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DAILY REPORTS and Documents | L.A iPNB meeting page


Presented at the iPNB meeting in L.A. March 7 - 9, 2003

Sisters and Youth in Solidarity

An alliance of:
THE BLACK WOMEN MEDIA COLLECTIVE
SOUTH CENTRAL WOMEN AND YOUTH RADIO FORUM

A joint statement of solidarity to the Pacifica National Board Meeting held in Los Angeles, CA March 8, 2003.

I am LaTrice Dixon, a member of the Ad-Hoc Programming Council of KPFK and the convener of the Black Women's Media Collective. The co-leader of Sisters in Solidarity is Vickie Daily of the South Central Women and Youth Radio Collective.

Our united delegation is here today as representatives of a community which has suffered historic injustice and prolonged neglect in the affairs of a radio station that proudly wears the label of being one of the most progressive channels of mass communication.

We are the sisters and mothers of a disproportionate race of incarcerated youth; we are single mothers often stigmatized as "welfare queens", we are the voices of the increasing number of assassinated women by Los Angeles and Long Beach police departments, and the relatives of thousands of youth being mobilized to die in the front lines of the war for oil in Iraq.

We are the daughters from the homes being torn apart by the genocidal Three Strikes Law in California; we are grassroots community activists advocating around the issues of HIV/AIDS, attacks on our reproductive freedoms, domestic violence, the reinstatement of Affirmative Action, the imposition of racist high school exit exams and the failure of public schools in the lives of our youth.

Indeed, we bear the huge burden along with other women of color, particularly our Chicana compatriots in the battle against America's unending racism. Unfortunately, at various levels of management of Pacifica/KPFK policy implementation, our voices are not heard and our stories are never told with the consequential urgency that they deserve.

Very frequently, (and perhaps in fund drive seasons) and mostly during the official Black History Month, the community of KPFK listeners/activists are oversaturated with rendition of archival tapes from Malcolm X, Angela Davis and Dr. Martin Luther King.

No one can deny the historic essence and the eternal lessons contained in those speeches. However, our community does feel that the resort to archival references has become a convenient route to avoid the necessary obligation that the station should undertake to confront the contemporary challenges of our times.

How can it be explained that all through the month of the so-called Black History, KPFK did not undertake any special programming on issues relating to police abuse which is so rampart in our communities, and current civil rights issues like the restoration of Affirmative Action and the demand for Reparations?

And would anyone imagine that there was no Black woman, or any respectful reference, to the struggles for reproductive rights in the Black community on any of the KPFK programs commemorating the 2003 anniversary of Roe V. Wade?

That despite the declared commitment of Pacifica to anti-racism that there is no MAJOR political Black women's (or men's) program on KPFK as of today; that we must therefore helplessly wait sometimes for weeks and perhaps for months depending on the goodwill of DEMOCRACY NOW! to address the core issues of our community.

We need more voices of progressive Black women on the airwaves of KPFK/Pacifica.

Even more troubling is the fact that several months after the legal settlement on the Pacifica lawsuit and the assumed normalization of the situation in the KPFK listening area, no single banned African American/Black program has been reinstituted on our airwaves.

And today, you members of the National Board should look into the audience and you ask yourselves, 'Why are there no Black women present at this meeting?' You may make all the claims you wish and dredge up explanations, but the infallible truth is that the station KPFK is not perceived in the Black/Brown inner cities as a symbol of hope in the struggles of the oppressed.

We, therefore, demand the community of conscientious activists to join our call for racial and gender equity.

1) We seek the representation on the KPFK LAB and the Programming Council
2) The demand immediate representation of African-Americans in the hierarchy of the station
3) We call for a well-established paid-internship for women of color
4) The allocation of substantial airtime including prime hours for Black women's program
5) We demand the immediate reinstatement of the banned and fired Black programmers
6) We also call for increased coverage of events in the inner cities of the Los Angeles area and on the African continent

In our search for justice in KPFK, we shall no longer accept situations of tokenism or liberal paternalism and we shall stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Chicano and Chicana activists to ensure that the Pacifica Foundation lives up to its declared promises for people of color.

We insist that there should be no more delays and vacillations on the part of the management locally, and in the conduct of the national office in responding to the various demands that we have made.

We are putting the community of Pacifica and KPFK on notice that we shall continue to organize at every level and in various forms in order to guarantee that we receive justice.

It is a shame that Pacifica/KPFK speaks so much of the war abroad while the regime of subtle racism festers in our domestic fronts. Let today signal the beginning of a truly progressive and genuinely meaningful political partnership between the people of color and the larger Pacifica family.

AMANDLA! AWETHU!


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