Originally created 07/27/06

A gospel of hate

Like Katyusha rockets being shot over the Israeli border, Aiken County radio station WAAW has been hurling verbal missiles at just about anything that moves in Augusta.

Now someone is firing back.

After months of attacks on whites and any black leaders who work with them, the supposed gospel station's on-air personalities are now being sued by Augusta radio personality Austin Rhodes. WAAW's shadowy talk show host Ryan B., also described as Brian Lamont Doyle, and Charles Walker Jr., also a WAAW personality, are being sued by Rhodes for allegedly saying on the air that he was a convicted sexual predator who should be registered and kept away from children. Rhodes, who says the allegation is fiction, also is suing the station owner, ironically known as the Rejoice Network Inc.

The radio personalities have had a feud over Augusta's airwaves for months, and a lawsuit among several parties is only that - a lawsuit among several parties.

But without taking sides in the case, the lawsuit does break into the open an oozing problem of racist hate speech emanating from the South Carolina station. Augusta black leaders who have deigned to work with their white colleagues have been repeatedly pilloried on WAAW, including being called Uncle Toms.

The station, and in particular Ryan B., has polluted Augusta's airwaves with race baiting and hatred at a very pivotal time in Augusta politics and social life. Many Augustans are working hard to unite the races and to put such enmity behind us.

We call on the station's owners to clean up their act for the greater good. The cloud of negativity spewing from WAAW's smokestack can't help Augustans in their effort to come together as a multicolored community of one.

Free speech is a wonderful thing. But there are limits to it. When it's used as a weapon, it can cause untold collateral damage.

And, occasionally, it can blow up in your own face.


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