Host Matthew LaClair interviews Leonard Pitts Jr., a nationally acheter viagra syndicated columnist and novelist. Throughout his 35 year career, he has written on subjects ranging from music to politics, religion to science, race, writing, and more. We touch on all these subjects, with a focus on how interest in facts and critical thinking have declined, with ignorance taking its place.
Whiteness, Racism, and The Economics of Cruelty
America is a racialized country. Built in part on chattel slavery predicated on a decidedly European model, the hegemonic power exists under the social construct known as Whiteness. If you are of that hegemony – or dominant group – you have access to many of the privileges this society has to offer. Of course there are other hegemonies in place: Male over Female, Straight or Cisgendered folks over LBGT folks, the Upper Class over the so-called Middle Classes – and both of those over the Working Classes and the Poor – Christians over other religious groups, and indeed religious groups over atheist and agnostic ones, and so on.
Over the course of US history, the tensions between those who dominate and are considered the “norm,” and those who are subordinated, has helped shape the culture and subcultures we now see. And this built in, often considered virtuous, hierarchical nature of our society determines the ways which resources are distributed and lives are lived.
In short, wealth leads to power and power leads to more wealth. We currently live in one of the most economically unequal society on the planet, which some argue is just what we should expect from late-stage Capitalism.
Today we will be speaking about what capitalism has wrought, as concerns the majority of the American population, and how being a highly racialized society is a big part of how we got to our current tragic circumstances. We will be speaking with a longtime friend of Equal Time, Tim Wise, and with someone I only recently discovered, Robin DiAngelo. Robin is the author of What Does it Mean to Be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy. Tim’s new book is Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America.
Considering the Confederate Flag, Part Two
Chasing the Scream!: ETFF Fund Drive special!
This week we are once again asking our listeners and supporters to help WBAI and ETFF stay on the air. This special edition of Equal Time will be a discussion on the War on Drugs policies in the US.
It is now 100 years since drugs were first banned in the United States. On the eve of this centenary, journalist Johann Hari set off on an epic three-year, thirty-thousand-mile journey into the war on drugs. What he found is that more and more people all over the world are beginning to recognize three startling truths: Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. And the drug war has very different motives to the ones we have seen on our TV screens for so long.
So please tune in on Saturday at 2pm and donate to keep this kind of programing alive in the ever-corporatizing mass media market of the U$A. We will be offering Chasing the Scream (the book, and a DVD interview of the author) as a gift for those who do!
Stephen Eric Bronner on The Bigot: Why Prejudice Persists
What are the conditions which lead to bigotry? How common is bigotry in American society today, and how does it manifest itself in our post civil rights, gay rights, and women’s rights culture? Has the twice elected, first black president helped cool the flames of prejudice and racism, or has it fanned them instead? And how do we challenge bigotry if it is so deeply rooted in many segments of American culture and around the world?
We’ll talk about this and more this week with Stephen Eric Bronner. Bronner is a professor of political science and the Director of Global Relations at the ‘Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights‘ at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He is also the author of over a dozen books including the subject of this show, “The Bigot: Why Prejudice Persists.”
“Dear White America…” w/ Tim Wise
Prominent anti-racist essayist, educator, and author, Tim Wise, joins the Equal Time For Freethought this Saturday with a message for white folks: shape up, because your status as a “majority” is about to be shipped out.
According to estimates, people of color will be the majority in the United States by no later than 2050. The change in demographics is just one of four fronts on which “white normativity,” as Wise calls it, is being challenged. In his latest book, Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, Wise pens a 153 page letter directly to white Americans (as well as non-whites who subscribe to a destructive ideology of white privilege), that challenges and dismantles the roots of their beliefs.
Wise, who does not “hate white people” as many have claimed, says white folks of today should not assume blame for the racially motivated atrocities of their forefathers, but do have a responsibility to foster a socially just and equal society today.
In this interview, Wise will discuss changes on the other three fronts – political, economic, and cultural – as well as elaborate on points made in his book including how whites’ inability to identify with the pain of black and brown people – in particular, a failure to acknowledge and stop predatory lending practices in communities of color – may have contributed to the spread of high-cost mortgage tools into middle “white” America.
Dear White America is Wise’s sixth book. Others include his acclaimed memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, and Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama.
This week, Aladdin Ullah will perform excerpts of his one-man show, Indio, which follows his travels from his childhood home in the projects of Harlem to the childhood home of his parents in Bangladesh. This surprisingly hilarious show deals with the ache of displacement, the contrasts as well as the commonalities of oppressed people on different sides of the globe, and a unique perspective on religion as it takes shape in different cultures.
“911: The Day that Changed Everything?” w/ Deepa Kumar
It has been 9 years since the terrorist attacks on two cities in the US, that – at least according to the ruling classes – changed the world forever. Certainly, these passing years have indeed changed the lives of many. Many lives have been lost, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, American families have lost or welcomed home maimed and distraught young men and women from the Middle East, the American Left has been even more marginalized than before, despite an early, strong resistance to the Iraq invasion back in 2003, and tensions have been drawn between people of differing religions (and the non religious), not the least of these being, of course, Muslims here and abroad.
Every year since 911 – particularly with the vicious and sometimes delusional attacks on President Obama – fear and hatred of Muslims everywhere has grown to dangerous proportions, culminating thus far in a major protest over a proposed Muslim Center near Ground Zero, to planned Koran burnings in Florida by a Christian Pastor. What is going on here, and can it be stopped before we have a full-fledged disaster on our hands? And can the Left find a voice in these deeply troubling times when those who seem to be heard the loudest – and who have genuine concerns we on the Left share – are taking their cues from the radical right?
Black Women Committing “Womb Lynchings”!? The Latest LIES from the Anti-Abortion Fundamentalists.
Across Atlanta, ominous billboard ads have appeared with the face of a young Black child and the words, “Endangered Species.” But rather than objecting to the massive incarceration of Black youth or the rampant police brutality and abuse that confronts them… rather than challenging the decaying inner city school systems or the massive transfer of wealth through foreclosure out of Black families… these ads are targeting Black women! They are religiously motivated ads that are seeking to equate Black women who choose abortion to the white supremacist slave-owners and lynchers of U.S. history. They call abortion by Black women, “womb lynchings.”