There is a new voice on the air in Black radio and his name is Rashad Richey. His show “Real Talk with Rashad Richey” reaches more than three million listeners daily and is based out of Atlanta on WAOK. Rolling Out sat down with Richey to talk about his show, the recent Garner and Brown grand jury decisions and a host of other issues.
You are called the realest man in talk radio. Tell our readers how you began your activism.
My activism began on the streets of Atlanta as a gang banger. During that time I learned to be an activist — but for an unworthy cause. After my “God” experience, I made better life decisions and later got involved in politics as a strategist. I saw how true political change could spark genuine progress in our community.
What inspires and keeps you coming to work each day?
The knowledge that I have a responsibility to make a positive and dynamic difference in the community. I bring an uncompromised voice to my listeners by utilizing the platform of talk radio to push the agenda. I also take that same determination and strength with me as an activist and political strategist.
What responsibilities do you feel that a Black talk show host has in today’s culture?
It’s very simple. To be a selfless and a “no sellout” voice for the community. To bring honest commentary, illuminate social ills and push practical solutions. I believe our main function in this sociopolitical climate is to be thermostats and not thermometers. To transform the atmosphere of social oppression, the prison industrial complex, lawlessness within the law, equal treatment under the constitution and other dynamics that continue to plague and degrade our society.
Has the voice of black media been dulled since Obama took office? Why do you think so?
I’m a supporter of President Obama, but I also believe he has been given a pass on major issues from Black hosts and progressive commentators because he’s the first Black President of the United States. It’s important to hold the powerful accountable at every step. All presidents should feel the pressure of our community issues.
What issues facing the Black community could change to most drastically if we united?
Three major things could change right away — Equal protection and rights under the U.S. Constitution, economic empowerment within the Black community and the ability to transform, create, influence and have access to educational institutions.