Controversy is swirling around the possibility that a St. Croix radio station may hire a shock-radio DJ fired from his last job for making racist remarks on air.
According to The Washington Post, Doug Tracht, who goes by the on-air handle of Greaseman, will try out for a job at St. Croixs WMNG-FM, also known as the Mongoose. The station is owned by Jonathan Keyes and is part of a four-station chain that broadcasts throughout the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Keyes didnt immediately return calls Thursday.
Tracht was fired from DC-101, a classic rock station in the Washington area, almost a year ago after playing a song by the black singer Lauryn Hill. Tracht said, "No wonder people drag them behind trucks," referring to the Texas dragging death of James Byrd Jr. According to the Washington Post article, Tracht was fired from his $1 million-a-year job on Feb. 25, 1999.
The article said it was not the shock-jocks first brush with controversy regarding racist remarks. On the air in 1986 at the same Washington station, he reportedly said, "Kill four more and we can take a whole week off," in regard to Martin Luther King Jr. and the holiday in his honor.
Because of those comments, news of Trachts hiring in the territory has stirred controversy.
Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen said she was "highly disturbed" about the possibility of Tracht working in the Virgin Islands. She said her phone was ringing all day Thursday with people complaining about it.
"Ive been receiving many calls from the mainland," Hansen said. "Virgin Islanders living abroad are very upset."
Hansen said a meeting is set for Friday between her, the radio station owner and Tracht.
During a Senate committee hearing Thursday on St. Thomas, Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg said he is considering a boycott of the Mongoose and its advertisers if Tracht is hired.
"I will personally go to St. Croix to wage a boycott," Donastorg said. "We dont want people coming to our shores and stirring up racial tension."