Rep. Clarke’s Statement on Cipha Sounds’ Derogatory Remarks Made on Hot 97
Last week, Hot 97 FM radio host Cipha Sounds, who’s real name is Mr. Luis Diaz, made an inflammatory statement which he considered to be a joke. He said “the reason I’m HIV negative is cause I don’t mess with Haitian girls.” Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement regarding his derogatory remarks:
“The radio personalities of Hot 97 FM have had a long history of making outlandish and inflammatory remarks. The statement made by Mr. Diaz was utterly offensive, derogatory, inappropriate, and founded in ignorance. Statements like this must not be tolerated in a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-cultural media market like New York City. I add my voice to that of my constituency and all people of good will, condemning such a hurtful statement and demanding that Hot 97 FM and its parent company Emmis Communications take the appropriate disciplinary action and make that action public.”
“As a Congressional representative of the second largest Haitian immigrant population in the United States, I understand the deep frustration, insult and pain felt as a result of this inflammatory comment. To add insult to injury, his comment comes at a very sensitive time, on the heels of the one year anniversary of the January 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti last year,” stated Congresswoman Clarke.
“It is also important to point out that HIV/AIDS can be a deadly disease and most definitely not a laughing matter. With over 100,000 people living with HIV in New York City, people must understand that this disease does not discriminate. Stigmatizing and perpetuating falsehoods and stereotypes about this disease does a great disservice to our community,” added Rep. Clarke.
“While Mr. Diaz has apologized for his remarks, this does not negate the fact that disciplinary action must be taken. As a legislator, I am not at liberty to administer such action. I want to urge Hot 97 FM and Emmis Communications to do so and establish a “zero tolerance” policy on statements like this one,” concluded Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.