City Council Resolution Condemns the Bigoted Remarks of Ms. Jones on The Hot 97 Morning Show
WHEN: 10:30 am on Wednesday, February 15th, 2006
WHERE: Steps of City Hall in City Hall Park across the street from 250
Broadway (cross street: Chambers) Manhattan NYC 10007
DIRECTIONS: Take Trains 4,5 or 6 to Brooklyn Bridge; 2 or 3 to Park
Place; N, R or W to City Hall; 1, A, C, E, J, M or Z to Chambers/W.T.C.
The R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop coalition (Representing Education, Activism and Community Through Hip Hop) is proud to join New York City Council Members Yvette D. Clarke, John Liu and Leroy Comrie, along with Hip Hop artists Kuttin Kandi, M1 of Dead Prez and others as they introduce a resolution condemning the bigoted remarks by Hot 97.1 WQHT personality Tarsha Nicole Jones (aka Ms. Jones). Council Member Clarke will also introduce a resolution calling upon the Council’s Committee for Consumer Affairs to hold a hearing regarding the practice of payola at New York City’s radio stations. We are calling on members of the Hip Hop community to join us on Wednesday, February 15th, 2006 on the steps of City Hall at 10:30 am to demand corporate accountability and responsibility.
One year after airing the infamous Tsunami song, Hot 97 continues to air racially offensive remarks against Asians, African-Americans and Caribbean members of our community, which happen to make up the majority of their listenership. As members of the Hip Hop community, we were once again outraged to hear racially offensive remarks coming across the airwaves from Hot 97. This time their target was Transit Workers Union Local 100 labor leader Roger Toussaint. By calling Mr. Toussaint a “dumb coconut” it is clear that Hot 97 has no intention of using their airwaves for the public good. The increasing racism and hatred from Hot 97 comes under the management of program director, John Dimmick.
Rosa Clemente, spokesperson for R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop explains, “We can no longer tolerate these attacks against members of our communities. This is the second set of racially offensive remarks under the watch of program director John Dimmick and we will no longer let corporate interests and the need for ratings ruin the culture of Hip Hop. We are calling for the removal of Mr. John Dimmick and Ms. Tarsha Jones immediately. We are also demanding that Emmis Communications (parent company of Hot 97) CEO Jeff Smulyan and President Rick Cummings, meet with members of the R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop and members of the New York City Council to face the music and their radio listeners. We applaud Council Member Yvette Clarke’s legislative initiatives and are happy to join forces.”
R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop (Representing Education, Activism & Community Through Hip-Hop) formerly known as “Hip Hop for Social Justice” was the founded by DJ Kuttin Kandi. R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop is a diverse coalition of artists, activists, Hip-Hop legends and historians, journalists, educators, students, and parents within, and in alliance with, the greater Hip Hop community. Members of R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop include Afrika Bambaataa, Rosa Clemente, Kevin Powell, J-Love, Christie Z-Pabon, Allison Faelnar, John Kim, Thomas Mariadason, Kari Kokka, Lisa Fager, Adisa Banjoko and many others.
Our initial call to action was in late January 2005, when commercially owned radio station Hot 97 aired its now infamous Tsunami Song. With a long history of radio programming that is racist, sexist, and obscene, Hot 97 produced and broadcast an offensive parody of the We Are The World song which became known as the Tsunami Song.
The parody included bold racial slurs and unapologetically mocked the deaths of Asians and Africans. In the aftermath of one of the world’s most devastating natural disasters, Hot 97?s racist Tsunami Song parody was broadcast continuously for 4 days in late January 2005. Though it was played exclusively on Hot 97 airwaves, it was disseminated internationally via that station?s website.
The song not only offended people across the world. People around the world called for immediate action against the radio station. In New York, R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop has been at the forefront of that movement.
Since the birth of our coalition, we have been actively targeting Hot 97 for numerous offenses to the communities they claim to serve. Although we came together in response to the Tsunami Song, it is understood that our fight against corporate media includes much more than that. It is a fight to reclaim Hip Hop culture from corporate media?s co-optation, unbalanced representation, and exploitation. Our fight is also to support and create the balance that is so direly needed on our airwaves and other public media. We assert that our efforts are to not only demand ethical corporate accountability, but also to protect, preserve, and regenerate the great legacy of Hip Hop culture by Representing Education, Activism and Community through Hip-Hop.
R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop Coalition is dedicated to encouraging and creating fair and equal representation of the diversity of Hip Hop culture, including, but not limited to; race/ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. We are a pro-active body made up of activists, artists, teachers, performers, organizers, and individuals all dedicated to positive change within our communities. We believe Hip Hop?s true legacy belongs to the people, and we strive to utilize Hip Hop as a vehicle of social and political justice to promote education, information, and empowerment for the masses, while preventing the dissemination of negative stereotypes, discrimination, and violence.