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Has the NYC "Unity Caucus" hijacked Pacifica?

4-18-03: iPNB meeting notes
4-2-03: Revised bylaws drafts


To: WBAIBylaws@yahoogroups.com
From: Carol Spooner [iPNB secretary, chair of bylaws committee]
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 03:39:32 -0000
Subject: [WBAIBylaws] Re: Rank Paternalism

Let's do be forthright about what happened at the iPNB meeting on Friday ... the iPNB sent the bylaws back to committee because the NY Unity Caucus is in bed with the old hijackers still on the board -- Lee, Barry, Ferguson -- and because the rest of the board is too intimidated and/or confused by race-baiting to stand up to it.

What happened is that those who want to take Pacifica into further chaos and race wars and lawsuits are successfully orchestrating and manipulating the racial tensions that are endemic on "the left" ... and that a few, you can count them on your fingers probably, fanatics and zealots are in the mix because it allows them a place to vent their tragic hatred.

Let us also be forthright that outreach is not easy but nonetheless many people of good will are already doing it -- and all Pacifica stations have made real strides this year in opening up to and building upon the multi-culturalism of their communities. Yes, that takes some of us into territory where we are not comfortable. That's a good thing. Your students and the people you meet in East LA are a good place for you to outreach ... and others have their places and connections ... and that is how communities become related in multi- cultural endeavor.

As for electing the committees of inclusion -- who is going to do the electing? The same people who can't be trusted to elect diverse boards? This is ridiculous!

Do not for a minute believe your own rhetoric about what I do and do not think will pass legal muster. I would have voted against the "majority report" bylaws proposal. I do not think any set-asides or numerical percentages or "requirements" will pass legal muster ... I think they will drag us into court, into administrative challenges, into loss of state funding for training and archives and federal CPB funding for programming and infrastructure, digital upgrades, tower repairs ... and into hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills that would be better spent on programming, training, outreach, infrastructure.

And my opinion about that is very well informed ... I hope the committee WILL actually get legal advice this time from a civil rights attorney, and will listen to him/her. We'll see.



--- In WBAIBylaws@yahoogroups.com, Leslie Radford wrote:
> Carol,
> I don't disagree about the need for outreach, hard work, and
> goodwill, but that begs the same paternalism as you bring
> up here--who would I comfortably outreach to, except those who agree
> with my viewpoints? I learn something new about what it means to be
> the "best and the brightest" in East Los Angeles every day I teach
> there, and it isn't what white culture told me it is. It's going to
> take both outreach and access to people who can explain how we can
> outreach--the folks who will sit in those added seats. Yes, perhaps,
> if we get less than 50% diversity, we'll end up with people who have
> the support of a smaller group of listeners, but they'll be better
> choices than those people whom the insiders decide should be part of
> Pacifica. That, Carol, is paternalism at its worst.
> Let's be forthright about what happened on Friday: The iPNB, all
> but one member, returned the diversity language to the Committee
> because they would not pass either Plan A or the Good Intentions Plan
> B. The Committee's mandate from the iPNB is to move to stronger
> diversity language, without legally crippling provisions, for the
> Bylaws.
> Let's tell the LABs and the iPNB to hang tough, to stand behind the
> strongest possible means of diversifying Pacifica. That's where we
> started, with diversity requirements. I don't think we've moved off
> that position, except that it appears to be patently illegal. The
> listeners and LABs have spoken, time and time again, and you and
> others refuse to hear us.
> What we've asked for, and what we're creating, is a radical solution
> to the diversity question: adding seats as a remedy for a failure to
> achieve diversity. You and Dave apparently believe it would pass
> legal muster, if we don't add complications like discriminating among
> our added delegates or between them and the elected delegates. The
> listeners and LABs have said they want the strongest language we can
> get for diversity, and this gives us the means of doing so. Since we
> were in agreement about requirements and only shied away because we
> were told they were indefensible, it seems to me that we are ready to
> try this groundbreaking solution.
> This isn't only coming out of New York. It's coming out of Houston,
> and Los Angeles, and Washington, and even, if you listen carefully,
> out of Berkeley.
> Diallo and the Diversity Language Committee may have found a way for
> not only Pacifica, but for other institutions, to legally achieve
> diversity. Pacifica has an obligation to its listeners and LABs and
> to all those committed to Affirmative Action, to offer this solution
> to the civil rights movement. It is a ray of hope to the reversals
> and backsliding of the past twenty years, and we do not have the
> right to snuff it out. Carol, we aren't talking only about
> diversifying Pacifica, we are holding in our hands what could be the
> means of returning to real, implemented diversity throughout our
> society--far more than the good intentions of those of us who are
> already "inside." We might have the means making it possible
> for Pacifica and other institutions to diversify, and we have an
> obligation to put it out there.
> As to the "unaccountable" COIs, I've called several times for
> election of the Committees of Inclusion (who, btw, do not choose
> delegates at all--that's a mechanical process embedded in the
> proposal) to be elected on the same terms and on the same ballot as
> the LSBs. The only change would be to have diversity requirements
> for the COIs, since they're advisory.
> --Leslie R.


--- In NewPacifica@yahoogroups.com, Carol Spooner
> wrote:
> > Tell the LABs to meet and to vote to approve "DRAFT B" of the bylaws
> > NOW and to communicate to their national board members that they
> will not
> > approve ANY other "number and manner of election" of local and
> national
> > board members ... no matter what comes out of the diversity language
> > committee or what the iPNB eventually sends them to vote on.
> >
> > Tell everyone else that appointed seats -- for diversity or for any
> other
> > reason -- is rank paternalism. It does not empower oppressed and
> > disenfranchised people -- it takes their vote away from them and
> gives it
> > to an unaccountable group of people to choose
> their "representatives" for
> > them.
> >
> > The way to diversity on these boards IS hard work and good will.
> is
> > going out into the communities our stations serve, and building
> > listener base, and fielding the very best and brightest of people
> to run
> > for election to serve the station and the community.
> >
> > To do otherwise is cosmetic, it is a sham, it is a distortion of
> > principle of people choosing their own representatives, it is
> Orwellian,
> > it is the BIG LIE. And for this to be coming out of NY -- after
> years of
> > Samori Marksman's building that station into a multi-cultural
> institution
> > and with Don Rojas's vision for expanding and building the
> listenership
> > and membership -- this is a repudiation of their work and vision.
> >
> > --Carol


Meanwhile, last November...


Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 00:27:04 -0500 (EST)
From: Patty Heffley
Subject: Unity caucus dumps values for power

dear all,

a message from the front.

ALL NOTES ON WBAI.NET WE LOVE ROGER :O) people that have any connection with ray laforest, janice k bryant, rob robinson and james ferguson better get busy. the vote of 5-4 wasn't good enough in the straw poll to kill the relentless tactics of the unity caucus.

the whole point of the unity caucus was self determination for the oppressed.

however after being defeated TWO times in the bylaws subcommittee in favor of the KPFA model, leader bob lederer and his group of people from the unity caucus who meet in secret and ignore the votes of the official wbai subcommittee, went straight to robinson and debbie campbell to try and get FOUR pages of their language as suggestions into the draft, as late as friday morning, still trying to get stuff stuffed in there.

this group with no popular support has managed to tie the iPNB's decision making power and perhaps make the new pacifica bylaws have FIVE DIFFERENT ELECTIONS PROCEDURES. yes that is correct. do we not have enough problems? after all the discussions of complications and how well choice voting with the 50/50 model of diversity works, can't we move on and perhaps visit this in a year or so if no one is satisfied with the results?

the Unity caucus doesn't seem to care if they cause this kind of chaos just so long as they can control the the wbai elections process.

am i full of it? am i wrong? do they care about pacifica? do they care about self determination like they said they do? what are their real values? now i am sure not everyone in the caucus is manipulative and self serving, in fact i know that is not the case. there are some nice people in it, but listen up.

the reason for the unity caucus was because they (fred "sidhartha" nuygen, mimi rosenberg, bob lederer, mark sanborne, ryme, errol, rashida, lee kronick, marion borenstein, margaritte, muntu, cerene, joe kaye, just to name them all) felt that the oppressed should have self determination. they felt that the 16 categories should self determine their representation. and since only about 5 of them are here deciding these major changes by themselves, what does the rest of the group think? it is cool?

they lost the "anyone on the planet can be a member, this was a blow. did that stop their staunch demand for no "poll tax" as a subscription and "workfare" for volunteering for the station? nah!

well, folks, they gave up most of the rest of their beliefs for a for a "hybrid" model wherein everyone gets to vote for everyone but that the candidates remain in their categories. so there goes self determination. right out the goddamn window. that was the whole point, right?

the next thing is that david greene who was the elections coordinator of the kpfa elections both times informed donna gould, the hybrid model author that in fact everyone voting in all the categories gave you the winner take all method of electing which is far inferior to choice voting.

so at that point when one finds out that your real goals and ideals have been defeated, that what you were fighting for you yourself gave up by compromise and then find out that the compromise is worse than what you were fighting and will invite complete chaos. do you then stop?

well there is just this one last thing you see....

the iPNB is considering that each lab under iPNB guidelines can structure elections to their liking, come back with the plan, they will then again look everything over, (oh by the way MAYBE this is legal) and then they will write 5 different variations into the bylaws.

this way WBAI gets its way!!!!! ding ding ding. just what they wanted. and the only thing they gave up was everything. but wait.... they can now write what they can get away with.



i welcome any discussion on this.

real tired of this kind of politics or whatever it is.


4-18-03: iPNB meeting notes
4-2-03: Revised bylaws drafts

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