Fortune Favors

Gwendoline Fortune, Ed. D — author of Growing Up Nigger Rich, Family Lines, and her new novel, Weaving the Journey, Noni and the Great Grands, and our Florida correspondent — received a splashy NPR blast email extolling the “The All Songs 24/7 Music Channel,” to which she penned the following response:

I made my first donation to NPR in Chicago — WFMT — about forty years ago. Through six interstate moves, I supported NPR by listening, donating and telling everyone about its superiority. I no longer do so. I watched the crucifixion of classical music in Chapel Hill, NC,  and in Gainesville, FL. Thank heavens WFMT was able to survive. That does not occur in smaller, less cultured and affluent areas. The dumbing-down of American culture by denying high quality-school music in the only place it could survive, Public radio, while highlighting all-talk and popular music in the on-air FM mode is a betrayal of the people who were the only supporters of NPR at its inception and for decades, educated, cultured citizens.

Because we are older now, and the national mood thinks only of the “youth demographic,” NPR does disservice to the nation. High quality of any kind is always a minority. The US Constitution is designed to protect minorities against the tyranny of the majority, the under and un-served. I never aspired to be part of a lower class. NPR has defected from their “parents” for being different — creative-artistic-cultured. After his first year at the university, my son said, “My generation is a-historical.” He was right at eighteen, and more so at forty. I remind you that every empire has fallen from loss of principles more than warfare. The US joins the march to the doldrums of mediocrity and homogenization. I pity the next generation of know-nothings. Everything is not words, even “better news and commentary.” Creativity, culture and beauty are diminished. Don’t write or speak of “streaming.” I want music, not words or Muzak, to awaken me, and be there on my car radio — as WUFT-FM did when I moved to Gainesville, FL, in 2006–a variety of music and words.”

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