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Evan Davis on Errol Maitland's Views
Posted to 26 Nov 2001

Thanks, Steffie and Deb. 

Erol and I talked about this extensively when he and Ryme were here in Columbus. When he speaks here against "democracy" I don't get the feeling he is anti-democratic. The message that comes through for me is that unless you actively change the paradigms and relationships that have perpetuated the concentration of power in the hands of white folks ( and, I would argue male heterosexual white folks) then when you throw open the democratic process you fail to address the inherent inequities of the system. What I think Erol is calling for - and I agree fully if I read him correctly here is for some kind of provisions for quaranteed inclusion of folks from beyond the boundaries of our mostly white middle class progressive community. I think Erol sees ( correctly) that by including affiliates representatives on the PNB and by specifically recruiting from the South we may partially serve the interest of such inclusion. 

WRFG is among the first examples to come to mind. That has to be one of the most racially and ethnically and demographically diverse and inclusive stations around. I suspect it is also the very example Mary Frances Berry had in mind when she spoke of selling WBAI to raise money to scoop up a string of smaller Southern stations. Including affiliates on the PNB, therefore also acts as a safeguard against the kind of imperial hegemony MFB sought to unleash and it brings the concerns and ideas of a constituency to the table that hails from beyond our enclave. So WRFG comes to mind and I would want to see a Southwestern station that serves a largely Latino community included and there is also need to bring the Native American community in to the partnership - so maybe KUNM in New Mexico might be a candidate. 

All of this brings up the question of what mechanism the affiliates should use to determine who their representatives will be. Would they collectively appreciate the mandate folks like Erol are trying to foster? Maybe two affiliates on the board aren't enough. Why not take one seat from each of the groups of 5 to give the affiliates 3 seats? 

Evan Davis

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