Radio personality's remarks discussed behind closed doors

April 16, 2008 5:01:14 PM PDT
A local radio station met with concerned citizens Wednesday to address comments made during a show earlier this month.

The comments were made on G 105s number one rated show when Bob Dumas and his Showgram crew teased an intern for marrying a Lumbee Indian.

"Did you tell your parents, 'hey, at least he's not black?'" Dumas asked during the broadcast. "After you guys get married are you going to have a tee-pee warming party? A tee-pee warming party? I hear Pottery Barn is making great stuff for tee-pees."

That led to outrage from Native American leaders who called the statements inflammatory, callous and insensitive.

They demanded Dumas and his cohorts be fired and asked for a large donation to UNC Pembroke, which has deep ties to the Lumbees. Instead, they got an apology from Dumas.

"We intended for our comments to be humorous, but we failed at that," Dumas said. "We sincerely apologize to each of our listeners who were offended."

The host and his morning team received a three-day suspension. But the episode wasn't over.

Wednesday members of the North Carolina Commission of Indian affairs and G 105's general manager held a closed-door meeting.

It is not clear what was said.

The general manager had no comment for Eyewitness News as he left the two-hour meeting.

On their way out of the meeting, Native American leaders provided more insight. They seemed satisfied with their discussion.

"Everybody enjoyed the meeting today," Paul Brooks, N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs, said. "Everybody had a good time. We were very pleased, and I think everything will be OK."

In a relesse issued by Indian Affairs, Brroks accepted the sation's apology and announced a new partnership between it and G 105. Clear Channel Communications, the parent company of G 105 agreed to work with the Indian Affairs on future ekkorts to promote and support issues of importance to Native Americans.

"Our meeting today with G105 General Manager Dick Harlow was positive and reflected the educational outreach and cultural acceptance we sought," Brooks said. "He demonstrated a willingness to open the door to a wide-reaching partnership and was sincere in his apology. He gave us his personal assurance that negative stereotypes of American Indians will not be heard again on G105."

Harlow provided the Commission an audio copy of the on-air apology delivered on April 8 by Showgram host Bob Dumas, as his as well own on- air apology, both of which have been linked to the Commission of Indian Affairs Web site at www.doa.state.nc.us/cia/ .

He said an agreement will be drafted soon regarding the support of American Indian- related education and outreach that will be provided on all four local radio stations owned and operated by Clear Channel Communications.

Commission Executive Director Greg Richardson described the meeting as "historic" in its scope and spirit of cooperation. Other participants included Chairman Jimmy Goins, Chief of the Lumbee tribe, and Ed Brooks, attorney for the Lumbee Tribe.


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