Rev. John Jones Addresses Brian Wilson Comments (revised 1-10-2011 2:45pm)

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[info_box]Statement Revised 1/10/2011 @ 2:45pm[/info_box]

Dr. Martin Luther King, adiposity Jr. once said, side effects “Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking.” He went on to say, “Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

The Greater Toledo Urban League finds it most interesting and hypocritical that Brian Wilson, host of The Afternoon Drive on WSPD Radio, would condemn Toledo Public Schools for preparing students that were unable to critically think while at the same time displaying an egregious lack of thought himself.

The characterization of the statements made by Mr. Wilson during his Friday show and republished in the Toledo Blade on Saturday, January 8th were highly offensive to any and all solid thinking people in this community. To make use of the phrase “little monkeys” in any type of comparison to our most precious citizens – our students – is completely inappropriate and considered by us to be an indefensible action.

However, we have been able to listen to the entire five minute segment since our original statement was made. The context provided from this review allows us to better understand that Mr. Wilson’s actual comments were more of an attempt to critique the system of public education and not a direct shot at our youth. Notwithstanding, statements of this manner carry a historically racial context which we find appalling, and of which we are confident that Mr. Wilson, WSPD Radio, and Clear Channel are clearly aware.

In light of this episode, we are asking:

  1. that Mr. Wilson make a public apology immediately for his comments and
  2. that WSPD/Clear Channel revisit it’s policy related to racially biased themes and stereotypes. We ask that they not only revisit the policy, but also republish and reinforce said policy to its fullest extent.

It is without question that our public school district has many areas in need of major improvement and change and we will continue to be vocal in advocating that every child receive a quality education in the right environment. It is in moments and instances like this that people of goodwill should be able to find common ground that will lead to the ultimate goal of a better community.

We expect a full apology from Mr. Wilson and WSPD/Clear Channel and look forward to working collectively together to make our District and this community a better place. We believe that now is the time for each of us in this community to come collectively together to forge “a new way forward” that will lead to Empowered Communities and Changed Lives.

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