#947 Understanding the schism in the progressive movement (#BlackLivesMatter)

Air date: 8-18-15

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Today we see what we can learn from the recent #BlackLivesMatter protests against Bernie Sanders and the reactions from some Sanders supporters that they sparked.

Show Notes

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

00:00:34 Ch. 2: Act 1: Black Lives Matter organizer 'Every presidential candidate should expect to hear from us' - Melissa Harris Perry (@MHPshow) - Air Date 8-15-15

Ch. 3: Song 1: Racism - The Mighty Sparrow

00:10:49 Ch. 4: Act 2: Interview with Marissa Janae Johnson (@rissaofthewa) after Seattle protest - This Week in Blackness (@TWiBnation) - Air Date: 8-11-15

Ch. 5: Song 2: Are You With Me - Vaux

00:21:11 Ch. 6: Act 3: How not to be an ally of racial justice - @citizenradio - Air Date: 8-10-15

Ch. 7: Song 3: Springish - Gillicuddy

00:31:39 Ch. 8: Act 4: On #BlackLivesMatter and Defending Bernie Sanders - Jay Smooth (@jsmooth995) - Air Date: 8-15-15

Ch. 9: Song 4: Tobacco Road - Common Market

00:36:07 Ch. 10: Act 5: A case of white fragility in the fight for racial justice - This Week in Blackness (@TWiBnation) - Air Date: 8-11-15

Ch. 11: Song 5: Hurt Feelings - Flight of the Conchords

00:47:49 Ch. 12: Act 6: Hey Naysayers, Allow Bernie Sanders to Offer You Proof That Black Lives Matter Helps Him - Majority Report (@majorityfm) - Air Date: 08-14-15

Ch. 13: Song 6: Hard To Explain - The Riptide Movement

00:54:31 Ch. 14: Act 7: .@JeanneTheoharis social movements cause discomfort - Melissa Harris Perry (@MHPshow) - Air Date 8-15-15

Ch. 15: Song 7: Jail - Plusplus

01:01:53 Ch. 16: Act 8: .@VanJones68 goes all in to explain the BlackLives Matter protests - This Week in Blackness (@TWiBnation) - Air Date: 8-12-15


01:04:35 Ch. 17: Examining deep rooted conservatism in the progressive movement - V from Western New York

01:06:19 Ch. 18: What people are forgetting about how racism works - David From Georgia

Voicemail Music: Loud Pipes - Classics

01:09:13 Ch. 19: Final comments on the different roles each of us play within a movement

#BlackLivesMatter & Racial Justice (admittedly incomplete) Round-up

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

Produced by Jay! Tomlinson

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Showing 9 reactions

  • Vphiamer Ogaarwa
    commented 2015-08-28 17:54:08 -0400
    My friends, hopefully potential allies, if you’d like to see true evolution away from this system, you need to perform a few actions – 1 stop calling white supremacy privilege, when I looked up the phrase privilege in my 1955 Funks and Wagnalls dictionary, it was “supremacy”; remember an addiction, a personality disorder, cannot be faced until it is claimed and accurately named. As time unfolds over this coming two decades and the meaning of White changes, those who have taken it for granted will have to deal with the reality within the term no longer meaning :“dominant” or “superior”. Calling yourselves European-Americans instead of White will go a long way towards accomplishing this shift in mental perception. 2 Familiarize yourself with what racism is, and what melanin is – we all have it, thus, to truly see why some have more than others, we must see what it is. More specifically, reading books like The Racial Contract or Consumer Republic or Two Faced Racism, or The Invention of the White Race or Working Towards Whiteness; will shock your senses and force you to truly see Blackness in the context of Whiteness. 3 See Capitalism as an extension of, and thus a perpetrator of Colonialism, Imperialism and Racism; along with not equating Racism is Sexism or “homophobia”; since in the context of sociological concepts; Homosexuality has been approved, in secret, throughout European history (he Greeks and Romans are exceptions, they encouraged it publicly). Moreover when women gained the right to vote, black women were not included in the enfranchisement.

    I hope this helps.
  • Dodie Lee
    commented 2015-08-25 21:18:48 -0400
    I get it, guys. Unfortunately I’m not up there right now and can’t help much in concrete ways. I’m living poor in Mexico, where I get shit everyday because of the color of my skin. This doesn’t stop me seething over the behavior of US politicans toward Mexicans, either (or sincerely apologizing to all the people I meet who’ve been deported after decades of productivity). I just think it would have been more productive to take Bernie out back behind the barn and given him a good talking to. I’m not sure how it helps the movement that his statements seem coerced.
  • Steve Bunnell
    commented 2015-08-25 03:21:14 -0400
    Very well-put, Brandi. The best strategy for white progressives, I find, is this: don’t take anything personally, at least if you can help it. Take the energy you would be spending on feeling guilt or self-loathing, and focus it on doing what you can that is helpful to other people.
  • Brandi Ray
    commented 2015-08-25 02:14:04 -0400
    Dodie, I feel that you haven’t been absorbing a lot of these podcasts if you think criticism of white progressives mean you should “feel guilty for being born white”. That is literally a meme of how white people respond to the idea of privilege. Guilt doesn’t help anyone. What is needed is for people to examine their role in society, their benefits, and try to gain perspective. Help where you can. As for white progressives being at fault for the majority white presence, well yea. Just like men play a big role in STEM spaces being majority male. When your space isn’t welcoming of diversity then it will not magically become diverse. Why would black people want to come and help with progressive issues when we lose our collective minds at the first black protest that inconveniences white people just a little? That doesn’t make progressive spaces seem like spaces that are welcoming. If “we’re better than republicans” is the best you got, you don’t have much.
    I don’t mean to be hostile but I did dislocated my eyeballs rolling them at white guilt.
  • Dodie Lee
    commented 2015-08-23 19:04:17 -0400
    I was really horrified by this episode. The things said about white progressives were needlessly vitriolic and counterproductive. Complain about progressive “spaces” being dominated by white people? I guess it’s somehow those progressives fault? I felt we were being accused of supporting a white supremacist agenda by simply having been born white. Every white person I associate with was already listening and enraged. Do we want this problem fixed, or do we want to segregate the activist community? Obviously I won’t stop caring about BLM, but this just made me miserable.
  • Marcus Trawick
    commented 2015-08-23 08:30:20 -0400
    I’m very disappointed in what was my favorite podcast. Not one single piece opposing the actions of the 2 women is Seattle was put into this broadcast. You could have, for example included an excerpt from the David Packman Show, which was highly critical of that particular incident, but no, nothing. The ends do not justify the means, in fact, the means are usually everything.
  • Steve Bunnell
    commented 2015-08-23 04:02:47 -0400
    Anthony – do you really think it was “forced on him,” though? It’s not like Sanders hasn’t been doing anything constructive with regard to racial justice since the 60’s.
  • Anthony Nelson
    commented 2015-08-21 23:49:12 -0400
    We protest Sanders and OMalley because we can get to them and we believe it will force Hillary to come up with a response. We use people as tools for our desires. Is there any other candidate who would have been (is) more responsive and empathetic to the cause that was forced on him?

    Should those who are against the death penalty usurp those who are for combating global warming? Should the pro-choice crowd drown out the ones whose cause is attempting to remove money from politics? There are many important causes; and if the most committed in each “faction” decide they must be heard at the expense of all other causes, nobody will be heard.
  • Steve Bunnell
    commented 2015-08-20 03:19:25 -0400
    I have to say, I got quite a bit out of this episode, and I didn’t really think I would. Like many white progressives, I was frustrated by the tactics of the young women in Seattle, and I still have my criticisms. But I need to remind myself that those frustrations should be placed in perspective with the understanding that this is a life-or-death issue for many black people. Young black Americans are getting gunned down left and right by the police for little to no reason. Of course they want progressive candidates to give them specific policy prescriptions for how to stop the killing. Political issues at the forefront of presidential campaigns rarely get this personal.

    On top of that, I’m really disturbed by the level of vitriol that I’ve seen coming from white self-proclaimed progressives over BLM speaking out. I hadn’t really taken a look at how bad it’s gotten until now, and it makes me really sad. But it also makes me feel more determined to call out racism supposedly in the name of the left whenever I see it, because I won’t stand for it. I won’t have my political principles associated with that type of bigotry – or with a lack of empathy for the basic survival needs of others.
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