First the Tsunami song and now this. Hot 97 DJ Cipha Sounds has the New York radio station in hot water after making an on-air comment that has local leaders and members of the Haitian community fuming, and calling for him to be fired.
The popular deejay, whose real name is Luis Diaz, enraged listeners when he said on Friday morning, “The reason I’m HIV negative is because I don’t mess with Haitian girls.”
After a swarm of protest online the DJ issued an apology, stating that it was a “a stupid, tasteless joke that was a one-liner that was taken totally the wrong way.”
But community leaders insist there is no “right way” to take such a statement, particularly in a year when the small Caribbean island is still recovering from a massive earthquake that killed thousands earlier this year. A protest is planned outside of the station followed by a Town Hall meeting.
Thanks to uninformened statements by former President Clinton and misquotes in the press, the belief that Haiti has the “highest rate of HIV” in the world has been allowed to persist unchecked. While no population should be singled out unfairly, according to Avert.org, “At one extreme, the Bahamas has the highest HIV prevalence in the entire western hemisphere (3%); at the other, Cuba has one of the lowest (0.1%). Trinidad and Tobago (1.5%) and Jamaica (1.6%) are heavily affected, while Puerto Rico is the only Caribbean country apart from Cuba where it is thought that less than 1% of the population is living with HIV.”
Back in 2005 the station came under fire for producing and broadcasting a “Tsunami Song” that mocked victims of the South Asian Tsunami by calling the “screaming chinks.”