"The Most Powerful Pages on The Planet"
August 10, 2008
Volume 1 - No.12
Darwin Campbell, Executive Publisher
A Bi-Weekly Publication
Free Speech Under Attack!
City Working to Silence Black Radio Station
By Darwin Campbell
Lone Star Power Pages
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
— The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
PORT ARTHUR- By faith, Black Radio pioneer Stephen Mosely started KSAP “The Breeze” at 107.1 FM, hoping to encourage more free speech, community involvement and drum up youth interest in radio careers.
Moseley has succeeded in accomplishing his goals and more, but now is under fire and his progress in jeopardy because he refuses to be a “lapdog” for the chamber of commerce or Port Arthur City Hall.
“This station has been a strong voice and vital part of the community,” he said. “We have done nothing wrong. This is a free speech issue and we feel this is a case of free speech under attack.”
His contract was suppose to keep him at city hall through the year 2013, but now that has been changed and Moseley is being evicted and must move in less than 120 days. That in essence would shut down the station and temporarily closing the doors on free speech over the airwaves.
Port Arthur Mayor Deloris "Bobbie" Prince, who said, “free speech has limits”, is leading a charge with several other leaders to attack free speech by pulling the plug on the radio station and evicting Mosely and his station from his location at city hall.
“Our goal was to be fair, let the people speak and give all a platform,” Mosely said. “We have let people know the truth and the facts and now some want to kill this voice because some cannot take the heat.”
Prince and others are upset over listeners who call into radio talk shows to express opinions about the economic situation, unemployment and other Port Arthur issues that turn up the heat on city officials and are deemed critical or unpopular of the mayor and other city and civic leaders.
KSAP "The Breeze" 107.1, a low-powered FM station, has been broadcasting local content from Port Arthur City Hall for almost three years with a 100-watt transmitter that reaches throughout a 5-mile radius.
The station plays blues, zydeco, hip-hop, gospel, but is most popular because of its call-in talk shows featuring government and civic leaders and for covering hot local issues.
Mosely, founder of the non-commercial station, is a chemist assistant at Total Petrochemicals USA.
He has had a passion for radio since the age of eight when he observed a radio broadcast in progress. Since that time, his dream of sharing that passion is a reality as Moseley brings Port Arthur children and teenagers into the station on a regular basis, offers broadcast training, the opportunity to produce their own shows and a chance to prepare for careers in radio.
KSAP, licensed to Truth and Education Corp., and operates with eight full-time volunteers. The station has had free use of an office in City Hall since the station launched in 2005
According to city documents, in June Port Arthur offered to let KSAP relocate to the City Hall basement, if Mosely would sign off on a new clause in the lease forbidding the station from airing “political shows” or “personal references or political opinions” by hosts, guests or callers – a deal Moseley declined.
The track record and positive value of his radio station in the community and to the community speaks for itself.
Each year, elementary schools celebrate Career Day with a field trip to "The Breeze" exposing our kids to valuable career opportunities in the field of radio broadcasting. During the trip, they enjoy the hands-on experiences and camaraderie with our staff and business community partners who help to make their visit a wonderful lasting experience.
The station exposes and keeps in rotation over thirty local bands, artists and teen musicians who have no other venue to share and display their talents and musical creations for the entire world to acknowledge them and possibly be discovered.
For nearly three years, KSAP has developed, programmed, engineered, promoted, advertised and successfully broadcasted over 400 shows in meeting the desires, requests and life needs of this community and the surrounding area to the tune of over five million dollars ($5 Million).
It serves the community with over 200 Public Service Announcements (P.S.A.) for local businesses and church groups informing the community about business, medical, industrial and educational projects and programs benefiting the citizens of the Golden Triangle area.
This latest fight puts Moseley in the national spotlight as once again, a governmental body is using its powers to intimidate and trample on the public’s right to free access and right to know the truth about what is going on in government.
It also adds his struggle to a historical line of African-Americans who have stood up and fought for freedom of speech.
During its days, the Freedom's Journal, the nation’s first Black newspaper, was attacked by whites in the South not wanting the truth told nationally and abroad about the evils of slavery, lynching and other injustices. The paper was so effective that its news, information and editorials were banned in the South.
In 1892, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, who wrote articles under the pen name "Iola", led a national campaign against lynching. Her Memphis newspaper office was mobbed and destroyed by whites in 1892. She was also faced numerous death threats for her stand for the people.
In November 1898, in two days of racial violence, a mob of whites, led by some of Wilmington, North Carolina’s most respected and influential citizens, destroyed the state's only daily African American newspaper. Nine blacks were killed just because Blacks told the truth about the real conditions in the community.
The struggle in Port Arthur is the same Freedom Journal struggle and also affects Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Killeen, San Antonio and any other city government where elected leaders seek to manipulate, control and spin the truth by legislating and tightening the screws on journalists and using their powers to narrow access and limit freedom of information to its respective citizens.
The attacks on KSAP (“The Breeze”) is due in part to officials that do not want any radio station or news publications on the street that encourages people to express their opinions or exposes the real “warts”, corruption, discrimination, unfairness, racial strife, divisions or dark side of government and neighborhoods. The integrity of free speech must be protected.
Mosely represents a true bold educator and one dedicated to enlightening the Black community and firing up youth from all backgrounds to recognize and use their God-given talents for the good of society.
“We’re unwilling to abide by the council’s decision to kill free speech,” Mosely said. “That’s something we just can’t do.”
His struggle and appeals are drawing a groundswell of grassroots supporters who are upset that free speech is being trampled in Port Arthur.
Supporters are planning to have a say at a public meeting to discuss the station's future on Aug. 23 from 11 a.m. to noon at Sacred Heart in the St. Mary Parish Hall, located at 911 Lincoln Ave. in Port Arthur.