Today I had the unfortunate experience of being a guest on the "Wylie Coyote Show" here in Big City Wanna Be. I call it that because it is a play on the radio show hosts name, and her audience is like a pack of wild coyote's.
Background: I turned some of my random thoughts into a rather long piece on the Michael Vick case and sent it the daily newspaper for publication. They asked me, at the end of 2006, to consider being a regular contributing commentator but I declined for the time being. Now, I felt up to the task of the additional writing that it would require. And also, I had to prepare for the potential added attention I may experience.
My article ran on Saturday and by Monday I got a call from Ms. Coyote to be on her show. I have declined her invitation each time I've been invited this year, because her audience does not stay on topic and they accuse every Black person who comes on the radio of "playing the race card." I decided to begin writing a few pieces for the daily to promote our newspaper and radio show and since exposure was the goal I accepted the invitation to do the show.
Some people crave the spotlight, and I admit I did too for a while in my life. I now prefer for my words to be in print so that people can reread them for clarity and any misinterpretation of my words can be blamed on the reader and not my sometimes blunt delivery.
Several listeners (all "sounded" white) took this opportunity to:
1. Accuse me of calling another talk show host a racist.
2. Tell me I was a racist for having a "Black" newspaper.
3. Tell me Black need to clean out their own backyard before calling others racist because we have Black colleges, Miss Black America and BET so are racists too.
4. Tell me that they were just waiting for someone to say that Vick was a victim of racism. Because "you people" always revert to that when you are caught with your hands in the cookie jar.
5. Agree that Vick should get his job back in the NFL (which was my real point in the article) but people like me make him sick always talking about race.
6. Call in to say that he had a comment but was so angry at me he couldn't get his thoughts together.
But 3 brothers (of course one being my Supa Dupa Fly Husband) and 1 white man called to defend my position.
1. The first caller gave several examples through the years of Black athletes who have been paid less that white counterparts helping to prove my belief that there is an underlying racist belief that Blacks aren't deserving of wealth. (I didn't say overwhelming belief, I said underlying)
2. The second caller compared the treatment of Barry Bonds to that of Roger Clemens. Why is a Black man accused of steroid use for hitting home runs but the white pitcher isn't?
3. The white man said that there are too many instances where judges and government has had to step in and change laws that were unfair toward Blacks for us to simply dismiss any claims of racism in this or any other case. He mentioned the crack v. cocaine sentencing and driving while Black as instances where it didn't seem racist initially, but further evaluation proved it.
4. Lastly, one brother called after I left and said he didn't know why I even came on the show knowing how her audience is. He said he only listens so he can hear what her listeners are really saying behind closed doors.
I had to go take some nerve pills and sit down with baby girl and work a puzzle with her to calm down.
When I returned to the office though, a 70 year old Black business owner called me. She told me that I made her proud by standing my ground against those callers and that that's how we 'used to be'. We always had the back of one another and my defense of Vick's rights was the right thing to do. I never said he wasn't guilty but I didn't let people kick him while he's down. She said what she read in the paper was not at all they way they tried to spin it on the radio.
That's why I do what I do. I am a defender of truth and I'm for the rise of Black people. Some see my Black pride as hatred for non-Blacks, but that's their issue to deal with. That one call from my elder reminded me that God groomed me for this work and this was just another day at the office.
p.s. I'm going to write something on the train wreck that we call "talk radio".