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Thursday
Oct 23rd

Attacking Disney racism

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The Walt Disney Company, Citadel Broadcasting Corporation, KQRS, Tom Bernard and Terry Traen, endorse the broadcasting and advertisement of prejudice, bias, and discriminatory attitudes in their promulgation of false and negative stereotypes of Minnesota people of color in their programming, said protesters Thursday morning at a rally at the KQRS studios, 2000 Elm St. S.E., in Minneapolis.
Left: Clyde Bellecourt, founder of the CCLC

The Walt Disney Company, Citadel Broadcasting Corporation, KQRS, Tom Bernard and Terry Traen, endorse the broadcasting and advertisement of prejudice, bias, and discriminatory attitudes in their promulgation of false and negative stereotypes of Minnesota people of color in their programming, said protesters Thursday morning at a rally at the KQRS studios, 2000 Elm St. S.E., in Minneapolis.

The Communities of Color Council of Many Nations rally chided KQRS' "racist billboard advertising" which boasts that they, Citadel Broadcasting Corporation and Walt Disney Company, '[We] insult you in English.'" The billboard ads not only refer to the morning show's past jabs at Somali and Hmong immigrants, but to Spanish-speaking Latinos in Minnesota, the protesters said in a statement to the press. "The previous patterns of racist jabs mocked Somali dialects after the slaying of a Somali cab driver. Before that, they targeted the Asian-American community by making fun of a teenage Hmong girl, who was charged with killing her newborn son. According to them, her potential fine of $10,000 was "a lot of eggrolls."

In response to the unending assault against the dignity and cultures of people of color, the cultural advocates said a historic movement is being born.

"American Indian, African American, Somali, Hmong and other Asian communities as well as Spanish speaking peoples have formed a new coalition to fight racism in Minnesota. The Communities of Color Leadership Council (CCLC) said it is ready to engage KQRS/Citadel and The Disney Company, in a fight to change their branding of racism, prejudice, bias and discriminatory practices under the benign label of "entertainment" and "shock jocks". Tom Bernard, Terry Traen, KQRS/Citadel, The Walt Disney Company, nor any other business wanting to reach Minnesota's markets, will be able to promulgate or package their racist approach to "shock radio" to respective sponsors," organizers said in a press statement.

The recent hire of Don Imus by Citadel Broadcasting Corporation speaks to the newly merged Disney Company and Citadel Broadcasting leadership's willingness to use prejudice, bias and seemingly benign stereotyped caricatures of cultures and people of color just to benefit company's bottom line, they said.

"The day is past when important economic, labor and professional representation from communities of color is so easily dismissed. We are your neighbors, the people you sit next to at lunch, and who sit next to you at worship. It is incumbent on all Minnesotans to strike back at this shameless ignorance. It is time for Bernard and Imus to retire permanently so their racist views no longer go out to mass American audiences," Clyde Bellecourt, founder of the CCLC.

The CCLC is considering the following actions:
- A class action suit representative of Minnesota's represented and collective communities of color against KQRS, Citadel and The Disney Company.

- Development of "selective buying campaign" of businesses who do business with KQRS, Citadel and The Disney Company. With the holiday season here, a selective buying campaign of any and all Disney products and brands will effectively drive the message to Disney that communities of color count within their markets locally, regionally and nationally.

- Joining/spearheading similar action across the nation to challenge all advertisers to stop buying airtime on KQRS and other stations owned, operated and/or managed by Citadel and The Disney Company.

For more information contact CCLC at 612.251.5836.
 

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