Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pass the "progressive", I'm hungry

Air America Radio has my ear. I don't know why, but I love talk radio. Al Franken is a jackass, but Randi Rhodes speaks the truth, and Janeane Garofalo is always funny and on point.

In Colorado, AAR is broadcast on only one Boulder station: AM760, "Boulder's Progressive Talk", a tag line which makes me want to stab myself in the ears until I'm deaf whenever I hear it. Boulder, as those of us who live in or near and haven't drunk the organic vegan koolaid know, is almost as progressive as that country club in the 90's that wouldn't let Tiger golf on their premises. But not quite.

The University of Colorado is in Boulder. Yeah . . . home of the Buffs, first class research institution, nobel prize winners on faculty, all that. What they don't tell you, but I know, is that CU has seen a mass exodus of faculty, staff, and students of color. The climate at CU is so racist and so hostile that premier faculty -- historians, english professors, professors of education -- are running as fast as they can to get out of Boulder before they go insane or before they are victims of violence.

In Boulder, if you're white, straight, drive the right car, and have the right sized ass, you might be able to get the bitchy little brat at Starbucks to acknowledge you. If you're a person of color, gay, on a scholarship, or just can't find anywhere outside of "the people's republic" (which is another tagline that kills me, but is much loved by the locals) to work, you really don't belong, unless you're serving food, mopping floors, or pumping gas. In Boulder, progressive means shopping at Whole Foods and carrying your stupid ass Whole Foods bag around everywhere you go so that people know you're a responsible consumer. In Boulder, though, when "University of Colorado Student Union Tri-executive Mebraht Gebre-Michael received a racially motivated e-mail from a CU campus e-mail address threatening her life Tuesday morning", the "people's" tight organic white asses couldn't be bothered.

AM760 has the most ignorant, stuttering, boring local morning show host on all AAR (I say this after surveying at least two other AAR stations for myself). His name is Jay Marvin. He often has smart callers, and there's my addiction to talk radio, so I listen almost every morning.

This morning, I was driving to work listening to Jay yammer on about something or another, waiting for the "progressive" traffic and the "progressive" weather. A CU student called in and brought up the issue of the Tri-exec who received the racist death-threat email. Jay, being the massive tool that he is, pretty much hollared at the kid, asked him what the difference between hate speech and free speech was, and cut him off. I emailed Jay this morning, and told him I thought he was really unfair to the caller, and that I hoped he would pay some attention to the issue. When he emails me back, I'll post his response here.

More important than the argument over where the free/hate speech line lies, is why the university, the city, and the state are okay with one openly hostile racist episode after another. Anyone remember Ward Churchill? Remember the death threats that Emma Perez received? Remember students on the news saying they didn't feel safe walking on campus alone? Hey!! "People"!! Take off that asshat.

1 comment:

EssBee said...

Here's another bit of news on the CU front: