May 19, 2010

Running Bear off the radio

Editorial:  Ignorance no excuse for offensive behaviorNo 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."
Comment:  Good move by the radio station. Just because a song was popular once is no reason to keep playing it. I imagine all sorts of racist and sexist songs are no longer appropriate for general consumption.

For more on the subject, see DJs Whoop over Running Bear.

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