#805 Unequal justice under the law (The (in)justice system)

Today we look at the stick of justice in America and who's getting the short end of it.


Show Notes

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

Ch. 2: Act 1: Chris Hayes: I was nearly arrested for weed - @allinwithchris Hayes - Air Date: 01-03-14

Ch. 3: Song 1: Main Title (Golden Ticket / Pure Imagination) - Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) [25th Anniversary Edition]

Ch. 4: Act 2: A Marijuana Arrest - BuzzFeed Central Presents - Air Date: 12-8-13

Ch. 5: Song 2: Particles of the Universe (Heartbeats) - Beasts of the Southern Wild (Music from the Motion Picture)

Ch. 6: Act 3: Wishful Thinking and White House Fakery: Obama as Prison Reformer - @blkagendareport - Air Date: 2-5-14

Ch. 7: Song 3: Life In Prison - Mitchell

Ch. 8: Act 4: What are the odds that you're going to prison? - @bravenewfilms - Air Date: 2-13-14

Ch. 9: Song 4: Julie-O - Kevin "KO" Olusola

Ch. 10: Act 5: Unequal justice under law - @allinwithchris Hayes - Air Date: 02-05-14

Ch. 11: Song 5: Crime to Be Broke in America - Home

Ch. 12: Act 6: #JordanDavis #DunnTrial - @TWIBIU Presents: BLACKNESS.TV - Air Date: 2-18-14

Ch. 13: Song 6: Enter the Blackness (This Week in Blackness Theme) [feat. Willie Evans Jr., Elon James White & Aaron Rand Freeman] - Enter the Blackness (This Week in Blackness Theme) [feat. Willie Evans Jr., Elon James White & Aaron Rand Freeman] - Single

Ch. 14: Act 7: You're A Terrible Human Being If You Think Michael Dunn Is Right - @theyoungturks - Air Date: 02-19-14

Ch. 15: Song 7: Terrible - Wretched. Filthy. Ugly.

Ch. 16: Act 8: The failure of the prosecution and how murdering black kids is kind of okay - @TWIBIU - Air Date: 2-18-14

Ch. 17: Song 8: Running Scared - 16 Biggest Hits: Roy Orbison

Ch. 18: Act 9: Stand Against ‘Shoot First’ Laws - Best of the Left Activism

Ch. 19: Song 9: Activism - The Poet

Ch. 20: Act 10: (WARNING) Insanely Racist Audio Busts Michael Dunn Defender - @theyoungturks - Air Date: 02-21-14


Ch. 21: Touching on all the aspects of racism - Prof. Rambo from Georgia

Ch. 22: Tricia Rose segment was great for those who don't understand white privilege - Mara from Pittsburgh

Ch. 23: Appreciating the color analogy to gender - Zach from San Francisco

Voicemail Music: Loud Pipes - Classics

Ch. 24: Final comments on how I ironically stole from a woman of color during the last racism episode

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


”Stand Against ‘Shoot First’ Laws” petition from ColorOfChange.org

Additional Activism:

Drop the Charges Against Darrin Manning

Shopping While Black is Not a Crime

Sources/further reading:

"Jordan Davis and the Refrain of Black Death” by Mychal Denzel Smith

"Black Boy Interrupted: On the unfinished life of Jordan Davis” (and everything else) by Ta-Nehisi Coates

"Angela Corey Aims to Increase Marissa Alexander Sentence to 60 Years” via Free Marissa Now Campaign

"Unarmed and dangerous? The National Rifle Association and ALEC were major backers of Florida's 'stand your ground' law” by Cliff Schecter


Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich

Produced by Jay! Tomlinson

Thanks for listening!

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Showing 14 reactions

  • Brian Smith
    commented 2014-03-14 07:50:11 -0400
    a bit late but I needed to express my reaction to Chris Hayes’ piece on almost being arrested. That was me! and never once did I realize that it might have turned out differently if I wasn’t who I was. brutally enlightening. thank you!.
  • Jay Tomlinson
    commented 2014-03-07 13:51:34 -0500
    Ok, this is your chance to be a pundit, write me a script of what you’d like to hear me say when talking about white/straight/cis/male privilege. I’m not saying I’ll read it but it’ll give me a much better idea of where you’re coming from so that I’ll be able to incorporate your good ideas to mine.
  • brian daniels
    commented 2014-03-07 13:32:45 -0500
    All I will add is keep the discussions coming. I just wish you were a bit more grounded in your comments section. Not necessarily with mainstream media, which I loathe, but at least with mainstream America which is quickly moving to a every ethnicity dates every other ethnicity society. The majority of next generation children will be minority or mixed ethnicity.

    That is one reason why I think most Americans, including progressives (and myself a SoCal liberal) are far more concerned about privilege of money and not gender or ethnicity.
  • Jay Tomlinson
    commented 2014-03-07 12:58:36 -0500
    The problem with this discussion is that you don’t even seem to disagree with the arguments I’m making, just WHEN I make them. You’re implying that because I don’t talk about wealth AT THE SAME TIME as I talk about other privileges that I am trying to convey some sort of meaning with that choice. The reason it’s more natural for me to lump most privileges together without thinking to mention wealth is because most privileges (or oppressions) stem from immutable aspects of who an individual is. While it is possible for a wealthy person to give away their wealth privilege by giving away all of their money it is not possible for a white person to give away their whiteness and the privilege that comes with it.

    Privileges are related and separate, they are intersectional and individual. No privileges are the same, some carry more weight than others in our society but that doesn’t mean that I need to go out of my way to devalue the lived experiences of a trans person by pointing out that things could be worse if they were desperately poor.

    Honestly, I think I just hit on the core of this issue. If I were to go out of my way to constantly repeat that wealth privilege trumps all other privileges and that some oppressions are relatively insignificant compared to the oppression of crushing poverty then I would sound like an outright asshole.

    No one is saying that all privileges and oppressions are equal, the point of talking about them without always comparing them to every other privilege and oppression is to show that they all have their own individual worth. To not do so would be to go out of one’s way to devalue the lived experiences of oppressed people which is about the most anti-progressive thing I can think of.
  • brian daniels
    commented 2014-03-07 12:44:33 -0500
    I think you put a lot of hard work into this show and it is much appreciated but I obviously skew a bit towards the center and personally I agree with the young turks a lot more often then I agree with the comments section of your podcast.
  • brian daniels
    commented 2014-03-07 12:41:32 -0500
    Or another way of putting it is that when you go through the discussion of privilege BUT skip the “suffering Olympics” part of the discussion you don’t have proper context to evaluate the actual impact of one privilege over another. Anyone should admit that it is quite possible for certain privileges to have little to no impact compared to ones, at least depending on what location you live in and what income bracket you operate in. By skipping the comparison discussion it just sounds like every privilege progressives bring up are a big deal, all equally.
  • brian daniels
    commented 2014-03-07 12:32:17 -0500
    As the other callers say – love the show! (mostly)
  • brian daniels
    commented 2014-03-07 12:30:56 -0500
    As a listener I do sometimes agree with you on things, maybe even 2/3 of your points depending on the episodes. I sometimes even agree with Jamie and Alison on some of their points. We as progressives are not expected to fall in line and have to agree and just because you make what you feel is a good argument doesn’t make it right.

    I simply feel that all of these privileges you consistently bring up are today, in 2014 no where near as important a factor as wealth/ family income on the lives of people today.

    And by that logic if no one who is a middle class kid is expected to feel guilty from their middle class income privilege then why should they be made to feel they have any kind of (less impactful) ethnic privilege.?
  • Jay Tomlinson
    commented 2014-03-07 12:22:45 -0500
    Let me get this straight, you’ve heard all my episodes talking about the damaging effects of excessive wealth? In other words, you know I’ve done dozens of entire episodes dedicated specifically to wealth privilege? Yet, you’re now asking if I purposely avoid talking about wealth privilege and wonder about weather I was raised a rich kid who’s now afraid of offending people with money all because I don’t talk about it in the same breath as all of the other privileges I cover? You must see that this sounds crazy, right?

    All privileges are both separate and intersectional. Every individual is their own unique blend of privileges. Wealth is a huge privilege that has an overwhelming effect on people’s lives, so too is race, gender, sexual orientation, able-bodiedness and so on. If I’m not allowed to talk about one without also mentioning all of the others at the same time it’s going to make for very unlistenable discussions.

    As a listener of Citizen Radio, I’m sure you’ve heard their thoughts on the “suffering olympics”. It’s not always about which attributes of people grant more or less privilege or oppression, it’s about recognizing that everyone’s oppression and privileges are real and valid and worthy of attention without always being compared to every other oppression and privilege at the same time.
  • Jay Tomlinson
    commented 2014-03-07 12:07:01 -0500
    It seems obvious to me that there’s a world of difference between something as general as a single term like “cis privilege” and a nearly word-for-word comparison lifted from an article and republished under what is effectively a new by-line in the commentary of my show. If you don’t see that then I don’t know what to tell you. If you misheard me the first time then that’s fine but why continue to push the argument on the side of NOT giving credit where it’s due? It does me no harm whatsoever to tell my audience that I got an idea from something I read but does that writer a benefit by me promoting their work. I feel extremely comfortable with the decision I made to correct the record and give credit where I feel it was deserved.
  • brian daniels
    commented 2014-03-07 12:06:52 -0500
    I haven’t missed the episodes talking about wealth and I know you want to do something to stop the disparity. BUT you (I assume purposely) don’t bring it up when you discuss cis privilege or ethnic privilege or male privilege. I know you don’t want to compare privilege but I think people really need to be practical here.

    Its a simple question. Who had more privilege? A cis white woman/man born utter poverty (there are millions and millions, I’m friends with many who grew up in horrible horrible places) or the 20 year old who is none of those things but grew up in utter wealth?

    Here in San Diego there are soooooo many super rich kids with BMW and mercades who are minorities (by most definitions including yours) that have the powerful privilege of wealth.

    You never seem to talk about wealth in the same conversation of these other privileges. Its like you consciously don’t want the two to be linked. I think if most listeners were asked what will have more impact on the success of a young child, wealth or ethnicity, even your own listeners would say wealth by 100×.
  • brian daniels
    commented 2014-03-07 11:58:40 -0500
    I apologize if I misheard you about the article. I still don’t think that anyone has any legal or moral claim to a political idea. Or should say that someone is stealing someone else’s political idea by not crediting them. Who was the first person to write about cis priviladge? You and Citizen Radio talk about that all the time and never credit any one person. I’m sure someone wrote a paper or coined the term.
  • Jay Tomlinson
    commented 2014-03-07 11:52:22 -0500
    Brian, I think you must not be paying very close attention to the show when you listen to it.

    On your first point, you missed a fundamental point of the story about the article. I read that article before making my original comments on the show. The article and my comments were not totally separate things come up by two people independently. I’d read the article not more than a week before repeating it’s ideas as my own without realizing it. I corrected the record to give credit to where I’d read what I was repeating on the show. If I’d come up with the comparison I was making on my own then of course I would feel justified in feeling ownership of it and not feel any urge to credit anyone else for it even if they’d published the ideas first.

    Your question about Asian Americans wildly misses the point I was making by such a wide margin that I don’t know where to start, nor do I have the time to teach you what you appear to be missing.

    As for the privilege of wealth, how is it possible that you’ve missed all of the episodes I’ve done condemning excessive wealth, the wealth gap, capitalism, the corruptive power of money in politics, etc, etc? This is literally one of the most central recurring themes of the show. I am always baffled when people ask why I don’t cover it.
  • brian daniels
    commented 2014-03-07 11:36:11 -0500
    I think you are way off on your final comments in this show.
    For one thing just because someone else wrote something that you later came up with on your own doesn’t mean they have rights over that idea. This logic applies both legally and morally. If one person writes a paper at his college about the dangers of right wing policies and makes a specific point and it is published AND the same week another person across the country writes a paper and 3/4 mains points match then it is quite possible neither were aware and both independently came up with it. The main thing is that multiple people come up with political ideas all the time and just having an idea does not entitle one to claim no one else can come up with the same idea. I’m shocked that you don’t get this.

    Also, your comments about people of color who don’t experience color should not be considered people of color is shocking. Should Asian Americans not be considered minorities then? What about other groups?

    In the end I still find your show to be focusing so much on discussiond around ethnic privilage and you never bring up privilege of wealth. Were you born a rich kid? Will you offend people if you talk about money? The fact is that today the US has the largest disperity of wealth in its history and how rich or poor your parents were is going to have a much bigger impact on children’s lives than ethnicity.

    I’m a white person dating a person of color and we both agree on this fact. Here in San Diego at least, it does not matter if you are one ethnicity or the other, it matters if you have enough money to be a certain class and live a certain lifestyle. Even if that only means having enough to put food on the table and clothes on your children’s backs. In the end it all about money and class divisions.
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