My esteemed colleague at WBAI Playthell Benjamin caught Miss Jones up to her old racist, ignorant tricks on hot 97 recently, and struck back with a comprehensive skewering on our morning show..
The Ranting of Miss Jones in the Mornings
An Apology to the Caribbean Community
On Wednesday morning I was surfing the radio dial listening to the different takes on the Transit strike. Right after listening to the highly intelligent Morning show host Deepa Fernandes on WBAI, where NYU labor historian Dr. Stanley Aronowitz presented a learned analysis of the issues that led to this tragic impasse in labor relations between a powerful, arrogant and fabulously rich municipal agency, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the Transport Workers Union, which represents thousands of workers who perform a vital service for this city, I accidentally flipped the dial to “Miss Jones in the Morning” on Hot 97. It didn’t take long to see that Miss Jones ain’t got a thing goin on. At least not upstairs where it counts! Of all the offensive air-heads who pollute the airwaves in this city, on this morning Miss Jones revealed herself to be the Queen of the Hill. Her discussion of the transit strike that is paralyzing this city was unquestionably the worst that I’ve heard thus far.
She was foul mouthed, racist, embarrassingly ignorant, contemptuous of working people, a vulgar careerist who will do anything for ratings, and a straight up fool who brags about not reading the news papers on the air. This is the same twisted ignoramus who was recently suspended for ridiculing the Tsunami victims! And the comments she made about TWU President Roger Toussaint slandered Caribbean people in this city and disgraced thoughtful black Americans.
After denouncing Transport workers as a bunch of uneducated and overpaid losers who made the wrong choices in high school that resulted in their driving a bus, instead of becoming a white collar professional like her, she viciously attacked Mr. Toussaint personally. Spewing a stream of invective she resorted to the most ignorant and debased view of West Indians that lurks in the darkest regions of the American mind.
She called Mr. Toussaint “A dumb coconut who probably don’t even have a green card,” then she demanded that he be deported. Later on in the show – after making several announcements that he would appear – Miss Jones enacted a skit where Mr. Toussaint was supposedly being carted away by immigration officers who discovered that he is an illegal immigrant. And as they dragged him kicking and screaming to the boat to ship him back to Trinidad he could be heard trying to call off the strike! It was a performance worthy of the Ku Klux Klan or the neo-Nazi White Aryan resistance. It was also a performance that could well aggravate the already troubled relations between the Afro-American and Caribbean communities, which is based on just this sort of mutual ignorance and misguided ethnic chauvinism.
Although Miss Jones made several references to her college education, she sounded like a dumb ghetto chicken head - for instance, she called her fellow females “Bitches” more times than one is likely to hear on the crudest gangsta rap records! And her comments about Mr. Toussaint demonstrates the worst sort of Afro-American ignorance regarding the tremendous contribution that West Indians make to this city today, and their historic contribution to the advancement of black people everywhere – Europe, Africa and the USA – especially Trinidadians.
Trinidad, Mr. Toussaint’s native land, has produced far more than its share of world class intellectuals whose ideas and actions have helped shape the modern world. One need only examine the careers of H. Sylvester Williams, George Padmore, C.L.R. James, Eric Williams, and Kwame Ture aka Stokley Carmichel, in order to recognize the outsized role that Trinidadians have played in advancing black people world wide. No one was more important to the success of the African independence movement against European colonialism than James and Padmore – both of whom personally tutored the visionary leaders who led African nations to independence, and both were brilliant and prolific writers who published many path breaking books that fill important gaps in our understanding of the contemporary world.
No one was more important in shaping the course of modern Caribbean history than Dr. Eric Williams: Rhodes Scholar, brilliant economic historian who exposed the relationship between African slavery and the rise of the worldwide capitalist system, and first President of independent Trinidad. And few native born Americans of any color played a more important role in the destruction of the oppressive apartheid system of segregation in the American south than the activist intellectual Stokely Carimichal/ Kwame Toure! Just read his recent autobiography “Ready For Revolution,” written with Michel Thelwell - a Jamaican professor of literature an a co-founder of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the most important student activist organization in the Civil Rights movement, which Carmichael would later lead.
Thus in his fearless and principled leadership of the TWU, Roger Toussaint is honoring a glorious ancestral imperative. And his acknowledgement of that imperative when addressing his decision to challenge the Taylor Law; Speaking with genuine West Indian struggle he said: “If Mrs. Rosa Parks had obeyed the law we would still be sitting in the back of the bus not driving it.” This shows that Mr. Toussaint knows that this ancestral legacy of courageous leadership is not confined to his countrymen. He is also heir to the legacy of the great Afro-American labor leader and stalwart Civil Rights pioneer Asa Phillip Randolph – a man who took on the most powerful corporation in the world in behalf of humble porters and won! And he is clearly heir to the legacy of Ferdinand Smith, the Afro-Jamaican immigrant who was the principle organizer of the powerful National Maritime Union, which controlled American Merchant shipping world wide and revolutionized the status of seaman. Like his predecessors, Toussaint envisions the question of justice for workers as a fundamental human rights issue, and the wisdom of his choices is a matter for history to decide.
The wisest minds among Black Americans and West Indians have always known that the mutually enmities and ethnic chauvinisms that poison relations between these two neo-African peoples is dangerous folly. Thus it has been left to the ignoramuses to propagate it. Many thoughtful African Americans, this writer included – are outraged at the kind of ignorant racist propaganda leveled at the Caribbean community by Miss Jones, and we are prepared to support them in any effort to challenge the license of Hot 97, which is a menace to the youths of this city in more ways than I can list here. As for Miss Jones, I’d like to offer a bit of advice: The next time you want to talk about “ignorant bitches,” check out the girl in the mirror first.