A 911 dispatcher has been suspended for making racist remarks to another dispatcher during the emergency call with Maya Angelou’s caretaker.
During the recorded audio conversation between the primary dispatcher and the caller (Maya Andelou’s care taker), John Ruckh, a veteran dispatcher with the Forsyth County EMS, could be overheard criticizing Oprah Winfrey during the call.
John Ruckh has worked for the Winston Salem EMS for 24 years.
NOTE: As Ruckh was making the comments, the primary dispatcher was instructing the caretaker as she attempt to perform CPR on Ms Andelou.
John Ruckh, a veteran dispatcher of 24 years with the city is heard in the background … making critical comments to someone about Oprah.
Ruckh — who did not take the actual call — is heard telling someone at the emergency station that “Oprah has fallen out of grace because of an interview she did.” He claims that Oprah said in the interview that, “There are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die.”
Ruckh has insisted that he used no racial slurs during the conversation, saying, “Unfortunately I work in a high-profile job and everything’s recorded.”
Oprah Interview Promoting “The Butler“
Oprah’s interview which he made reference to, was on November 15, 2013. The interview was with Will Gompertz, a BCC News Correspondent in the UK.
She was in the UK to promote her new film “The Butler,” and forthrightly told Gompertz that there needed to be some demographic pruning to stamp out racism more fully.
“There are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die,” she said.
Oprah’s Interview with BCC News Correspondent Will Gompertz