|People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey|
When is a "listener sponsored, free speech "radio station not so much a free speech, and certainly not a listener guided radio station? Apparently when it is KPFA out in San Francisco. For it seems even on a "listener sponsored, free speech " radio station there are just some things the people should not say, especially if it is embarrassing for management people, as it were. The strange, well not so much really, case of JR. Valrey all began with this show on February 6, 2013 on KPFA when JR had this to say, on the air, live....
I want to say Happy Black History Month! Although KPFA will not be honoring black History this month due to the fact that they have a fund drive for three of the four weeks. I don't know why don't they split the fund drive with Women's Month -- Black History Month. I don't know that they do this to any other group of people and disrespect any other group of people like this.
Another thing that's disrespectful that I want to put out on the airwaves is that February 17 is the birthday of the late great Huey P. Newton, who is one half of the founders, he is half of the founders of the black panther party. Him and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party in October of 1966. On that particular day, February 16, KPFA will be honoring a white woman. You know, they will be honoring a white woman. Sasha Lilley of "Against the Grain" will be reading from her book. I don't how that's being done in Black History Month, but it is. So, what we're going to do is: We're gonna have a community meeting outside of her event. We're gonna have a town hall meeting outside due to the fact that Andrew Phillips refuses -- he's the General Manager of KPFA -- he refuses to address these issues dealing with the anti-black Jim Crow climate at KPFA.
So what I want all of the listeners and people who appreciate the "Block Report" to do is to come to the meeting out of the event on February seventeenth, and we're going to have a meeting outside the event where Sasha Lilley is speaking. Why did we pick Sasha Lilley? We picked Sasha Lilley because she is the former Program Director of KPFA -- in2008 she was the number two person at the station when veteran broadcaster Nadra Foster was beat. Beat! Lost her baby, had a paralyzed hand and kicked between her legs and kicked in the head after another manager at KPFA lied and said that she was trespassing.
So we going to come on February seventeen. And we're going to address Andrew Phillips and also, Summer, the Executive Director of Pacifica, and ask them: Why are you having this event during Black History Month? Why is Bob Baldock, who organizes for these events to happen, why is he not bringing black speakers? And why is KPFA not doing what the FCC mandates it to do: having community meetings so that the listeners can be heard, since you are the ones that 's paying the bills.
Another that I want to make a point, in talking about Sasha Lilley, is that on January 8 ,if you go to the show "Against the Grain," there were two f-words that were dropped on some tape during Sasha Lilley's broadcast. Now what's important about that is that you are -- we are risking when any time you dropped the f-words. You are risking a $300,000 penalty by the FCC. So this woman is, I haven't seen anything, she hasn't been punished. But when she was in power, and Youth Radio in downtown Oakland -- a non-profit which consists of a lot of black and brown youth, including me, Wesley who's at the boards right now, Dev, Nora Barrows-Friedman. Lots of people have come through Youth Radio. Youth Radio was taken off the air. Off the air -- not suspended -- taken off the air forever by Sasha Lilley and her administration because she was the Program Director in 2008. But we see how you know there's a right way to do things, there's a wrong way to do things, and at KPFA there's a white way to do things. So there's three categories- the right way the wrong way and the white way.
So during Black History I'm gonna make sure that we have things that make you say hmmm, hmmm. We're gonna talk about lot of these issues. And we want you to share your commentary with Andrew Phillips. I have a few more bombs that I'm gonna end up dropping. You can share your commentary directly with Andrew Philips.
You can copy me, if you like. My email is blockreportradio(at)gmail.com. Andrew's is andrew(at)kpfa.com. Also you can hit Andrew on the phone at (510) 848-6767, ext 203.
I want you guys to call him. But also email so that I have a record of what the listeners who pay the bills, what they want at this station. And that we have a record that our black listeners as well as our allies who are listening are not with this Jim Crow thing.
Now a problem that I have with the fund drive is that my show in particular -- the Wednesday edition of the "Morning Mix" -- we've raised $40,000 in the last year and a half. Our show hasn't been given a penny of support. Everything comes out of my pocket. I don't have a car to get here in the morning Catch the BART. Catch the bus. Not a dollar out of that $40,000 was given to me, or to anybody else that are part of the unpaid staff. We are being used as chattel slavery to prop-up the paid staff in their mediocre broadcasting.
Now some of you are saying: Why JR are you saying this on the air right now? Why are you not working for some kind of a peaceful resolution? We've been trying to come to a peaceful resolution, I should say revolution because that's what it's turning into. We've been doing this for over two months, I've been trying to meet with the Executive Director of Pacifica who's been blowing me off.
We met with Andrew on an issue dealing with Michael Yoshida, the head engineer at KPFA. Michael Yoshida on the day after Black Media Appreciation day November 27 or 28, barged into the studio where I was recording a breaking interview about the Congo and the war that has claimed over six million lives in Africa, which isn't covered adequately by the news here, or by most of the shows with the exception of Walter Turner and "Hard Knock Radio."
So we were getting ready to break the interview. I did not get a chance to ever air the interview because Michael Yoshida busted into the studio, cut off my guest who was live on the air from Africa, and erased the interview. Because I was five minutes late coming out of the studio.
Now I tried to keep this kind of calm. And for two months I tried to meet with Andrew --some sort of due process. Michael Yoshida they put soft ban on me at the station where you need codes to get into KPFA. All of my codes have been cut out. I don't have a code to get into the building, if it weren't for the black broadcasters and our allies who've been moving more secretly in making sure that I have codes, because every time Michael Yoshida and Andrew Phillips realize that I have a code, they erase the code, and so a number of broadcasters have given me codes to get in, as well as has given me codes so that I can get into the pre-record studios. So that's going on at KPFA. I know that Andrew Phillips, the General Manager, got on here and lied about the three top black woman last year at KPFA or Pacifica -- who've either been let go as in the case of LaVarn Williams at Pacifica, her contract not renewed, who fought for black broadcasters. Carrie, Carrie Core, who was the Program Director who left in April and is quoted as saying: "KPFA is the most racist, sexist, classist place that [she has] ever worked in [her] life."
I mean this woman is like her fifties. So she can remember kind of like the Jim Crow era, and stuff like this .But when I say apartheid radio, pertaining to KPFA, this isn't a tongue in cheek kind of criticism. This is what is really going on. Now the last person I wanted to mention is Veronica Faisant. She is an assistant to the manager right now. She does managerial work, but they claim that she is not a manager. And also, Andrew Phillips is planning to cut her hours during Black History Month and give them to the whites show that comes on before us "Up Front." I mean that's what's going on Black History Month. And I know Andrew is going to come up here and lie and give some justification. I'm saying that you can contact me blckreportradio(at)gmail and we can talk about this .You can also call Veronica Faisant and talk to her personally. Her phone number is (510) 848-6767 ext 209, if you would like to talk to her to discuss: is this true?
Also last but not least I need to bring up the point in dealing with Walter Turner, who was leading the black broadcasters against Andrew Phillip's decision to cut off veteran broadcaster Emmit Powell, who has the only Gospel show on KPFA. They took one hour and gave it go to the "Father Figure Show," led by white celebrity Adam Mansbach, as well former KPFA "Hard Knock Radio" host Weyland Southon. Now I know that fatherhood show is a good show but why did the hour have to be gentrified from black programming which already doesn't have enough. So enough of the tirade but we want you guys to call in (510) 848-6767 ext 203 for Andrew Phillips, Veronica Faisant is ext 209, JR is at blckreportradio(at)gmail.com, Andrew is at andrew(at)kpfa.org.
Also, I would like you to cc Summer, who is the Executive Director of Pacifica, at summer(at)pacific.org, and demand that she has a meeting to discuss these anti-black policies that are going on not just in the past at KPFA, not just in the 50s or 60s. I'm talking about in 2013. I'm talking about yesterday, today, tomorrow.
Also, there's a plan to preempt us, two weeks from now, and probably let Brian Edwards-Tiekert, their favorite golden boy, you know, preempt the "Morning Mix," and let him do the broadcasting for us, or they'll put on some BS so that they can make a lot of money, instead of actually trying to culture and work with our audience.
Before I want to say radio is a human right, not a privilege. The manager walks around the station saying being on the radio is a privilege. No, Andrew, it is a human right. If white people have access to the radio to teach what they think is important and their culture and their history, then every one else should have also. The native Americans should. The Asians should. The Latinos should. Black people should. I mean Andrew I don't know where you come from. Actually I do know where you come from. You come from Australia where there's also Jim Crow in dealing with the Aborigines.
So, I don't know why you would think this is a privilege when people are not even versed on the problems at the station. Radio is a human right, Andrew Phillips!
The rest is, as they say, history...
But the best may be yet to come...
The following is from San Francisco Bay View.
Note: Some of the post below is almost a month old, and some it is right now...It is all yours for free...(and I am not even a reader sponsored, self proclaimed totally free speech blog)...
Join KPFA’s Black and other broadcasters of color and unpaid staff for a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, April 11, 6 p.m., in Laney College Student Center Room 401, fourth floor, 900 Fallon St., Oakland
It’s an echo of Reconstruction, that brief period 150 years ago following the Emancipation Proclamation when, within three years of winning the vote, Blacks had won 15 percent of all elected offices in the South. With Black progress measured in one step forward and two steps back, however, the payback for such audacity continues to this day.
- signing the two petitions that are circulating,
- attending the Town Hall Meeting, where everyone can speak out, on Thursday, April 11, 6 p.m., at Laney College, 900 Fallon St., Oakland, in Student Center Room 401 (details below).
Petition to end the suspension of JR Valrey from KPFA
Mr. Valrey has made several complaints to KPFA management about abusive conduct by some KPFA paid station staff members. None of the people he has complained about have been suspended.
Mary Ratcliff, editor, SF Bay View
Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman and 2008 Green Party presidential candidate
Gerald Smith, labor activist and former member, KPFA Local Station Board (petition author)
Davey D, host, Hard Knock Radio, KPFA
Walter Turner, host, Africa Today, KPFA
Greg Bridges, host, Transitions on Traditions, KPFA, KCSM, Reflections in Rhythm
Jared Ball, WPFW host, IMixWhatILike.org
Tim Killings, Laney Black Student Union (author of the online petition)
Rebel Diaz, Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, The Bronx
Don DeBar, CPRmetro.org, Community Progressive Radio
Gerald Perreira, Black Consciousness Movement Guyana (BCMG) and African Revolutionary Movement (ARM)
Taiwo Kujichagulia-Seitu, Lyric Dance and Vocal Ensemble
Thandisizwe Chimurenga, KPFK host
Kevin Epps, filmmaker, deYoung Fine Arts Museum artist fellow
Donald E. Lacy, LoveLife Foundation, KPOO host
Anita Woodley, actor, Princess Dragon Productions, LLC
James D. Calhoun, ElevenFour Productions
Maya Garcia, aka Ms. B, Gemstone and Block Report Radio crew
Stan Woods, former member, KPFA Local Station Board and KPFA Program Council
Oriana Ides, ARISE High School
Anita Lopez, KPFA supporter and listener
Jessica Gelay, KPFA listener and supporter, Berkeley native
Jacob Crawford, WeCopwatch.org
Asatah J, former KPFA listener and educator
Malcolm Chu, community organizer, Springfield, Mass.
Lyla Bugara, KPFA listener and organizer
Tracie D. Moreland
Jodi Tsapis, youth and community worker, San Francisco
Coriander Melious, Special Education teacher, Oakland Technical High School FADA Campus
J.B. Gerald and J. Maas, Gerald and Maas, Ottawa
Henry Peters, former KPFA broadcaster, Michigan
Mara Rivera, KPFA listener supporter
Khari Toure, listener and spoken word artist
Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, Clenched Fist Productions
Moises Galvan, listener supporter
K Moon Howe, KPFA supporter and listener
Mary Berg, long time KPFA broadcaster, supporter and advocate
Kiana Davis, KPFA listener
Kevin Weston, principle at KwestOn Media
Malaika H Kambon, photojournalist and former programmer at KPFA
Steve Martinot, college professor
Charles Brown, IBEW
Jack Heyman, ILWU
Richard Phelps, attorney, mediator, former member and chair, KPFA Local Station Board
Lisa ‘Tiny’ Gray-Garcia, Poor News Network, KPFA broadcaster
Tony Robles, Poor News Network, KPFA broadcaster
Elbert ‘Big Man’ Howard, former editor of The Black Panther newspaper, founding member of PACH (Police Accountability Clinic and Helpline), jazz host and board member of KWTF 88.1FM
Carole Hyams Howard, nurse, founding member of PACH (Police Accountability Clinic and Helpline), board member of KWTF 88.1FM
San Francisco Green Party
Rich Stone, SF Green Party County Council, SF Labor Council APWU Delegate
John-Marc Chandonia, SF Green Party County Council
Rev. Sandra Decker, SF Green Party
Ann Garrison, KPFA Evening News reporter, WBAI AfrobeatRadio producer
Adam Hudson, independent journalist, writer and photographer
DM Moore, dedicated listener and supporter of JR Valrey’s journalism and radio program
Bill Carpenter, videographer, retired adjunct instructor at City College of SF
Galen Kusic, editor, River News-Herald and Isleton Journal, Rio Vista, Calif.
Leo Stegman, writer
Peter Byrne, independent journalist
Russell Albans, better known as Eesuu, the artist
Mikela McFly of Block Report Radio, former KPFA listener
Susan Rahman, KPFA listener
My thoughts on JR’s suspension by KPFA
Regarding Minister of Information JR Valrey’s suspension from KPFA
More notable comments
KPFA’s Black and other broadcasters of color and unpaid staff host Town Hall Meeting at Laney College
- The arbitrary suspension of Black broadcaster JR Valrey from the Morning Mix, without due process, as well as the consistently racist treatment of other broadcasters and staff of color in the recent past, including Nadra Foster, Carrie Core, Miguel Gavilan Molina and more. Come tell your story!
- KPFA/Pacifica’s use of a two-tier system to deal with the paid and unpaid staff. At KPFA, 80 percent of the broadcasters are unpaid; the 20 percent who are paid use up all of the resources, although all broadcasters must raise funds. The unpaid staff have NO say in decisions about the budget, hiring, office allocation etc.
- No Program Council at KPFA. The Program Council used to be a group of one third listeners, one third broadcasters and one third management that evaluated shows and recommended changes to the programming grid. In ‘08-’09, former Program Director Sasha Lilley, a host of Against the Grain radio show, abolished the Program Council, effectively ridding KPFA of listeners’ and broadcasters’ participation in programming decisions.
- No grievance process. KPFA lacks a process to address grievances from the unpaid staff in a timely manner.
- Pacifica and KPFA management’s selective enforcement of the rules. Unpaid staff are penalized, while paid staff, for the same infractions, are not even addressed, let alone punished.
- The pseudo-union CWA (Communications Workers of America), which represents only the 20 percent of the staff that are paid, and not all paid staff support it. It effectively controls the station and runs it into the ground, for the benefit of the entrenched paid staff.