Accusing corporate giant Clear Channel of racism, sexism and homophobia, a coalition composed of members of Sankofa Way Spiritual Services; Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender ( LGBT ) & Allies for Equality; and the Gay Liberation Network staged a protest Sept. 6 at 233 N. Michigan, where the company’s Chicago radio stations are run.
Prior to the protest, the group issued a press release in which it listed acts and statements from various Clear Channel radio personalities and stations, although urban stations WCGI-FM and V-103 were the primary targets. Among other things, the release stated that WCGI personalities have aired “NO HOMO” sound bites and features artists who call for the deaths of LGBT individuals. Also, the statement contends that comments about July’s Gay Games from “a famous Black female recording artist” were censored by V-103which said artist ( Jody Watley ) confirmed in an interview with Windy City Times.
As for other Clear Channel talking heads, the statement mentioned Michael Savage ( who said that Islam is a religion based on child sexual rape, according to the article ) and Jeff Katz ( who offered free Taco Bell meals for running over illegal immigrants ) .
Will Lockett of Sankofa Way told Windy City Times that “ [ w ] e’re here today to stand against the use of hate in radio. There are too many times when you turn on the public airwaves of WGCI and V-103 and [ hear ] gay people get ridiculed. The [ atmosphere ] is exclusionary and it has to stop.”
Deborah Lake of Sankofa Way added that “ [ t ] he key word is visibility. It’s very important to be visible and to educate people that there is opposition to this corporate sponsorship of misogyny, homophobia and racism. It’s also an opportunity [ for others ] to find out how to be involved and not be overwhelmed by what they hear.” When asked if she thought the homophobia was especially prevalent in Black stations, Lake responded that “it’s widespread across Clear Channel. However, one thing that was interesting in our research was that [ various ] stations owned by Clear Channel have conflicting stances when it comes to sexuality and, I think, it’s based on advertisingand I think that Black communities have been [ especially ] quiet around those issues for the most part. But we’re showing them that we’re not going to be quiet anymore; we’ll be contacting the advertisers and sponsors.”
Besides WGCI-FM and V-103 ( WVAZ-FM ) , other local Clear Channel stations include WLIT-FM, WNUA-FM, WKSC-FM and WGRB-AM ( formerly WGCI-AM ) .