twitter that he publicized.
On April 13 the man, who identified himself to AJC.com as Curtis Rivers,
posted a video of a White police officer punching a Black
motorist on his @curtfromdablock Twitter feed. Hoff was trying
to get permission to use it for a breaking news story. On
Twitter, Rivers, who himself uses the racial slur frequently in
his tweets, had noted publicly that a lot of “news n***as” were
trying to track him down for the video.
In response to a private direct message, Hoff called herself
one of those “news n****s.” At first, Rivers
responded with laughter, but when he realized she was
a White woman, he wondered if she was calling him that word.
“I just think it wasn’t right for her to use that word in
regards to a person who is African-American on herself or use
the word period for that matter. If she is bold enough to say
it to me being an African-American then I’m pretty sure this
isn’t the first time she has used that word,” Rivers told
Photo Credit: AJC.com
Hoff quickly tried to clean up the comment with an apology, but
Rivers still published the screenshots on Twitter. And though
Rivers later deleted the screenshots, Twitter had already
grabbed a hold of the situation.
Photo Credit: AJC.com
In an exclusive statement to AJC, Hoff continued to
apologize for her poor decision.
“I was quoting something the gentleman said in a public tweet
back to him in a private message but that doesn’t make it any
less offensive. It was incredibly stupid and reckless. I was in
the middle of a pressure-filled day trying to chase down the
video of a man being beaten and kicked by two Gwinnett police
officers, which this particular gentleman had posted on
Twitter. I repeatedly apologized and continue to do so. I also
offered to resign immediately.”
Hoff’s supervisor John Deushane also gave a statement
saying, “11Alive does not tolerate any form of racial
insensitivity and aggressively enforces our standard policies.
We acted promptly to address this situation. Valerie Hoff has
chosen to resign and apologizes for her actions.
11Alive is committed to treating the communities we
serve with dignity and respect.”