Racism in Talk Radio

Mar 12, 2019
11:02 AM

Conservative talk radio in America has become a hotbed for racism and racist dog-whistles over the past decade or so. If you were to listen to any conservative talk radio in your city, you wouldn’t have to listen for long to hear it for yourself. Many of the folks who espouse this kind of language are shock-jock wannabes who view themselves in the image of Rush Limbaugh.

What I find amusing about these folks is that they consider themselves superior to non-white people in the United States. When in fact they are the most fragile of all North American citizens, lashing out with racist rhetoric to give themselves a feeling of superiority

Conservatives, in particular, are no longer what they once were. They are very accepting of racist rhetoric from the likes Steve King, Limbaugh, and many others, including Donald Trump. While we can attribute much of that to the rise of White Nationalism popularized by the likes of Richard Spencer, Milo Yiannapolous, Breitbart, Fox News, and the Tea Party, our current president almost enables and validates it.

As a result, we are seeing the spread of racist rhetoric in the United States faster than we have seen in modern history. Much of that can be attributed to local conservative radio talk shows, which result in the expression of hate towards marginalized communities. There are plenty of reasons as to why we are seeing such verbal and physical attacks against minorities. But talk radio is arguably one of the biggest players that no one is talking about.

So let’s talk about it.

I listen to conservative talk radio on occasion much, like I read what Breitbart and the far-right are saying on 4-Chan, 8-Chan, and the comments sections of many so-called “news” outlets. As an anti-racist, it’s part of the job. It’s about knowing your enemy and gaining insight on how to best address what these folks (mostly racists) are saying, planning, and doing.

Because of my long history of tackling racism as a front-line anti-racist, and now as an independent journalist and commentator, many of my readers come to me to help them address racism and hate speech directed at them online. I always advise them that the best way to combat racism is intellectually rather than aggressively.

The bottom line is, racism and bigotry are based on ignorance and nothing more.

Over the weekend, one of my readers came to me about some racist comments that were made on Facebook by a local talk-radio host. Duke “Doobie” Brooks of WGMD Radio, who was involved in a conversation about the large attendance at Beto O’Rourke’s rallies, stated:

“O’Rourke’s attendees were mostly wetbacks, who were bussed in with socialist party and Soros’ money.”

It’s amazing how in a single sentence based not in reality, but complete fantasy, he was able to show his racism and anti-Semitism. The level of ignorance on display is astounding. Have you seen O’Rourke’s rallies? I get that these racists are trying to promote their agenda, but this guy couldn’t be more wrong. That’s because much of the ignorance shown by racists are based on complete lies.

This guy is something else completely. He wasn’t emboldened by Trump. Instead, he is one of the many people who laid the groundwork to make Trump’s election possible. Mr. Brooks has been spreading and normalizing hate speech for decades. He’s not new to this. In fact, you can find articles from local journalists dating back at least 10 years calling him out for his racism, and it’s quite clear that WGMD has no problem with it.

In some of his blog posts on the radio station’s website, he promotes his hatred of non-white folks. In a post titled, “How much government we won’t miss” dated 1/18/2019, he states:

“… the border remains open and undefended, so unskilled, non-English-speaking, illiterate, third-world and perpetually needy warm bodies, perhaps as many as a million a year, come crashing over the Rio Grande… A modern, serious wall will stop a lot of would-be illegal aliens from breaking into our nation, leading to a future dearth of voters and welfare clients upon which the Democrat party depends.”

Now, it goes without saying, especially if you’ve read my work, that the above statement is a blatant lie that does nothing but promote fear among the most fragile of white folks in the United States. Yet, he thinks he’s superior because scared white folks who listen to his bullshit, believe him and within his little bubble he thinks he’s some kind leader.

I don’t mind stepping into this dude’s bubble and popping it with a straight-pin from the inside as I’ve done dozens of times before with countless of other racists and anti-Semites. But “Doobie” made quite the career for himself by promoting his bigotry. It’s amazing to think he’s even hireable, let alone working in radio.

At one point he was the so-called spokesman for the Sussex GOP in Delaware and on May 2, 2017, he wrote a piece titled “The Delaware GOP convention.” The piece was rightfully criticized by Frank Knotts of the Delaware Right. In that piece “Doobie” discusses how the convention was called to order:

“Sadly, things began to slide downhill rather rapidly the moment the convention was called to order.  Someone had decided to invite a rabbi to give the invocation… After each nearly blasphemous entreaty of God, he said, ‘Amen, Baruch atah adonai, insh-alla’ prayer doxologies for Christians, Jews and muslims… The mohammedan reference was merely offensive to many who were there, as a Christian prayer may have been a capital offense in dozens of muslim countries At the same time we were being slapped across our faces with pleas to allah.”

For the record, he’s been referring to Muslims as “Mohammedans” for decades. In his post, he goes on to disparage the Black woman who sang the National Anthem by saying:

“As if to further solidify the counter-cultural nature of the convention, the lady who sang the national anthem seemed to throw in everything except Ella Fitzgerald-style scat, which made The Star Spangled Banner almost unrecognizable.  Octave shifts and other odd, unpredictable quirks prevented the attendees from singing along.”

Going back a little further, he discusses the Million Muslim March on September 11, 2013, which was organized by 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Despite the fact that The Council on American Islamic Affairs, a Muslim civil rights group, condemned the march and the American Islamic Forum for Democracy called the plan provocative and criticized the Truther’s ideology, Doobie continued to perpetuate the lie that one million Muslims were to march on Washington and how disrespectful that was to those who died on 9/11.

Rhetoric like this proves more dangerous than anything else. While we can mock the ignorance and outright stupidity of folks like this, this ideology is dangerous. The language behind these lies is what gets groups like the “2 Million Bikers to DC” to counter-protest what amounted to nothing more than a small group of conspiracy theorists. At one point in his podcast, Doobie goes on to say how America needed militias there to “send a message” and let them know they are not welcome. About 95 minutes into his podcast he states:

“I don’t advocate for shooting anyone in cold blood, but someone has to send them a message.”

As I said, people like him are dangerous. This is what paranoia, ignorance, and white-hot hate look like. It’s concerning because the people who follow him and believe what he says and treat him as some kind of authority on these issues are those that act on this hateful rhetoric. What he says is nothing more than opinion and nothing he stands for is based in fact.

Naturally, I and many others called him out on his “wetbacks” comment. To which he doubled down. He continued the hateful and racist rhetoric. When asked for comment via Twitter, he simply replied to me with “Facebook is Facebook” and “Back to Cuba, Artie” while responding to a woman who called him a coward with what appears to be a veiled threat saying, “Come to where I work sometime, girly!  We’ll see who the coward is, Miss.”

Now, I know this guy wants the attention. He probably thinks he’s the next Limbaugh and has dreams of being a syndicated talk radio god. But the fact is, he’s just not that good. Not even close. He thinks this kind of attention will make his ratings go “through the roof,” and that may be, on a local level. But on a national level, it’s just not going to happen. Unless of course “Nazi Radio” becomes a thing. Otherwise, he’ll just be another local hatemonger who makes his living by playing on the fears of fragile white people just like him.

Ironically, during Duke Brooks’ show today, the news reported that racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Islamic propaganda has reached an all-time high in the area with flyers being posted all over the region, including local colleges and universities. Will he accept responsibility for issues of this nature? Probably not, but I would love to hear what he has to say about it.

I’m sure he’s quite proud of himself.

Think about this. In a blog post on the WGMD website titled, “Equal is equal, and fair is fair” dated 2/11/2019, he compares non-existent discrimination of Republicans to Jim Crow Laws:

“Those seeking space on the same stage, anchor desk, op-ed page or classroom are excluded and often destroyed in one way or another just for disagreeing with the prevailing leftist-defined narratives.  That’s no longer tolerable, like Jim Crow wasn’t … There were signs in some places in 19th century America that said, “No Irish need apply”. There aren’t signs today reading, “Republicans aren’t welcomed here”, but there may as well be, and that just isn’t American.”

He then went on to say:

“In the press and the schools, the professional left will be the ideological landlords, different ideas will be excluded, squashed or marginalized, and one or two more generations of Americans will believe the worst about their own country while enthusiastically embracing the theories of Marx and Mao.  Our Constitutional rights will be ripped away, probably in a spate of bloodshed. We survived our last Civil War, but we might not survive the next one.”

“Doobie” is clearly paranoid as well. He stated much of what is in this last quote on his Monday talk show. Yes, I listened to it. I even went back and listened to many podcasts and previous broadcasts of his show on WGMD over the weekend. By doing so, I know exactly who I’m dealing with. A paranoid, delusional racist whose beliefs are infectious to the low-information American. He appeals to those that don’t understand the real world outside of their little biased communities, their racist bubbles.

He is a believer in that we need to add “political affiliation” to the Civil Rights Act. that he, a White man is so discriminated against that somehow it’s impairing his ability to live a truly free life in White America. He finds solace in disparaging minorities and playing into the anti-Semitic tropes that have been gaining traction online. He pretends to be an intellectual but he’s anything but. He’s nothing but a racist little man who’s scared of people who don’t look like him. So much so that he perpetuates lies about people of color. Sure I believe in freedom of speech. I also believe that your freedom of speech does not grant you freedom from consequence.

It’s clear that WGMD Radio is aware of his past. They just don’t care. It’s also clear that his racism, as a representative of their station does not matter to them. Even the Sussex GOP, which he is a prominent member of doesn’t seem to be bothered by his racism either. And that says more about all of them than it does about anyone else.

Yes, he is a racist.

Apparently, so are they.

Especially considering their past troubles with racism as noted in this report from 2015 as well as this report from 2013. Clearly, dealing with racism is of no concern to them.

“I don’t sell real estate anymore. Misguided laws, focused on ‘diversity’ prevent real estate agents from protecting the interests of our nation.” – Duke “Doobie” Brooks, August 3, 2010

Nothing else needs to be said…

***As of this writing, I have reached out to the Business Manager at WGMD as well as Duke Brooks for comment. I have yet to receive a response with the exception of the tweets mentioned above.


Arturo Tha Cuban is a front-line anti-racism activist, essayist and upcoming author who advocates for equality, justice and accountability. He tweets from @ExtremeArturo.