WLIB: Jim Crow Radio

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I have heard of no one publicly complaining about WLIB-AM violating its promise in its FCC application to service the Black community in the tri-state area with diversified programs. No person or association can own a radio station. A radio license gives a holder the obligations of a trustee.

(Critics contend WLIB, whose proud logo is shown right, is not living up to its promise).

When I returned to New York from a trip in the South in June, I heard complaints about New York City Councilman David Yassky seeking to conquer the Eleventh Congressional District.  

As is typical, there was no remedy except begging two of the other three congressional candidates to withdraw from the September 12 primary. This was like asking a crack addict to withdraw from a crack
house.

I have just returned from another trip to find that WLIB-AM is accommodating Jim Crow. When I was a child, Blacks could lease radio time only to engage in hooping and hollering and singing gospel music. This was Jim Crow radio.  No political discussion could occur. This was Newnan, Georgia in the 1950’s.  Blacks were afraid to challenge it for fear of not going to heaven.

So far, I have heard of no one publicly complaining about WLIB-AM violating its promise in its FCC application to service the Black community in the tri-state area with diversified programs. No person or association can own a radio station. A radio license gives a holder the obligations of a trustee.  In WLIB’s case, the beneficiary should be the Black community.

It is no coincidence that the gospel format was installed before the September 12 primary and will continue through November to help New York City Councilman David Yassky. Since Blacks refuse to attend political meetings, radio is our only means of communicating politically.

Patting our feet instead of using our minds can only help Yassky.  Whites, on the other hand, will be as busy as bees and will be behaving like termites.  In the absence of Black radio, most Blacks will never know that the independent, congressional campaign of Ollie McClean offers an alternative to plantation politics. If we continue to exercise rights under the Fifth Amendment, our next destination will be the Big House.


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