Monday, April 02, 2007

Who brings you the news?

If you listen to WPKN's evening broadcast of Free Speech Radio News, it's Aura Bogado. Aura just had a meltdown on the Grassroots Radio Coalition mailing list. The fun started when somebody posted an email from Paul Krassner criticizing NPR for censoring a story about a donut shop. The part of the story not aired was about a contest involving a uniquely male way of stacking donuts. Resident wiseacre Scooter posted what was supposed to be a humorous piece about the subject matter. Chaos followed as people began unsubscribing from the list.

Aura posted her own "goodbye cruel world" message, which we quote here:
I don't know other people's reasons for wanting to get off this list recently - but I'll share why I am unsubscribing today. Recent discussion about censorship has given white males (or one white male in particular, at least) license to post completely misogynist and racist rants to the list (which aren't even funny). When I privately questioned why this type of bullshit was allowed on the GRC list, I was informed that since the issue of censorship is one that is close to the GRC mission, it basically trumped my concerns about deeply offensive posts. I guess issues of race and gender must not be close to the GRC mission, then.

I'm not surprised.

For those of you who don't know, Larry Flynt made a personal enemy out of me a couple of years ago - and subsequently featured grotesque cartoon images of me with slanderous articles to match in several issues of Hustler magazine, as well as some online. I learned then that the issue of "free speech" often turns into one about white males holding on every privilege they have and flexing it through imagery and text, no matter how offensive it is to women, queers and people of color. It seems that this GRC list is no different - and although I am not surprised, I am disappointed.

A year or so ago, people on this list also made derogatory and racist remarks about those of us who speak English as a second language. While on one hand I welcomed the opportunity to write about “accents” in broadcasting, I found some of the posts extremely offensive, racist and crass. This time around, I won’t spend any time helping white males figure out where they have gone completely wrong – I think it’s high time other white males do some work for once instead.

One last thing: the next time you wonder why more women, queers and people of color don’t attend your conferences, you might want to take all this recent bullshit into account. Why would we want to attend conferences whose mission favors white males’ “free speech” over our concerns?

Aura Bogado
Host: Free Speech Radio News
Spectacular, and something to keep in mind the next time you listen to "Free Screech Radio News." Those who didn't unsubscibe in a huff were left scratching their heads and wondering where the racist content was, other than in Aura's rant.

There is one thing I appreciate about leftist radicals and grievance mongers: whenever I feel a bit sorry for myself, they're always there to remind me how privileged I am. Unfortunately, this privilege I have seems to entail being used as a whipping boy in grievance theater performances by unstable bigots.

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