Inbox — May 21, 2014

Letters to the Editor

Unclear Channel
With regards to the news story “Making waves” published in the May 7 LEO Weekly, the article’s slant tended to pit Crescent Hill Radio against FORward Radio Louisville with citations of apparent programming incompatibilities. Let me clarify, first of all, that being a 501c3 nonprofit, Fellowship of Reconciliation cannot and does not promote political candidates.

It is unfortunate that Fellowship of Reconciliation’s selection of the same radio frequency as Crescent Hill Radio was dubbed by the article’s author as unfortunate. CHR’s Kathy Weisbach may see it that way. A lot of other folks don’t. As it turns out, there were many more applicants than available (at least six) frequencies in Louisville, and the fact that only two organizations ended up on the same frequency defied the laws of probability fortunately!

Beyond that, however, compared to the other applicants, CHR and FORward have a lot in common. Both are passionate about showcasing local talent, events, sustainability efforts and outreach to disenfranchised communities. True, CHR emphasizes local musicians while FORward emphasizes talk radio. However, just as CHR programming includes several talk shows, FORward programming will also include local musicians.

Finally, we find it rather bewildering that the 5 a.m.-to-5 p.m. programming division was characterized by Weisbach as being unworkable. In fact, this arrangement was mutually agreed upon at a meeting of the FORward Radio working group with Weisbach, who had indicated she was most interested in broadcasting during the evening/nighttime hours.
Ruth Newman, Member, FORward Radio Louisville

Accountable Youth
I was pleased to read the column by Jaison A. Gardner about the lack of involvement and development of plans and organizations for black kids (LEO Weekly, April 9). I agree with everything he said wholeheartedly and feel compelled to take some form of action in the future. I appreciate his honesty and the courage it took to say that ass-whippings are needed. It all starts at home — if you aren’t disciplining kids at home, they have no model of what is expected outside the home.

I understand it’s hard now for parents to do certain things because the powers-that-be claim it’s abuse and even tell children to report their parents for corporal punishment. This is such a crock. I got my ass beat at home and by my teachers at school. Or, if I cut up in school, I knew what was waiting for me at home, because teachers always had a way of letting my parents know what had happened before I made it home.

I am saddened by the continued decline in attitudes toward black youth in the city and increased criticism of their behavior, yet there are no solid interventions or resolutions. I sincerely hope and pray that something is done soon and all the lip service transforms into concrete actions. No child should be on the streets of Louisville after 9 p.m. unless accompanied by a responsible adult. Even this small step toward enforcing the curfew that was regulated some time ago would be a welcome start.
Sonja Reynolds, Phoenix Hill

Soapy Speech
It’s about soap, apparently. As we saw in the McCutcheon decision a few weeks ago, Chief Justice Roberts and his Libertarian colleagues can see free speech only as an object. It’s a bar of Ivory soap, and they want to keep it pure.

Government censorship would pollute it. No one disagrees with that. The problem is that Roberts and colleagues see any government action as censorship. So they ignore the actual function of campaign finance laws. The point of limiting the spending of big spenders is to make room for ordinary people. It’s about access for everyone.

Still, Roberts and colleagues say they must overturn campaign finance laws in order to protect free speech from potential government censorship. This rationale also means the government is not allowed to protect the rights of ordinary people from big-spender monopolization of our election campaigns.

If Roberts and colleagues saw free speech as a public conversation instead of an object, they might be more interested in protecting the right of ordinary people to participate. In the words of Justice Louis Brandeis (a native of Louisville), our founders “valued liberty as both an end and as a means.” It was a “discourse,” not a bar of soap.
Tom Louderback, Highlands