Calling Dr. C

The caller has reached full bellow. "I'm with you, Dr. Conley," he says. "We should kill all the white people. Just like you said. Kill 'em all."

Luscious Conley, the WWII vet who hosts the show Dr. Conley Live at 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays on TBCN's Ch. 20, looks into the camera with a mildly amused expression. The caller hangs up. It's tough to tell whether the man was sincere, or running an ironic ruse past the old-timer sitting at a desk on public access. Either way, Conley is not sure how he got painted as a kill-whitey black militant. "I don't wanna kill somebody!" he says rapid-fire, his voice high-pitched. "I ain't never said that! I don't hate nobody. People ask 'How you hate white people?' I tell the people 'I ain't never said I hate white people. I ain't never said I wanna kill white people.' [The callers] want me to say something out of the way, y'know."

Conley's latest theme is that Jesus Christ was a black man, that the black race is the wellspring of humanity, that black people are superior. "Black people birthed white people," he chirps. "White people don't believe it. You can take things black and make somethin' of it. You can't take nothin' white and make nothin' out of it. You can take black and make different races of people."

This is relatively new terrain for Conley. The former sharecropper who grew up near Lake City says he got started on public access in the late '80s in a campaign to get his disability pension from the military. He fought the Germans in Italy during WWII as part of the all-black Buffalo Soldiers. He was shot in the leg, and returned to battle. The war ended when he was on the front lines. "I thought I'd get a little respect when I came back," Conley says. "But I come back to my home state, got called a niggah and got put out the service."

After decades of battling the system, and with the help of a lawyer, Conley was granted his disability about three years ago and now receives a monthly check for $2,300 and change. "[Public access] helped me get my disability, yes sir it did," he says.

Conley doesn't get flustered when people call his show to rag or mock him, which they do often. "It don't worry me," he says. "I don't like a show like that but ain't nothin' you can do about it, 'cause it's a call-in show."

Conley, who gave himself the appellation "doctor," says he'd do a program every day if he could. How much longer does he plan on being a public access programmer?

"'Til I die. Or 'til they quit puttin' me on here."

Maybe he knows this, or maybe he doesn't, but TBCN can never prevent him from putting on Dr. Conley Live.


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Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
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