wbai.net Pacifica/WBAI history   events   links   archive   bylaws etc   bylaws revision
PNB   LSB   elections   contact info   opinion   search

The NYC "Unity Caucus." attacks wbai.net
and dominates WBAI airwaves

[ The messages below were posted on the various Pacifca discussion lists. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NewPacifica contains most of the strings. ]


From: Roger M [editor of wbai.net]
Subject: "Has the NYC Unity Caucus hijacked the iPNB?"
Date:Fri, 30 May 2003 00:42:22 -0700 (PDT)

sheilahamanaka [NYC "Unity Caucus."] wrote [full message below]:
>Roger Manning, webmaster of wbai.net, (see email below), is clearly
>biased in his postings about the Diversity Bylaws. An example of a headline
>he wrote: "Has the NYC Unity Caucus hijacked the iPNB?"

"Has the NYC Unity Caucus hijacked the iPNB?" is not a biased headline, it is a serious question that must be asked.

So everyone, what is your answer to that question?

Please cc your answer to webmaster@wbai.net if possible.

Also my question (below) "any positive responses? [to Lubell's draft]" is a serious question. As was my question to Leslie Radford looking an honest answer from her as to why she cares about what gets posted on wbai.net. [By the way, her response to Spooner's proposal was posted on the site earlier this week]

Wbai.net is under heavy attack by The NYC "Unity Caucus."

"Unity Caucus" member Cerene Roberts, WBAI part time producer reached new heights in hypocrisy on the air Weds. night by hosting a program on bylaws revision/diversity language where the guests from the "Unity Caucus" outnumbered those in opposition by at least 4 to 1 and then accusing wbai.net of being "biased." This is at least the 3rd recent governance program that she's had a hand in stacking in this ridiculous manner. She should be removed from producing governance programming at WBAI.

The NYC "Unity Caucus" has convinced WBAI general manager Don Rojas to order links to wbai.net to be removed from the new bylaws/governance section of wbai.org (though not from the site entirely).
[ http://www.wbai.org/about/bylaws_governance.asp ] I wrote and built this section (and designed and currently maintain the site). [Bob Lederer is the editor of the wbai.org] The links to wbai.net are there because that's where the information comes from these days.

Is wbai.net biased because it posts items critical of NYC "Unity Caucus" ? The NYC "Unity Caucus" is causing Pacifica harm and wbai.net includes information regarding this. It is Pacifica community news that is not being posted regularly on other sites, and certainly not being reported by Pacifica. I've personally invited responses from the key authors/designers of the "Unity Caucus" proposals and lobbying efforts, Mimi Rosenberg and Bob Lederer, but they decline. None the less, wbai.net posts every proposal they've ever presented.

I'm of the opinion that the vast majority of people in the Pacifica community who are familiar with what's going on support wbai.net.

Maybe this is a good time for people to let Don Rojas[who I wish to support], the "Unity Caucus" and the "official" Pacifica community know this.

Roger M, NYC


Shiela Hamanaka wrote:
>Hi Ray,
> I request that you, as a member of the iPNB, please put the following
>issue on the agenda of the iPNB meeting in NYC scheduled for the end of
> Under my post, please find a recent interchange between Roger Manning
>and Leslie Radford, which shows that Manning continues his pattern of biased
>content control. That is fine for the CDPNY, but it is not fine for Pacifica
>to send people to their site wbai.net just because of laziness. Pacifica
>listeners need access to Pacifica documentation without being forced to run
>the gauntlet of Mannings political biased posts which favor the
>anti-affirmative action caucus within Pacifica.
>From: sheilahamanaka <Sheilahamanaka@e>
>Reply-To: Pacifica_Diversity@yahoogroups.com
>Date: Thu, 08 May 2003 14:30:57 -0400
>To: pac diversity <Pacifica_Diversity@yahoogroups.com>
>Subject: [Pacifica_Diversity] Request to IPNB to set up a Pacifica site for
>To members of the iPNB:
> I request that Pacifica set up its own site free of editorializing,
>which can be a repository for documents, instead of relying on the
>convenience of a politically biased site, http://www.wbai.net.
> Roger Manning, webmaster of wbai.net, (see email below), is clearly
>biased in his postings about the Diversity Bylaws. An example of a headline
>he wrote: "Has the NYC Unity Caucus hijacked the iPNB?"
> You're all in journalism. You know spin when you see it.
> Please respond. Thank you.
> peace and justice,
> Sheila Hamanaka
> Co-chair, Rockland Friends of WBAI
> East Asia Radio Collective
>From: Roger M <rogermanning995@y>
>Reply-To: WBAIBylaws@yahoogroups.com
>Date: Thu, 8 May 2003 00:34:28 -0700 (PDT)
>To: freekpfk@yahoogroups.com, newpacifica@yahoogroups.com,
>pacificanationalbylaws@yahoogroups.com, wbaibylaws@yahoogroups.com
>Subject: [WBAIBylaws] responses to Lubell draft at wbai.net
>A collection of (negative) responses to the
>Lubell diversity language draft as well as
>the draft itself:
>Any positive responses???
>Roger M, wbai.net
>From: "Roger Manning" <rogermanning@y>
>Reply-To: "Roger Manning" >Date: Wednesday, 28 May, 20032002 3:14
>To: "Leslie Radford" <realleslie@y>
>CC: >Subject: Re: Re: new diversity idea
>Why does it matter to you what is posted at wbai.net?
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Leslie Radford <realleslie@y>
>Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 1:06 AM
>Subject: Fwd: Re: new diversity idea
>>Since you've posted Carol's "new diversity bylaw language idea" even
>>though she has withdrawn it, perhaps you can post my response to it,
>>below. If the last two sentences are inappropriate for wbai.net, feel
>>free to cut them.
>>--Leslie Radford > > [ Spooner item and Radford response ]

[A response to above Roger M post]

---- From: Rafael Renteria
Date: Fri May 30, 2003 7:52 am
Subject: Manning's REALLY NOT Biased, right?

"Has Carol Spooner and her "Anti-Encumberance Crew Hijacked the iPNB"?

This is an unbiased headline, if Roger Manning's standards are to be applied.

It's just a question that demands to be asked, right?

That's why all notices from the Chair of the iPNB Bylaws COmmittee should come to me first, so I can highlight them, right?

I am not trying to spin the question or prejudice the reader, any more than Roger is...


"All People of Color Who Support Affirmative Action on Pacifica's Listserves Under Heavy Attack"

Actually this is true, although other pretexts are used to justify the reality.

But I wonder if Roger would post this as an unbiased, "informational" question regarding a matter "that must be addressed."?

You don't need any guesses at all.


[Response to Renteria]
From: Roger M
Date: Fri May 30, 2003 10:44 am
Subject: Re: Manning's REALLY NOT Biased, right?

The main architects of proposed Pacifica affirmative action policy are white.

From: Stephen M Brown
To: Don Rojas
Sent: Sunday, June 01, 2003 1:07 AM
Subject: censoring wbai.net

Don --

I had some trouble with my email server, so to make sure you get this, I am re-sending my answer that I can be at the Tuesday meeting provided you are able to schedule it between 2:30 and 6:30 pm.

The rest of this message is my personal opinion, and so is not "required reading."

I understand that, at the request of certain people, you have censored one of the links on Wbai.org that points visitors to Wbai.net. I hope, when you get back, you will change your mind and undo this decision, since:

"Cutting links on a public website for reasons other than illegal behavior, lack of relevance or lack of function is generally considered to be a "censorial act" on the internet, as it deprives people from otherwise being aware of a site, as much as being able to access it."
You might want to consider that the request to censor Wbai.net came (only) from members of the Unity Caucus, who wish to marginalize or eliminate Wbai.net because they cannot control it (as they already control 100% of the station's official website content, 100% of the station's Folio content, 100% of the station's programming and air-time, and, except for 2 members, 100% of the LAB).

Under Roger Manning, Wbai.net played an indispensable role in rescuing the network during the hijacking. It is one of the last independent, unbiased, and even-handed sources of information on Wbai-related issues that is not under the UC's thumb.

The small insider-group that comprises the UC has been repudiated consistently, and often, for the last three years by a majority of Wbai listeners, not only in large open assemblies but also in the by-laws committee and on the list-servs, because of their anti-democratic proposals, their questionable procedural tactics, and their shameless race-bating. Yet because the UC members now hold many, if not most, of the levers of power at Wbai (you may not have noticed, Don, but you're "surrounded"), they feel they can ignore such disapproval -- just as those who held the levers of power among George Bush's allies in the recent war on Iraq felt that they, too, could ignore the disapproval (70% in Turkey, 80% in Great Britain, 90% in Spain) of their populations who disapproved starting such a war. The UC has delayed and sabotaged the national Pacifica bylaws process for the better part of a year. And here, at Wbai, its members are increasingly seeking to put themselves in a position to occupy and control all the positions of influence, power, programming, communication, outreach, and employment at the station.

And they seem to be succeeding.

For example, UC leader Bob Lederer (and I know he is your right-hand man, so I make no comment about him) controls content for the entire Wbai website -- and the entire Wbai Folio. Bernard White, as Program Director, controls all of Wbai's programming and air-time allotments, and also decides who gets to host special shows -- such as putting Cerene (another UC leader) in charge of Wbai's on-air programs dealing with Pacifica governance and the bylaws controversy. (Talk about fairness. Read some of the angry reviews of her last supposedly "balanced" program on the bylaws, in which four UC speakers were invited to take part, but only one speaker from the other side -- who was constantly shouted down and interrupted with no comment from Cerene, the supposedly unbiased moderator.)

You might get a better idea of what the UC is up to, how they have been behaving, and how they are regarded by talking to Carol Spooner, who can provide a wider, national overview and a better perspective on the significance of what they are about.

Ok, lecture over.


Stephen M. Brown

Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2003 4:13 PM
Subject: [alliance] two by-laws brawls

Evan Davis wrote:

Permission granted to publish the following post elsewhere as may be desired.

Yesterday I received an e-mail invitation from Cerene Roberts to participate in an on-air discussion of by-laws issues on a 2:00 am program at WBAI. I was told there would be several other guests and that one of them would be Leslie Radford. From the sound of things I assumed that all of the other guests would be supporters of the DLC "majority report" / Unity Caucus by-laws draft ( "Draft A") which contains a provision by which representatives may be added to the local station boards after the local elections have been tallied if a local committee determines that such additions are needed to fulfill "diversity targets" based in some un-specified way on local demographic data that same committee will be charged with gathering. Draft A has come to be known as the "added seats" model.

I was chosen, I presume, because I have been an advocate of the "Draft B" by-laws which reflect the original proposal from Dialo Kantambo regarding the "Committees of Inclusion" and the show's producer, Cerene, wanted to have an instructive debate ( or so she said). What I was not told was that I would be up against no less than 5 advocates of the added seats model and that interruptions and combativeness would set the tone.

From the beginning of the program ( or at least from the point at which I was connected) Leslie Radford and others made what I felt were a number of mischaracterizations that I felt compelled to challenge but I never felt I had the opportunity to express myself coherently because of the frequent interruptions and constant changing of the subject.

Here's a little inventory of what I felt those mischaracterizations were;
1) opposition to the added seats model equals opposition to affirmative action ( Leslie)
2) opposition to the added seats model stems from "white liberal" resistance to inclusion people of color ( Leslie, Fahima, Cerene and though it pains me to say it; Ryme).
3) "affirmative action" means set-aside seats as opposed to outreach ( corollary; outreach is not affirmative action) ( Leslie, Rafael)
4) Pacifica's present lack of inclusiveness proves that outreach policies are not good enough and that we need hard rules in the by-laws to make sure the "white liberals" don't slough off ( the underlying assumption draft A supporters make).
5) The supporters of the added seats model will stop at nothing to "undermine the work of the Diversity Language Committee ( "DLC") ( Fahima)
6) Draft B is "illgitimate" and was "re-written by Carol Spooner and Dave Fertig" ( Fahima)

That's an incomplete list but these are some of the main ones.

I made the statement that I didn't know anyone in Pacifica who didn't feel that affirmative action was both needed and desirable. I was immediately challenged and questioned on whether I really knew what everyone at Pacifica was thinking and where I get my information from. I explained that I had been folowing the dialogues on various lists as well as having attended a number of meetings and having met with individuals, etc. Cerene then stated that most Pacificans are not on the internet but later the question of who said what on this list or that came up repeatedly and Cerene kept giving out web addresses for various websites.

I encourage anyone interested to listen to the show. It is archived here;

One fellow

by the name of James from WBAI kept insisting that I discuss any legal implications the particular mechanics of proportional voting and STV voting may have - or specifically which aspects may have generated complaints. I tried to answer him but he interrupted to accuse me of twisting his words and disrespecting him so I asked him if he would please describe the added seats portion of Draft A so that we could all have a point of reference. I said; "Rather than make myself vulnerable to any charges of misrepresentation why don't I just ask you to describe ( that model)?" He took offense at that and refused to entertain my invitation. Instead he insisted that my use of the term "un-elected" to describe the people who would be added after the elections was a gross mischaracterization ( but he refused to elaborate).

David Moore was on the call and was, in my mind a real disappointment. He took a long time to describe the struggle in what seemed like meta-philosophical terms and while he had a few good points to make much of what he said felt somewhat tangential to the discussion at hand. Then he got a second wind and spoke passionately in support of adopting "the strongest affirmative action requirements humanly possible" - but his argument was never explained or substantiated with regard to the questions I had raised about it.

Leslie Radford announced that the KPFK LAB had , earlier that evening; "refused to be strongarmed" (in to supporting Draft B). Given the closeness of the vote (6 to 8 with 3 abstensions) to table ( not reject) the proposal to adopt Draft B and the low key civility with which a few members of the LAB said they were lobbied ( I contacted several of my LAB members to urge them to study the two drafts and vote their consciences) I'd say "strongarm" is a deliberately inflammatory distortion.

In the end we each had a moment for summation and I used mine to say that I felt I had been ganged up on and that the discussion had not been very thorough or enlightening. I offered a newly created e-mail address (bylawsdebate@hotmail.com) where anyone could contact me to discuss the by-laws uninhibited and uninterrupted.

Cerene also charged that the website, www.http://wbai.net was operated by a "faction" and was therefore far from "impartial". I have NO idea what THAT's about.

At the very end Fahima invited me to participate in a program on WPFW later that morning where she said we would resume the discussion on race and diversity in the by-laws.

Here's how that went;
First let me say that Fahima was a much fairer and more competent host and producer and I think the quality of the program reflected that. She had told me I'd be on with herself and one person from Los Angeles ( which I assumed would br a Draft A supporter). Instead I was on with herself and Leslie Radford and Jabari and Ryme ( Ryme is also a draft A supporter). We were to have taken some listener phone calls but none materialized.

As before Leslie began by asserting that opposition to the added seats model reflected white liberal resistance to inclusion of people of color and that white liberal's prefer incremental change because they either can't or won't consider the situations people of color face. I felt she was thereby implying that I was a "white liberal" and I took issue with that but was interrupted. Ryme emphasized the need for re-creating Pacifica as an institution that reflects and draws from the wisdom and experiences of a broad variety of people rather than omne whic dotes on issues of skin color alone ( who can argue with that?) and she said that it was unbelievable how racism has manifested itself among ( presumably white - that's my presumption) Pacificans and has motivated us to try to reduce everything to issues of race and racial division. I tried to express agreement with part of what she said and to disagree with her last point but didn't quite get the chance.

I did get an adequate opportunity to speak, however on a couple of occasions and I made a number of cogent points. Then Leslie had to leave. She was then replaced by Rafael Renteria who proceded to launch in to one of his characteristically pedantic lectures about how racism is a life or eath issue for people of color and about how white people don't understand that, etc. Jabari took offence at that and began to argue with him. Jabari said that the national board had abdicated its authority to a bunch of ad-hoc committees that had no business interfering with the by-laws and that Pacifica had wasted more than $150,000 on all the delays of late just to accommodate a seemingly endless and unproductive argument about one issue that should be expressed as a set of policies rather that to be included in the by-laws.

I kept quiet and let that debate procede without input from me because I truly felt Jabari was making the same points I might have made but that was making them more succinctly than I might have and with greater authenticity.

The last contribution I made was to trace the history of the "anti-racism working group" proposal from the BNew College conference in Berkeley last June through the "Committees of Inclusion" proposal from Diallo Kantambo and to the current multiple versions of "draft A" which bear little resemblance to any of the works that preceded them and which had gained popular support.

That was all we had time for.
Evan Davis

From: liz_mclellan
Date: Fri May 30, 2003 4:26 pm
Subject: Re: "Has the NYC Unity Caucus hijacked the iPNB?"

> If Spooner didn't treat his site as a site of record no one would have
> a complaint.
> Rafael

If any other site HAD done teh work to put up the records it wouldn't be nessesary. Til then head straight to WBAI.NET

From: Roger M
Date: Sun Jun 1, 2003 1:50 pm
Subject: wbai.net/org clarification & for the record{was Re: Censors

A clarification: The links to wbai.net in the bylaws/governance section of wbai.org have not yet been removed. Also, Don Rojas' instruction to remove the links is with the intention of maintaining the neutrality of the section. (Though, I and others believe that this is an uninformed decision.)

Raphael wrote:
> My only objection to Manning is that Spooner uses his site as a site
> of record for bylaws materials, instead of the Pacifica.org site.

For the record, Carol Spooner has sent bylaws drafts to Pacifica.org and myself (for wbai.net) simultaneously. The reason is that it is known that I am able to turn documents around much sooner than most people and I have helped Pacifica.org in the past in this way. I was able to get the latest bylaws drafts (A and B) up first, so Pacifica.org linked to the page. (and has permission to lift code anytime, provided there is a link to the source).

In return, when I was swamped with designing the new wbai.org under the crunch of a one week deadline, Pacifica.org stepped up and got critical documents coded that I would of otherwise gotten to.

People who understand will appreciate this kind of mutual support and cooperation.

Anything wbai.net publishes, it publishes for the entire Pacifica community. Wbai.net has alwayS invited any Pacifica site to lift code and interconnect. Wbai.net is a Pacifica website.

Roger M, wbai.net


>From: "Rafael Renteria"
>Date: Sat May 31, 2003 8:05 pm
>Subject: Re: Censors {was Re: Re: REPLY to so called """censorship"
>The last time I checked this thread,
>there was nothing under
>discussion except the criticism of
>Manning by Cerene and others.
>I have since heard a rumor that there
>is a conflict between Don Rojas
>and Manning, or some such.
>If you want to call Rojas a censor,
>perhaps you should have the
>decency to cc him on your posts. I
>don't know enough about the matter
>to comment further, nor do I much care.
>My only objection to Manning is that
>Spooner uses his site as a site
>of record for bylaws materials, instead of the Pacifica.org site.
>This gives the appearance of official sanction to the biased and
>slanted content of WBAI.net.
>It is Roger's business, along with his CDP-NY frineds, to determine
>what's on that site. It's all of our business when Spooner uses it as
>a site of record on bylaws.
>Rafael Renteria

top of page | bylaws revisions process info page | governance proposals | bylaws etc | home