WINZ HOST APOLOGIZES FOR SLUR (June 14, 1987)

WINZ HOST APOLOGIZES FOR SLUR
Miami Herald, The (FL) – Sunday, June 14, 1987
Readability: 6-9 grade level (Lexile: 1050L)
Author: RICHARD WALLACE Herald Staff Writer

While hundreds of people protested outside the studio, tough-talking WINZ radio personality Stan Major made an on-the- air apology Saturday for remarks that had outraged South Florida’s Haitian community.

“He compared Haitians to a bunch of animals,” said Jean Claude Exulien, a protest organizer.

About 350 people demonstrated for more than three hours in searing sunshine beyond Metro-Dade police cordons at the station’s gates in far North Dade. They marched in a circle, many bearing placards. They called for Major’s job — which he began only this past week.

” Stan Major must go, must go,” the throng chanted.

At issue were disparaging comments Major made on his show Tuesday about a purportedly bad-smelling, down-and-out man seen at Bayside Marketplace. Major allegedly identified him as a Haitian.

The precise wording of what many in the Haitian community have heard second-hand and taken as a personal insult was lost in Saturday’s sound and furor. The protesters have requested a taped transcript of the show, but have not received it, Exulien said.

Major has insisted he spoke only “tongue-in-cheek.”

Representatives of the protesters were guests on Major’s program Saturday afternoon. One of them, the Rev. Fitz Bazin of Todos Los Santos Catholic Church in Miami, politely but firmly took the show’s host to task for the supposed jest.

“There are jokes that are too serious,” Bazin said. “You know very well that this has been one of the ways of maintaining racism and old prejudices.”

Shortly afterward, Major said he was sorry.

“I apologize to you and all those people in the Haitian community if what I said was taken seriously — and it should not have been,” he said.

“If it was taken seriously, I humbly apologize to everybody in the Haitian community,” Major said.

He also said that he had previously apologized during the week to a caller on his program.

When protest leaders explained to the crowd outside the station that Major had apologized, the demonstration broke up. The group still wants to talk with station executives who were not available on Saturday, Exulien said.

WINZ program director Marc Kuhn said Saturday that no disciplinary action was planned against Major, according to the station’s staff.

Major declined to return repeated calls from The Herald asking him to discuss the day’s events.

He began work at the station this week, coming from Phoenix, but he had been on the air in South Florida before — and had been embroiled in previous controversies.

In 1980, he angered the Cuban exile community when he spoke in opposition to the Mariel boatlift. Major’s show, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, follows that of another sharp-tongued talk-show host, Neil Rogers.

Before the protest began at 1 p.m., the two men bantered on
Rogers’ show. They joked about such things as Donna Rice’s breasts and the controversy in which Major was embroiled.

They sarcastically suggested that perhaps the man at Bayside had been a Bahamian.

Caption: photo: Stan MAJOR , demonstrators (PROTEST DADE)
Edition: FINAL Section: LOCAL Page: 1B
Index Terms: MD PROTEST HAITIAN QUOTE MAJOR REACTION
Record Number: 8702130984
Copyright (c) 1987 The Miami Herald

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