Home Girl

How does Jessica Dana get away with the things she says on the radio?

Today Dana's on a less controversial topic.

"Moby got beat up," she reports, "and I'm wondering whether that's Eminem's guys," referring to the controversy the rapper sparked when he called the techno producer a "36-year-old bald-headed fag" in a song. (Moby responded by deflecting the criticism, saying he was "kind of stunned at the anger that [Eminem] has for me.")

Jessica Dana: "She fits perfectly. She is the White Girl."
Jennifer Silverberg
Jessica Dana: "She fits perfectly. She is the White Girl."

"Who wants to beat up Moby?" says Blac, incredulous. "That's crazy."

"Yeah, he seems to be a very chill guy. His quote was, he's not angry with the men and believes in forgiveness, and that they should realize that hurting people is wrong."

"Oh no," says Blac, "that's too nice right there, though."

Before each segment, Dana goes over her notes, most of which she's downloaded and printed from Internet news stories. She scribbles some ideas, making a blueprint for the "Report." On this show, she'll be discussing the Chinese New Year.

"You know, Craig," she begins, "there's other colors besides black and white."

"There's green," responds Blac.

"No, I'm talking about people. I'm talking about the yellow people. The Asians."

She follows with a brief discussion of the Chinese calendar, in which each year is represented by a different animal -- the Year of the Horse, the Year of the Snake. She asks Blac whether he knew of the Chinese horoscope -- he didn't -- or has ever eaten Chinese food.

"They don't mind if black people come in and have a little Chinese food in their yellow restaurant," she declares.

Where are the PC police? And what would happened if WIL (92.3 FM), the area's top country station, aired a segment called the "Black Girl Report"?

There's a difference, says Mo'shay, who, in addition to her role as program director, hosts the daily music-oriented midday show: "It's because of where black people are on the social ladder anyway. In the case of a white American, they don't have that '360 years of oppression' story. I mean, me personally, I wouldn't care, but that's why the majority of black people would care if something like that was out there. There's a lot of history, and it's not good history. But [the "White Girl Report"] is a little more lighthearted, because it's in reverse."

At times, the funny barbs that fly from the mouths of Blac, Chan and Tony J. are directed at Dana and the "White Girl Report," but if they're laughing at her expense, she's oblivious.

The generally mild tone of the "White Girl Report" also seems to shield it from criticism. Dana isn't intentionally incendiary, and it's naturally safer to joke about one's own race than to poke fun at another's. She insists that she's just representing white culture to an audience that doesn't often listen to rock & roll.

"I do think that a lot of black people -- or white people -- who listen to hip-hop and rap don't go outside of that, whereas people who listen to rock and jazz and blues do listen to hip-hop. I don't find many hip-hop people who know a lot about rock or metal. White people listen to hip-hop, but are black people listening to rock?"

They're not, she says, and this is her way of connecting two worlds.

"The Urban Jazz Naturals will be at Miso on February 2," she says during one segment. "You gotta love them. And Audioslave's coming to the Pageant." There's a quick pause. "So, some good white shows for you to check out -- blend with the white people!"

"Some good white shows?" says Blac, "That's just so funny."

"I'm just being rude," responds Dana. "But you know, when you go to these clubs in other cities, black and white people are in the same club.

"Why can't there be shows for everybody?" says Blac. "You know what I'm saying? Why can't we all get together as one and be as one person?"

"In Chicago they do."

"Why can't we be one people?" says Blac. "Is that the right way to say that? One people?"

"I don't think that's right."

"We can all be ignorant together, how about that?"

The two laugh and move on.

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