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Listener Letter to Utrice

From list at http://savewbai.tao.ca


This letter was sent to me when I was still moderating this list. It was written shortly after the coup, but it's such a moving, eloquent statement, I asked Lyn to post it. Much, if not all, of the analysis is still relevant, and the writer makes several interesting points about Utrice Leid's politics and her public statements that I believe bear scrutiny. I think the Jewish reference is pretty amazing too. The writer has given permission for the post.

Eileen Sutton
Banned WBAI Unpaid News Reporter


I am a teacher in New Jersey. WBAI has been my lifeline for non-commercially-influenced news--- and also for community events, book signings, lectures, demonstrations, etc. in our area. It is difficult to understand and to explain to students these facts: in the middle of the night, locks were changed at a free-speech radio station in New York City.

It sounds like the situation in Czechoslovakia, or the situation documented in the book "I Will Bear Witness" by Victor Klemperer. In this book, which we have just finished reading, Klemperer tells of the piece-by-piece destruction of small freedoms for the Jews living in Germany from 1930-1938. Each piece of destruction was "insignificant enough" that the common person paid very little attention.

This reminds me of the way that Utrice Leid commented that "its only me---4 women and a baby--- who changed the locks," as if somehow it is about who does the deed rather than the deed itself. (Of course, there is also a subtle sexist taint to her statement, as if women have no power and therefore we have nothing to fear from "just women and a baby").

I have listened to "Talk Back" every day for years. I am very disheartened that Ms. Leid is not able to walk the talk. It is very interesting that Amy Goodman is being accused of radicalism. I have heard Ms. Leid lecture the audience vehemently on the ills of our society, and rightly so. However, my husband pointed out to me that her advocacy of blacks not voting seems more like the position of a right-winger.

Since I heard Ms. Leid with my own ears, there is no one who can convince me that I am a fear-monger and a spreader-of-untruths, as some of the on-air hosts are trying to do to some of the most attentive listeners. I am fearful...for Wake up Call, for Democracy Now, for free speech radio.

Hugh Hamilton, who has taken over 'Talk Back', said that we should not be discussing this conflict on the air because there are so many important problems in the world to address. But for me, the biggest problem is that, if WBAI does not exist in its present free speech format, I will not ever know about these problems. Who will be brave enough to tell me about them? And where will I go to seek them out myself?

Most sincerely,

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