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First Coast pastor calls on radio station to turn down the violence

10:35 PM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One local pastor is leading the charge to turn down the violence on radio stations.

And his plea has gone national.  

"It started out just listening to the radio, with my wife, I would click station to station, and say, did he just say what I think he said," said Pastor Michael Smith.

Smith said it took him a while to understand the lyrics on local Jacksonville radio stations. 

So he started recording them, and looking up the words he didn't recognize.

"You cannot believe this is on the radio, and you cannot believe anyone would try to defend it. Red, yellow, brown, pink, purple, whatever," he said.

After studying the content for a year, he says he was appalled by what he heard.

Violence, drug dealing, and content he says glorifies criminal behavior in black culture. 

So he wrote a letter to the station he calls the biggest offender: 93.3 The Beat.

"I can't control the next kid who is going to be shot, I don't know the next person who will end up with AIDS. I don't know the next kid who is going to be arrested for something. But we can stop another song that glories in  that happening," he said.

In the letter, he asks the station to clean up its content, and donate $10,000 to a local charity.

In a statement to First Coast News, a spokesperson for the station said: "The BEAT FM93.3 is a popular station in Jacksonville that has a great relationship with the local community, playing music that our listeners want while abiding by all government regulations as a responsible broadcaster.    We are a solid community partner, participating in many local charitable events..."

"It's corporate dissociative disorder. On Floor 3 we're trying to make the community better, on Floor 5, we're putting out the most toxic stuff possible,' said Smith.

Smith says advertisers should start pulling their money from stations who play violent and explicit songs.

"America's nuts. This is insane. If a guy comes out with a date rape song, Reebok drops him like that. We don't support that content. But he has a whole year of I'll kill you, I'll shoot you, I'll deal drugs. Well there's nothing wrong with that because it's entertainment? That's hypocrisy," he said.

Smith gave The Beat until May 13 to pay his $10,000 fine.

While the radio station did not tell first coast news if it plans to comply, Smith says he will take his plea to their advertisers.

First Coast News

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