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Defeating the Atheists
"Fire Sid Canoe, he's the Devil!"
Conservative Speech Stifled in Small Town USA
Broadcaster Defamed, Fired for Saying the "G" Word on Community Radio
A friend to all animals and children, wearing a cape and general superhero demeaner, I'm also free person in america, (or so I thought), with a point of view all my own, which I liberally (but not LIBerally) inter-splice into my weekly "theater of the mind" radio adventures..... I was fired for saying "God" on the volunteer community radio station. This constituted a gross violation of freedom of speech rights.
This was my greatest radio adventure, told in my own words. As I opened all my shows, I start by asking, "Come along, won't you?"
SCHOOL OFFICIALS HARRASS BROADCAST VOLUNTEER
FOR "GOD" TALK: A TRUE STORY
Told in the Sid Canoe Show Style!
[Show starts: Theme music: The Beatles "Flying"]
Welcome! My flying canoe can travel to any place, and any time, and it runs on the power of precious gems! Today on the New Adventures of Sid Canoe, we visit the rural fringe of America: The Pacific Northwest in the 21st Century, as I tell the story in the style of my radio program.
Now I'm looking for a place to land my canoe. Ah, here we are! A quaint little fishing village - Gig Harbor, Washington - a sleepy, touristy town, with a large suburban population....
Here we find reggae music being played every week for ten years on KGHP FM radio. "Kelly's Heroes", hosted by Mike Kelly, is Puget Sound's longest running reggae radio broadcast. About two years ago, the station invited yours truly, "Sid Canoe, the guy with the Utopian View" to come in specifically to do a show with spiritual topics - spiced with reggae.
This WAS all well and good for over 18 months. No one ever complained that the public school station airwaves were being polluted with peace and love for humanity, or respect for God and man as presented through music and spoken word, NO ONE ! Until one day...
A new "Public Access Manager" was hired by the run-down volunteer operated facility. Immediately Sid Canoe (me, "the last great American Super-hero") is called into a special meeting "about content"... I went to see him. "What specifically did I say that you considered to be inappropriate?" I asked. His answer was stunning.
"Under the benevolent rulership of God Almighty?"
the man queried back accusingly!
"What's wrong with that?" I asked him. He couldn't say, so he ordered me to make tapes of my show to scrutinize in order to find something. He began to pressure me with "bad vibes."
(Now during school hours, the young kids under his watch play vulgar songs by "M&M" and the Discovery Channel song, "you and me baby ain't nuthin' but mammals" etc. Meanhile I talk about peace and love, truth and righteousness, compassion and human dignity, as I try to offer hope for our fear-filled world - mentioning "Jah", but all presented tastefully in a NON-prosyletizing manner.)
The NEXT week I receive an attacking, anti-semetic letter signed by the manager and his morning partner. In it, the horrors of the holocaust are embellished for my benefit, as I am assured by them that there is no hope for any after death. In it my faith was belittled as I was insulted, depicted as a fool, libeled as a deceiver, and one who is bent on the destruction of the young. Needless to say, I did not dignify such trash with a response.
The following week I received yet another gift from the same individuals, just as I prepared to go on the air with my show. Again, I receive it from the hand of Mike Kelly.
"The Sid Canoe controversy is escalating" Mike Kelly said.
"What? What now?" I asked in disbelief. Mike hands me a taped recording with a note from the manager, saying that I was to play a three minute message at the beginning of my show, and that I was to:
"air it as is without stopping or playing any sounds or adding any comments to it."
Much to my dismay, it was a personal attack directed at me, from the station manager and his morning partner, in which I was called "the devil" - that word being used no less than 6 times, along with various other character aspersions. Needless to say, I declined to play the message.
It was a serious defamation of my character - the very kind of thing that station policy forbids, as well as school policy, and state law forbids as well! Yet about a day later, the manager calls and leaves an ominously voiced message:
"Weeeeee need to taaaalk.....(he sighed)."
I spoke with his superior and requested a meeting, and asked that this manager person please not call me. He called me anyway, and in quite a mood!
....For my part, I offered only assistance and encouragement to the morning team, and never had a cross word with anyone. I have no axes to grind. Mike Kelly is a first hand witness to my friendly and professional demeanor, and even management at KGHP has acknowledged this fact.
The co-instigator of the attack upon me, the morning partner of the manager, quickly moved into my vacated time slot. Amazingly he discovered wonderful fresh ideas for his show - all mine! He attempted my own style of broadcasting, having never done so before.
(Please keep in mind one important fact: I have never met this person, nor spoken to him, not once. Not ever.)
To combat their paranoia over separation of Church and State, I had thought to establish legal counsel, but when Al Gore and George Bush tied in Florida, all my attorney's flew south for the winter!
Even though this is probably just a case of ripe, red-necked ignorance - people of the United States MUST not forget, nor indeed all the people of the world who look at the United States as the model of religious liberty and freedom of expression, cannot overlook the fact that:
I DON'T REPRESENT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT!
The whole stupid thing is like the school asking a student to remove a Minnesota Vikings shirt because it might suggest that the school would be advocating a return to Viking lifestyle and traditions with a new U.S. capitol in Minneapolis! An individual opinion does not a state-endorsement make!!!
Will Sid Canoe fly the airwaves again?
Will the "Downpressor man" win the day instead?
Stay logged on to the continuing saga of
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SID CANOE
"The guy with the Utopian View"
(but sadly, WITHOUT his First Amendment rights!)
Professional Broadcasters Opinions of Sid Canoe
Letter from co-worker and fellow broadcaster Mike Kelly
This week's "Kelly's Heroes" showcased music from some of the greatest
performers of the reggae genre, as well as some newer performer's trying to
leave their mark on the music. "Kelly's Heroes" has picked up another hour
of broadcasting, after Sid Canoe's reggae program (followed "Kelly's Heroes"
every Weds. evening) was deemed too religious for the liking of a local
atheist (who also happens to be a radio host at the same station).
Management at this time feels that the best way to deal with this issue, is
to remove Sid's program from the air, only after he refused to play a 3
minute diatribe manufactured by said atheist, that alluded to the fact that
Sid was working for the devil and gathering wayward souls for Satan's army.
In my own opinion, nothing could be further from the truth, as Sid is a nice
guy and doesn't possess the ability to espouse evil. He's been on the air
for nearly two years and it is only in the last few weeks that the atheist
has started his attack on Sid's character and the content of his reggae
show, even though the atheist has been at the station for nearly three
It's an unfortunate situation for Sid and I have chosen to carry the
reggae banner in Sid's place, I only hope that I'm not the next one on the
persecutors agenda. Peace & love shall reign, that is the strength of the
music of Jah People.
"Kelly's Heroes" airs every Weds. from 7-11pm on KGHP (89.3, 89.9 & 104.5
FM), Gig Harbor, WA. Hosted by Mike Kelly since 1991, "Kelly's Heroes" plays
the best of Roots, Rock, Reggae, Ska, Rocksteady, Blue Beat, Dancehall,
Dubs, Versions & More!
Dearest and Most Respected Sid Canoe
A humble message of encouragement from a fellow broadcaster in Australia.
We (my husband and myself) are also broadcasters and delivers of the Gospel of song through our beloved Reggae. We understand and support your endeavours to challenge those Babylonian system makers. In Australia it is not much better even with those amongst us who know the truth in the words of The Almighty.
My husband is a London born sound man...in itself this bore him great burdens with much bigotry and violence often being exhibited towards him. I am saddend that in the year 2000 we express the same fierce prejudices we did 2000 years ago.
If you think we can assist you in anyway..perhaps forward to local community based Australian radio stations and fellow reggae lovers your message or indeed your plight, please reply and we will try. If your ever planning to visit us here...a very lovely land with confused and ignorant peoples...please let us be your hosts.
Love Peace and Unity Respect Brian & Patricia Daniels (Frontline Sounds)
Thank you, Brian and Patricia! Thanks for your support!
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