For this, the sixth episode of the third season of The Chauncey DeVega Show, I had the good fortune to chat with Tim Wise.
Tim is one of the United States' leading anti-racist educators and activists. He is the author of numerous books including Dear White America, White Like Me, Speaking Treason Fluently, and Between Barack and a Hard Place. In addition to speaking engagements stateside and internationally, Tim is a frequent guest on MSNBC, CNN, and other media outlets. Tim's website can be found here.
In this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Tim and I talk about the grind of travel, the merits (or not) of reading email and online comments, what it is like to have Nazi pen pals, pathetic black conservative race hustlers, his recent appearance on CNN's Headline News Network, his new documentary Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity, and why the Age of Obama has driven so many white folks--especially on the Right--into a state of mouth-frothing madness.
The format for The Chauncey DeVega Show is that of a virtual bar or salon where two folks sit down and chat with the conversation going where it does naturally. Tim and I have talked over the years via email: this new episode of the podcast series is an extension of that dialogue.
For this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, I had the great opportunity to talk with Jason Colavito. Our conversation is a real treat and gem for ghetto nerds and those others who are interested in fringe history and other types of "alternative" knowledge systems.
Jason is an expert skeptic whose work appears on his eponymous website jasoncolavito.com. He is the author of numerous books. Jason has also appeared in documentaries and other media where he offers up his direct, clear, and reality based expertise on mythologies and magical thinking such as the ancient aliens hypothesis, the theory of Atlantis, and the myriad of distortions and lies about human events that have come to populate the History Channel and its auxiliary H2.
As Jason and I discuss in this most recent episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, our world is full of wonder and amazing discoveries. Thus, there is no reason to lie, obfuscate, and generate from the ether, fringe histories, ancient aliens, and other like mess. Our world and universe is amazing enough without the need to create fictions that soothe our egos as opposed to nurturing the intellect.
In this wide ranging and very educational conversation, Jason and I discuss why the ancient aliens hypothesis is so compelling, the faux rigor and "scientific" approaches used by the fringe history community, the fixation that white supremacists have with UFO's, Vikings, and giants, the Afrocentic dreams of how black Africans discovered the "New World", and the oft discussed case of Betty and Barney Hill, an interracial couple who were supposedly kidnapped by extraterrestrials in the 1960s.
The police killer of Eric Garner is free. The police killer of Michael Brown is free. The police killer of 12-year-old Tamir Rice was a documented incompetent and a member of a racist Cleveland police department: he too is still free.
Even more grotesque--American police departments do not keep accurate documents noting how many people they actually kill in a given year. America may not have the "desaparecidos" of her Southern neighbors; yet, the allusion is a chilling one that hints at the power of bureaucracies to make people disappear into nothingness because the state deem acts of violence against those individuals to be "within the law".
In all, America's police are the primary means through which state violence is rendered on black and brown communities, as well as the poor.
What should a person of color do when they encounter the police? How can you ensure that you, your loved ones, friends, and community members best survive an encounter with the criminal justice system--what is the new Jim and Jane Crow?
In this, the fourth episode of Season Three, on the podcast known as The Chauncey DeVega Show, I had the great opportunity to chat with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Mr. Nick Chiles.
He is the author of the new book Justice While Black and current editor of the Atlanta Black Star newspaper.
Written with attorney Robbin Schipp, Nick's new book JusticeWhile Black is both an excellent (as well as accessible) history of the racist origins of America's police system, and a invaluable step by step guide for how to navigate the entrapping maze that is the American legal system and the many ways that it can (and will) ruin the lives of those people it encounters.
In our conversation, Mr. Chiles summed up the crisis and conundrum that is when the colorline encounters the American legal system as follows: just because it is within your Constitutional rights to do a thing does not mean that a given cop will respect those rights.
In this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Nick and I discuss what to do when a police officer stops you, how answering no more than the basic questions you are legally obligated to is the smart move, how families can cause chaos and trouble if you are arrested, the dangers of the plea bargain, the foolish hysteria around common sense "black respectability politics", tales of black lives ruined by the system, and if he watches "crime porn" such as The First 48 television show.
Nick also clears up some of Chauncey DeVega's misconceptions about what he should do if the police demand to search his car.
The imminent decision by a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri about whether to (not) indict Darren Wilson for his choice to kill an unarmed teenager named Michael Brown looms over Ferguson, Missouri.
The grand jury will likely let Wilson go free without consequence for his wicked deeds. The tension in Ferguson--and around the United States--about the grand jury's decision is not an anxiety about the just Sword of Damocles. Rather, among the good, honest, ethical, and moral, the worry is that justice, of course, will not been done because black life is cheap and a white man wearing police blue has a de facto license to kill black and brown people with impunity.
In the first part of our conversation here on The Chauncey DeVega Show about the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri--and how that community is responding to the killing of Michael Brown by the thug police officer Darren Wilson--I was lucky to have the opportunity to talk with Mr. Lou Dubose, editor and reporter from The Washington Spectator.
For part two of The Chauncey DeVega Show's series on Ferguson, I talked with Reverend Renita Lamkin. She is a resident of Ferguson, a social justice activist, on the ground participant in the people's movement for civil rights and respect against the militarized and racist Ferguson police and local government, as well as a Pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Reverend Lamkin has been the subject of much conversation about the events in Ferguson both because of her participation in the people's movement (and subsequent injuries suffered at the hands--and at the end of the gun barrels--of the police) and bold truth-telling in her writings at the Huffington Post, a new piece at CNN, and interviews with a range of domestic and international media outlets.
Renita and I talk about how the mainstream media is distorting and misrepresenting the events in Ferguson, how white privilege is operative even among those white brothers and sisters who have chosen to stand with the black community in Ferguson, how faith and "liberation theology" guides her social justice work, predictions for Ferguson when/if Wilson does not face negative consequences for his actions, and what events and experiences made it possible for Renita Lamkin to pastor a majority black church.
I have written extensively about the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. However, like most of the cultural critics, analysts, and interested public, I have not had an opportunity to actually go to Ferguson, and to speak with the members of the under siege, bullied, and harassed by the thuggish white police, African-American community that resides there.
For those of us who live outside of Ferguson, our insights into that community are mediated by others. While the broader issue of police brutality may resonate with us because of our personal encounters with racist and classist police power, this is no substitute for a direct experience and "eye on the ground" in Ferguson.
In the next two episodes of The Chauncey DeVega Show, I will try to remedy that social distance.
Lou Dubose, editor of The Washington Spectator, is the first guest in our two part series on the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson, and the subsequent police riot against the black citizens of Ferguson.
For this, the first episode of Season 3 of The Chauncey DeVega Show, I decided to reach back to the first guest on the first episode of the podcast series from almost two years ago.
Bill the Lizard is my heterosexual life partner (to quote Kevin Smith). He is also a great friend of the site and possesses a masterful intelligence and knowledge of all things Star Wars. In our first conversation for Season One, Bill and I discussed the (then) new announcement that JJ Abrams would be making Star Wars Episode VII, the challenges of that project, the Prequels, and the rebooting of the Expanded Universe.
In our newest conversation we discussed what is known aboutStar Wars Episode VII (which now has a title "The Force Awakens"), to be "spoiler free" or not, what The Force Awakensmust do in order to be a compelling and exciting Star Warsmovie, space opera and Guardians of the Galaxy, why the newGodzilla movie is a hellish monstrosity of the first order, and if a person's love of the character Groot should be a barometer for the goodness of their soul.
Bill the Lizard and I also played a game of "yeah or nay" regarding what characters from the Original Trilogy and Expanded Universe should make an appearance in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.