Some people believe a person’s writing style says a lot about him or her. If you dot i’s with a heart, for example, people might consider you dreamy or perhaps immature. If you regularly misuse punctuation or choose words that aren’t appropriate for the intended meaning, it might indicate a lack of education.
We’ll let our readers make their own judgments about an e-mail sent to members and volunteers at the troubled WAIF (88.3 AM) by the station’s board chairman, Donald A. Shabazz.
Shabazz was responding to allegations made in a newsletter that criticizes him and other board members for how they operate the station. For at least the past four years, several volunteers at WAIF — some who had been there for decades — have left due to what they say is the heavy-handed management style of Shabazz and Station Manager Howard Riley.
First, however, here’s some background and context.
Beginning in 2006 and 2007, CityBeat and local bloggers examined the turmoil at the station and some of Shabazz’ actions. During that period, WAIF’s property taxes were declared delinquent, questions arose about whether its license with the Federal Communications Commission was current, and there was an unsuccessful effort to unseat the board of trustees amid allegations of unfair voting practices.
Also, Shabazz had cameras installed throughout the station, allegedly to prevent equipment and the surrounding studio and offices from being damaged and abused by WAIF programmers. Critics countered that the move was made to intimidate Shabazz’ critics.
Shabazz is a mortgage broker who hosts Final Call News Hour, a Nation of Islam talk show on the station. He heads a seven-member majority on WAIF’s board.
At the time, Shabazz sent WAIF members a letter describing CityBeat’s coverage as “the wicked scheme being hatched by a certain group of racist, right-wing political operatives who are trying to hijack our station and destroy WAIF as we know it.”
Since then, WAIF board member Victoria Straughn — an African-American activist who works to reduce and treat HIV/AIDS among blacks and to help improve police-community relations, among other issues — has filed a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office alleging that the station’s board violates state law for non-profit groups.
In Straughn’s complaint, filed late last summer, she states that WAIF “had been operating without a treasurer for nearly 3 years, and both the general membership body and (the board) had not received proper or adequate financial reports. Further, the (board) has not discussed or approved an operating budget since I was elected (in 2007).”
Further, her letter continues:
“In the past couple of months things have gotten worse and I have witnessed what could only be described as verbal intimidation, sabotaging and corruption from the senior members of the (board). Several members have run repeatedly for the past 4 to 7 years, overseeing multiple operations.
“During the annual meetings, members have attempted to bring the issue of ‘Term Limits’ for board members only to be ignored by the Chair and majority members of the board who were controlling the agenda, and who hired off-duty police officers to physically remove any members whom they deem as ‘Out of Order.’”
The letter also describes several other circumstances of what Straughn calls inappropriate behavior or actions.
Now, back to the present. Here, in all of its unexpurgated glory, is the Shabazz e-mail sent Monday.
Subject: Reply To The Publishers of The Alert WAIF Hate Letter / More Good News From WAIF, The Truth
Sent: Feb 1, 2010 3:49 PM
From The Desk Of The Chairman Dr. Donald Shabazz, JD
WHAT A DUMB IDEA !!!
Dear Programmers, Co-hosts, Members and Faithful Supporters of WAIF As I am sure you know, within every large organization, group, company or corporation, you have a fringe group of individuals, who are driven by "Hatred, Jealousy, Envy, and Racism. " The type of people who seem to take pride in being "Dumb." These individuals, mostly a handful of disgruntled and disillusioned ex-programmers, malcontents, political operatives, white racists, and their black imps, who in reality, are actually against the very organization(s) they claim they are for. Sad to say,, but WAIF has just such a group. This on the Fringe Group, more appropriately called the "Enemies of WAIF" __who hide in their dark holes like snakes and vipers, and hide behind phony web-sites and email addresses, are currently advocating a so-called boycott of WAIF. In other words, these "Enemies Of WAIF"..."Are Seeking To Destroy WAIF, In Order To Save It." WHAT A Dumb IDEA. !!! How does a "TRUE FRIEND"__ think they are helping WAIF by publicly spewing their vicious lies and falsehoods about WAIF, its Chairman, Station Manager, and it's Board Of Trustees. Or by Slandering, Defaming, and dragging WAIF's good reputation through the mud __is somehow helping WAIF? __ Whoever came up with that DUMB IDEA??? How is conducting a Libelous and Defamatory "SMEAR CAMPAIGN" against WAIF and its current leadership, or by trying to damage WAIF's reputation in the eyes of the General Public, its Programmers and Supporters, is going to help WAIF? Don't you know or have enough sense to know, that any damage that you cause to the reputation of WAIF is Permanent? DUMB, DUMB, DUMB!!! This little small group of false-accusers, foolishly believe that by spreading their poisonous venom, and unsubstantiated lies against WAIF, that they can actually cut off WAIF's income, and put WAIF in a position where we will not be able to pay our bills, or continue the wonderful progress that WAIF is making.__ HOW DUMB IS THAT? These vicious back-biters don't have a clue. The "REAL FRIENDS OF WAIF" will never allow that to happen. We who really love WAIF know that WAIF is more than just a Radio Station, WAIF is a beloved "Institution." __Unlike any other local Radio Station, WAIF has continuously and faithfully served the un-served, and under-served communication needs of a diverse community for over forty (40) years. Moreover, under my leadership as Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) for the last 15 years, and under the leadership of Mr. Howard Riley as Station Manager for nearly 10 years, the Board of Trustees has never had to hold any special fund raising drives, nor have we had to beg or borrow one red cent from any programmer, bank or lending institution to pay any of our bills. And by the way, WAIF is always current in all of its bills. Nor have we incurred any debt. Under the fiscal policy we established, WAIF has always paid cash for all of its repairs, extensive renovations, broadcast equipment and studio furnishings, therefore, WAIF has never had to pay out one dime in interest payments for these expenditures in 15 years. Does that sound like bad administration or management? I don't think so! Moreover, what these "ENEMIES OF WAIF" and "HYPOCRITES" don't know or understand, is that WAIF's obvious success and longevity, is not based upon money! Of course money is absolutely necessary, but WAIF's real success is based upon its' dedicated and talented Volunteers, its' BOT, and the proper Administration, and Management of OUR Station Policies, Assets, and Resources I openly "challenge" any of these jealous-hearted "Enemies of WAIF" to point out a time in WAIF's approximately Forty Three (43) year long history, when WAIF was better off financially, better administered or managed, or when WAIF has made more progress than it has in the last 15 years. You can't do it. If you think you can, then "Put Up" or "SHUT UP!!! I further challenge ALL of you who are affiliated with, or is a member of this Hate Group,... who say they are not a racist, jealous, envious, a right-winger, imp, or a hater_ to "Demand" that the organizers of this so-called boycott, produce one Fact or an ounce of credible evidence to prove any of the false allegations they have made against me, the Station Manager or the Board of Trustees... Or "Does The Truth Matter To You??? Despite the _"FACT"_ WAIF is unquestionably the most successful, best equipped, best administered, best managed, financially solvent, debt free, racially diverse, longest running community radio station in the Mid-West,__ these brazen and unrepentant liars are accusing the Chairman, Station Manager, and the BOT of being thieves and stealing, or misusing WAIF's monies. My question to all of you who believe this Bold-Face Lie is....If the BOT is stealing WAIF's monies__ "How" were we able to pay-off nearly $200,000 in mortgage payments in 3-1/2 years, equip and re-equip our station with the best broadcast equipment three separate times, complete our renovations and improvements, purchase new furnishings, and "Pay Cash" for everything__ and at the same time, remain current in all of our monthly bills. Now explain that Glaring Inconsistency and Contradiction, if you can!!! I "DARE" you to take up my" challenge and prove that Dr. Shabazz has ever stolen or misused a single penny of WAIF's money. Let me say for the hundredth time, ... that as a matter of official fiscal policy __ "WAIF DOES NOT DEAL IN CASH." Ninety-Nine Point Nine Percent (99.9%) of all the monies that come into WAIF, comes in by checks. And all of the monies that are paid out, are paid by check. Therefore, there is _ "No Cash" _to steal !!! Furthermore, I am not now, nor have I ever been a check signer for WAIF. Neither do I handle the in-coming mail, nor have I ever written a WAIF check. If anyone of you can prove Dr. Shabazz is a crook, or corrupt, or that I have stolen so much as a plug penny from WAIF, then present your evidence ...and Prove It. Furthermore, I double dare you to produce any credible evidence that proves that Dr. Shabazz has intentionally been unjust or unfair to any member of WAIF. And I further challenge you to produce a single member that was officially charged with some Violation of Station Policies or Rules,_ that did not have an opportunity to be represented by someone of their own choice, or Legal Counsel, or to have a fair Administrative Hearing, and an Appeal. But as your "Counterfeit"- (full of errors and typos) __ "Alert WAIF Hate Letter" reveals, the wicked publishers of that letter, and the leadership of this mis-guided fringe group, are nothing but Liars, False Accusers, and Character Assassins. Also, let me say to all of the "Hate Mongers" who are trying to defame my character and make me out to be a bad guy, the "Record" proves that I have only presided over "NINE" (9) Disciplinary Hearings in over Fifteen Years (15) as the Chairman of WAIF. That's less than one Hearing a year. So If I have been putting all of these people out of the Station as you faslely claim, then, Where Is Your Proof??? If you claim I have been manipulating the BOT Elections,..."Which Election" did I manipulate? ... and where are the "facts"_ where is your Proof??? If you say someone died and paid off WAIF's mortgage, as you falsely claim, again, I ask you, where is your Proof??? You don't have a speck of Proof or Evidence, to support any of these false claims and ridiculous allegations, because these "Enemies Of WAIF" are nothing but a pitiful, frustrated, group of wicked and deceitful Liars." Dear WAIF Family, just because this group calls me ugly names, and they make unfounded and false accusations against me, that does not make me guilty of their false accusations? Consider This... ARE YOU... the kind of person that will believe any kind of criticism or accusation without any credible evidence or proof? Well if you are __ then what kind of person are you? Let me also inform the new members and faithful supporters of WAIF, there is nothing new about a handful of _"REBELS WITHOUT A CAUSE"_ and a group of Racists associating themselves with WAIF. Where else can they go to have a voice? In the early History of WAIF, the Station was plagued with Racism. That is how and why I got involved with WAIF. However, if you are truthful, you will have to admit, that under my leadership and administration, racism is nearly abated, and now it plays absolutely no role in WAIF's internal affairs, policies, or decisions. Now comes this outside group of crooked deceivers, subtle racists, and their imps, who are trying to "Gain Control" of WAIF, by re-introducing Racism back into WAIF's affairs, by trying to pit white against black. Have you noticed, that this Weird mix of Haters, all use the same evil tactics as they are trying to do right now? Most of them lack the educational background, the necessary administrative abilities, the ability to properly interpret FCC regulations, the technical skills, professionalism, and the experience to honestly administer a 501(C)(3) Ohio Corporation. So they make up false allegations, vicious lies, deceitful schemes, and cook up sinister plots to undermine the current leadership in order to gain control of WAIF for their own wicked purposes. These COWARDS send out _"Unsigned Hate Letters"_, and then hide their true identities behind some so-called organizational or group name. These straight-up COWARDS are to afraid to sign their Real Names to their slanderous letters, and own up to their wickedness. If you are telling the truth, then why don't you COWARDS stand up and identify yourselves. You won't, because like all COWARDS__ "You'll Throw A Rock, Then Hide Your Dirty Hands." Dr. Donald Shabazz, JD. Chairman The opinions expressed in this letter represent my views, and not the views of WAIF, its staff or BOT.