KPFK Radio, 90.7 FM in Los Angeles (also heard in Santa Barbara, San Diego and Ridgecrest/China Lake) has the strongest radio signal west of the Mississippi River. As such, it is highly coveted by lots of folks on "The Right," "The Left," and "In Between." Many of those who claim to be on "The Left" could actually be considered on "The Right" - their class privilege along with their white supremacist world views, sense of entitlement and belief in a right to comfort would be akin to the White Citizen Councils of yesteryear’s deep, segregated South. All the members of those White Citizen's Councils didn't wear sheets and burn crosses but there was some overlap. Mostly they worked with and supported those who did the cross burning and the sheet wearing. Some of them were related to them. Some of them were married to them.
At any rate, here is the latest rant from a KPFK White Citizen's Council member. As usual it is anonymous, signed "KPFK Volunteer," but make no mistake: the author is clearly in the camp of white supremacy, regardless of their melanin content. Or lack thereof.
Why the sheet wearing and the cross burning in 2016?
KPFK has taken advantage of the "Safe Harbor" policy of the FCC, which allows for profanity and some indecent speech, between midnight and 6 am. Underground/Raw/Uncensored Hip Hop, comedy in the vein of George Carlin and Lenny Bruce and others, as well as other topics that CANNOT be aired during the other times of the day because children's ears may be near, will be found on KPFK between midnight and 3 am for the next few weeks/months. This time slot had been in the iron grip of a longtime programmer for the better part of 30 years before this change by management - one of many changes to open up the airwaves of KPFK to as many as possible as opposed to the usual, stale, select few. This move has not gone over well. Hence, the note found at the link below by the unnamed "KPFK Volunteer."
Note the author's concern about "rappers" "the streets" “the more deprived and undereducated” “the criminal cultures” "minority groups" "the poorest" and "prisons" and "ghettos":
"this unusual and previously FCC prohibited language and 'slang' - that more often is used by rappers, 'the streets', the more deprived and undereducated, and also the criminal cultures, has been heard loudly and prolificately at KPFK."
" and since that version of the American-English language is less preferred or heard by those who want and have worked to obtain a better education and social status, many stakeholders of long-standing have complained and left the station, taking their $$$ and loyalties elsewhere in radio land."
"this new emphasis of 'rebellious' cultures, and of minority groups, now insisting and inflicting their cultural norms and versions onto many others in majorities has turned majority voices and funds away from the KPFK"
"Pandering to the poorest, or lowest cultural norms, and using the language mostly used in prisons, in ghettos, in anger and with violence may be a poor choice made by management."
This current management is attempting to truly make KPFK a “People’s Station.” They have placed the voices of more people of color on the air in the last few months than the last two general managers did in eight years. Possibly longer. The road has been rough because trying to act normal when you’re working under crisis conditions can be exceedingly taxing. Trying to keep a radio station on the air AND people employed there, when it is paid employees who are leading the sabotage efforts in cahoots with moneyed interests can be exceedingly taxing. That’s where you, The Listeners, come in.
Your support is needed. Not just in terms of dollars - that too - but in terms of understanding. Understanding what you are dealing with. The same interests that are at work in other areas of society, involved in intrigue, sabotage and other shenanigans, are at work in KPFK. As I’ve said for the last couple of years, there really is no need to watch HBO’s Game of Thrones ... all you need to do is look at KPFK.
Fund drive will be happening at KPFK in another week or so. Like you, I too am tired of always asking for money on air when I could be interviewing amazing people and bringing critical information about my community to the airwaves. That is what I’d rather be doing. But the lights cost money. The phone system costs money. The transmitter costs money. And there are some people who actually work hard at KPFK who will not be paid if we don’t raise a certain amount of money. If we don’t raise that amount of money, there’s really only one category that KPFK will have to do with out, and I can assure you, it ain’t the lights or the telephones or the transmitter.
So please, make an effort to understand what you and I are dealing with here. When you hear White Citizen’s Council/KKK rhetoric, expose it for what it is. If you have questions, then ask. But whatever you do, please, don’t fall for the okey doke. Not in 2016.
Thandisizwe Chimurenga, host
Uprising (The Rootwork Edition)
Thursdays @ 8 am on KPFK
NOTE: This post originally stated, “KPFK has taken advantage of the "Safe Harbor" policy of the FCC, which allows for profanity and, between midnight and 6 am.” It has been changed to state “and some indecent speech.” Obscenities are never, ever allowed on the airwaves at any time.
Shout out to Sue Cohen Johnson for catching that.