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April 02, 2004
Air America

Not everyone is happy about Air America.

I thought they might have a point, but when I read the article I got confused, as usual.

The story isn't quite what it seems to be at first glance. The Alternet blurb says the people are mad because Air America "knocked off the air one of the last remaining black talk radio stations" but when you read the article you discover that what actually happened is that Air America leased some broadcast time from the station during the day.

The rest of the day and during the night, the original programming remains in place except where changed by the station management who are not, I stress, Air America employees.

Still. People are unhappy about the change and they're saying it's racism. For one thing they blame Arbitron, which they believe, as near as I can tell, uses some racist system for measuring radio listeners. I have no opinion since I know nothing about the subject. For another, they're mad that white liberals might think their issues are important to non-whites.

“We’re angry that they think they can just turn WLIB into a white talk-station and then are arrogant enough to say that the issues they are talking about effect everybody. This is the Democrats,” [radio host and community activist Bob Law] said. “They believe that you don’t really need a Black voice because their [white liberal] concerns are everybody’s concerns.”

Well, I think I'll choose to believe Bob Law didn't actually express himself that well. White liberal concerns are, for the most part, everyone's concerns. The environment, the economy the jobs market, civil rights, education, these are everyone's concerns.

We might not all agree on the outcome we want, but they're everyone's concerns.

What I believe Law meant to say is that he believes the non-white community has other concerns that aren't addressed by white liberals. We'll never know because either he didn't enumerate any such concerns or the newpaper didn't choose to print that part of the interview.

Honestly, I'm having some trouble figuring out just what the problem is. It's not like the station was sold outright to the minions of evil. If the community feels that strongly about having Carribean and Black [sic] programming, they still have the opportunity to make that happen. The station is still there.

Right near the end of the article was an odd little reference to "this New Liberalism" that I didn't understand and a warning it might try to "trap" people. Anyone run into this before?

There's also a sort of dire warning against the Democratic Party that didn't make much sense to me unless it's tied up with the non-white community having decided that they've been abandoned or betrayed by the Party.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:45 AM