Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Sojourner Truth

Is anyone else having problems with the stream from KPFK? I saw Ruth's heads up at The Common Ills and made a point to be by the computer for Sojourner Truth. It's a really strong look like she said it would be but I'm falling on and off so missing about a third of it.

Stream hasn't busted up yet again on this part and the issue of the coverage from Mississippi is being addressed. The corporate media is portraying mississippi as something that happened to white people. The man speaking is talking about the "racism of the situation" missing out the large number of African-Americans being effected. Margaret Prescod just asked "Where are the black people?" and that's a question we need to be asking.

If you want to help the communities that have been destroyed, this is a charity that was given out:

The People's Hurrican Fund
383 Rhode Island Street
Suite 301
San Francisco, CA 94103

In Greenville, Mississippi there is a fund as well:

Southern Relief Fund
P.O. Box 1223
Greenville, Mississippi 38702-1223

You can also go to Quality Education as a Civil Right and find out more information.

Margaret Prescod asked "What now will happen to the black community?" In New Orleans, what will happen to property and land? She's talking about how there's almost an encouragement for them not to come back. That's been a worry of mine since Dr. Beverly Harris raised the issue on Democracy Now! (and props to Betty for mentioning that report in her editorial in "The Third Estate Sunday Review News Review").

The port of New Orleans does about a 1/4 of the shipping in the United States and so one of the guests feels it will be up and running within three weeks. The other parts of New Orleans aren't as pressing to our country. This is a hard hitting discussion and if you're missing it, you're really missing out on something.

As an African-American male, I've gotten used to hearing pieces discussed, pieces of this issue, and I give a big, hearty round of applause to broadcasters like Tom Joyner who don't shy from these topics. But Tom Joyner can only do so much in a morning show that's a blend of so many topics. Margaret Prescod's show was really amazing to listen to. There was information, like about the port handling a quarter of the shipping, that I didn't know. But what stood out the most was hearing a conversation or a discussion on the radio that sounded like something I recognized. These are the kind of conversations I take part in and I see going on around me.

But I don't hear them in the corporate media. C.I.'s talked about how The Common Ills is a "resource/review" often enough and how it is about us finding voices that speak to us and realizing that we are not alone and that there are people out there who think like we do and feel the same we do. I didn't realize how marginalized I felt by the corporate media until I listened to Sojourner Truth just now. My questions, my anger, my rage, my pain was out there floating across the internet. It was really empowering, so much so, that I was almost shaking at parts of the show. (And now that it's off, I'm having no problem hearing the program after.) I can talk like this and be around people talking like this in my family, with my friends and at my church.
But in terms of the corporate media, the most I'm ever getting of this perspective is a slice or sliver.

This really fed me, validated me and made me think. I was wondering, when I read Ruth's heads up, what it was that made her want to give the heads up. I'm guessing this morning, Sojourner Truth was just as powerful. I was already glad that Ruth was going beyond NPR for her Ruth's Morning Edition Report because I'm not that big on NPR. The voices are too smooth, and too white, and the topics are too smooth, and too white. I can listen in a sort of eat my vegetables way. I get some information that's pretty standard but maybe better than what I'd get from CNN. But I don't hear my perspective on that public radio network.

Morning Edition irritates the hell out of me with all the banter from Biff & Skipper. (That's Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne.) They never telegraph that I'm not included more than when they're chuckling with each other.

Public radio doesn't start and stop with NPR and I'm glad about that and glad that Ruth's covering more than NPR. I'm glad too that she caught Sojourner Truth this morning and gave the community a heads up. C.I. always says the community is only as strong as members make it and, man, did that get proven today.

I got fed today and heard voices and a discussion that spoke to me. I know from working with The Third Estate Sunday Review that C.I.'s the first to self-criticize and self-trash so I want to say that The Common Ills more than lived up to its stated purpose for this member this evening.


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