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7319: What the WBAI struggle means to Haitians (fwd)

From: radman <resist@best.com>

What the WBAI struggle means to Haitians

Beside the all-important issue of free speech, violated by the Pacifica board
and WBAI station manager, Utrice Leid, there is this personal and community
concern of mine and my compatriots: Have we, the Haitian minority in New York
City, lost a dependable, clear, supportive, and powerful voice on the airwaves
with the shuffle that is going on today at WBAI?

Your coverage of the Abner Louima and Patrick Dorismond tragedies, and
the political situation in Haiti over the years has been exemplary as well as
extraordinary.  I have always been struck, for instance, by Amy Goodman's
empathy when reporting from deep in the countryside in Haiti, leaving the
vast majority of her press colleagues in the capital, Port-au-Prince, scurrying
after PR statements from the National Palace or from the American Embassy.
While those same reporters would then spend time in one famous hotel hangout
in Port-au-Prince, sipping on rum punches, engaging in every sort of opportune
socializing, and waiting like "vultures" (an aptly named and self-described 
for the "important" people in town to show up (the newsmakers if you will),
Amy, on the other hand, would stay for long periods in the "boondocks" of Haiti
and convey to us the feelings of the forgotten majority of Haitian people.

It is precisely this quality of reporting, from an elections period in 
Haiti to cases
of police brutality against Haitians in New York City, that has endeared us,
Haitians to WBAI.  And by listening to your uncommonly clear analyses, we
have come to broaden our perspectives of life in the United States and the
industrialized world from the exposure to labor and immigration issues,
police brutality cases against other ethnic minorities, our tax-supported
ventures in Grenada, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, East Timor,
Indonesia, and various other hot spots in the world.  Listening to WBAI has
been a valuable education for all of us, and a level of education so far
unmatched in the Corporate-sponsored news media.  What will happen to
WBAI now?  I can't help but feel that the Haitian community is in great danger
of losing a valued and irreplaceable friend.

We, Haitians living in the New York City area, should be more than willing
to support your cause, just as you have always demonstrated your solidarity
with our causes.  Let's maintain the dialogue.

I have today, on the pages of www.windowsonhaiti.com , presented the
speech of Congressman Major Owens in Congress on 3/8/01 regarding
WBAI and Pacifica.  I would suggest that you design a logo of support
that websites all-around could display as an unmistakable sign that we
want our dear old WBAI back, and not the new one they would like us
to swallow.

Please keep the faith.  We need you now more than ever.

Guy S. Antoine
Windows on Haiti