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Pot, Kettle, Etc.

Posted 4/15/2009

Matthew Hood takes a long winding road to basically call Vincent Williams a racist ("It's a Family Affair," The Mail, April 8) while using out of date, animated, or incorrect (Sanford and Son?) examples of television shows that displayed loving black families (the most famous of which, The Cosby Show, was called unrealistic by critics--something Williams has noted in a past column). Since the internet is so educational, I conducted a search: "black/African-American Disney characters." I was able to find two, including the star of the new feature. That's not much considering Disney has released almost one animated film per year since 1937 (not including Disney/Pixar features--which would make three black characters). What's interesting is one of the first search results was "9 Most Racist Disney Characters."

Yes, people of various races fall in love, but is it so hard to understand why someone would have liked to have seen the second black animated character in Disney history (and first black lead) end up with a black prince? There have been plenty of black male voices, even though most of them have played animals. I guess asking for two black animated characters in one film is just unreasonable. Although, it could be I'm not the best person to comment on this. I'm still upset at how Disney represented a lack of suitable mermen bachelors in The Little Mermaid.

Rahsaan Goldsboro
Baltimore

Radio Needs Radicals

To summarize one tidbit in a recent Corporation for Public Broadcasting audit of WYPR-FM--the station that fired popular talk show host Marc Steiner--the CPB Inspector General found that WYPR falsified its compliance statements to get Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant money ("Inspector General report finds that WYPR is not in Compliance with public broadcasting rules," The News Hole, citypaper.com, April 6). Protestors of the station have been pointing this out to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting since Marc was fired--leaving the station devoid of his probing and pointed coverage of Baltimore and devoid of coverage of or representation by minorities. Even conservative radio WBAL-AM has one black talk show host (even though he's as conservative as the rest of them!).

The Marc Steiner firing, as mad as it made his many fans, also pulled back a veil on the doings of a Nixonian management and board of directors at this station--showing that the pursuit of money for expansion was the real goal. It's as if the management--not staff--stole money from the government (it certainly got it under false pretenses) maybe like certain defense contractors or pork barreling senators?

The talk show that replaced Marc's does not entertain probing questioners, as big as Dan Rodricks' heart may be, and I'm glad he's a liberal and I listen a lot. But he does not want to probe or someone told him not to. Liberal is "nice," but even a liberal should do one radical show a month, maybe?

There have been times when the Community Advisory Board has met and there were more protestors present than board members. Meetings of the regular board have had to go into secret session to avoid scrutiny of budgetary matters. Everything seems to be treated by management in an adversarial manner when the protesters simply love interesting radio and could actually help YPR, in my opinion, by making it better--for the whole state.

The whole thing smells and I can only feel for the employees and board members and few Community Board members of the station, who--although a talented lot--cannot get up on their hind legs to change things.

David Eberhardt
Baltimore

Editor's note: We've started getting entries in, but there's still time to submit your 5-minute masterpiece to Shoot. Score. Baltimore., City Paper's first-ever short-film contest: the deadline is Friday, April 24. Click your way to citypaper.com/go/shortfilmcontest for rules and details.

Also, Dina Kelberman's Important Comics missed the paper this week. It'll be back next week.

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