The need for more diversity in Houston Sports Talk Radio

Houston Texas is quite possibly the most culturally diverse city on Earth. It’s also on the list for one of the most enthusiastic sports towns in America. Just by sheer population numbers alone, the bayou city will rank among the top cities when it comes to sport fan density. My problem is, and has always been, that the diversity is not represented on our major sports talk stations. Namely 610 and 790. Most of the hosts are suburban born and raised with suburban view points. The issue with this is that many of the athletes that they cover are young black men from a completely different environment. I’m a 37 year old black man from a lower income neighborhood that happens to love sports and quite possibly addicted to sports talk. The only reason that I can relate with these suburbanite hosts is because my neighborhood was bused to schools in the Cypress, Tx suburbs and I grew up with alot of these guys. My high School played against Adam Clanton’s Cy-Creek Cougars regularly and I played along side many young men from middle to upper class backgrounds. So I’m no stranger to multiple view points. When it comes to the hosts on 610 and 790, the only cats that seemed to cover a perspective from my background is N.D. Kalu and former J&R co-host Josh Ennis(due to the fact that he went to a predominantly black school).

The reason that I finally addressed this issue is because I was listening to B-Straw and Pauly G show when they were addressing DeSean Jackson’s alleged gang affiliation with a certain group of Crips. I’m not sure which one of the two made the statement that I’m about to address but the statement was made that they understand why the L.A.P.D. disliked the Crips. He basically painted the Crips to be scum of the Earth criminals and the police department protecting the innocent world from this scourge. On the other hand he gave the PD a pass like they had nothing to do with the formation of the gang problem. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone the practice of young black men shooting each other up over colors and neighborhood affiliations. Most of them have no idea what they are fighting over. It’s madness to say the least. The problem that I had with the statement is the fact that they obviously had no idea what the history was between the L.A.P.D. and the gangs of So Cal.

Here’s a very brief history…
There was a migration of black families from the south to the west coast during the period preceding the 60s. They were in search of job opportunities that were not present in the Jim Crow south. As these families moved in, the white inhabitants began to get uncomfortable with the influx of black faces. Some of the younger whites decided to gang up and go into these areas where the blacks were moving in and they started assaulting random blacks. The blacks, tired of the abuse, decided to group up and form defensive teams for the different communities. The police did very little or sometimes NOTHING at all to aid these people. Eventually the police turned on these people and the footage is proof. They were beat, unjustly arrested, attacked by police dogs, and sometimes murdered. The local government did NOTHING to stop this violence perpetrated on “American Citizens”. The Black Panther Party was formed to defend against the unlawful law men and several gun fights ensued between the corrupt L.A.P.D. and The People’s Party. As the 70s came to a close and the Panthers were, all scattered, incarcerated, murdered, or displaced globally their children grouped up to form the Crips(Community Representatives In Progress). Originally the Crips were out to do the same thing that their parents, The Black Panther Party were formed to do. They protected their communities from invading danger like drug dealers and crooked cops. Eventually and unfortunately, without the guidance of their predecessors, they leaned towards offensive violence instead of violence in the name of self preservation. The rival gangs, like the Bloods, were formed as the Crips went from neighborhood to neighborhood recruiting. The ones that did not want to join were attacked and so they organized themselves to be protected against the Crips. They also had to deal with the Bigoted L.A.P.D. on a daily basis. It wasn’t until the Rodney King beating was caught on video that the world seen what was going on in the different inner city areas in the US.
My main point is that only an uniformed person can make a statement condemning one party and uplifting the other that are in opposition when both have done wrong. The fact is that the gangs of L.A. would never have been necessary or even existed if the racist white residents and racists Police departments had not been unjustly attacking hard working people just because they were black. Both the Police and the Gangs are wrong in regards to their actions towards innocent people.

All perspectives need to be represented. 790 has one black host who has a 2 hour show. 610 has two black full time hosts who only host on the weekends. Travis Johnson is a guest host at times. There are no Hispanic hosts besides John Lopez on either station. I’m not attacking Lopez, but if he didn’t say that his last name was Lopez or occasionally bring up the old barrio I would think that he was one of those other suburban dudes speaking for everybody. Maybe I need to give 1590 a shot and see what demographics they cover. All I ask is for a little more diversity to represent the various cultural viewpoints.
12 is off of the soap box

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