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PORT ARTHUR BLACK RADIO STATION
Power Plays, Political Games and Black Leader Apathy Doom KSAP & Free Speech
“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.” - William Orville Douglas
PORT ARTHUR-One of the most unique and premier voices in the Port Arthur community was silenced and taken off air Nov. 1 falling victim to power plays and political games.
KSAP “The Breeze” at 107.1 FM was a notable and powerful voice that provided a public service and a host of free community programs for pastors, public officials, agencies, youth and in addition training and exposure for youth interested in radio careers.
“We knew this day was coming, said Black radio pioneer and KSAP founder Stephen Mosely. “It’s a sad day for us because we sounded the alarm and no one stepped up to ask what they could do to help. How could the community let this happen?”
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 was 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 ran the station with five dedicated volunteers.
His efforts often brought hope to Port Arthur children and teenagers by bringing them into the station on a regular basis, offering broadcast training and the opportunity to produce their own shows and a chance to prepare for careers in radio.
Mosely’s frustration over the shutdown and the lack of community outrage is warranted because of the circumstances leading up to the station’s contract being changed and the station being ousted from city hall offices by five council votes.
Port Arthur Mayor Deloris "Bobbie" Prince, who said, “free speech has limits”, led the 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.
His contract was suppose to keep him at city hall through the year 2013.
The cancellation also cost him an $180,000 grant and relocation at the city fire station offices.
Instead, Moseley was unceremoniously evicted and forced to move resulting in at least a temporary shut down of the station and closing of the doors on free speech over the airwaves until he can find another location and raise some grassroots funds to retool and reboot operations.
This closure of the radio station is a bad move and a complete breech of trust by Port Arthur officials and represents a lack of faith and confidence in the Port Arthur citizens and voters and a stiff unwillingness to accept the truth or constructive criticisms.
The attacks on KSAP (“The Breeze”) were due in part to officials that do not want any radio station or news publications on the street that encourages people to express their free speech, opinions or exposes the real “warts”, corruption, discrimination, unfairness, racial strife, divisions or dark side of government and neighborhoods
However, one of the greatest disappointments of losing a vital voice in the community is the failure of so called “good men” to stand up for freedom and liberties and the right to freedom of speech and expression.
African-American residents were given a gift and blessing of having a public meeting and forum of expression through Mosely and his radio station and let it slip away.
Its work has impacted policy and changed the lives and direction of countless youth in that community.
Now without a voice, politicians don’t have to respect your outcry because your thoughts, feelings and opinions will not escape or be heard beyond your living room or during gripe sessions with friends.
Free speech allows you a venue to let the world know when your elected officials are not performing or there are needs and issues needing attention in your community.
Community leaders, preachers, teachers, business, civic and community leaders in the African-American community forgot the important reminder of the value of free speech to their own voices and how preserving the integrity of free speech for all makes a difference in communicating the needs of their respective communities.
Port Arthur’s Black, Hispanic and White communities failed to respond because of a short memory of what the radio station meant to the community.
Its track record and positive value of his radio station in the community was evident and speaks for itself.
Just a reminder:
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 served 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.
Shame on every Black pastors, businessmen and elected officials that stood on the sidelines silently while Mayor Prince pushed, stifled free speech and the trampled the First Amendment.
Their inaction, apathy and lackadaisical attitude toward free voice silenced the voices, ideas, hopes and dreams of Port Arthur youth looking for a way to express their talents and skills in a positive manner.
The enemies of free speech won without firing a shot when free thought and free speech is taken away.
It is shame that thee community and political leaders took freedom for granted and failed in their God given duties to protect the free speech rights of the public.
It is even more tragic that Port Arthur’s Black preachers, The NAACP, Urban League and other community and business leaders developed a bad case of laryngitis and performed the greatest disappearing act since Houdini when this key Black issue of saving the radio station arose.
Your silence and failure to stand up and voice your opposition to attacks on free speech means you are a participant in the demise and fall of the African-American community and the blood of countless slaves and young people drip from your hands because of your lack of inaction.
Free Speech should not be attacked in America. It is not a crime. It is a fundamental right!!!
Mayor Prince crusade against the radio station cost more that can ever be measured in youth and community development.
As an elected official, Mayor Prince failed her community and stole the voice of the people – and that must not be forgotten.
Perhaps its time for Mayor Prince and those councilmen who failed to support the radio station and community to go.
Despite the current setback, Mosely is determined to push ahead with plans for the comeback of the station.
“We will be back,” he said. “I believe in the power of free speech and we will fight to reopen the airwaves to the people and do our part to support true freedom and democracy.”