Phoenix Talkback calls itself “The World’s First Ever Jewish-Chicano Radio Show.” The hour-long show airs on KFNX 1100 AM and hopes to strengthen ties between the Mexican-American and Jewish community. Co-host and producer Lou Show and Co-host Viva Samuel Ramirez talk about the show.
Jose Cardenas: Phoenix Talkback is being called the first ever Jewish Chicano radio show. It airs at 10:00 Sunday mornings and is available on the internet. Let's listen to the first show that aired in March of this year.
Radio Announcer: This is Phoenix Talkback, the world's first Jewish-Chicano radio show. [applause] Alright! Alright. Welcome to Phoenix Talkback. This is Phoenix Talkback, America's first Jewish-Chicano radio show. We are independent liberals in Arizona. We are America's first Jewish-Chicano radio show. Both Jews and Chicanos have numerous similarities. There are many Jewish people in Mexico, both stress the importance of family, both groups possess a language unique to their culture, and both groups have a history of facing oppression and rising above it. It's not unreasonable to view what is currently happening to Mexicans in the United States as similar to what has happened to the Jewish people throughout history. We have seen exclusionary laws passed in this nation that have targeted Jews, Catholics, Irish, Chinese and others and we feel the best medicine against discrimination, hatred and indifference is sunlight and attention. This is the goal of this radio show.
Jose Cardenas: Joining me to talk about Phoenix Talkback radio is one of the co-hosts Viva Samuel Ramirez and Lou Show, the founder of the program. Tell us how this came to be.
Lou Show: It's an extension of a show I did on the internet called the Lou Show. I was away from radio for a while, and I looked at politics and looked around and it came to me that there is a -- there's a need to show a matter of solidarity between all peoples here in Arizona. I'm a Jewish person. I thought it was important for everyone to know that because it is a part of my being. Arizona is composed mainly of Mexican Americans, in other words Chicanos. This is the world's first Jewish-Chicano radio show.
Jose Cardenas: Did you have a sense there was a perception of a rift between the Jewish and Hispanic Chicano communities? Were you trying to remedy a particular issue?
Lou Show: No, I don't see a rift. As a matter of fact the whole purpose of formulating this show is as a matter of solidarity, that Jews are all over the world.
Jose Cardenas: You pointed out there are a lot of Jews in Mexico.
Lou Show: In Mexico. Lots of everybody in Mexico. I think that it's important to highlight any kind of combination of solidarity that we can see. Whether it's in Mexico, we also see it here in America. Here's one example. By the mere fact that we are together, we're discussing the society, politics, the culture, and here's one example. This is the world's first combination of Jewish-Chicano radio show.
Jose Cardenas: Now, Viva, you weren't on the show originally but you decided to become a regular co-host. What attracted you to it?
Viva Samuel Ramirez: Well, when I was invited by one of the founders of the show, Deedee Place, told me about the show, and we happen to share an idea about --
Jose Cardneas: With Native American connections?
Viva Samuel Ramirez: No, the founders of the tequila party.
Jose Cardenas: Oh, yes.
Viva Samuel Ramirez: Who has been a big supporter of Lou and the show. She knows where my stance is about being Chicano, which is looking for a voice that might have contributed in exact the -- exactly the way Lou was saying, she invited me to come on. It was a good experience, so we decided to do it again. I found that I have something to say and I really enjoy saying Chicano. I really enjoy introducing myself as a Chicano representing that voice at least for myself.
Jose Cardenas: And did you have a sense that you were fulfilling a need by providing that voice on the show?
Viva Samuel Ramirez: I do. I do feel there's a need. We're on the brink of what is not just Hispanic or Latino movement but a Chicano movement. This is about the beginning of an independence in Chicano identity. Resurgence of a Chicano idea. By doing this, by being present casually among people who talk about politics, people who are residents here, my neighbor as Lou is here in the state, and being proudly Chicano as I am, understanding that everything I say comes from that angle, and it being okay demonstrating that it's okay on the show is where we do need to go. It's that step where people need to become familiar with Chicano, with what Chicanos have to say, and where they come from.
Jose Cardenas: How much of your own contribution to the show is the result or based on the fact that your father was very active in the community?
Viva Samuel Ramirez: Well, I would say I would have to attribute everything to him. I wouldn't have any clue if it wasn't for him. For the way that he subtly introduced these ideas to me just by being himself. By being -- by having this word in our household, by being everything that he was which was okay to everybody else, he was an educator, a businessman, he worked for the state. He never had to overtly be Chicano but he was a resident and cared about the community, and he never lost his identity. What it was. So to me that was what made it okay. To be Chicano. I want to share that with everybody else.
Jose Cardenas: Lou, how do you decide what topics you're going to address from one show to the next?
Lou Show: It all depends on the week's news. As the week progresses and events occur in the community, it builds up towards the end of the week. You'll notice a lot of news stories break on Friday. And I think that's because something controversial will break on a Friday to not give the opportunity for anyone to react to it. So in the two days between Friday and when the show airs on Sunday, that's when I'm most busiest.
Jose Cardenas: Try to be busy identifying the topic and lining up co-hosts.
Lou Show: A lot of different things. Gathering materials, talking to a variety of people, certainly I have a point of view on what I see, but I still need the perspective of other people. I talk to a great -- I talk with Viva. Did you hear about this? What do you think of this? I'm sort of a conduit of all this information.
Jose Cardenas: Some of the shows I have listened to you have had more than one co-host or other voices are participating. How do you decide uh many people you'll have on?
Lou Show: Depends who is going to be on the show. There's a possibility I could have more than one co-host. I start the show and after I start the show and broach the topics I'm very content to sit back to see how the synergy of everyone getting together and lending their point of view on an event -- sort of like the ring master if it goes out of bounds, but I do want to try to redirect everyone toward on the actual event whatever we're talking about. Depends upon the week. You're asking how I determine the content for the show, some things are pre-planned, maybe weeks or so in advance. But the fact is it all depends on how things happen in the news.
Jose Cardenas: When you talk about things getting out of bounds do you mean off topic or some inappropriate statement?
Lou Show: Nothing is in-- no one who has been on the show has been inappropriate although one time that we talked about I believe it was Jason Richwine dissertation, you remember the guy from Harvard, he was hired by the heritage foundation and it was discovered near the end of the week his dissertation was based on the idea that Latinos are genetically inferior.
Viva Samuel Ramirez: Lower I.Q.
Lou Show: We talk about this on the show. Someone from the tea party called up to basically --
Jose Cardenas: You take phone calls?
Lou Show: We do. The show airs on KFNX, Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. We hope everyone tunes in. You can also find us on Facebook if you look for Phoenix talk back radio show.
Jose Cardenas: Has anything come up that made you feel uncomfortable?
Viva Samuel Ramirez: No. I can't say that's true. I'm there purposely comfortable in my perspective. I will say I don't agree wholeheartedly with everything everyone says.
Jose Cardenas: Is that expressed?
Viva Samuel Ramirez: Of course. It's an atmosphere where we are encouraged to add in different opinions. The demonstration there is that this is sort of a sampling of what Arizona we want Arizona to be like. We accept that we have different opinions and that we come from different places and we can actually have different identities, but in order to live here in peace, in order to have prosperity and things we want for our state that we have to be able to figure it out together. The show is that discussion happening. It could be an example for the way we want the community to behave in the public.
Jose Cardenas: Lou, we're almost out of time. The show you just did this last Sunday, I would venture to wager perhaps one of your more controversial ones. It focused on Randy and the money he got in the campaign against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Pretty negative all around.
Lou Show: When the recall ended, people had Joe. The name of the series is where is my recall.
Jose Cardenas: The part of the concern is the effort failed.
Lou Show: The effort did fail.
Jose Cardenas: We only have about 20 seconds left.
Lou Show: I understand that. No one is above accountability. No one is above transparency.
Jose Cardenas: Have you gotten any negative feedback?
Lou Show: No we got a lot of positive feedback they had no idea what we reported was in existence. America and every human being has a hero worship thing and we cannot let this get in the way of our politics.
Jose Cardenas: Sounds like a very interesting show. Sunday mornings at 10:00. Thank you both for joining us. That is our show for tonight from all of us here at Horizonte I'm Jose Cardenas. Have a good evening.
Lou Show: Co-host and Producer, KFNX 1100 AM "Phoenix Talkback";Viva Samuel Ramirez:Co-Host, KFNX 1100 AM "Phoenix Talkback"