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The Fight to Free Speech
Basic Principles of Free Speech Lost in Port Arthur Struggle to Save Black Radio
Lone Star Power Pages
Port Arthur- As a Black radio station under attack struggles to keep its community voice, it is the community that may be its own worst enemy.
Good men doing nothing to stand up for freedom and liberties is worse than the enemy who sneaks in under cover of darkness to overthrow, plunder and steal.
“Where are the people when you need them and right now the station needs them?” said station owner Stephen Mosely. “Why are people silent and appear to want something for nothing. When will Black people understand and learn the value of standing up and supporting one another?”
The lack of will to fight back for free speech appears to be a result of a lack of understanding of its four basic principles of power and its necessity to the survival of voice in a democracy. It is a problem in every Black community across Texas.
KSAP "The Breeze" 107.1, a low-powered FM station, is owned by Stephen Mosely and 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.
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 65 days. That in essence would shut down the station and temporarily closing the doors on free speech over the airwaves.
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.
Port Arthur Mayor Delores 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, 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
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.
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.
Perhaps, preachers, teachers, business, civic and community leaders in the African-American community need remedial reminder of the value of free speech to their own voices and how preserving the integrity of free speech makes a difference in communicating the needs of their respective communities.
Principle No. 1 - “Free speech, exercised both individually and through a free press, is a necessity in any country where people are themselves free.”
- Theodore Roosevelt
African-American residents have been given a gift and blessing having a public meeting and forum of expression through Mosely and his radio station. Its work has impacted policy and changed the lives and direction of countless youth in that community.
Without that voice, politicians don’t have to respect your outcry because it will not 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.
It is a necessity for without it, you are still just a slave and constantly being controlled and manipulated by politicians who often become corrupt and use their political power against the constituency when there is no voice.
Principle No. 2
“There is no more fundamental axiom of American freedom than the familiar statement: In a free country we punish men for crimes they commit but never for the opinions they have.”
- Harry S. Truman
Did The radio station present any problem other than giving the Black community and other minority a real and true way to express opinions about the political, education, youth, religion, public service, business concerns of a community.
Why are Black people so intimidated and think it so wrong for us to have strong opinions about the things we want in a community or about what’s inherently wrong with a community? Why do Black preachers, The NAACP, Urban League and other leaders develop laryngitis or perform the greatest disappearing acts since Houdini when key Black issues and concerns arise.
Free speech is a key Black issue and being muzzled and having to stand alone is an issue that is as serious as the days of hanging your head Jim Crow and Yessir Masser.
Free Speech is not a crime in America. It is a fundamental right.
No Black radio station, Hispanic radio station or White radio station or newspaper deserves to be put through hardship alone because they speak for the people or air community opinions. Politicians are corrupt who attack a basic fundamental Anerican right that hundreds of thousands have died for and that millions around this world still do not enjoy.
Wake Up Pastors, teachers and Black community leaders. When one of us is punished and muzzled, we all are in danger of being next.
Principle No. 3
“Free speech is intended to protect the controversial and even outrageous word; and not just comforting platitudes too mundane to need protection.”
- Colin Powell
We are told many things we don’t like to hear in life. We hear it at work, at church, at school and at home. Communication can be smooth and it can be nasty and crude. Politics is brutal and is not a place for the faint at heart.
The public is supposed to have its say on issues affecting the community and part of this involves criticism and tough talk. Most of the time it ain’t pretty and comes without a pats on the back.
Under the constitution, free speech is a right, not a privilege.
As long as the constitution stands, it must be honored and respected on every public front.
Shallow talk and comforting words are too communication, but it is not the only words in our language.
If you can’t stand the heat as an elected official, get out of the kitchen…
Preachers, community leaders and civil rights organizations – YOU ARE THE COOKS – Time for You to Turn Up the Heat and Demand Protection for Free Speech!!!
Criticism can be harsh and true and in a free society every politician from the mayor of Port Arthur to the President of the United States must be able to take it and without retaliation or abuse of power - A fact the mayor must understand.
Principle No 4
“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
The enemies of free speech win without firing a shot when free thought and free speech is taken away. Port Arthur is blessed to have a free voice not available to many other Black communities across Texas. It is shame that these leaders take freedom for granted and fail in their God given duties to protect the free speech rights of the public. 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.
The ancestors cry out for you to fight, but you can’t hear because their struggle is not your struggle and their will is not your will.
African-Americans will always be in slavery as long as the so-called leaders sit and fail to have the guts to stand up and the faith to fight and support free speech.
“We are going to fight for free speech and keep this radio station alive if we have to stand alone, “ Mosely said. “We will remember those who helped and stood with us and those who didn’t and allowed free speech to be trampled.”
This is an urgent call across Texas for Every Black Preacher and organization to Stand Up with Mosely and be counted for the Community and Support the Black Voice in that Community!!!
(A Sobering Thought)