by Paradise Free Jah Love Supreme
The Bay View is the people’s microphone. It’s one of the few voices we have. It may not be a big microphone, like CNN or the New York Times. But we need as many small and medium sized mikes as we can get. Because “they” have the Big Mikes.
The governor can get on the mike and speak to 30 million Californians. The president can get on the mike and speak to 300 million Americans. The pope can get on the mike and speak to a billion Catholics. But do you remember anything any of them have ever said that you have cherished to memory and that has made a positive difference in your life?
It’s common knowledge that the vast majority of major media outlets are owned and operated by a handful of corporations. Where’s the democracy in that?
We need our loyal, long time community servant and warrior, the SF Bay View, because our voices are being gentrified off the airwaves. For example, America grew so afraid of the spirit of the Panthers in Oakland that not only was its place of origin, Merritt College, moved out of the hood into the hills, but the entire city of Oakland was taken off the microphone. So today Oakland may be the only major city in America, if not the world, without its own radio station.
If the Ratcliffs are in their twilight years, they should not have to see their beloved publication’s flame dimming or on the verge of being extinguished. They should be able to hand the baton over to an enthusiastic, supportive and dynamic community of youth and elders. Not from Saint Elsewhere, but from right here in the Bay Area.
We need our loyal, long time community servant and warrior, the SF Bay View, because our voices are being gentrified off the airwaves.
We cannot rely on the internet alone. As quick as the 1 percent can threaten to shut down KPFA and a fascist can be elected president of the democratic, flag waving USA, somebody could pull the plug on the internet. And we’ve already lost net neutrality.
The San Francisco Bay View should not be a dwindling institution. It should be an expanding one. An ever thriving one. The light and voice of the people should not be a flickering candlelight, but a raging fire. If this community watchdog loses its bark or is put to sleep, it will truly be open season on us and our communities.
The Bay View is a barometer of how we are living. If the Bay View is dwindling, we are dwindling. If the Bay View is flourishing, we are flourishing.
The San Francisco Bay View should not be a dwindling institution. It should be an expanding one. An ever thriving one. The light and voice of the people should not be a flickering candlelight, but a raging fire.
The Bay View should have its own Empire State Building and at least a whole city block of offices, should be able to hire goo-gobs of reporters and columnists and photographers and delivery boys and girls etc. The Bay View should be a literal beehive of activity, reporting and making the news. Not just as a monthly, but as a weekly and eventually a daily newspaper. Why not. We can do this. Should do this. It needs to be done.
The Bay View is the People’s Microphone, the People’s Newspaper. Our Power to the People Newspaper. How does that song go? “For God’s sake, we got to give more power to the people.” Instead of giving your dollars to corporate America, please empower the people and pledge allegiance with your dollars monthly and annually to the San Francisco Bay View.
Paradise is president of the International Black Writers & Artists Local 5 in Oakland and was honored by the City of Oakland with “Paradise Day,” on Oct. 6, 2007. Find him on Facebook at Paradise Freejah Lovesupreme.