Update from 1st Tikkun Olam Award Winners re Deeply Troubling Incident


We have been in correspondence with Rodneyse Biochette, one of the Tikkun Olam Award #1 winners since receiving these pictures from Tikkun Olam Award #1 winner Boris Noble. They were taken at the Council of Jewish Organizations Masbia Chanukah Party in Broollyn, NY.


Rodneyse, Rabbi Yechezkel Pikus – She is speaking to her constituents as they eat great food





Rodneyse, Blondell (her chief of staff) to the right is Leon Golden Berg (chariman of COJO), Martin Kahan (Treasurer/CFO of COJO)











Boris Noble and his fiance’

Below is an e-mail just received from Rodneyse, which she has requested we share with you in the hope you will give her your opinion.

We are pleased to have been engaged in a discussion about this deeply troubling incident and hope many of you will come forward and participate in her survey..


Hello Harriet and Bill,
Please see the Information Below to be posted.
New York City- On December 17 Friday Morning, a comment was made by Emmis Communications Hot 97 Radio Host Cipha Sounds aka Luis Diaz about Haitian Women and HIV, “The Reason I’m H.I.V negative is cause I don’t mess with Haitian girls.” Many were outraged by the comment with complaints made to the radio station demanding his termination. Cipha sounds apologized while the management stated that Cipha will not be fired.
Subsequently, a number of organizations, elected officials and members of the community organized a press conference on Tuesday December 21, 2010 to speak against the derogatory comment made by Hot 97 Cipha Sounds. The next day a forum was held by 1199SEIU Union, to give the public an opportunity to voice their thoughts and recommendations. It was then announced that Cipha Sounds was suspended indefinitely.

The Haitian Community wanted everyone to take time to reflect the impact made by the comment and understand why as a community they were dissatisfy with what was thought to be a lame apology and measly suspension (not knowing at the time whether it was with pay or not and questioned the severity of the suspension since it was around the holidays).

Imagine your child on a playground and other parents pulling their children away from yours because they think your child is HIV positive.  Imagine your daughter being teased, rejected, and bullied by her entire school, as your son continually gets jumped for defending his sisters’ honor, his mothers’ pride, and every woman that has raised him because they have been stigmatized with being HIV positive.

For too many years our Haitian parents were denied their equal civil rights because of their Haitian origin; and eventually reached a boiling point 20 years ago accused of creating AIDS, when for the very same reason, every man, woman, and child, marched across the Brooklyn Bridge demanding that the “FDA keeps their AIDs”

We do have a choice. We can accept to allow the notion of “freedom of speech” to be abused, continue to disregard the state of our being as a Haitian American Community, where radio stations such as Hot 97 pride themselves on generating discriminatory and prejudicial remarks or we can demand ethical standards rise to true American standards and support terminating those who have crossed lines in the same manner of the following:

1)     Rick Sanchez was terminated after calling Jon Stewart a “bigot” and that the Jews controlled CNN

2)     Don IMus – fired from commenting on our female basketball players and belittling them for what racist individuals take to mean ugly. 

3)     Star and Bucwild fired from 105.1 for threatening a 4 year old and Star and Bucwild were fired from HOT 97 for  Aaliyah’s death – *think plane crash sound effects

4)     Dave Lenihan – fired for using a racial epithet to describe Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

5)     Charles Raymond Bouley Jr – for an expletive-laden, on-air diatribe in which he called for the death of “Joe the Plumber.”

Haitian American’s whose parents, as many others, chiseled  their way to the American Dream lived the ramifications of poorly chosen words of others, and now our voice to speak our rights is not allowing such denigration and humiliation to occur, not on radio, not TV, not on the internet, and certainly, not as the butt of anyone’s joke.

Many from the community has still asked for their voice to be strengthen with the support of the Jewish community in this matter and to not to lose sight of the big picture. Our forefathers of this great country fought for perfecting our legislation to remove all prejudice and racists connotations. We would hope efforts are still being made to help us.

Hot 97 is currently working on this matter to address this issue.

Question is what are your thoughts?  Why is it that in some communities Cipha would have been terminated? Do you think his suspension was enough and what would you proposed HOT97 and Cipha Sounds do to make up for what took place? 

Rodneyse Bichotte
State Committeewoman/District Leader
New York State 42nd Assembly District
Brooklyn NY


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