How to have an actual effect
From: Scooter [KPFT area]
Date: Sun Sep 29, 2002 6:15 am
Subject: How to fight racism with radio Pt3
After Garland ran Otis off in '99, I moved into the late night radio enclave, still open to Free Speech after midnight, KPFT's late night radio was perhaps the most irreverant and bizarre radio experiment in the United States for over 20 years.
I was adopted by a guy named Mike Wakefield, aka, Big Jesus Trashcan, and spent Thursday nights at KPFT til dawn getting weird.
Big Jesus Trashcan was the last of his kind, in late night KPFT's long reign. He grew up on KPFT, he was politicized by KPFT, and he carried all that in his heart, and out to his listeners.
The Dumpster was a heavy metal-grunge-thrash program aimed at white teenagers. It was NOT a liberal-whitey presentation. Marilyn Manson, Black Flag, and a bunch of hard core bands with names like Burning Crucibal and that sort of thing.
But Miike would always work whatever black genre, or hip hop, or some of the harsher rap stuff into the mix, he ran the gamut on the edge.
He was seeing himself out there, some borderline trailerTrash white kid, black shirt white sneaker high school punk. He was speaking to these kids, the way the old school KPFT guys like Pope Huey spoke to him. He worked his crowd.
His personna was all tough guy, sort of Biker mentality.
He was masterful at out-macho-ing rednecks and Klan goons. He had a way of describing the redneck, homphobic, racist mentality as a cop out. He told these kids, who tuned in for that music, that the politics of hate, and intolerance was for punks, who didn't have the guts to look at the real world and stand up on their own terms, so they wimped out, and bowed down to power, and the state, who told them what to think, and bought the white supremicist line, because they had no courage.
This guy was awesome.
You have to understand, that these white dopes on punk were at a critical stage of social developement, these are the gay-bashers, these are the Klan fodder, these are the future white supremicist redneck ignorant bastards.
These are potentially good people, if you can get in their ear, and you give them a macho role model, that they respect, at that age, and identify with someone who is telling them how cowardly and awful the politics of racism and hate really are.
It's not that difficult to understand.
Big Jesus knew how to blend all the colors of rebellion in music, and he knew how to get on the mike and rant. He knew that those white teenagers could go either way. He knew how to talk to them.
This sort of programming is usually despised by liberal-whitey, who can't stand the screeching obscenity of post punk weirdness.
But it ain't all about Phil Ochs, and ani defranco, and Bruce Coborn if you are trying to reach the future oppressors of Amerika. And you don't get in their ear with wall to wall public affairs, either.
Derailing the future oppressors saves us alot of trouble fighting them down the road.
Fighting racism with radio means putting together a real choir. We can't rely on only the voices of each community standing up for themselves, we have to be clever, we have to be resourceful, artistic irreverant, unyielding, and we have to avoid didactic thought, that fragments the message.
We have to think.
And we have to try to revive the consciousness that produced programs like the Dumpster, and understand the vitality and energy it lends to our common cause, even if it grates on our ears, or doesn't fit the 'diversity' models we are trying to formulate.
Amy Goodman's Dumpster promo
Caitlion's dumpster promo (age 3)
The night they cancelled the dumpster
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