By Rolando Larraz
Las Vegas Tribune
A sitting county commissioner, Lawrence Weekly; a city council, Craig Crear; a radio station general manager, Craig Knight; and an Interim Executive Director of the Economic Opportunity Board and Chief Operating Officer, Lawrence Beasley; as well as the City of Las Vegas Economic and Urban Development Director, Bill Arent, may all have, unintentionally, misled the board of Las Vegas city council during the last board meeting on the second of September, 2020.
The Economic Opportunity Board of Clark County (EOB) is a private, non-profit organization providing social service programs primarily to the people of Clark County, Nevada. The mission of EOB is to assist low-income people to become self-sufficient and to improve their quality of life. The organization maintains different facilities housing EOB programs, which encompass Housing and KCEP Public Radio.
Community radio is when local people produce and broadcast their own programs and participate in operating the station. It is community space for people to meet and collaborate. It is extraordinarily fun and often life-changing. It typically leads to individual creativity and self-empowerment. As far as we know, only Blacks are participating in that “community radio station.”
All of them appeared before the city council asking to have the rules bent for them in the name of their “community” group, in which they are all making money.
They told the city council that they are a “community” board, but that is not necessarily true; they are a “Black community” business only.
When a pair of Latino businessmen were looking to buy airtime on that “community radio station” they were told that they could not because they were not Black.
Was it reverse discrimination? Of course, but because the reverse was coming from Blacks, everyone kept their mouth shut, and even the same County Commissioner who was there praising their objective told this writer — who was one of the two Latinos wanting to buy airtime on that so-called “community radio station” while displaying the same very humble attitude he always displays—“Forget about it, Rolando.”
The idea was to spend the money on what was believed to be a community radio station, but they didn’t realize that it was only a Black Community radio station, so the money from non-Blacks was no good.
Everyone in Las Vegas is well aware that Councilwoman Michele Fiore is not allowed to be friends with the Las Vegas Tribune because her campaign manager and a former friend do not allow that, but we have always admired Councilwoman Fiore for her independence and for not having a follower’s attitude, and she cast the one and only vote against the petition those “community leaders” put forward.
At that time President Donald Trump was not the president, but yet, in many people’s humble opinion, the radio station is an anti-Trump radio station; Councilwoman Fiore is right. Yes, the radio station is an anti-democratic and pro-socialism radio station and we also are right.
But ironically, when the Black Chamber of Commerce, AKA Ward Five Chamber of Commerce, was looking for airtime to celebrate Black History Month, the “Community Radio Station” was not able to accommodate them; it was the Tribune Radio Station that donated two hours daily for the whole month to speak about the Black community, free of charge.Yes, it is very clear that the Las Vegas Tribune and the Tribune radio station donated FREE OF CHARGE the airtime to celebrate Black History Month.
Not even the only Black-owned newspaper at the time, The Sentinel-Voice, helped the Black Chamber of Commerce, AKA Ward Five Chamber of Commerce, by donating space in their newspaper to celebrate Black History Month.
At least, we assumed, the Las Vegas Sentinel-Voice, being a private enterprise, a private business, was within their rights to operate to the best of their ability to create profit; and the “Community Radio Station,” run and controlled exclusively by Blacks, being able to, should have cooperated to promote an event that was created to significantly promote the Black community.
The problem as we all see it is that the Black leaders and the Black businesses want to benefit from programs or benefit in any way or shape they can, but they do not like to give anything back, not even to their own people.
Again, we are going to repeat what we already have written many times, in case someone did not read it before: Back in 1976 when there were two Black-owned newspapers, Mr. Ed Brown, the owner of the Las Vegas Sentinel, wanted to buy the competition, the Las Vegas Voice, and it was this writer who lent him the ten thousand dollars he needed to buy it.
But when this writer was looking to write a column in the Las Vegas Sentinel Voice, it was the son of the late Ed Brown, Lee Brown, who stated that it was impossible because they only allow Black writers.
Can anyone imagine what would happen if a White-owned newspaper, or a Latino-owned newspaper for that matter, would deny a Black writer space to write because of his color? The uproar would not have an ending.
That is why we always endorsed and supported Councilwoman Michele Fiore; that is why we donated three hours, three days a week, of airtime when she was running and she was allowed to be friends with this publication, because she is a real woman, a real public servant, because she does what she believes in, and says what’s on her mind.
The rest of the city council proved one more time that they are afraid to upset the so-called Black leaders, and they are sitting on that board not to serve the community as a whole as they are supposed to do, but in our opinion, only to please the so-called Black leaders that are looking to benefit