hip hop music

March 23, 2004

Raqiyah Mays Fired from Power 105, for Discussing Interracial Relationships

For anyone wondering if the neo-puritan climate would affect political speech as well as the sexual, Clear Channel's hip-hop station in NY has removed all doubt. I may disagree with her take on the issue, but firing her for discussing it is crazy.

DJ Fired for Race Remark

Weekend jock Raqiyah Mays was fired yesterday by WWPR (105.1 FM) after criticizing interracial dating during her weekend show. Power-105 officials said in a statement that the station "decided to release her based upon inappropriate remarks she made to listeners during her broadcast on Saturday.

"The station received many E-mails, phone calls and messages from listeners who were displeased and felt alienated as a result of her actions."

Mays' comments on interracial dating came while she was running a station contest in which listeners could win tickets to an Usher concert by making a confession. "Confession" is the title of Usher's latest record, which has sparked heavy buzz in radio.

"I made a confession of my own," Mays said yesterday. "I said I was concerned about interracial relationships when the African-American community has our own inner work and healing to do. If I see a white woman dating an African-American man, I feel, as do many African-American women, that there is one less black man available to us."

The host of a 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift on Saturdays, Mays said she was shocked by getting the boot from the Clear Channel station.

She claimed she was the victim of a "climate of pins and needles" stemming from the firestorm over indecency following the Janet Jackson and Howard Stern controversies.

"I wasn't speaking against anybody," Mays said. "I was just being honest. Unfortunately, the industry is under FCC scrutiny and the climate is ripe for reactionary measures."

EDIT, 3/26/04: Since I made this post, a transcript has come out of her original comments on the radio show, and they turn out to go much further than she would have us believe in her explanation I'd posted above:

"I'm a racist. I really am. I have a problem with white people. Not all white people, but a lot of white people. ... I can't tell if they are being real with me or not. And then I hate when the black guy is walking down the street with the white girl. I hate both of them. C'mon, there's a man shortage, why you got to go ... "

As I said in the replies below, seeing these actual quotes makes her explanation that she was merely "expressing concerns" about a need for "healing" seem a little disingenuous, and make it a tougher call whether she should have gotten fired. I'd want to hear the program in its entirety before I judged that, hear the tone of the overall conversation, what came before and after, whether it was part of a discussion where her views could be balanced out by others..

Going by this transcript, I'm still inclined to say firing her was excessive, but it's not as clear-cut as it originally appeared.. hard for me to say that some type of disciplinary action wasn't appropriate.

And for the record, personally I don't see how asking two people who are in love to reject that love because one of them is the wrong color will ever do any good for anybody, or bring about healing of any sort.

Posted by jsmooth995 at March 23, 2004 3:26 PM

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