Caribbean-American Pols. Slam Hot 97 Deejay Over “Coconut” Remarks

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Fri. Dec. 30, 2005: The mouth of WQHT/Hot 97 FM radio morning host, Miss Jones, has landed her in hot water again, this time with the Caribbean immigrant community in New York.

Jones, who in January stirred the ire of the Asian-American community over a skit mocking the tsunami victims, has now angered Caribbean immigrants, including two of the city’s political representatives. They yesterday lashed out at the Queens native for her criticism last week of Trinidad-born leader of the Transport Workers Union Local 100, Roger Toussaint.

Jones, during the strike last week, reportedly called Toussaint a “dumb coconut who probably don’t have a green card,” according to author Plathelle Benjamin, in the New York Daily News. And she and her crew also enacted a skit where Toussaint was being toted away back to a boat headed for Trinidad for being an illegal immigrant; while calling the striking workers “uneducated and overpaid losers who made the wrong choices in high school.”

St. Vincent-born New York City Councilman, Dr. Kendall B. Stewart, (D-45h CD), said Jones’ comments proves she “is a disgrace to the noble profession of radio journalism and should be encouraged to seek another line of work.” And he called on management of the station to immediately fire her and apologize to all New Yorkers for her “injudicious comments.”

“This clearly is the kind of behavior that should never be tolerated on the public’s airwaves,” he said yesterday in a statement. “I want Miss Jones to know that I was born and educated in the Caribbean and I’m now a member of the New York City Council. I take serious offense to her characterization of Roger Toussaint as ‘a dumb coconut.’ I suspect that Miss Jones will not take kindly to others of a non-Black race calling her a ‘nigger.’ Yet she feels comfortable to engage in such an odious form or verbal diarrhea based solely her jaundiced observations.”

He also called her “a vapid, empty loud-mouth that loves the sound of her own bigoted voice.”

Stewart, who is also the chair of the council’s immigration committee, said Jones’ comments disrespected all immigrants and reflected the animosity that she obviously harbors for other blacks “not born in America.” He added that the only difference between Caribbean-born blacks and African-Americans was that “the slave boat stopped in the Caribbean and let off some blacks and then came to America with the remainder.”

While State Senator John Sampson, who was born to Guyanese parents in Brooklyn, said Jones’ comments shows an “ignorance about the Caribbean –American community and its contribution to the social, political and economic fabric of New York City.”

“Her characterization of TWU Local 100 leader … is her philistine and infantile attempt to ape and mimic the worst and most banal sections of talk radio,” he stated. “Miss Jones is the best example of a self-loathing individual who wallows in self-hatred and whose putrid manifestation is an attempt to ‘sound white against black people.’ Interestingly, Miss Jones’ reserves her vile uttering for members of her own race but is conspicuously silent when New York City’s Mayor Mike Bloomberg calls poor people striking for a better standard of living and retirement benefits ‘selfish thugs.’”

He also, like Stewart, called on the management of Hot 97 “to immediately and permanently cancel Miss Jones’ program and issue a public apology to the hardworking, law-abiding Caribbean-American community in general and Roger Toussaint in particular.”

While adding, “Its time that black people in this city see Miss Jones for what she is – ‘a backward, ignorant, uninformed and philistine hack-job who is only comfortable when she disparages, disrespects and insults her own kind to cover her obvious shortcomings.’”

Jones also got into trouble in January with the Asian community over a parody that mocked victims of the South Asian tsunami catastrophe, calling them “screaming chinks” and “little Chinamen.” Yonkers-based Asian Media Watch had also accused the “Miss Jones in the Morning” show of “repeated racist attitudes” and demanded the program’s “elimination.”

Station-owner Emmis Communications had issued an apology then and said the seven-member crew agreed to donate one week’s pay to the tsunami victims. Emmis has made no comment to date on the recent remarks by Jones.

Jones bio says she is a graduate of New York City’s Fiorella H. Laguardia Music and Art High School where she majored in classical music and subsequently learning music technique and arrangement. Her real name is Tarsha Nicole Jones and she went on to Syracuse University where she graduated with a B.A. in music and was later picked up by Doug E. Fresh for a guest stint on his Get Fresh Crew tour and did recordings for the Beatnuts, Busta Rhymes, Biz Markie, Common Sense and Rampage. She developed her musical career mostly underground before landing the morning stint at Hot 97 and has no training in media or journalism. –