There was a new flap today over a parody song played last month on KDWB that many considered racist and anti-Hmong. About 200 protesters gathered outside the station’s headquarters in St. Paul this morning. When some went inside to meet with station officials, they say they were removed from the premises.
TakeAction Minnesota’s Hmong Organizing Program organized the rally with demands that included the firing of the morning show personality Steve LaTart (Steve-O).
A delegation from the group was trying to get a meeting to demand station owner Clear Channel and KDWB establish policies to prohibit offensive anti-ethnic and racist commentary, require annual diversity training for employees, require community service in the Hmong community and dedicate airtime to discuss the matter and educate listeners about the Hmong.
But the meeting never happened, the group says, because “Clear Channel called the property manager, building security and a St. Louis Park Police officer to the fourth floor of the building and had the peaceful delegation removed.”
Said Hmong Organizing Program leader Sandy-Ci: “KDWB’s on-air apology isn’t enough. What’s critical is that KDWB change its policies about what’s fair game for on-air entertainment. Pushing hurtful, inaccurate ethnic stereotypes, in this case about the Hmong community, is racism. It’s not entertainment.”
The controversy over the song “30 Hmong in a House” (MPR’s Bob Collins has the lyrics here) has also led Blue Cross and Blue Shield Minnesota, Health Partners and ATT to suspend advertising at KDWB, says David Brauer.