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Why We Are Doing the Salvation Army Radiothon

Over the past two weeks the Salvation Army has found themselves in controversy they not did anticipate. News of an internal discussion guide called “Let’s Talk About Racism” that was originally published in April came to light over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The document was sourced and borrowed heavily from critical race theory books and materials.

Anyone who listens to WIBC knows critical race theory is forcefully denounced by our shows and hosts. Thus the use of these materials by the Salvation Army was disturbing and we have alerted them to our serious concerns and objections. The national organization’s original response was defensive and inadequate. There were certainly exaggerated and inaccurate stories published about the document, but the Salvation Army’s response focused on those inaccuracies rather than addressing the actual contents of the material in question. Later they announced that “Let’s Talk About Racism” would be pulled for “appropriate review”.

While removing the document was an appropriate step, it is still not enough. Our position is that the Salvation Army should disavow the divisive material and make clear that it will not be used. The Army says in their positional statement on race that “The Salvation Army denounces racism in all forms”. This is a position with which we fully agree. In creating future resources for discussing race relations, we urge the Salvation Army to ensure that these come from a place of love and unity.

While we believe the national organization has made a misstep that must be corrected, it does not negate the 156 years of the Salvation Army “doing the most good”. For the last 27 years WIBC has been proud to partner with our listeners for our annual Radiothon for the Salvation Army. Together we have raised millions of dollars that have directly impacted lives in Indianapolis and Central Indiana. We have been able to witness first-hand what the Army does in their facilities and programs. We realize how much we have to be grateful for when seeing women and children being protected from abuse, the homeless being sheltered and the despondent being given hope.

On a radio station with well-known conservative hosts and personalities, it seems fitting that we work through a charity such as the Salvation Army to meet the needs of our neighbors free from the strings of government. We want to be “the shining city on the hill” helping provide “a thousand points of light” and to be guided by our better angels. The money raised locally stays local. Children without the expectation of Christmas presents will find them. They will be kept warm with new winter coats. After-school programs will keep kids off the streets and engaged with mentors. Those with addictions will find the road to recovery. The hungry will be fed. Those in sorrow will be comforted.

We know our partners at the Central Indiana Division of the Salvation Army. We have worked side by side with them and have witnessed their anguish over the last week and a half. What they care about is serving those in need. We are committed to helping them do that. We recognize that not everyone will agree with our decision to go on with Radiothon. We accept that and respect those opinions. However, we have decided that we will err on side of grace and charity. We hope you’ll join us in supporting the 27th annual WIBC Radiothon for the Salvation Army.


The management of WIBC

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