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Bankrupting WBAI and Pacifica ?

From: Mitchel Cohen [WBAI area]
Date: Thu Nov 13, 2003 6:09 am
Subject: Corrected version: Bankrupting WBAI and Pacifica

Bankrupting the Network

Recently, a grouping in Los Angeles calling itself the KPFK Coalition for Justice posted a letter to various Pacifica lists. The signers of that letter are the main crowd that falsely claims to be the "defenders of Affirmative Action and diversity in Pacific." Just last Sunday Tracy Larkin and Luis Garcia from this crowd screamed that Amy Goodman and Sonali Kolhatkar are "infiltrators from within."

The unity caucus crew have long been wrapping themselves in the flag of an authoritarian version of "Affirmative Action" and denouncing others (such as myself) for supporting Proportional Representation as a democratic means for achieving REAL diversity at Pacifica. Why? So that they could hold onto their appointed positions and illusions of power in the face of the economic crisis at WBAI (which they have caused) and listeners’ growing dissatisfaction.

I learned about this opportunist faction way back when we were forming the coordinating committee for Concerned Friends of WBAI. I’d proposed that at least one representative from each committee or member organization had to be a person of color. That proposal was denounced by Bob Lederer, Mimi Rosenberg, Rosalie Hoffman, and Anthony Mackall – it would have meant that they would have had to do what they are demanding of others (and what others had actually done): step down and replace themselves in order to ensure a guaranteed minimum percentage of People of Color on the board. I learned then that they would only "talk the talk"; they were in it for the power and in some cases the money, and would use every ruse possible to hold onto it, including destroying the network. (Mimi Rosenberg and the un-elected WBAI LAB now blame the national Pacifica for "sucking dry" the resources of the station, instead of looking at themselves and the role in it of those they’re protecting. Has anyone seen a comprehensive financial statement from the station over these last six years? A list of all the Unity Caucus salaries at the station over the last two years?)

This faction’s denunciations of "Draft B" – which is now the legally mandated bylaws of the Pacifica Foundation, Inc. – still continue. They were then, and remain now, a ruse to divide listeners and staff over phony charges of racism and white supremacy, while they and their faction – many of them having been installed as paid management or consultants at WBAI – have bankrupted the station and are running it into the ground.

The Los Angeles grouping is similar. Leslie Radford and Rafael Renteria label everyone who disagrees with them "white supremacists" – by now that’s almost everyone in the Pacifica "community" – while they put together an almost exclusively white group to select candidates to run for Station Board and attack those who expose them for the operatives they are. Please understand how NOT committed to real diversity these folks are. Look at how UNdiverse the group submitting the L.A. letter really is:

1- Mark Andrews White Male

2- Margalo Ashley-Farrand While Female - the "lawyer" for the "anti-B" bylaws in the later days.

3- Doug Barnett White Male

4- Marla Bernstein White Female

5- Jim DiEugenio White Male

6- Bernie Eisenberg white Male

7- Ian Johnston White Male

8- Luis Garcia Latino Male

9- Learner Goode White Male

10- Tracy Larkins White Female

11- Jonathan Markowitz White Male

12- Kwazi Nkrumah African Male

13- Michael Novick White Male

14- Leslie Radford White Female

15- Rafael Renteria Latino Male

16- Gordon J. Stich White Male

17- Harrison Weil White Male

18- Roger Zimmerman White Male

So out of 18 people in the West Coast version of the Unity Caucus, 11 are White Male, 4 White Female, 1 African Male and 2 Latino Male. Following are the percentages: 78% male, 22% female, 83% Anglo, 6% African American Male and 11% Latino Male.

I repeat 83% Anglo and 78% male. These are the self assigned protectors of diversity in Pacifica. Make you want to throw up, how they’ve used all of us.

Many of them are running for LSB. All this Diversity stuff is good for people outside their circle, but doesn’t apply to them. Same old same old.

I sincerely hope that listeners and staff who may have been confused about this whole sorry episode come to understand the way we've been played for suckers, take a step back, and join with those of us who’ve been fighting for true diversity, listener-staff democracy and financial accountability at Pacifica.

- Mitchel Cohen

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