Ukrainian Advocacy Group Calls FCC Commissioner’s Statement 'Culturally Insensitive'

In the midst of SpaceX debate, the UCCA calls FCC Commissioner's response in favor of Elon Musk culturally insensitive to Ukrainians

Ukrainian Advocacy Group Calls FCC Commissioner’s Statement 'Culturally Insensitive'
Photo of Arthur Belendiuk, lawyer for UCCA and filing author, taken from Smithwick and Belendiuk

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2024 - The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America is accusing Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr of using “culturally insensitive” language when he asked the regulator to reject the group's request for an investigation into SpaceX's spectrum license.

The UCCA filed an April 24 request to the FCC asking for a review of SpaceX's spectrum licenses over Musk’s behavior and his alleged meddling in U.S. foreign policy.

Carr called on the FCC to dismiss the UCCAs request, accusing the organization of using “sweeping and unmoored allegations,” contributing to a "clear and repeating pattern of regulatory harassment that accelerated the moment Elon Musk stood up for free speech," and invoking irrelevant laws to attack Musk.

The UCCA called Carr's comments insensitive to the Ukrainian people, considering their repression at the hands of both the Russians and, historically, the Soviets. The UCCA also highlighted the “irony” of Carr vehemently defending the First Amendment, while attacking their right to petition.

“Commissioner Carr’s statement is culturally insensitive; it demonstrates ignorance of the goals and purpose of UCCA, its member organizations and of Ukrainian Americans,” the UCCA declared in its May 8 filing to the FCC.

The UCCA also took particular offense to Carr’s insinuation that it is part of a wider attempt to attack Musk over his free speech stance.

The filing goes on to accuse Carr of being prejudiced in favor of Musk and using his position in the FCC to silence Musk’s critics.

It also pointed to precedent in disqualifying biased agency officials. Two such cited cases state that officials making public statements demonstrating an “unalterably closed mind” and having “adjudged the facts… of a particular case in advance of hearing it,” can be subject to disqualification.

Because Carr’s statement was issued mere hours after its filing, the group alleges he demonstrated a closed mind.

Finally, the UCCA is asking Carr to withdraw his statement and apologize to the group and the Ukrainians community broadly. Likewise, it reiterates its call for the FCC to open an investigation into Musk's improper use of federally-issued licenses.

Carr has not publicly responded to the UCCA's comments.

Musk has another potential federal inquiry heading his way. On May 6, Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, issued a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III requesting an investigation into the use of Starlink terminals by Russian soldiers.

Popular Tags