In February 2018, the Cambridge Public Library hosted a conversation between Harvard University professors Tommie Shelby, Brandon M. Terry, Elizabeth Hinton, and Cornel West. The occasion was the publication of two books, To Shape a New World: Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr., published by Harvard University Press, and Fifty Years Since MLK, published by Boston Review. 2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of MLK’s death, and the conversation that night revolved around his fraught legacy and what activism today can learn from it. This podcast presents a small selection of Cornel West’s remarks on MLK’s politics, life, and dream.
This week saw the unfortunate passing of two fearless, progressive & adroit leaders for freedom & human rights, namely, Nora Schimming-Chase of Namibia & Marielle Franco of Brazil. Both remarkable women, oceans apart, yet linked by an invisible bond of shared moral & political values. They both saw the corruption & unfairness of their respective societies & endeavored to methodically resist in their own unique way.
When movie star George Clooney married human rights lawyer and fashion icon Amal Alamuddin in Venice back in 2014, the Entertainment Tonight website declared that “it was charity that came out as the real winner” of the multimillion-dollar nuptial festivities.
The reason for the alleged win was that proceeds from certain wedding photos were said to be destined for – you guessed it – “charity”, that favourite celebrity pastime that so often translates into massive PR points and saviour-hero credit, not to mention tax breaks.
Robert Sapolsky is an American neuroendocrinologist and author. He is currently a professor of biology, and professor of neurology and neurological sciences and, by courtesy, neurosurgery, at Stanford University.
Check out his latest book, “Behave: The Biology of Humans At Our Best & Worst”.
This critique is on point (though it didn’t go deep enough) even if tit is visually stunning & a first in many ways from a production standpoint. Don’t allow the razzle & dazzle blow out your critical faculties. Yes, it’s just a movie & you can tell me to chill, but movies are a primary source of spreading dominant ideologies & manipulating the consciousness of the masses.
Robert Reich explains why Ayn Rand’s ideas have destroyed the common good & is destroying America,,,Quite disturbing.
Resist my good people!!
The students I teach in prison who have the longest sentences are, almost without exception, the ones who demanded a jury trial. If everyone charged with a crime had a jury trial, the court system would implode. Prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges use those who insist on a jury trial—often people who did not commit the crime with which they were charged—as examples. Their sentences, frequently life sentences, are grim reminders as to why it is in the best interests of a defendant, even if he or she did not commit the crime, to take a plea agreement. Ninety-four percent of state-level felony convictions and 97 percent of federal felony convictions are the result of guilty pleas. And studies by groups such as Human Rights Watchconfirm the punitive nature of jury trials: Those who go to jury trials get an addition 11 years, on average, tacked on to their sentences. The rich get high-priced lawyers and lengthy jury trials. The poor are shipped directly to jail or prison.
“We need to stop things. We need to destroy things. We need to not affirm things like coal-fired power plants, or accelerate automobility. We need to terminate those things! That’s the element of negativity. There’s no way we can get out of the warming condition, or prevent climate breakdown without destroying or terminating things that are dangerous.”
Ecologist Andreas Malm explains how a disconnection from time and nature blinds the Global North to the immediate realities of climate change – as two centuries of carbon returns to threaten a present society frozen by the ideological constraints of capitalism, only a radical transformation of our politics and economy will keep us afloat as the storm rolls in.
Andreas is author of The Progress of This Storm: Nature and Society in a Warming World from Verso.
The proliferation of guns in American society is not only profitable for gun manufacturers, it fools the disempowered into fetishizing weapons as a guarantor of political agency. Guns buttress the myth of a rugged individualism that atomizes Americans, disdains organization and obliterates community, compounding powerlessness. Gun ownership in the United States, largely criminalized for poor people of color, is a potent tool of oppression. It does not protect us from tyranny. It is an instrument of tyranny.
The essays included in Carceral Capitalism attempt to update the analytic of racial capitalism for a contemporary context. Rather than focusing on the axis of production by analyzing how racism operates via wage differentials, this work attempts to identify and analyze what I consider the two main modalities of contemporary racial capitalism: predatory lending and parasitic governance. These racialized economic practices and modes of governance are linked insofar as they both emerge to temporarily stave off crises generated by finance capital. By titling this book Carceral Capitalism, I hope to draw attention to the ways in which the carceral techniques of the state are shaped by—and work in tandem with—the imperatives of global capitalism.
What can music offer to economists? Ed Pavlić, Distinguished Research Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Georgia, explains how music offered a powerful lyrical companion to the social scientific tools used by the great midcentury critic of American society, James Baldwin.
Referring to his book, Who Can Afford to Improvise? James Baldwin and Black Music, the Lyric and the Listener, Pavlić discusses Baldwin’s immersion in the performative tradition in African American music, which could communicate harsh social and economic realities into a relatable and transportable form. Baldwin was not the only prominent black thinker who engaged with music: Frederick Douglass studied slave work songs that, in Pavlić’s words, captured “tactical survival, tactical rebellion.”
Extremely important topic especially for those of us who follow “conscious” Hip Hop & Roots Reggae music.
Listen & learn….
Anthropologist Aaron Neiman connects worker pain to the pre-existing conditions of labor under capitalism – as work vanishes under the looming spectre of mass automation, work-induced injury remains an individualized, moralized phenomenon not adjacent to the demands of capital, but at its very center.
Cornel West and Robert George talk about their books and responded to questions from viewers in this illuminating interview. Cornel West is the author of Race Matters, Democracy Matters, Living and Loving Out Loud: A Memoir, and other books. Robert George’s books include Making Men Moral, The Clash of Orthodoxies, and Conscience and Its Enemies.
The need for students to learn about racism in American society existed long before I began teaching a course called “White Racism” at Florida Gulf Coast University earlier this year.
I chose to title my course “White Racism” because I thought it was scholarly and succinct, precise and powerful.
The powerful and hard-hitting documentary, American Holocaust, is quite possibly the only film that reveals the link between the Nazi holocaust, which claimed at least 6 million Jews, and the American Holocaust which claimed, according to very conservative estimates, 19 million Indigenous People.
This documentary film highlights selected stories of former slaves interviewed during the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers’ Project and preserved in the WPA Slave Narrative Collection. It is narrated by actors, emulating the original conversation with the interviewer. The slave narratives may be the most accurate in terms of the everyday activities of the enslaved, serving as personal memoirs of more than two thousand former slaves. The documentary depicts the emotions of the slaves and what they endured under brutal conditions & brutal, demon-possessed Masters.
I had to pause several times viewing this.It is heart-wrenching & what’s even more tragic, the times have changed but the twisted souls of men have not…….