LUMPENPROLETARIAT—[Sat. 23 JAN 2021, 06:06 PST] ‘Forget the 24-hour news cycle.’ Those were some of the best words of wisdom we heard yesterday on Pacifica Radio, courtesy of the brilliant Mickey Huff on the Project Censored show, which is like a lifeline of reason for many of us. “The sleep of reason engenders monsters,” warned Goya. Reason, however, is always wide awake at Project Censored. The team candidly addressed the events of January 6th, the state of the nation, and the role of media, in terms of the free flow of information, the public’s capacity for critical media literacy, the public’s susceptibility to misinformation and disinformation, the effects of social media and blogs (such as this one), and so much more.
Huff and company discussed ideas for extending the requirements against false advertising to the actual ‘news/opinion’ content used to sell the advertising (or, perhaps more precisely, to sell the audiences to the advertisers). The idea is, if advertisers can be fined for false advertising, why not also fine false reporting? I think it’s a brilliant idea because we have to have some system of fact-checking and pointing out repeat offenders on social media or podcasts, which influence so many millions of people, and even drive people to storm a capitol and riot and vandalize and engage in violence because they were manipulated or gaslighted by false reporting on social media. Critical media literacy must be taught in schools at an early age, before kids are going online and believing everything they read. If not, they become adults, who thing Google is a source. They don’t even know they need to open the full article and check the source or author. They don’t know they must, then, consider the credibility of the source. Is this a reliable source? What is a reliable source?
The Three Evils
YouTuber Shirley Ashcraft commented one year ago, as she watched a video of “Three Evils”, “When you set out to do good…people want to take you out!!” It struck me as an excessively pessimistic view. All people? Surely, not all people wanted to “take out” Dr. King. So, I replied.
I doubt black or brown people wanted to “take him out”. I doubt most white people wanted to “take him out”, either (just the racist ones). Most white people weren’t racist were they?
But American anti-racist leaders were not up to the task because they all abandoned Dr. King, especially white liberals. Dr. King was committed to truth; wherever the facts lead, unlike his peers, especially Jesse Jackson. (Just ask Philadelphia journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal what he thinks about Jesse Jackson.)
Dr. King died an intellectually lonely man because the rest of the prominent leaders began to distance themselves from him towards the end of his life, or had been assassinated. Imagine if Malcolm X hadn’t been assassinated in 1965, one year after his famous and, now, prophetic “Ballot or the Bullet” speech. Had MLK and X been allowed to peacefully lead black, brown, and sympathetic whites to create a powerful voting block, it’s plausible that such a grouping could have even created some sort of social democratic party, which could have swept the elections in the late 1960s. But acts of state, surveillance of King and X, seem to have conspired to stop their noble pursuits, rather than help them.
Dr. King started to see the deeper problems in America and beyond, which seeded and sowed the seeds of racism, which kept people of color subjugated in the USA and around the world, which was quickly becoming saturated by America’s imperialist sphere of influence.
Two years after the assassination of Malcolm X, Dr. King identified “the three evils” in 1967. By this point, Dr. King had clearly made the guns-and-butter connections about the military-industrial complex. Dr. King had become an anti-capitalist and an anti-imperialist. And, to this day, not many Americans are willing to confront these evils. Too many of us thought the problem of racism would go away, if we turn a blind eye. We were wrong. We, Americans, still have a lot to learn from the insights and the experiences of Dr. King and Malcolm X.
“Normalizing Censorship: CNN Panel’s OUTRAGE…” by The Jimmy Dore Show
This is unfortunate news. Let us find solution to this problem. Project Censored is an important organization, which is responding to this terrible crisis facing our American freedom of the press and the public’s freedom of speech.
The Other America
“The time is always right to do right.” […] (c. 29:00) [TP] We’ve heard this speech several times before. This feels so relevant today in America. […] (c. 38:00) Dr. King moved to discuss the American occupation and war of aggression against Vietnam, and to say at least a few things about some of the problems going on there.’ Some people applauded. A few voices are heard booing. The audience appeared to consist predominantly of white people. (No people of color were visible in the footage shown here.) […] (c. 40:00) ‘Our fates are tied together’ […] As we listen to the conclusion, we’re reminded of the very dignified man orating on the corner of a busy intersection, whom we saw last weekend running errands. We saw him again today. It occurred to us, that he is probably delivering an important speech, or sermon, which we all should hear. We will have to stop by and listen next week, si dios quiere.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the USA. Seth Meyers was telling jokes, eerily reminiscent of the comedians at the nightly cabarets in Berlin, making fun of the brown shirts.
“Biden Gets to Work Undoing Trump’s Damage: A Closer Look”, Late Night with Seth Meyers, 22 JAN 2021
Fred Hampton on the opportunistic anarchists, the Weatherman, SDS, and relations. “They are politically immature…”
Fred Hampton, interviewed by ABC News, 9 OCT 1969
It’s very tragic to hear Fred Hampton say he disagrees with the terrorist tactics of the Weathermen, a faction of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) out of Chicago in the late 1960s. Not because Fred Hampton should have agreed with the Weathermen, but because Hampton knew the Weathermen’s tactics of property destruction through planted explosives was playing into the hands of the state, who, in Hampton’s view, were looking for an excuse to lash out. The Weathermen, he astutely identified, would create an air of violence around the Chicago activist movements, in which Chicago police were able to mount a pre-dawn raid on Fred Hampton’s home, as he slept with his pregnant wife.
As we meditate on the social construct known as race, we recall the wisdom of James Baldwin.
“I Am Not Your Negro | James Baldwin on The Dick Cavett Show
Have you guys seen this yet? It’s been on Netflix for a while. I’ve had it on my list of things to watch for a long time. But I guess I thought I didn’t need to watch it because we’ve read his books and heard his talks since we were teenagers. But this historical moment seems to necessitate a deeper form of reflection than we have been practicing these last four years. Let’s watch this on a streaming service or any way we can. Then, share your thoughts.
“David Bowie on the Man Who Sold the World and Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)” by Iardamu, 23 JAN 2021.
[23 JAN 2021]
[Last modified on 21 FEB 2021 at 14:48 PST]