On a recent KDWB Dave Ryan in the Morning Show, radio listeners were assaulted with a performance of self-pleased bigotry, so hurtful and unashamed as to leave one reeling.
In an ostensible attempt at comedy, the Morning crew giggled their way through a parody of Eric Clapton’s elegy, Tears in Heaven, with lyrics rewritten to dehumanize Hmong people living in our community. Instead of humor, though, what they actually achieved was violence.
In just two breathtakingly contemptuous verses, Dave and his crew were able to attack, demean, and degrade using caricatured references and images of poverty, vermin, child sexuality, promiscuity, physical unattractiveness, child neglect, and ignorance.
Also, it strikes one as curious that they chose to reference Eric Clapton, who is quoted from a 1976 U.K. concert haranguing the crowd with self-proclaimed racism:
“…get the foreigners out…I used to be into dope, now I’m into racism…send them all back…this is a White country…we need to make clear to them they are not welcome…we are a White country…I don’t want [expletives deleted] living next to me with their standards.”This is the same message sent by the KDWB Morning crew.
When the predicable response is eventually offered by KDWB (in lieu of repair or prevention), be wary of what we’ve been trained to expect: “It was all unfortunate and unintended,” and “don’t be so sensitive, it was only a joke.” Given the history of similar incidents in this area, the intensity of prejudice expressed, and the obvious delight shown in their bigotry, a deeper truth is betrayed. This was intended to be harmful; any other explanation defies credibility.
Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
No. Not as long as you don’t care to know my name or my humanity on earth.
Will it be the same if I saw you in heaven?
Sadly, yes, as long as our eyes allow us to see only a projection of our internalized hatred and disgust we harbor for people whom we choose to fit into a categories we define as inferior to ourselves.
Dr. Daniel Hess