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YOU MUST STAND UP
AND BE COUNTED.

I am not black. So there is truly no way I can ever fully absorb what it is like in the parallel world—and there absolutely is one in America now, sadly, increasingly more than ever—for people of color. 

But because my livelihood and career is unquestionably rooted in black music, this is a culture I belong to and more importantly, respect and love very much.  I’ve had my loyalty questioned before—by the NAACP in fact, when I was first hired at 92.3—and was tasked by the organization back in early-'90s, post-riot Los Angeles, to demonstrate, through actions, where my true heart and intentions lay.  They withdrew their protest after six months.  Considering what was going on in the world at the time, however, this was not an outrageous request but a purposeful one, during a complicated racial era, and the challenge truly taught me a lot. Primarily: to walk the damn walk.  

Make no mistake about it, I am inspired by the Freedom Fighters. I’ve literally gotten fired for standing up for what I thought was right. And I used my pulpit as a PD in FM Radio in two of the biggest broadcast markets in the country—Los Angeles and San Francisco—to message UNITY THROUGH MUSIC and NO COLORLINES. Was it going to solve our racial issues?  No, but it was there to start a dialogue and offer an alternate reality to hate, and our message of hope eventually resonated among all the people of L.A. and SF. 

These memories are like cigarette burns on my soul. 

If you are any way tied to black culture as a white person, then now more than ever, NOW, AT THIS MOMENT, you must stand up and be counted. Rise up on behalf of the causes that directly affect people in the community you serve. Racism is pervasive and rotting our society. This is not up for discussion if your eyes are even half-open these days. If you are tied to black culture as a white person, then we need you to fight back—you are required to, actually, because that culture has given to YOU and anything less is hypocritical. 

If you are a white person in black culture, this means using your position to empower people who actually are the culture.  For me, it became a mission throughout my career to this day, to champion, mentor and promote as many capable young black (and Latin, Filipino, Indian and Asian) people as I could, to help them advance in this business. My track record of protégés is long and distinguished, and I’m extremely proud of it, since they are my legacy more than anything else.

This other Amerikkka that is emerging—the one Ice Cube told us about with the album using this same phrase nearly thirty years ago—is frightening to me. Since I’ve been proxy to enough horrifyingly racist encounters with my black friends and family to know how insane and unhinged entrenched racism can get, I’m outraged by current events. These memories are like cigarette burns on my soul.

So to my peers, I beg you. It is the responsibility of decent, loving people to speak up and not remain silent at this time, as shit goes left (or in this case, Alt-Right).

HITS LIST: AMPERSANDS
Dynamic duos (12/3a)
TAYLOR'S TREMENDOUS YEAR
She'd make one helluva CEO. (12/3a)
THEY CALL THE WINDFALL MARIAH (HOLIDAY EDITION)
Ch-chingle bells (12/3a)
SONG REVENUE:
BOWS OF HOLLY
Adele is money. (12/3a)
UTA MUSIC EXPANDS IN NASHVILLE
Reshuffling the deck (12/3a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
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