Joyner Morning Show mocks Black-Owned newspapers
This behavior has been
documented, graded and will go down in history.
By the way the grade for Joyner and his staff’s performance is
Consistent with the
deplorable remarks, he called them “Black newspapers,” as if the
color of the papers are black and the news in it are only fit for black
folks to read.
purpose of our satire is to get people to think.’
‘I hope that we've at least got people thinking about our Black
newspapers,’” said Joyner.
“A satire about our
Black newspapers” – to the best of my recollection, using Joyner’s
language, the satire went as follows:
oughta tell black folks bout dare newspapers – dey has too many group
pictures and talk bout community stuff. Hee, Hee, Hee!!
Why dey gotta always put da group pictures in da paper?
psychic lady, you know, the one that tells you to count the number of
curtain rods in your kitchen curtain and play that number in the lottery
said: Yeah, dey
gotta always put a lotta group pictures in da paper; pictures of
birthday parties, Valentine parties, clubs, fraternities, sororities,
and families – wit da toothes showing.
Somebody need to tell’em bout the group pictures so dey can
quit. Put sumelse in dare! Hee,
Obviously, Joyner and
his allegedly Ebonics talking staff [rumor has it that they could be
writing a book in Ebonics] does not respect African-American-Owned
“I abhor people that
call our newspapers ‘black papers.’
They are African-American-Owned newspapers that publish news for
all races. Most of our
successful media people get their experience from working with
Black-Owned publications. After
we train them, mainstream media then hires them,” said Loretta Floyd,
former editor of The Dayton
The alleged satire
above is just one of the few things that are deplorable on the Tom
Joyner Morning Show. Often
times their conversation can be clearly defined as being sexually
explicit. I have never in my
lifetime, seen such tacky and unprofessional behavior over the radio
waves. While Chairman
Michael K. Powell , of the Federal Communication Commission, is
investigating and finding ways to clean-up family-time on television
because of the Super Bowl, I recommend that he add radio, also.
The Tom Joyner Show could be a prime example to use.
I personally felt that
Joyner’s behavior is a result of racism.
Black men in key positions to influence black people, such as
Joyner and some black leaders have always used black folks to their
advantage, by fooling them. What
he did was to attempt to hurt African-American-Owned newspapers by
literally mocking them and make a condescending remark about it being a
mere “satire.” He
exhibited the crab-in-the-bucket mentality.
After all, we do have some of the same advertisers (customers) as
his syndicated show. This
could have been his senseless way of competing.
Additionally, this could have been a great opportunity to let the
people know how important these newspapers are to both white and black
communities, and give a little history of the paper for Black History
Obviously, because of
the disrespect that Joyner showed on his show for African-American-Owned
newspapers, an apology is warrant. Therefore,
I recommend that Radio-One make an apology to all African-American-Owned
African-American-Owned newspapers came
into existence before the Civil War as a medium of expression of
abolitionist sentiment. In 1827, Samuel Cornish and John B.
Russwarm started the first African-American-Owned periodical, called
Freedom's Journal. Freedom's Journal initiated the trend of
African-American-Owned papers throughout the
migrated from fields to urban centers, virtually every large city with a
significant African-American population soon had African-American-Owned
newspapers. Examples were the Chicago Defender, Detroit Tribune,
the Pittsburgh Courier, and the (
From an economic
perspective, African-American-Owned newspapers were formed in order to
make a profit. According to a study of early
African-American-Owned newspapers, the "primary motivation" of
African-American-Owned newspaper proprietors was "not uplift, but
profit." In addition, from a social standpoint, these
newspapers were a source of pride for the African-American community and
a focal point for African-Americans to stick together and fight the
constant oppression they were under. Taking this into account, it
seems apparent that it was most beneficial for African-American-Owned
newspaper editors to be motivated by both uplift and profit.
Black Newspaper Publishers dream of Equality and Respect
MAARTEN, Antilles (NNPA)
As America’s Black Press continues its traditional role of protecting and
defending the rights of African-Americans, the 177-year-old institution still
has a dream of equality of its own, says the chairperson of the National
Newspaper Publishers Association, a federation of more than 200 Black-owned
common dream that we share basically amounts to the fact that we are looking for
equity in advertising. We are looking for mutual respect in the newspaper
industry and among our peers,” Sonny Messiah-Jiles told NNPA members at its
annual mid-winter conference in
more so, we dream of a day when our news holes will be judged for the character
of its content, and not by the color of its publishers or its leaders.”
elected chairperson of the organization last June, was giving her first “State
of the NNPA” address at the conference. She says the organization must take
advantage of every opportunity to assert its readership clout and historic
mission as leverage to win economic equity for its readers as well as itself.
“As we sit here as NNPA members, the Black Press of America, one of the most
powerful tools that we have is we serve 15 million people,” says Messiah-Jiles,
publisher of the Houston Defender. The NNPA’s target market has an annual
buying power of $572.1 billion, according to a
worked hard,” she says. “We’ve had some good times and some bad times, but
through it all, one of the premises that we continue to live by is something
that was said by Frederick Douglass … That is that power concedes nothing
without a demand.” Not just African-Americans face discrimination. So do Black
businesses, according to the publishers gathered here. “They come up with all
kinds of excuses not to advertise,” states Robert W. Bogle, publisher of the
120-year-old Philadelphia Tribune, the nation’s oldest continuously published
Black-owned newspaper. He says some will note that many Black newspapers are not
audited by Audit Bureau of Circulations, the nation’s most respected auditing
daily newspapers are not audited by ABC,” Bogle says. “Then they want to
talk about our failure rates. The Philadelphia Inquirer has lost more
circulation than any other daily newspaper in the country, but advertisers still
buy ads.” Others say Black publishers need to stop making excuses and run
their newspapers in a more business-like fashion. “We can no longer say, ‘We
are Black’ and expect them to just buy,” explains Joy Bramble, publisher of
the Baltimore Times in
say Black newspapers must expand their readership base and that, in turn, will
lead to more advertising dollars. The average reader of NNPA newspapers is about
49 years old. “We have to refocus our target audience. Our target audience has
always been the leadership of the Black community,” says James E. Lewis Sr.,
publisher of the Birmingham Times in
got to be something in the paper that encourages that young person to pick up
that paper and start reading it, to appeal to younger folks to train them to
become loyal readers,” Bennett says.
62 years ago, NNPA also has a news service, run by the NNPA Foundation, a
separate entity, chaired by Brian Townsend, publisher of the Precinct Reporter
can’t get tired and we can’t lose focus. I think that’s what inspires us,
to recognize that our viability is important and remains strong,” Barnes says.
an administration accosts affirmative action, when you still have cases of
redlining in communities, when you can’t get loans and we have predatory
lending, these are issues that not only affect us in the housing industry but
from anything from gaining credit to buying cars. Check-cashing places and
predatory lending are creeping into our communities. In a lot of ways,
economically, a lot of us have fallen through the gap.”
By James Clingman, Jr
are two categories of leaders in our communities, especially when it
comes to issues and activities related to economic empowerment.
According to Dr. Carter G. Woodson, "Negroes … sometimes choose
their own leaders but unfortunately they are too often the wrong kind.
Negroes do not readily follow persons with constructive programs. Almost
any sort of exciting appeal or trivial matter presented to them may
receive immediate attention … and liberal support." That dilemma
cited by our Elder has never been more pronounced than it is today.
are so-called Black leaders who, despite their unseemly tactics, their
portrayals of themselves as "honest" brokers, and their
shadowy deal-making and sellout prowess, seem to be exempt from exposure
by our people. While Black folks have always had to deal with these
scoundrels, we have been reluctant to call them out - to expose them for
what they really are.
On the other hand, we have leaders among us who are totally dedicated to the collective economic advancement of African Americans. These are the ones who are usually sacrificed by Black people -- thrown out because they are a threat to the establishment or because they are "too Black." That frightens some people and, sadly, we play into that fear by participating in the demise of the very people who would help pull us out of our economic ditch.
is not conjecture; I speak from personal experience. In my hometown, I
have witnessed the "death" of brothers and sisters who go all
out for their people, do not take sell-out bribes, do not back off when
it comes to speaking up for Black people, and are unafraid to be Black.
These conscious brothers and sisters are virtually thrown-out, in many
cases simply because someone from the establishment thought they were
crossing the line and getting out of their place. They are let down by
the very brothers and sisters they have helped. Through our acquiescence
and apathy many of us turn our heads, afraid to speak up for the ones
who speak out for us.
have, on the other hand, seen certain folks stroll through our
communities and be held up as paragons of Black liberation, all the
while filling their pockets with the filthy lucre from their sell out
deals with the powers that be. They lurk in the shadows, afraid to come
out in the open, and use lackeys to promote their causes. They have
their hands in every deal, every program, every transaction, and every
scenario that involves Black people, making certain that they will be
the first in line to be paid. They rob the community and blame that same
community for not moving forward. How can we move forward with crooks
like these among us?
are the ones we should throw away. These are the ones from whom we must
run. These are the very ones who will continue to hold us back because
they will sell us out for their individual benefit and acclaim. The
saddest aspect of this reality is that we accept it. For years we have
seen the same persons in our neighborhoods and our communities selfishly
plot and scheme to fill their pockets and then make some shallow
overture to their brothers and sisters who ignorantly hold them in high
have seen these people move up, economically, while those they are
suppose to be helping move further away from the realization of their
economic dreams. We have also seen the brothers and sisters in the
opposite category fade into oblivion, never to be heard from again. And
then, more times than not, we sit around and reminisce about not having
listened to them and not having followed their prescriptions for
collective economic success.
African Americans Still Be A Minority Group?
Special to The Dayton Defender –
Permission given to reprint article from July 1989
(July 1989) –
One of the most significant consequences of the current discussion of
the name African American might be a greater awareness of the subtle
racism that is often implicit, even if unintentional, in the way the
words “minority” and “minority groups” are used.
Ordinarily, minority means that one group consists of fewer
members than another group whose larger number constitutes it as the
majority. For example,
“Only a minority of the world’s nations have nuclear capability.”
However, when used in reference to race and ethnicity, the word
can be subtly shaded.
In the United States
when the term “minorities” is used, it frequently is presumed to
refer primarily to certain groups: people of African, Hispanic, or Asian
origins. More recently it
has come to include Native Americans. However, it is rarely used in references to other groups such
as Indian, Japanese or Jewish people, though the size of each group is
far smaller than the African American population.
Why is it that these groups are not often referred to as
A growing number of
people are recognizing that the reason is the fact that the word
minority is by no means neutral. In
newspaper editorials and television documentaries, the word minority is
often associated with a host of problems.
For instance, poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, drugs, violence,
and unwed parents are associated with minorities.
It can be used in such a way that the large group is perceived as
normative. Thus, a story about minorities in America can easily evoke
images of a group that is weak, passive and inferior, lacking
self-determination, possessing little that others desire, and having few
resources for solving its problems.
The majority group, on the other hand, is strong, active and
superior, self-determining, possessing what others need and want, and
having the resources for solving its problems.
Further, what is true of the groups becomes true of their
The peculiar use of the
word minority becomes very obvious when we think of how it is not used.
The annual number of graduates from Harvard Business School is
small but are they thought of as a minority in the business community?
Only a small number of Americans earn over five million dollars
per year, but does anyone think of them as a minority group? Why not?
The repetition of the
term minority group in almost all references to Black Americans can be a
tragic reinforcement of the status quo, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Are you poor and unemployed:
Of course you are, you are in a minority group.
You will always be poor and unemployed, because your identity is
defined as and determined by your not being a part of the majority. This insistence on the use of the word minority to categorize
and contain certain groups of people reaches laughable proportions when
newspaper articles and television news reporters makes statements such
as “Experts predict that by the year 2010 the majority of people
living in the cities of Washington, DC, Cleveland, Detroit, and Newark
may be minorities.” Thus,
even when Hispanic Americans or African Americans make up well over half
of the population of a given city, even when they are the numerical
majority, they must still be categorized as minorities.
That is, they must be defined by their relationships to White
people even when White people are the minority in the city in question.
Because of this
pre-established understanding of the meaning of the word, it becomes
impossible for White people to ever be a minority.
Thus, while much was made of Michael Dukakis, as the son of Greek
immigrants during the Presidential campaign, he was never described as a
member of a minority group. But, how did the white population of the United States, which
is made up of people of so many different ethnic and national
backgrounds, come to be one massive monolithic group, the majority?
In spite of the so-called melting pot of suburbs, most Caucasian
people in this country are very aware of and justly proud of their
ethnic link with other lands.
There are Irish Americans, Italian Americans, German Americans, Polish Americans, Swedish Americans, Jewish Americans, and many others. People of these distinct national groups generally cherish their origins. They are concerned about political events in these countries. They tell stories about and travel to the “Old country.” They celebrate the languages, music, art and cuisine of their homelands. The differences among these groups are by no means slight. In the past and present these differences have led to fierce conflicts and even to open hostilities. However, because they are members of one racial group, the fact that they have different national backgrounds is not always immediately evident.
Almost every ethnic
group that has come to this country has suffered from prejudices and
residues of this prejudice exist to this day.
Each one of these groups, strictly speaking, is a minority.
That is, it is smaller than the whole.
But, Americans of European origins are able to be simple
Americans, when they want to be, only occasionally calling attention the
their specific ethnic heritages. As a result, a somewhat homogenized
population made of many different national backgrounds and simple called
“White people” has become the so-called majority in relation to all
others, who are forever minorities.
Black Americans do not
have this freedom. There
are very few circumstances, if any, in which they are treated simply as
Americans. Yet, the name
“ Blacks” does not link them to a larger group or a larger history
beyond the United States.
Because of the ravages
of slavery most African Americans have no way of tracing their origins
to a specific country in Africa, such as Nigeria, Ghana, or the Ivory
Coast, even though the parts of Africa that were most heavily involved
in the slave trade are known. Nor can most Black Americans sort through the complex tangle
of African ethnic and tribal groups and identify their roots
definitively as Ibu, Yourba or Mandingo.
Thus, the name African American associates them with the whole
continent of Africa and its ancient, rich, complex history and culture.
It links them with the
over 450 million people in Africa itself as well as the tens of millions
of people of African stock in the Caribbean, the West Indies and South
America. If the name
African American helps people of color in this country to become more
conscious of their historical and racial links with over 600 million
people all over the world who have Africa as their genesis, this might
go a long way in combating the negative connotations that are almost
immediately associate with the expression minority group.
The world is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural
habitat for humanity. White
people do not constitute the majority of the world’s population.
The eventual banishment of this problematic use of the word
minority would challenge all people not to focus attention on who and
what people are not, but on who and what they are.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Reverend Edward K. Braxton, Ph.D., S.T.D., a priest of the
Archdiocese of Chicago, is the Official Theological Consultant to
William H. Sadlier, Inc., a Manhattan based publisher of religious
education materials. He has
traveled frequently to Africa and is the author of many articles on
African American Catholics.
Please Note: The editorial comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers or staff of The Dayton Defender.
Last Updated: April 22, 2004
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