Setting the WAIF Record Straight

First, I´d like to thank you for exposing a bit of the goings on, which includes the in-studio cameras, at WAIF-FM radio (Watching at WAIF, issue of Feb. 22-28). I also want to thank you for al

First, I´d like to thank you for exposing a bit of the goings on, which includes the in-studio cameras, at WAIF-FM radio (Watching at WAIF, issue of Feb. 22-28). I also want to thank you for all the positive coverage of the station over the years.

There are many great people who truly make up the family we call WAIF. It´s supposed to be community radio, but in recent years it has fallen short of their own slogan, What radio is meant to be. Unfortunately, WAIF hasn´t been what it´s meant to be for a long time.

The founders of WAIF would be shocked if they knew what those who don´t follow the original policies, procedures and by-laws have done to the many volunteers who have stepped out of line and challenged their bullying, leading to too many longtime WAIFers leaving the station. I´m a perfect example of that.

Although I wasn´t the person who instigated the CityBeat story, I have been attacked once again by someone who was one of the causes of my show being removed from WAIF. This is an example of how they try to cover up the truth and make those of us who challenge them look like the bad guy and troublemaker.

For years now, as most domestic violence victims feel, I´ve been too embarrassed by what happened to tell my story in the media.

Until now. But due to the recent letter to the editor by Ron Liggett (Nothing to Resolve, issue of March 1-7), I´m compelled to tell my story in my own letter.

HempRock Radio was on the air at WAIF from 1993 to 2000. In that time, I and others started our own union called the Programmer´s Guild. We wanted to form a group for programmers separate from the board that would help us all protect each other from any retaliation from board members. The board chair at the time forbade us from forming it and started looking for reasons to cancel our shows. I wasn´t the only one removed from the air, but here I´ll tell only my story.

To remove me, the board used the story that I was violent at the station during an incident in which I was the victim of a domestic violence situation. Liggett, at that time a board trustee, was on the air on a December night in 1999 when I called to warn the station not to let my ex-co-host/ex-boyfriend into the building before my show, which followed at midnight. I told Liggett my ex had recently become violent when we broke up and was no longer a part of my show or my organization, but he let my ex into the studio during his show before I arrived.

After I got there, my ex refused to leave WAIF and, in order to get him out before I went on the air, I had to call the police. After he scuffled with another friend and me in the studio, the cops arrived, handuffed him and took him away. A few days later, I got a restraining order against my ex. All the info is still on file with the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts.

He later told station management that I´d hit him in his face and injured him during the scuffle, a charge the police dismissed on the spot. He knew the station would use it to get rid of me since they´d been looking for something to use against me, and he was right. But if the board followed station policy, which is that the lead on-air programmer is responsible for whatever happens during their show, Liggett would have been removed since he let my ex into the studio during his show and that´s when the incident occurred.

I was reinstated in 2000, but when the board ignored the findings of a grievance committee that recommended reinstatement, the committee chair — who was also a trustee — resigned from the board in protest. I was reinstated again in 2003 and promised that I´d get the next open show slot that became available. But now the board denies I was told that, despite three former trustees from the 2003 board saying otherwise.

In spite of the 2003 ruling, I have been jumping through the board´s hoops and still am not back on the air. Every time I put in a show proposal, some excuse is given as to why I can´t have it. One programmer even wrote to the board when I was trying to get the show slot after him that I was violent and had had the cops called on me during the 1999 incident, even though I made the 911 call.

These games have continued for six years while I´ve been fighting to get HempRock Radio back on the air. Now, when Cincinnati City Council is trying to pass an emergency ordinance to raise fines for simple marijuana possession, as a drug law reform activist I have to fight for air time to inform the public. So much for WAIF serving various communities in the Cincinnati area whose interests are not currently represented on big-business/commercial radio, as the station claims to do. I get treated with more respect by the right-wingers at WLW than the left-wingers at WAIF.

Thank you for your indulgence in letting me tell my side of the story. I hope my letter gives strength to other current and past programmers to come forward with their stories that people in the community, and especially those who donate to WAIF, need to hear.

— Lynne Wilson HempRock Productions

Peace Out!
It seems like every time we turn on the television or read the newspapers someone in our community has been shot, stabbed and/or murdered. As spokesperson for The Black Fist, I'm appealing to the black community to put down the guns and stop the madness. We are a people of peace and righteousness, not a people of savages and unlawfulness!

The Black Fist will continue to speak out against the scourge of black-on-black violence in our community for however long it takes to drive the point home that we must stop killing one another! There is a better way to settle differences other than picking up a gun and shooting your brother or your sister.

We believe that stopping the violence is more important to our salvation and liberation as a black nation than marching around on behalf of someone who doesn't look like us, who doesn't even care about us. The Black Fist is out here on the front lines to fight on behalf of the black nation, and the black nation only. And with dignity, respect and honor, that is what we will continue to do.

— Nikki X The Black Fist

Scroll to read more News Feature articles


Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.