17 April 2008

g105 update ...

as reported today in The Fayetteville Observer, "The N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs on Wednesday accepted an apology from Raleigh radio station G105 for derogatory and racially charged comments made during a broadcast of the 'Bob and the Showgram' program.
The Commission of Indian Affairs also agreed to partner with Clear Channel Communications, which owns and operates WDCG. The collaboration, according to a commission news release, would be “on future efforts to promote and support issues of importance to North Carolina’s American Indian population.”

Dick Harlow, vice president and general manager of WDCG, agreed to “no more negative discussion on G105 and the ‘Showgram’ about American Indians,” said Greg Richardson, the executive director of the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs. Harlow met with four American Indian officials for a couple of hours Wednesday in Raleigh. The meeting included Jimmy Goins, the Lumbee tribal leader, and Ed Brooks, a lawyer for the Robeson County-based tribe. Goins, who had demanded that Clear Channel pay $50,000 toward American Indian education, was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

“Showgram” host Bob Dumas and his morning radio crew have been the target of criticism since they made on-air remarks April1 about Lumbees and other American Indians. American Indians were called lazy, and members of the Lumbee tribe were said to be inbred. “I really don’t think Mr. Harlow realized how deep the wounds were for the message they sent out on their airwaves about American Indians,” Richardson said. Harlow provided the commission with an audio copy of the on-air apologies that Dumas and Harlow had given that will be made available online to people who were offended.

Richardson called the compromise historic in scope. “We settled on a historic agreement between a major corporation in the United States and Indian tribes,” he said. “Are we completely happy with the agreement? No. Do we feel all American Indians will be happy with the agreement we made today? No. The healing process is going to go on for some time.” Richardson said the meeting was positive, adding that Harlow apologized throughout. Harlow described the meeting as productive. “We’ll be doing a lot of things with these folks in the weeks and months ahead,” he said. “Everybody in this meeting wanted this to be fair to all. We apologized. We were sincere with our apology, and they felt it.”

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