“Imagine a single event so chaotic, yet so powerful it immediately changed the course of your life….”
Being an on-air meteorologist, Jeremy is accustomed to
presenting unscripted and sometimes lengthy monologues, as was the case when he was reporting live on Friday January 4th, 2019, speaking in reference to a viewer submitted photo taken that afternoon at the nearby Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Park.
Although Jeremy had uttered the words "Dr. Martin Luther King Junior" hundreds if not thousands of times before during his nearly 20 year broadcast career without incident, on this particular occasion, he jumbled his words into an obvious mispronunciation. Not uncommon for any
on-air personalities, scripted or not. After quickly correcting himself, he moved on.
That moment, the moment a common mistake, that initially went unheard, but later became a "calamity" of sorts, causing such immediate divisions and drawing such powerful reactions...
You see, no one heard anything – initially. Then a viewer the
following day, ‘heard’ something. Something they decided was both intentional
and offensive. Instead of garbled words that had been the utterance of sounds,
they heard a racial slur. And they posted a short video clip onto Facebook that included a slanderous and false narrative that grossly mischaracterized Jeremy and the station. From there a mob of social media users became outraged at this narrative and sent the clip pinging around the internet contending a simple verbal stumble was instead an intentional racist statement made against the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And
the social mob along with the help of certain local political figures demanded not an investigation, but an immediate conviction and sentence... and unfortunately they got it.
48 hours after the moment it occurred and less than 12 hours after Jeremy and the station became aware of it, Jeremy’s employment was
terminated. The sentence was handed down and carried out without an utterance
of explanation or defense – not even a rational review of the evidence. Jeremy
was prosecuted and his sentence executed. Jeremy immediately asked to apologize for the blunder as soon as he understood how it had been interpreted by some, yet he was silenced by the station.
And if the private conviction wasn’t enough, the Rochester
Mayor, Lovely Warren, publicly demanded justice in the form of Jeremy’s
immediate and unwavering termination. Whether she influenced the decision, she
readily got what she wanted.
That moment, these events, have changed Jeremy’s career path and life, but they have not defined him. Both Jeremy and his family believe in a God who is much bigger and much stronger. HE is their ultimate defender, and the Kappell's know HE has a greater
plan for the them.
Jeremy and Lisa pray for others who have been harmed by injustices such as the one they've experienced. For the sake of our kids and future generations, they hold out hope that a lesson can be learned here so that we could live in a world where grace would be offered and not an immediate conviction when mistakes are made.
For God knows the plans He has for us..
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) For I know the plans I
have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a
And so it is that Jeremy and Lisa have found themselves following
a different path than they expected. Instead of being a television
meteorologist, Jeremy and Lisa have announced the formation of WxLIVE at 945,
an online weather/talk program that allows them to continue to share his passion for weather while ALSO sharing their personal lives and the journey
that God has them on. You can tune into their Facebook Live broadcasts, be
informed and engage as they open their home to yours. Welcome to the WxLive family!