N.C. Clear Channel station tries to make nice with Indians -- but takes aim at Mexicans
We recently brought you the story of Bob Dumas, a controversial disc jockey with Clear Channel's G-105 radio station in Raleigh, N.C. He was the target of a protest by North Carolina's American Indian leaders over derogatory comments he made after learning an intern was getting married to a member of the Lumbee Tribe.
This week, leaders with the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs accepted an apology from the station and are no longer seeking his firing. That decision followed a meeting with G-105's general manager, who promised that the station will no longer air negative stereotypes of American Indians.
However, the Lumbee Tribe -- which has a history of militancy in the face of racist attacks -- has not been so quick to forgive. Lumbee leaders continue to demand the firing of Dumas and his crew and are calling for a boycott of the station's advertisers. Tribal Chair Jimmy Goins is also urging members to send a letter [PDF] to the Federal Communications Commission requesting an investigation. Said Goins:
"I just want to put G105, Bob and the Show Gram, Raleigh, American Indians and Lumbee tribal members on notice ... I stand willing and ready to push this as far as possible; until Bob Dumas, Mike and Kristin are fired, the show is off the air and bigotry like this is no longer tolerated in the great State of North Carolina."
Meanwhile, Dumas is involved in a new controversy -- this one involving Hispanics.
Earlier this month, a member of his crew visited the Mexican consulate in Raleigh wearing a T-shirt that had taped to it a sign reading "INS," the acronym for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, an agency replaced five years ago by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He approached people in line and asked them what they were doing there, the Fayetteville Observer reported.
Meanwhile, Dumas told his listeners, "It made me a little mad when I saw the giant Mexican flag" outside the offices. He also accused those seeking services at the consulate of being illegal aliens, according to the paper:
Though some of them told Clark that they had come to get passports, Dumas continued with an on-air spiel that they were largely illegal aliens.
"Where are their American papers?" he asked Clark from the studio. "What do they have proving they're American citizens?"
Dumas concluded that these Mexicans "don't have American documents."
Then, as the consulate's [Ricardo] Pintado tried to explain the reasons why Mexicans come to the consulate, Dumas cut him off mid-sentence. Pintado serves as the documentation officer at the building.
"They have zero documentation because they're illegal," Dumas said. "Illegal means illegal, dude."
Pintado told the paper that the stunt frightened some people who had appointments to get passports. He also said he didn't think the comment was racist but showed that Dumas was ignorant about the consulate's work. The director of El Pueblo Inc., a nonprofit advocacy group, sent an e-mail to the station complaining about the remarks, reports the Raleigh News & Observer -- and got a reply from the general manager, who said he didn't understand how the comments "could have been heard as insensitive."