Bill Handel & iHeartMedia need to apologize

KFI radio host Bill Handel called U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson a derogatory slur on air, twice.

Tell KFI’s parent company, iHeartMedia, to immediately fire Bill Handel for his derogatory attack on Rep. Wilson!

Take Action!

Dear Friends,

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) was called a “whore” TWICE by KFI radio host Bill Handel — we need to have her back.1

After exposing Trump’s appalling and disrespectful remarks to a Gold Star widow, Myeshia Johnson, whose husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, was killed in Niger earlier this month, Rep. Wilson was repeatedly targeted by Trump and his administration.2 Emboldened by Trump, right-wing radio hosts like Bill Handel made misogynistic and degrading attacks.

We cannot allow attacks like this to stand. iHeartMedia, the parent company of KFI has the power to remove Bill Handel from the airwaves. It’s time iHeartMedia stops profiting from hosts that attack Black women.

Demand iHeartMedia immediately fire Bill Handel!

Bill Handel and KFI have used their position on L.A. radio for decades to disparage and humiliate Black people and Black culture. From mocking the Kwanzaa holiday to quips about the Congressional Black Caucus serving grape soda at their parties.3 In 2012, KFI afternoon drive hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of the John and Ken Show finally got themselves suspended after they called the late singer Whitney Houston a “crack ho” after years of insulting people of color.

The comments KFI and iHeartMedia are allowing their hosts to make are dangerous.They shape perceptions of Black people in the minds of viewers, and thus endanger Black people in neighborhoods, courtrooms, and classrooms across the country.4

That’s why we’re demanding that iHeartMedia immediately fire Bill Handel. Black womanhood have always been political–and disturbing “jokes” about appearances are a common go-to for misogynistic white supremacists who are trying to belittle Black women’s power. In just the last few months we have seen efforts like this repeated from Trump and right-wing media outlets – attacking powerful black woman like Rep. Maxine Waters, journalist April Hill, and ESPN TV host Jemele Hill. Research shows there are real life consequences for Black women when these dehumanizing attacks rule the day including diminished economic opportunities, less attention from doctors, and harsher sentences from judges.

Rebuke Bill Handel’s attack on Black womanhood and tell iHeartMedia to apologize for the segment now.

Few things upset a racist more than a powerful Black woman unapologetically exposing the illegitimacy of white supremacy and the power it wields–and Representative Frederica Wilson did that when she challenged Trump’s appalling comments to Gold Star widow, Myeshia Johnson.

If we continue to let KFI and iHeartMedia produce segments like the one with Bill Handel, without repercussions, we say that it’s okay for this show and shows like it to attack Black womanhood for ratings. And it’s not–they must be accountable for their cruel attacks. We can’t let this continue. We stand with Representative Frederica Wilson and we call on iHeartMedia to rebuke Bill Handel’s attack on Black womanhood.

Stand with Representative Frederica Wilson and tell iHeartMedia to fire Bill Handel now.

Until justice is real,

— Brandi, Rashad, Arisha, Johnny, Evan, Jade, Chad, Corina, the rest of the Color Of Change team.


1. “L.A. Radio Host Insults Congresswoman at Center of Trump Controversy,” LA Weekly, 24 October 2017.

2. “As Loved Ones Say Goodbye to US Soldier Killed in Niger, Trump Continues to Disrespect Congresswoman Affiliated With His Family,” The Root, 22 October 2017.

3. “KFI Audio,” Jasmyne A. Cannick, 25 October 2017.

4. “Opportunity for Black Men and Boys: Public Opinion Media Depictions and Media Consumption,” Opportunity Agenda, 2011.

This Could Be Gerrymandering – reminder

By  a repost from 4/2015

The Supreme Court Gives a Second Chance to Opponents of North Carolina’s Redistricting Plan

The Supreme Court gave good news to opponents of North Carolina’s gerrymandered redistricting map — and supporters of representative government! — yesterday. The high court ordered that North Carolina take another look at a challenge to the state’s election map. In December, the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld a redistricting map drawn by the Republican legislature that packs African-American voters into a few districts, diluting the overall power of their vote. The Supreme Court did not issue a formal decision on the case, but the justices ordered the state supreme court to reexamine the case, which is an important first step in ensuring that the state’s election maps are fairly considered.

African American voters in North Carolina saw a drastic change in representation after the 2010 census, when the map in question was drawn. Before 2011, North Carolina had ten majority black state House districts. After, the number more than doubled to 23. Concentrating black voters into a handful of districts dilutes the group’s voting strength by increasing the proportion of white voters in other districts. For example, in 2012, while more than half of North Carolina voters voted for Democratic representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans filled about 70 percent of the seats.

Much controversy surrounds the drawing of North Carolina’s redistricting maps. Through a project called the Redistricting Majority Project, the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), worked with many states, including North Carolina, to draw election maps that would rig the game in their favor.

The RSLC was looking to influence the outcome of these gerrymandered maps in other ways as well. The group was by far the largest contributor in the last two North Carolina Supreme Court races, which both took place after this court case was filed and while the appeal was pending, calling into question the partiality of the court’s decision. The Center for American Progress looks deeper into the influence of the RSLC and other conservative groups on judicial races and looks at some of the return on investments these groups are getting.
Yesterday’s decision represents some momentum for advocates of good government. It built off of a similar ruling on Alabama’s election map that the court handed down in March. The Alabama decision asked a lower court to consider whether concentrating minority voters into a handful of districts could violate the Voting Rights Act by limiting the number of districts in which minorities could influence elections. These two orders from the Supreme Court are a good sign that the highest court is taking a harder look at racial gerrymandering.

BOTTOM LINE: The Supreme Court’s order to revive the challenge to North Carolina’s unfair election map is a step in the right direction. Fixing the state’s election map is just one of many steps that will need to be taken to ensure that conservatives cannot continue stacking the deck in their favor by suppressing the voice of others.