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To: KPFA Program Council, Berkeley, CA
From: Larry Pinkney
Date: November 28th, 2005
Dear program council members:
A comrade friend of mine and fellow former Black Panther Party member recently made the insightful comment to me re the de facto efforts at KPFA, to get rid of William M. Mandel; that there are those who want to oust Mandel because, among other gutless and hypocritical excuses, “Bill Mandel knows precisely where (figuratively speaking) the bodies are buried at KPFA.”
Indeed, Bill Mandel might very well know where “the ( entrenched KPFA) bodies” of hypocrisy, racism, and ageism , etc., can be found, for he is certainly a target by some at KPFA. Unfortunately, these putrid, “buried bodies” consisting of hypocrisy, ageism, and racism, etc., at KPFA have been allowed to transform themselves (like some deadly hybrid mutative virus strain) into various sham caricatures of progressive/radical humans—-pretending to be genuinely concerned about none other than “young voices of color,” and the like. The usage of the KPFA process of “review” to allegedly determine whether or not to retain William (Bill) Mandel on the air, is understood precisely for how it is actually being utilized: as a transparent sham on the part of some at KPFA to dump and silence William Mandel from the station once and for all.
Having (at the behest of US authorities), been a political prisoner for many years; having been on the receiving end of consistent physical and emotional brutality & torture in prison [reference United Nations UNHRC case annex VII, comm. #R.7/27]; and having been (and continuing to be) a target of the infamous (and ongoing) de facto Government/police/and citizen provocateur program (to frame, discredit, imprison, and/or murder)—known as COINTELPRO; I have seen firsthand as an ongoing target, how the despicable game of silencing and/or discrediting a person or persons (by the Government, the police, and/or provocateur individuals) actually functions.
Having served in the former capacities of Black Panther Party (BPP) member, CoChair-San Francisco Black Caucus (SFBC), Minister of Interior–Republic of New Africa (RNA), and Chair—Black National Independence Party BNIP etc.; the callous, ruthless, hypocritical, and ruthless game/strategy being utilized by some at KPFA to manipulate the undiscerning with a view towards OUSTING WILLIAM M MANDEL, all in the disingenuous name of supposedly making room for “young voices of color” at KPFA is obvious.
If in fact there is a genuine desire at KPFA to make more room for young voices of color, then it is suggested that the program council consider immediately removing certain entrenched staff persons such as the manipulative and steely longtime KPFA “news” director Aileen Alfandary, known to myself and hundreds of other former prisoners of color–for her very real, active racism, and her manipulative attempt to ignore and thereby complicitously murder hundreds of prisoners of color, including myself [reference the book entitled, SAYING NO TO POWER, by William M. Mandel, Introduction by Howard Zinn, pages 500 through 504]. [Editor’s note: Click here to see cited passages.]
I and others are also cognizant that Ms. Alfandary is recently reported to have stated that Aristede, (the deposed and kidnapped democratically elected former President of Haiti), was supposedly “not (really) kidnapped since he walked on the airplane” that the U.S. Government coerced he and his wife onto. Perhaps, Ms. Alfandary would have preferred that President Aristede and/or his wife have been tortured and/or murdered, rather than “walk onto the plane” under US armed coercion. What an incredibly racist position for this supposedly progressive, non-racist news director of KPFA to have demonstrated re the democratically elected Black President of Haiti!
Of course this is not surprising to those of us who experienced as prisoners of color, Ms. Alfandary’s racist indifference which assuredly would have cost us our very lives had it not been for the forthright actions of political activist and broadcast journalist William M Mandel.
Finally, where was the much missed timely coverage by news director Aileen Alfandary, her co-director, and/or the KPFA news department, pertaining to the incredibly important and very relevant protests against that ‘negro’ surrogate, former Secretary of State, and war criminal—General Colin Powell at DeAnza College in Cupertino, (South Bay) CA, on November 9th, 10th, and 11th, 2005 (and of which the KPFA news department had also reportedly been informed of well in advance)?! Indeed, where also was KPFA’s timely, relevant, and important news coverage of the fact that that police authorities overwhelmingly and disproportionately arrested and jailed protesters who were people of color at that event?! As the afore examples demonstrate, the supposed concern on the part of certain entrenched KPFA staff such as Aileen Alfandary and cohorts (and certain others) to manipulatively participate in laying the foundation for getting rid of the people’s warrior William M. Mandel in the name of making room for young voices of color—–is disingenuous, hollow, hypocritical, and insulting on the part of certain persons at KPFA.
The voices of people of color, regardless of age, who are legitimately concerned about the struggle of humanity for real justice and equality are, and have always been, strongly, genuinely, and tangibly supported by Bill Mandel. There are however, those at KPFA who are opportunistically masquerading—who are in fact anything BUT genuinely supportive of people of color, and it is they who should be held accountable, even if some of them are members of the KPFA program council. Moreover, it is unthinkable that this scapegoating of Bill Mandel in this masquerade at KPFA continue.
It is time to stop being ageist and simultaneously manipulatively racist–KPFA style. William M. Mandel is not the problem. He has consistently demonstrated, and continues through word and deed, to demonstrate why his perspective, analysis, and experiences are still very much needed on the air at KPFA. He should not only be kept on the air, but should also be demonstratively and genuinely respected. Clearly, William (Bill) Mandel continues to be a much needed messenger, who some at KPFA are apparently diligently, (under various guises), intent upon neutralizing/ousting.
The time is here and now to stand with Bill Mandel, as he does and has done for so many for so long, including numerous people of color. The struggle continues. Lasima Tushinde Mbilashaka! (We Shall Succeed Without A Doubt!) Yours…..