Days after RE/MAX rescinded a job offer to a former Rochester, New York, radio host fired for on-air racist remarks, another local brokerage offered her a job.
Back in June, Kimberly Ray was fired from the local 95.1 WAIO-FM show for repeatedly using the N-word in reference to the Black Lives Matter protests in Rochester that followed the May 25 death of George Floyd. IHeartMedia Rochester fired both Ray and co-host Barry Beck after an on-air discussion in which they referred to protesters as thugs and Ray asked whether protesters were acting “N-word-ish.”
“We will not tolerate this kind of behavior, which is antithetical to our core values and beliefs and to our commitment to our community and everyone in it,” iHeartMedia upstate New York president Robert J. Morgan said at the time of the pair’s firing, according to MSN.com.
Last week, Ray announced on Twitter that she had received her real estate license over the summer and would be joining RE/MAX Realty Group in Pittsford as an agent. A RE/MAX press release announcing that Ray would be joining the brokerage as part of senior agent Debbie Campanella’s team was also sent out to the team.
The next day, however, RE/MAX Realty Group broker owner Thomas Schnorr rescinded the offer. According to local paper Democrat & Chronicle, Schnorr sent an email to the more than 100 agents working for the brokerage, saying that he “made a serious judgment error.” He said that Ray used her married name “Goodman” when branding herself as an agent, so he had not been aware of Ray’s history.
“I feel extremely naive in sharing that I was unaware of the racist and ill-informed comments made by this former public radio figure,” Schnorr wrote in the email. “As a gay man, who has experienced more than a few words of hate, I have zero tolerance for prejudice of any kind. Upon learning of my error in offering to associate our firm with this individual yesterday, I rescinded the offer late yesterday afternoon. This person is not, and will not, be affiliated with our organization.”
Still, the situation did not end there. After news of the rescinded offer broke, another Rochester real estate firm offered Ray a job as an agent.
On Sep. 7, Revere Realty, a six-agent brokerage founded by Chad Hummel, announced that Ray was “slandered by Pittsford ReMax and local news media” and would be joining their brokerage instead.
The Facebook post, which also praised Ray for not “taking a knee to the cancel culture of left wing wackos” was later deleted in exchange for one simply saying that they “would like to welcome Kimberly Goodman to our team as a licensed salesperson.”
While comments on the brokerage’s Facebook post almost exclusively mirrored the brokerage in congratulating Ray (indicating that opposing ones may have been deleted), numerous discussions on Reddit expressed disgust with Ray’s June comments and Revere Realty for hiring Ray as what appears to be a statement against anti-racism.
“They’re Rochester’s realtor for racists apparently,” wrote Reddit user twoeightnine. “Also that guy [referring to Hummel] appears to think covid is a hoax.”
“This Chad guy is now threatening to sue people calling him a racist on this post on Facebook,” wrote Reddit user MizardOfOz.
Ray did not respond to Inman’s phone calls asking for comments on the situation. Phone calls to Hummel also went straight to voicemail and were not returned.
Four months after George Floyd’s death, Rochester is experiencing a new wave of unrest following the release of video footage showing the death of another Black man, Daniel Prude, in police custody. Prude died on March 30, but the footage, which shows officers restraining Prude on the ground before he stopped breathing, was not released until Sept. 2.
In the wake of both a local and national reckoning against racism and police brutality, Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary announced yesterday that he would be retiring from the role after more than 20 years in the organization because he would not “sit idly by while outside entities attempt to destroy [his] character.”
His announcement came on the same day that Prude’s sister filed a lawsuit against the City of Rochester and members of the police force over her brother’s death.