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Fired for using the 'Nizzle'



Barbie Bassett. Screenshot

The euphemistic used of a term created and popularized by rap artist Snoop Dogg, has apparently led to the dismissal of veteran Mississippi TV news anchor. There has been no sign of a Mississippi morning news anchor woman since she voiced a Snoop Dogg phrase on air earlier this month, according to entertainment venue, Deadline Hollywood

Barbie Bassett has not been on air for the NBC affiliate WLBT since March 8, when her team were discussing the rapper’s addition to his wine line.


Bassett said, "Fo shizzle, my nizzle," according to Deadline, when the idea of a Snoop collaboration with a newsroom journalist was raised. (“Nizzle” is slang for the N-word.) The station’s chief meteorologist as well as anchor, Bassett has previously caused controversy with a comment, referring to a Black reporter’s “grand- mammy” on air. She later apologized.

She is no longer listed on the station’s website, according to the Clarion Ledger. And Bassett has not shared anything on Twitter since the same day – her silence including this weekend when a deadly tornado struck Mississippi, sparking huge chatter among meteorologists.


The New York Post reports the story but has received no comment from Bassett, WLBT or Snoop Dogg. It quotes the station’s regional vice president Ted Fortenberry, saying: 

"As I am sure you can understand, WLBT is unable to comment on personnel matters.


Black Americans in Indiana were 10.2 percent of the population in 2019, but accounted for 200 murders that year.

Report: Indiana ranks third in nation for Black homicide rate

INDIANAPOLIS (Public News Service)—According to a new report by the Violence Policy Center, a national research institute, Black Americans are disproportionately affected by homicide, with guns accounting for nearly 90 percent of all deaths.


For the year 2019, the focus of the report, Black Americans represented 14 percent of the nation’s population, yet accounted for 52 percent of all homicide victims.

Indiana was no exception, where ironically, Blacks are only 10.2 percent of the population. Still, more than 200 Black Hoosiers lost their lives to homicide in 2019one of the highest overall rates of Black homicide victims in the nation.

Based on federal crime data, the study found the 2019 Black homicide victimization rate in Indiana was nearly 29 homicides per 100,000 Black residents, which is the country's third-highest rate.

Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, which issued the report, said t
he devastation homicide inflicts on Black teens and adults is a national crisis that should be a top priority for policymakers to address, and an important part of ending "our nation’s gun violence epidemic will involve reducing homicides in the Black community.


Most of the states with high rankings share a common thread, Sugarman said.


These states have "limited gun violence prevention laws, and often rely solely or nearly solely, on federal standards," Sugarmann explained. "This is the case with Indiana, which has virtually no controls beyond the federal statutes."

The study only includes data up to 2019, the most recent year such federal crime statistics are available. The raw data is supplied to the federal government by local law enforcement agencies. And while the report's authors pointed out the study includes the most accurate information available, they added its findings are "limited by the quantity and degree of detail in the information submitted."

Sugarmann argued the best way to address the issue is by implementing a range of gun control policies. It might be a tough pitch in the GOP-controlled General Assembly, but such proposals could find traction in local communities across the state.

However, as Sugarmann acknowledged, local officials are not allowed to pass gun laws stricter than the state-level standards.

"Now, when you have virtually no state standards, that leaves those communities with no options to basically empower them to address the issues on a local level," Sugarmann said. "I think that could be a very important first step in addressing this level of violence in Indiana."

The report is part of an ongoing series from the Violence Policy Center, examining Black homicide data both at the state and national level. Sugarmann noted the FBI recently changed its crime-reporting protocols, which could reduce the amount of available data for future reports and limit research into gun violence.


The report revealed the firearms industry, looking to expand beyond its shrinking base of White male gun owners, has increased its marketing efforts targeting Black and Latino Americans. Such efforts can only increase gun death and injury in these communities. In addition, individuals living in communities where violence is prevalent are at increased risk for a broad range of negative health and behavior outcomes.


An increased understanding of how trauma resulting from community violence influences development, health, and behavior can lead to improvements in the way many social services are delivered as well as policy changes at the local and federal levels. 


The report concluded that more focus must be placed on reducing access and exposure to firearms. For Black victims of homicide, like all victims of homicide, handguns are far and away the number-one murder tool. 

Metropolis News Service contributed to this story.

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