Who speaks for broadcasters?

sag_aftra_broadcasters_logoI got my first radio job when I was still in high school. I’ve been broadcasting for 39 years, from Belle Glade FL to Stuart to Orlando to Miami to Los Angeles. I’ve been a DJ, a news anchor, a music director, a program director, a format creator, hosted shows syndicated worldwide, and appeared on television.

I know broadcasting. I know broadcasters. I’m one of them and have been for most of my life. And I’ve been proud to represent broadcasters on the Los Angeles Board of SAG-AFTRA for the past 4 years.

I work with the great Hal Eisner who, if you cut him, would bleed TV and radio. He represents broadcasters on the SAG-AFTRA National Board.

Broadcasters should be represented nationally and locally by REAL broadcasters. We understand our lives, our needs, our challenges, and what we want our union to do for us. Things someone who’s not a broadcaster would not understand.

We’ve been on the front lines of mergers, consolidation, of media swallowed up by investment firms. We’ve fought to represent our communities, we’ve fought hard in the face of homogenization. We’ve watched broadcast journalists stand up against hate and threats of violence to be voices of truth.

The fight is not over yet. In many ways, it’s just beginning. I’ll have a lot more to say soon.

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Politicians talk openly of executing LGBTQ Americans

Cattle car at Birkenau, part of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Photo by Rob Archer.

Cattle car at Birkenau, part of the Auschwitz concentration camp. In these, Nazis shipped Jews and “undesirables” to their deaths. Photo by Rob Archer.

Several politicians recently have been caught raising the idea that LGBTQ Americans should be killed or executed. That these statements are being made in the open is a disturbing trend. How far will it go? Will they start talking about “camps” for “undesirables”?

In Florida, Mark Hill is heard on tape laughing about a suggestion that, because the Bible allegedly calls for the death of gay men, legislation should be introduced that would execute gay people for their “crime.”

In Alabama, Mayor Mark Chambers of Carbon Hill in a Facebook rant complained that the only way to “solve” the “problem” of gay people is to kill them. When called out on it, he doubled down. No remorse, no apology.

Already in America, we have a version of concentration camps where migrants are being kept in overcrowded, unhealthy conditions, and people – including children – are dying as a result. With minimal outcry, I might add.

We seem to be primed, as the German people were, to accept the idea of wholesale killing of groups of people as a solution.

As the national psyche hardens, it will take so much more to un-harden than just talk or reason. And that scares the living hell out of me. Germany had to be utterly destroyed to loosen the grip of people who firmly believed it was right to kill Jews, gays, Soviet POWs, Roma, and the handicapped.

Is it already too late?