Editorial: Radio station made right call on offensive chatter
"No sooner had we encouraged dialogue about why race-based sports mascots are offensive when another opportunity arose to talk about the need for cultural awareness.

WIXX (101.1FM) rightly decided to stop airing a peculiar 1950s ballad about a love-struck Native American couple after listeners complained about the banter surrounding the song, "Running Bear." Listeners told Menominee tribal member Richie Plass, a Native American activist, that whooping and inappropriate comments regarding Native Americans accompanied the song, which aired regularly on Fridays on "Murphy in the Morning" until last week.

The radio station acted quickly when questions were raised, and the Menominee tribe said it would pull its advertising.

"Due to your concerns we have pulled the song and it will no longer air," Jeff Murray, WIXX program director said in an e-mail message to Plass. "The morning show had no intention of causing any pain or discomfort for anyone."

Murray told Green Bay Press-Gazette columnist Tony Walter that the station reviewed tapes of the show and found nothing stereotypical, but pulled the song anyway.

Good move. But the fact that the station found nothing that reinforces stereotypes, not even in the whooping, indicates how little society connects with Native Americans today."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Ignorance no excuse for offensive behavior (The Green Bay Press-Gazette 5/19)

Also Today:
Tony Walter column: Listeners interpret song, talk as racist (The Green Bay Press-Gazette 5/16)