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A view from the inside at WBAI

linda z [WBAI unpaid staff]
last night's Unpaid producer's union meeting.
Thu Sep 11 12:03:29 2003

There is something amiss, something strange about sitting in a meeting room with predominately black people listening to them discuss affirmative action as if they have been excluded, their presence non proportionate to the main body of the assembled peoples. And listening to their voiced concerns, fears and the rhetoric of their appointed leader, Mimi Rosenberg as she states openly, unabashed the imperative, the wbai mandate which is dangerously close to a reinterpreted mission to "alter the power structure and thereby change culture". This is the basis, the foundation of her stated beliefs with which she intends, almost single handedly to manipulate the paranoiac view of those who continue to site the 500 years of suffering they envisioned remedied by WBAI Plan A.

Firm in their conviction that anyone who does not support Plan A is against them, i.e. against affirmative action and against all black people and a threat to their continued dominance at WBAI, they see any assault on their vision of how things should be at WBAI even the need for an election of representatives, as an assault on their right to exist.

They site the over throw of the powers that be in the recent "coupí as if those people were not "them:" but some other specifies of "black". They can not, with any credibility declare Utrice Lead not black, nor distance themselves by siting race, lack of affirmative action or any such ingenuous claim in this effort to say it was them and not us and they can not with any credence claim that this faction is in fact dead, non existent as they form their alliance with the left over Utrice persons, in order to drive their current agenda of pushing through an illegal Plan A where democratic process is compromised.

They attack based on assumption without even asking if what they claim is in fact true. They deliver their venomous assault without a momentís hesitation or insight into their contribution to the "problemí. The result is a group of self satisfied sheep looking to their leader , who , at the moment of crisis before she herself was fired by Utrice ignored the cries, the pleas for help from those who were the first to be effected by the "evil doers" of past moments in WBAI history.

Mimi is a dangerous demagogue who misuses the English language to obscure her message which is to facilitate a venire of power to those she identifies as powerless. To satisfy her own needs of self engrandisement, she champions their voice, despite the fact that she is a white, middle/upper class woman who has not suffered 500 years of racial assault, who apparently has lived a life of privilege. She uses a distorted delivery of the English language to be a spokesperson for those who donít need her intervention. Her long voweled, long winded lectures on subjects that her targeted audience is more than well versed in. She is an insult to all and anyone who listens to her because she lectures, she assumes that her audience is stupid and ignorant no matter how many times she repeats and repeats her same old body of misinformation. She talks down to us, using her legalize to hide her grandiose stance that has nothing to do with running a good radio station but is to her mind, the road to changing all civilization through the adaptation of Plan A.

This is absurd at its most benevolent and lethal at its more potent. I can only cry out, wake up. No one is disempowered, no one is going to change the larger culture through WBAI, no one going to change 500 years of disempowerment through WBAI. This is only a 168 hour radio station with a paltry few listeners and given the current trend even this is an inflated wish.

Mimi is single handedly destroying the "communityí that she sites over and over again. She creates rifts through divisionary thought processes that cater to half truths distorted by fears and innuendos. How to reverse this malignancy, how to restore health to a tattering radio station is a challenge from which we must not veer. When the call for heeling went out, last night at the Unpaid producerís union meeting, Mimi was silent. Her silence, her inability to construct, to include, to bring together is poignantly lacking. The word "racist" should be striped from every ones vocabulary. The need for inclusion is not paramount at WBAI. The need to Ďget over it" to heal, is.

These are times that call for more than quibbling about the merits of one attorney or another. It is time to stop pointing fingers and saying you have only black or only white people on your show A constructive department from the rhetoric of old where color pertains to eyes and not skin must be the goal of this small but important radio station. We will not change culture, we will not change the world, we will not do anything but hopefully good radio because that is our mission, the mission of this tiny endeavor. of WBAI. Letís begin by saying a civil hello when we greet each other. Even a smile might be nice, once in a while.

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