Our Readers' Opinions
January 6, 2012
A startling confession from talk show host Frank Dasilva

Fri, Jan 6. 2011

Editor: My letter in Searchlight of December 16, 2011, has succeeded in achieving something I had not anticipated – a startling confession from talk show host Frank Da Silva.

In his attempt to discredit me, Mr Da Silva in his radio programme on Cross Country Radio on Wednesday, December 28, 2011, let slip that he was among a band of individuals who apparently conspired to take over the radio station 100.5 First FM after, to use his words, “the station ran amok.”{{more}}

Frank, in his confession, has unwittingly given credence to a belief which I have been expressing all along; that I am not in possession of 100.5 FM mainly because of the wicked and lawless actions of some who believe that “a little black boy” should not own a radio station.

I am an investor (with a lot at stake) in Firstcom Inc, the company which established 100.5 First FM. For different reasons, shortly after the launch of the radio station, the company encountered financial difficulties which affected its loan repayments to the National Commercial Bank (NCB).

Without going into the details, after several attempts to rectify the situation with the NCB, I decided that it was time for decisive action on my part and submitted a proposal to the bank aimed at resolving the matter once and for all. This clearly took certain people by surprise, including some of those working for and behalf of the bank. No doubt blinded by their class and race prejudices (like Frank Da Silva), they underestimated my business acumen and financial capability and contemptuously ignored and frustrated my efforts to settle the Firstcom Inc debt. Their atrocious behaviour is well documented. The details are contained in documents submitted in support of my lawsuit against Firstcom Inc’s Receiver Floyd Patterson. (Suit 438 of 2010). The case is still to be heard.

I am obliged, however, to let it be known that the NCB reached an out of court settlement with me (in my favour) more than two years ago. They did so after I succeeded in getting a lawyer who was willing to take the bank to court over the Firstcom Inc matter.

I am amazed that despite evidence to the contrary, there is still a misconception which is being perpetuated by Frank Da Silva and others. They give the impression that the radio station, First FM 100.5, was sold by the NCB to someone with deep pockets after the station was unable to settle its debts with the bank. This is a big lie.

It is an undisputed fact that Firstcom Inc, which established 100.5 First FM, has neither been sold nor liquidated. In other words, Vidal Browne has not bought the radio station 100.5 First FM, First FM 100.5, 100.5 or whatever name you choose to call the station.

I now return to what I consider the conspiracy by Frank and others. I wish to make it clear that I know absolutely of no proposal from Frank Da Silva to “buy” First FM, as he alleged on his radio programme. I challenge Frank to publish his proposal, the date on which it was made and to whom.

He also accused me of rejecting an apparent attractive offer to purchase the station from an anonymous person. I challenge Frank also to publish this proposal and to provide the evidence to support his claim that 100.5 was in debt of more than one-million dollars.

Frank’s tirade against me on his programme was typical of the behaviour of the “good negroes” to whom I referred in the Searchlight article – always willing to do Massa’s biddings to keep black people in check, including black entrepreneurs.

As I listened to Frank, I remembered a warning which I received from a friend a few years ago. He had opined that by staying in the background, I was allowing others to get the credit for successful business ventures in which I have significant interests and to whose birth and development I have tremendously contributed, financially and otherwise.

As if to prove my friend correct, Frank Da Silva has painted a picture of me being so impecunious that I might not be able to afford to purchase a copy of Sir James’ book!

His obvious contempt for me is a reflection of that held by some in this country for black entrepreneurs who attempt to own business ventures which these Massa types consider out of bounds.

It, therefore, is of no surprise to me that despite being the most exposed of the shareholders of Firstcom Inc with regard to the company’s debt, I was contemptuously overlooked by Frank Da Silva and his cohorts in their idiotic plot to own First FM. What I am now experiencing, from Frank’s personal attacks, is the backlash for showing up their arrogance, contempt and idiocy. Having dismissed me as someone “with no money”, the wicked and “badminded” plotters never anticipated that without their assistance I could have produced a solid plan to turn Firstcom Inc around. After all, according to their thinking, it would have been impossible for me to raise the funds to clear the debts which they claim were in excess of one-million dollars. Instead, they expected me to be grateful to them for coming to the rescue of First FM and for saving my family property which no doubt they were aware was encumbered by the bank. The truth is, I needed no financial assistance from either Frank or this anonymous benevolent person (whoever he or she is) to turn First FM 100.5 around, or to operate a radio/communication venture successfully. I am the holder of a broadcast FM radio licence.

To those who read my previous letter, (the gist of which obviously went over Frank’s head), the contempt for me, as displayed by Frank and others, is typical of that meted out to entrepreneurs of African decent, which I alluded to in my previous piece. It is this kind of thinking, I maintain, which was mainly responsible for Vincentian farmers being overlooked in the negotiations of the cocoa agreement.

Bernard Joseph