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  • 24


     
    Turning the Tables
    Political Correctness; Posted on: 2007-04-21 12:51:08 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Lesbian, African-immigrant general manager of KPFK is accused of sexually harassing the station’s white news chief

    When she was hired as general manager of KPFK (90.7 FM), Eva Georgia appeared to be a walking trophy of progressive brownie points: a black lesbian with an almost cinematic personal story of facing persecution as a leftist radio activist in South Africa. In the summer of 2002, after highly charged internal struggles at KPFK’s parent network, Pacifica — firings, lawsuits, listener rebellions — Georgia told the Los Angeles Times she would run the station by respecting the “process of democracy and transparency.”

    But by the fall of 2002, Georgia’s staffers were in open revolt, claiming that democracy and transparency were functionally absent at KPFK. Staffers began circulating letters and articles on the Internet claiming that the working atmosphere at the station under Georgia had become abusive and excessively hierarchical. L.A. IndyMedia, a Web site that touts its support for “global struggles against exploitation,” published an article slamming Georgia with the headline “A Liar...A Cheater...Physically Abusive.”

    That same month, a letter signed by 36 KPFK staffers and supporters stated, “There is no workplace democracy left at KPFK.” Activists also began investigating and calling into question Georgia’s accounts of her radio work in South Africa, pointing out that shortly before she started her job, allegations of embezzlement surfaced against her from a radio station she had worked for there.

    And now, four years later, Georgia is being sued by her own news director, and the behind-the-scenes drama is heightened by the fact that Georgia, who is gay, black and an African immigrant, is being sued for sexual harassment and racial discrimination by news director Molly Paige, a straight, white woman.

    The suit has created a politically correct Catch-22, with Georgia saying she is under attack because she is an “out-gay, black woman” and Paige charging that the supposedly progressive radio station is rife with anti-white sentiment.

    Paige’s lengthy complaint against Georgia, the Pacifica network and other employees lays out an alleged pattern of salacious sexual and racial intimidation. Paige says Georgia has caressed her hair inappropriately, suggested she try lesbian sex, and tried to coax her into a hotel room during a business trip, “making not so subtle remarks of a quid pro quo nature in order to force [Paige] to submit to Georgia’s sexual advances.”

    The suit also says Paige was frequently disparaged in the station by Georgia and others for not being a person of color. She claims she was referred to as “white woman,” and was subjected to such statements as “I hate working with gringos,” “We don’t want to give Anglos credit for anything” and “Stupid white people.”

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    News Source: LA Weekly

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