Thursday, March 29, 2007

about free thinking/speaking/acting

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Reply to an email by Halima Christy, host of Sage Health Online, member of the Free Speech Movement.


Theoretically, I agree with the Free Speech Movement.

Here's my issue: the infrastructure is not in place to support it.

Our culture DOES NOT encourage THINKING freely, for damn sure.

Education is so bad that less than 30% of kids in Detroit graduate with a High School diploma.

Video games, released by Bill Gates' (Mr. Philanthropy) company give bonus points if the player "kills" prostitutes.

We don't have an informed democracy; lobbiests control the GOP, thanks to Rove et al; GOP spin doctors are calling people faggots and "immoral."

Mega churches get federal funding for social "services" which promote homophobia and sexism, not to mention superstition and doomsday prophesies. AND they own TV channels & radio stations for which -- apparantly -- Liberal faiths have nothing to offer by way of equal time or alternative channels. Example: WHY, after all these years, does not the Unitarian Universalist Association produce a Liberal broadcast???

I was just verbally assaulted by a drunk when I walked to the corner restaurant for a hamburger. I expect such things on the streets. But I don't want it in my house!

I know: just turn off the radio. Right. Some solution.

Our culture is SATURATED with visciousness, terror and hate.

I won't question Street Beat, its personnel or its program content . . .


IF I see a genuine, heart-felt commitment to generating even MORE, local programming in which such issues are addressed in a SERIOUS attempt to HEAL some of this venom! Or, at least, invite an attempt at such dialogue.
And I don't mean some ivory-tower, upper-middle-class academician, pontificating the illusion of "objectivity" on NPR news.

And I DON'T mean some sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, I-know-more-than-you-do, Chicken Little commentator for the Party Line of the Left, either.

When I produced KUNM's segment of the live, national call-in show for the Homelessness Marathon, Queer kids from the streets walked into the studios of KUNM for the first time and "spoke truth to power" to an enthusiastic audience. Street hookers, drug dealers, incest survivors... people who are affected intimately by hate speech FINALLY had a venue to express their joys and sorrows. It's one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.

What have we contributed to the Homelessness Marathon since?

And I'm NOT saying I'm Saint Rogi, avenger of the downtrodden and that all programming on KUNM should be done the way I do it.

It doesn't MATTER to me WHO produced that program; it matters to me that it WAS PRODUCED.

IF we, as KUNM, have a commitment to address these life-and-death issues, to contribute even more to an informed democracy, to spotlighting aspects of our community infrastructure which are disintigrating from neglect and corruption, to encourage the genius of our fellow New Mexicans -- if that, then I have no problem with occasional, problematic lyrics in music programming (and, yes, Don, especially spoken word programming.)

I still assert that it seems healthier, to me, to attract a thousand people who'd donate a dollar each than to pander to ONE donor of a thousand dollars (because of the potential for undo influence, corruption, etc.)

The way to attract those thousand people is to address their issues: the issues that put their daughters in danger as they walk to school, that endanger their sons with violent behavior and emotional disability, that take money from their wallets and food from their tables.

That's my opinion.

Believe me, I'm accustomed to rough language. I can dish it out, too. No problem.

I want safe harbor for every aspect of our community: respect, dignity, education, inspiration.

I know: I'm living in a fool's paradise. It's not going to happen, right?

Well, it won't happen if I don't try to make it happen.

We've got Ann Coulter to teach us how to call people faggots.

I'm just wondering if we need KUNM to do it, too. At least, do we need KUNM to broadcast such things WITHOUT any discussion, dialogue, examination, conversation?

PS, Don: I was using the term, "gangsta cRap," to describe a SUBGENRE of hiphop, not the entire genre. I'm sorry that wasn't clear in my writing, but that's what I mean.

And, Bob, as to the issue of self defense, I do defend myself. But some people can't. Those people still deserve the right to walk to the store in peace. That's all I'm saying.

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