Thursday, April 16, 2009

about bogus postings and civil discourse

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Someone recently posted something to the ideas list that was not directly relevant. I suppose either they thought it was news, or that others on the list would share their opinion of the subject. I, naive fool that I am, read it and clicked a link. I was taken to a website of the most outrageous, chicken little, paranoid conspiracy theory junk I have seen in quite some time. AND it was ablist AND it was sexist. I replied. I researched the subject and found it completely full of holes. In other words, not only was it not of interest to the news department, it ought not be of any interest to anyone with a serious commitment to educating and informing people: something we do a lot here at KUNM. A few days later, the person tried again, from another source. Well, I had developed an interest in the subject by then. Specifically, I was curious about in whose interest it would be to launch such a misinformation campaign that people about whose work I care a good deal would have begun to believe it. So, when the next post came in, I refuted it. And I busted the hypocracy of progressive, open minded people who would resort to such epithets against marginalized social groups to debate their position on this particular subject.

I firmly believe that sloppy thinking has no place in community building. We need to be rational. We need to debate our points without lying or calling people names like "bitch," etc., unless we are speaking about literal, female dogs. I think we, of all people, need to be very careful with how we argue our positions on things and not resort to the tactics of what the Evangelicals would call "the enemy." EXAMPLE: Frankin apostrophe ---my apostrophe has died--s book, "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" is completely unacceptable to me. Oppressive language is oppressive, if Jesus himself uses it. I mean "we" as in communicators, journalists, community activists, experts in progressive causes and even experts in local music. Call me a "nigger" or a "ho" on KUNM, and you will DEFINATELY hear from me! I do not care how hip, cool, together and popular the programmer is: I will not tolerate abusive language that exploites marginalized populations of our listeners. Period. That trash is for commercial media, not here.

So, I am reasonably sure this is ANOTHER reason this committee was formed: because I was frank in my discussion of this issue in reply to the poster. I WISH someone in the News Dept. had backed me up in this. I wish someone knowlegeable in the subject under discussion had said something. They did not.

Now, I look like a crack pot and and over poster, because I beliveve in INFORMED democracy, responsible speech, civil discourse, logical debate of issues and something-- ANYTHING - better than a half baked YouTube video calling people bitches and inbred morons to make a point! The integrity of this station: its content, its programmers, its news department is a vital issue to me. I will defend with my LIFE our right, duty and responsibility to be the fifth estate, to inform voters and citizens, to keep the conversation out of the gutter and to ethically and logically defend the First Ammendment of the Constitution of the United States by providing a forum wherein people of ALL persuasions, parties, ethnicities, religions, abilities (INCLUDING INTELLECTUAL), national origins, genders, sexual identities and colors of underwear are welcomed to discuss openly whatever is of importance to our larger community. We DO NOT have enough of that; nobody is training people in that; WE have to MODEL that for ALL listeners -- including, apparently, some of the most "progressive" among us.

I am not a crack pot. Far from it. It was my hope to engage in this sort of civil discourse within the KUNM community, on the Ideas List. What better place for such discussion? I guess I was wrong. People just want to be told when we switch to Daylight Savings Time. Hell, the minutes and agendas of the General and Board Meetings are not even posted on the Ideas List, for the most part. I have NO idea what kinds of decisionsare being made there, as I cannot attend and have no access to a proxy vote, via email.

This whole thing saddens me greatly.


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