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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Column: Fire and Blacklist NYC’s Miss Jones

Miss Jones, the sociopathic host of The Miss Jones Morning Show on New York City’s leading hip-hop and R&B station Hot 97, chose on January 21 to lead her co-hosts in singing “The Tsunami Song” to the tune of “We Are The World.” To read the lyrics is to weep:

“There was a time, when the sun was shining bright So I went down to the beach to catch me a tan. Then the next thing I knew, a wave 20 feet high Came and washed your whole country away. And all at once, you can hear the screaming chinks. And no one was saved from the wave. There were Africans drowning, little Chinamen swept away. You can hear God laughing, ‘Swim you bitches swim.’

[Chorus]”So now you’re screwed. It’s the tsunami,You better run and kiss your ass away. Go find your mommy.I just saw her float by, a tree went through her head.And now your children will be sold. Child slavery.”

When listeners called in angry, the station issued an apology. Miss Jones said she would donate one week’s salary to the tsunami relief effort. But just one day later, she began complaining about the criticism against her and sang the extended version of the song in addition to attacking “Miss Info,” the only member of the morning show who refused to participate.

Later that day, Hot 97 posted another “official” apology on their website. It took the company three more days to suspend the show; even now, it’s only on hold “indefinitely.”

A racist slur is ominous like a pregnant roach. On the surface it may seem unimportant, but it contains a whole lot of trouble. First, a slur is an implicit acceptance of racist inequalities like the disparities in both the health and education systems, and the overrepresentation of non-whites in the “criminal justice system.” Second, the acceptance of racism can provide the basis for a popular, grassroots racist movement (note: such a movement would be extremely useful in mobilizing masses to support unending wars on “terror”).

Therefore, the roach should be squashed. Jones did too much damage and was too insincere to ever be forgiven for her actions. Why should we believe her if she apologizes again? Not only should she be fired, she should be blacklisted and never given access to avenues of mass communication again. She might begin reclaiming her spot among humanity if she moves to South Asia for a year to help repair the devastating wreckage. But racism in our culture is a problem beyond Jones. If you visit the website of any media watch group you will find that thousands of racist situations are created and then aired on television, and in radio and cinema. Freeing us from this brainwashing means choosing to integrate ourselves in our daily lives. Freeing us from racist governmental policies means organizing for militant, multi-racial unity in action. We should start by fighting culture with culture. If all corporate media can come up with is divisive and immature stereotyping, we should continue creating anti-racist, revolutionary art, music, drama, and literature. For example, Jin the MC’s freestyle response to the Hot 97 situation is sharp and has better rhymes than mine. You can hear it at http://www.allhiphop.com/hiphopnews/?ID=4000. It’s not enough to shut the racists up. We should be yelling louder than them as well.