#1026 Independence Day, but only for some (Racism)

Air Date: 07-01-2016

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Today we take a look at the history of racial oppression in America from slavery to Jim Crow to The New Jim Crow

Show Notes

Ch. 1: Opening Theme: A Fond Farewell - From a Basement On the Hill

Ch. 2: Act 1: Michelle Alexander on The New Jim Crow Part 1 - Leid Stories - Air Date 8-26-15

Ch. 3: Song 1: Jim Crow - John Mellencamp

Ch. 4: Act 2: Racism in the United States: By the Numbers - vlogbrothers - Air Date: 01-02-15

Ch. 5: Song 2: Listen - Theo Bard

Ch. 6: Act 3: Michelle Alexander on The New Jim Crow Part 2 - Leid Stories - Air Date 8-26-15

Ch. 7: Song 3: War On Drugs - Fifteen

Ch. 8: Act 4: Clint Smith III - "History Reconsidered" - All Def Poetry - Air Date: 04-14-16

Ch. 9: Song 4: Know Your History (feat. 8 Ball & MJG) - Drumma Boy

Ch. 10: Act 5: Michelle Alexander on The New Jim Crow Part 3 - Leid Stories - Air Date 8-26-15

Ch. 11: Song 5: Winning the War On Drugs - Asylum Street Spankers

Ch. 12: Act 6: Jesse Williams' Powerful BET Awards Speech "We're Done Watching Whiteness Use and Abuse Us" - @DemocracyNow - Air Date 6-28-16

Ch. 13: Song 6: Strange Fruit (1939 Single Version) - Billie Holiday

Ch. 14: Act 7: Racism vs Prejudice - Kat Blaque - Air Date: 10-5-14

Ch. 15: Song 7: Racism - MYSTAFYA

Ch. 16: Act 8: "What to the Slave is 4th of July?": James Earl Jones Reads Frederick Douglass’ Historic Speech - @DemocracyNow - Air Date: 07-03-15


Ch. 17: Arguing guns with conservatives - Colin from Cleveland, OH

Ch. 18: Reaction to many progressives in the wake of Pulse shooting - David from New York

Voicemail Music: Loud Pipes - Classics

Ch. 19: Final comments on David’s reaction to commentaries on the Pulse shooting and the launching of this year’s big fundraiser

Closing Music: Here We Are - Everyone's in Everyone

Produced by Jay! Tomlinson

Thanks for listening!

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  • commented 2016-07-09 13:28:03 -0400
    As a side note, Peter, maybe this cartoon will at least give you a sense of why so many people you seem to disagree with think that “reverse racism” in the form of systems or programs that seemingly disadvantage majority groups is complete nonsense.

  • commented 2016-07-09 13:22:58 -0400
    Peter, you seem so close to understanding what’s being talked about here but, again, you have a couple of fundamental misconceptions that are leading you astray. Your basic premise that “systematic racial oppression” equates to conscious malice and/or a “grand conspiracy” is just simply a misinterpretation of what is being said. I have never heard any thoughtful person make a claim anywhere close to the idea you are presenting. If you recall, this is again like the story of my old friend who didn’t understand evolution and therefore didn’t believe in it.

    When you say that “The words “systematic racial oppression” make it sound as if there’s a grand conspiracy behind all whites…” the problem there is in your interpretation, not in the intention of the speaker. If I thought that claims of systemic racism implied a conscious conspiracy or widespread malice then I would agree with your conclusions.

    Again, I urge you to read more on this subject before commenting further. I don’t think you are intending to but you are only managing to set up straw men arguments before knocking them down. You are not actually addressing the real thoughts and beliefs of those you are attempting to counterpoint.
  • commented 2016-07-02 22:54:14 -0400
    Kat Blaque’s “Racism vs Prejudice” argument sounds like a variation of the “Racism is Prejudice Plus Power” argument. In fact, she stops just short of claiming that she cannot be racist against white people simply because there exists no system in place to oppress white people, an absurd notion even if that was the case. According to the US Census Bureau, Asian-Americans make a higher income than European whites, but we never hear anyone claiming we live in an Asian supremacy, or that it’s impossible to be racist against Asian-Americans because there’s no system oppressing them.

    The term “racist” simply meant “race based”, but what good are words when Social Justice Warriors have been redefining them to suit their narrative that whites must be conspiring to oppress all other races (and leave many more whites living in abject poverty with the rest of them, for some reason)? Some have even redefined the word “rape” to mean “anything someone does that makes me feel even mildly uncomfortable”, which trivializes the plight of actual rape victims, or even redefines the word to exclude and erase male rape victims from the equation entirely.

    The words “systematic racial oppression” make it sound as if there’s a grand conspiracy behind all whites, who are working together to make life miserable for all blacks who have never done anything wrong in their lives. In most areas, blacks tend to commit more crimes, statistically speaking, but this is due to the crime-ridden nature of poor neighborhoods and people committing crimes of necessity and desperation; a white person living in these same conditions would face the same struggles, but there are individuals (such as cops) that can be racist, and maybe he’d be pulled over less often because he looks less stereotypically suspicious than his darker brethren. I think the societal tendencies to classify blacks as criminals more often is a prejudice built out of incompetence and apathy rather than intentional malice. Humans are bad at seeing the nuanced characteristics of other humans outside of their social circles, and so they tend to paint the faceless masses with broad generalizations as a mental shortcut.

    I’m sure you didn’t mean it to sound this way, but we must apply Hanlon’s Razor to human and societal behaviors: “Never attribute to malice what can easily be explained by carelessness or stupidity”. And yes, the carelessness and stupidity of many people in power are hurting a lot of innocent people of all colors and stripes, because it’s hard for our monkey brains to account for large masses of people so different from ourselves.
  • commented 2016-07-02 21:49:58 -0400
    For the record, I never believed for a second that racism and sexism were non-issues in our society, or that they were not affected by class struggles. Would you be interested in doing any episodes about racism against whites and sexism against men, for the sake of fairness?
  • commented 2016-07-02 21:21:48 -0400
    I feel like our flawed prison system is hurting people of all stripes, but especially the disadvantaged and lower class. Perhaps white collar crimes should be punished more severely, because they adversely affect more people in the long term, and let’s get rid of the war on drugs altogether: people should be allowed to do whatever they want with their own bodies; to criminalize someone for wanting to alter their minds with toxins would be like taking transfolk to a jail cell instead of an operating table. Just sell the drugs with a warning on the label, and hold the users accountable only if they become a danger to other people while under their effects, just like with alcohol.

    We could also stand to make our prison population more useful than just dead weight rotting away in cells, burning up our tax dollars. Give them blue collar jobs that they can do on the inside, and most importantly rehabilitate them with the treatment and skills they need to turn back into productive citizens that can make positive contributions to society, or else they’ll turn right back to their old crime lives as soon as their sentences are up, because that’s the only thing they know how to do.