Ilia Calderón Breaks Silence After KKK N-Word Incident

In one of Ilia Calderón's most daring interviews to date, the Univision television journalist got the courage to talk to a Ku Klux Klan member. The exchange between the "Aqui y Ahora" presenter and Chris Barker from the Loyal White Knights was tense and uncomfortable that got heated when the latter called Ilian the n-word. Now, Calderón is speaking about her interview ahead of its premiere this Sunday night and she talks about why she did it and if she was offended by the man.

To clarify, the interview took place before the Charlottesville, Virginia incident. Many people on social media think that Univision and Calderón did this for ratings, but why did she put herself in so much danger? "I knew about their hate and I knew they would reject me," she told People En Español. "We never thought that we would find ourselves in that situation. What made me stay in that chair is that what was happening to me, was happening to thousands of people in the world. That's what happens to many people every day and we need to show light to these groups."

"I did it because there are stories you can't tell from a television studio and there stories that gain value by taking risks. You can't report about a hurricane from your bed."

Ilia Calderon The Univision television journalist confronted a KKK member and she was insulted with a racial slur. GettyImages

The moment that things got out of hand was when Barker called her the n-word and Ilia explains how that made her feel. "The connotation is offensive," she said. "It doesn't offend me when my friends call me black but the n*** is the offensive connotation."

Ilia also revealed that the producer of the show told Chris Barker that the person that would interview him was a person of color, not black. "[The producer] told told them that I was a Hispanic woman of color," she said. "For him 'of color' and black are two different things, but 'of color' defines me completely. He never imagined that the person that would interview him was of black race. For him, 'of color' was a lighter-skinned person. He got mad when he saw me."

In the preview clip promoting the controversial interview Ilia said she had stayed in the vehicle to prepare mentally for "what I had to do and what I was about to confront." The producer said that one of the men approached the tv anchor while in her car and she said that she had never seen anyone look at someone with "so much hate and so much resentment."

"The first thing that he told me was that he had never had a black person step on his property," Ilia said. She also mentioned that all of her team warned her that she would be insulted and she was aware that it would happen, but not to what extent.

During the actual interview Barker told Calderón: "To me, you're a n***, that's it." She quickly replies saying, "I find that offensive." Barker stands up and walks away from the interview while Calderón asks him to stay. Ilia said that during that moment she "felt a lot of fear for my security and the security of all of my team."

What do you think?

Armando Tinoco is an Orange County-based writer with a degree in Marketing from Cal. State Fullerton and a degree in Graphic Design from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. In addition to reporting for Latin Times and when he is not watching Brazilian and Mexican telenovelas or quoting lines from "Clueless" and "Friends" he is brushing up his skills in CSS and responsive website design. Some of his celebrity idols include Eiza Gonzalez, Paulina Rubio and Amanda Bynes.

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