A letter to readers from Tom Turnipseed
Dear POINT readers:
I appreciate your support of the "Tom Turnipseed Show." Unfortunately, despite the show's success and considerable revenue it generated for the station, the out-of-state owner of WOIC-AM decided not to renew our contract. Over-ruling his professional staff's advice, the station owner says he simply wants the station to play more music from the satellite. But we have learned that conservative business owners in the community had talked to him about their dislike of my show. They wanted my show off the air, and they have succeeded.
When I announced this to my listeners, calls lit up the studio phones. They further confirmed that the show was filling a community need. No other radio program was providing a progressive message. No other radio program was providing a forum for community leaders and builders on a daily basis.
We challenged the racism, sexism and homophobia promoted by right wing extremists like the militia movement, white supremacists, the religious right and Newt Gingrich. We spoke out against political attempts to reduce critical resources for children, seniors, the poor, the disabled, education and the environment to give tax breaks to the wealthy and bigger corporate profits. And we even prayed for Gov. David Beasley that he might have a change of heart on issues of race and capital punishment.
We wish conservative business owners well, but we don't think their prosperity must be gained at the expense of others. I hope to be back on the air soon, but the issue is about more than Tom Turnipseed. The total dominance of so-called conservative, right-wing talk radio and the tactics used to exclude any progressive community radio must be challenged.
If you agree that our progressive message is vital to Columbia and a radio station which claims to be the "voice of the African-American community," please take time to write a letter and/or make a call. WOIC-AM is owned by Emerald City Radio in Washington, DC. You should write the owner, Paul Robinson, c/o Tom Atkinson, General Manager at WOIC-AM, PO Drawer 50568, Columbia, SC 29250. Or call (803) 771-0105. Letters to the editor of newspapers are also very effective. I would very much appreciate receiving a copy of any letters, sent to me at 1337 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201.
If we raise our voices together, we can make positive change in our community. Thanks for your friendship and support.