St. Paul, MN – Community Action Against Racism (CAAR), originally founded in 1998 in the wake of racist content broadcast about the Hmong community on KQRS radio, is organizing and hosting a community meeting about a parody song about Hmong people was aired on KDWB last month. The meeting will be on Saturday, April 30, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the office of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers, located at 400 Selby Ave. #A in St. Paul.
The April 30 meeting is the third one to be held since KDWB, owned by Clear Channel Communications, aired “30 Hmongs in a House” on March 22. Members of the Hmong community as well as non-Hmong individuals say the song was racist and are seeking structural policy changes from station management to prohibit offensive anti-ethnic and racist commentary on KDWB. Since KDWB has, to date, refused to meet with the Hmong community, the meeting has been arranged to give the broader community an opportunity to determine how best to engage KDWB and its Clear Channel parent about necessary policy changes guiding onair content.
On the morning of April 15, TakeAction Minnesota’s Hmong Organizing Program organized a community rally of more than 200 people outside of KDWB’s studio in St. Louis Park. A delegation of nine individuals from the Hmong and allied communities attempted to speak with Rob Morris and other staff of Clear Channel Communications but were subsequently denied a meeting and removed from the premises.
Dan McGrath, Executive Director of TakeAction Minnesota said that public engagement has been growing within the Hmong and non-Hmong communities to hold KDWB and Clear Channel accountable for the parody song and its policies toward on-air entertainment. As more individual and organizational stakeholders have called for KDWB to meet with the Hmong community and make changes, it became clear that a coalition like CAAR was needed.
“With a broader set of organizations now engaged, CAAR is well positioned to drive this dialog forward, to make sure KDWB’s future programming will avoid all racist content,” McGrath stated. “TakeAction Minnesota is proud to be aligned with CAAR and supportive of the work it is moving.”
Community Action Against Racism (CAAR) was originally founded in 1998 after KQRS 92 aired racist comments about the Hmong community following a report about a 13-year-old Wisconsin Hmong girl accused of killing and hiding the corpse of her newborn baby. CAAR was resurrected in April 2011 after similar racial slurs against the Hmong community were aired publicly by KDWB 101.3.