The Fox News contributor who on Sunday accused a black guest of being “out of your cotton-picking mind” has received a two-week suspension from the network, according to a report in the Daily Beast. David Bossie, a former deputy campaign manage for Donald Trump, said the remark in a heated conversation with Joel Payne, a Democratic strategist who is black.
The blowback came nearly immediately. Payne responded with ire, “I’m not going to sit back and let you attack me on TV like that,” and the segment’s host, Ed Henry, quickly stated that the phrase was “obviously offensive.” Bossie apologized later that day on Twitter.
Fox News said in a statment to the Daily Beast, “David Bossie’s comments today were deeply offensive and wholly inappropriate. His remarks do not reflect the sentiments of Fox News and we do not in any way condone them.”
Earlier this year, the Oklahoma City Thunder announcer Brian Davis, who is white, was suspended for a game for using the phrase to refer to a black player’s decision on court. His contract wasn’t renewed at the end of the season.
The origins of the phrase “cotton picking” seem to predate a racial association. Early citations in the Oxford English Dictionary and elsewhere find it used more about the North by the South, or in a generic fashion. However, in recent decades, there has been no other received use.