MLK Controversy

Monday, January 10, 2011 - 11:00am

Colorado radio station owner says he's been threatened over harsh criticism of Rev. Martin Luther King.

A Colorado School Board Member and radio station owner is broadcasting commentary calling Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. an "American hating communist," "sexual degenerate," and a "modern-day plastic god."

Brett Reese, owner of 104.7FM Pirate Radio in Greeley, said he is playing the five-minute commentary on his station daily before MLK's birthday on January 17.

It was crafted, he said, after he received a letter from a listener.

He still defends the words, three years after he taped it to air on his FCC-licensed station.

"Ninety-nine percent of it's truth," he said. "I can tell you for a fact, there may be some small aberration that's in there."

Reese has served on the Greeley-Evans School Board for roughly one year, describing himself as a "controversial" school board member.

"He's not a legitimate reverend. He's not a bonafide PhD. His name isn't really Martin Luther King Junior..." Reese says in the commentary. "What's left? Just a sexual American hating communist, and a criminal betrayer of even the interests of his own people."

Reese claims people in the United States are being "duped" about Martin Luther King Jr. the man, not his movement.

He says people in Greeley are taking issue with his stance now because he is on the school board, but said his commentary is great fodder for students everywhere.

"I think probably more appropriate than any other member of a community," Reese said. "A school board member should be talking about this particular subject."

However, an organizer of Greeley's 15th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. March and Celebration said Reese's comments are out of line.

"It is not balanced," said Tobias Guzman, chair of Greeley's Human Rights Commission. "If it is balanced, then we are educating."

Guzman said he would like to meet with Reese to have an open discussion about his words.

"Those words about another human being are obviously not kind and so it breeds hate," he said.

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