It’s truly a privilege being a DJ on a station like KCRW. With events like the terrorist attack on the Black Business District in Tulsa in 1921, the brutal murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955, and the senseless deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile just days ago, many of you are now learning that if you are black man in America, it is also a privilege to be alive.
I say you because most of you don’t look like me, or Trayvon, or Tamir, or Eric, or countless others. As a black man in America, I’ve had several unprovoked encounters with law enforcement because I “fit the profile”. Yes, those are the literal words the police officers used. So for many of us, as the late Gil Scott-Heron would say, this “Ain’t No New Thing.”
Over the last few days, many from both sides of this socially constructed divide of you and us have seen footage of police officers kill a man and become unified by feelings of anger, devastation, and horror. I’m of the belief that being on a public radio station I am beholden to the public – I have a responsibility to serve the people. Sometimes that means using my show as a platform to express the sentiments of many. In a decision I made just moments before my show last night, I chose to do just that.