Heartland Says ‘No’ to UN
Kansas City radio host puts out ‘UN-welcome’ mat for Kofi
By Mark Anderson
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI—Not all members of the media fawn over the United Nations. A radio show host in Kansas City recently took to the streets for some activism, to let residents there know that the UN should not be a welcome visitor to the American heartland.
Jason Littlejohn, who hosts the local weekly radio show “Lives in the Balance” on KCXL 1140 AM (simulcast on KCTO 1160 AM), laid out the “UN-welcome” mat specifically for Kofi Annan, the outgoing secretary general of the United Nations. On Dec. 11, Annan gave his farewell address in nearby Independence, Mo., at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum. Truman was president when the UN was founded in 1945.
Besides broadcasting radio shows on Nov. 30 and Dec. 7 and interviewing this AFP reporter on the flaws and perils inherent in the UN system, Littlejohn helped organize a protest outside the library.
He told AFP that he and the other protestors, who see the UN’s principles as contrary to those on which America was founded, were fenced into a “free speech zone,” some 150 yards from the side of the library.
“It had police tape around it,” Littlejohn said, noting that police directed all anti-UN people to this designated zone after they approached the library with placards and literature.
To amplify his message, Littlejohn used a bullhorn, though it took a while for him to find a spot that local police considered allowable for this method of free speech. “They told me I could not use my megaphone on government property, so I had to go to the other side of the highway,” he told AFP.
“How ironic it is that we honor an organization with leaders from countries that squash freedom, dissent and independence in a town called Independence,” he said.
Littlejohn told AFP that it seemed like only select media organizations were allowed inside to hear Annan’s 20-minute address, which was recently posted on the Truman Library’s web site and that of the Kansas City Star newspaper.
Mike Wallace of CBS reportedly interviewed Annan after his speech for an upcoming “60 Minutes” segment. While considering himself part of the local media, Littlejohn called the library for a press pass to hear Annan.
He was told that the media stable was full, but people who would consider giving, say, $1,000, could be invited in to hear Annan’s speech and attend the reception.
At the protest, Littlejohn tried to get visiting media members, including those from the British Broadcasting Corp., or BBC, to pay heed to the protestors’ message. “I went over and talked to them . . . they weren’t interested,” he said, while noting that BBC representatives “cut the audio” when a lady among the protestors tried to talk to them about what she sees as the anti-U.S.orientation of the UN.
Annan’s speech was entitled, “Global Governance and the Role of the United States,” where he stated the constant refrain that the United States has a special obligation to support the UN.
A pre-speech Truman Library press release noted, “Annan’s parting message to the world, and particularly to the American people, is one of accountability and responsibility. Recalling Truman’s leadership in the founding of the UN, the secretary-general will lay out principles of global governance for the 21st century and argue that America’s founding principle of accountability of governors to the governed must apply also to those who exercise power in today’s world.”
Littlejohn, who hopes that at least some Kansas City area citizens learned “the rest of the story” about the UN, can be reached through www.midwestconcernedcitizens.org.
(Issue #52, December 25, 2006)