Given the reports from Stan (with updates) and Jay, it seems like my fears are confirmed: Some parts of the hip hop community feel that Indians are good enough to steal beats from, but not good enough to treat with respect. Two of the most popular shock jocks on the air on east coast hip-hop stations have been trying to get by despite their racist and misogynistic rantings being played for comedy.
Ordinarily, I post my music-related stuff on Pop Life, but this one seems more of a general cultural issue. Naturally, they didn't really get punished at all, despite working for Clear Channel, which is supposed to have a "zero tolerance" (read: zero freedom) policy for offensive behavior. The employee who posted the clip got punished, in a classic big company "shoot the messenger" kind of idiocy.
Now, to be clear, I'm all for people saying offensive things on the air, really, but I'm not for people disrespecting Indian folks in the same way that the creators of hip hop culture were disrespected. Want to say something offensive? Fine, just be funny. And I suspect that Clear Channel would have had a lot more to say about it if almost any other ethnic group were offended. Instead, this dimwitted duo is being promoted, having their show relaunched in the New York market.
Finally, the radio station's spokeswoman said, "Most of the e-mails came from people who do not listen to Power 99, whose audience is mainly African American". I know very few people who grew up in the Indian community in the United States who aren't hip hop fans, so regardless of what this woman thinks, her audience isn't that homogenous. And somehow, I suspect that the African American community might have some awareness of what it's like to have one's racial background as a basis for being denigrated, demeaned, and mocked, especially in a manner that's abusive towards women.