Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Her warrior cunning

December 27

GUEST: Krystal Two Bulls, US military veteran, member of About Face Veterans Against the War, and Co-Director of the Drop the MIC Campaign (Military Industrial Complex), talks about her Oglala Lakota and Northern Cheyenne indigenous identity and how that relates to her efforts to end America's reckless wars abroad.

About Face, Veterans Against The War

We can learn so much from indigenous peoples. From the very first meetings with European colonizers, Native Americans have expressed amazement and horror at a society that treated the earth like an expendable asset. How long it has taken us to accept this basic truth about ourselves. We have lost the connection our species must have always had to the earth around us. Unless we can realize the true nature of our dependency, there will be no planet for anyone to be part of.

Krystal Two Bulls is a warrior for her people. She has served her country as a veteran, but wants to end US imperialism abroad. She yearns to live in peace, but will not sit by while her forests and plains are despoiled by massive pipelines. Is not just the constant leakage of oil into the Lakota's sources of water. It is also the burning of more fossil fuels that will push global warming beyond the tipping point.

Insanity, fed by greed and militarism. If this is how it all ends, there will have been people like Krystal Two Bulls who applied her bravery and warrior cunning to try and save us from ourselves.   

Secret racists have more insidious goals

December 20

GUEST: Donna Nevel, psychologist, educator, and founding member of Facing the Nakba Project, Jews Say No!, Network Against Islamophobia, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice,  talks about her resent research that reveals how the Jewish United Fund (JUF) pays for racist and Islamophobic campaigns in the US.

Defund Islamophobia Now | HuffPost

Donna Nevel is an unstoppable force, using her intellect and sense of justice to make it hot for the secret racists of our time. Not the obvious racists who walk around looking for someone different to beat up. Secret racists have more insidious goals, and in the process hurt more people in the end. Take a look at the Jewish United Fund paying for hate campaigns directed at Muslim in America.

With close ties to Israeli, the Jewish United Fund spreads Islamophobia to take the pressure off the apartheid state. Five million Palestinians have been subjected to beatings, shootings and calculated deprivations in one of the longest running occupations in modern history. But don't think about that; just consider how Muslims are trying to undermine our culture and our democratic institutions. The JUF knows how to spread fear and hate to achieve its political ends.

Of course, many working for Palestinian human rights are themselves Jewish. They are as vulnerable to racism as any religious or ethnic minority in the United States. That is why fanning the flames of racism is so dangerous. Zionists have allied with Trump and his far right nationalists, and their agenda is deeply antisemitic.

Perhaps that is why so many Jewish activists condemn what the Jewish United Fund has done. In its drive to protect Israel, it has undermined the very racial tolerance that all of us depend on to live together in peace. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The history of a very racist country

December 13

GUEST: Paul Bermanzohn, psychiatrist, social activist and survivor of the 1979 Greensboro Massacre, talks about the use of racism to block labor organizing and impede the liberation of African Americans.

Survivors of 1979 Greensboro Massacre Testify

Paul and I had an interesting discussion on racism and capitalism. I went to his house and realized quite soon how different a personal interview is. On the phone, I can review my notes as we speak. In person, I can't really take my eyes off the person I am interviewing.

I make extensive notes before each interview, so I knew some of the questions I had planned. But since I couldn't  take the time to read my notes, there were questions that got omitted.

I also hadn't planned to get into the specifics of the Greensboro Massacre itself. Paul is a committed activist who has spent his life thinking and writing about racism in America. He was badly wounded in the KKK attack. My last interview with Paul had skirted the issue of his own injuries and suffering.

His parents were Holocaust survivors, and he told me that he began his interest in racism at the age of three. Greensboro was the first time in US history that the KKK and the Nazi Party had worked together in a terrorist attack. And the event had heralded a new era of armed extremists doing the bidding of corporate America. Paul sees the attack as planned by elements of the police and the factory owners to thwart an integrated union of plant workers.

Paul doesn't like to talk about fascism, and prefers concrete examples of racism directed at various minorities as they attempt to fight discrimination and unionize. I am not sure I agree. I think that fascism defines a deep seated tendency of some people to glorify power and the militarism that is often its source. It is the devotion to authority and the willingness to do what one is told, despite the murder it often entails. Maybe fascism is the opposite of love. Certainly established religions talk about love all the time, while they thrive on a system of worshiping the "divine."

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Saving the planet and the "business party"

December 6

GUEST: Steve Greenfield, long time activist, member of the New Paltz Fire Department, and Green Party Congressional Candidate for the NY-19th District, talks about the role of race in this election and why his candidacy did better with conservative voters than more liberal ones.

Thanks for supporting my campaign

Some progressive candidates did win, and time will tell whether the corporate fed, mainstream Democrats will succeed in sabotaging meaningful change. Pelosi's backroom deals to block universal healthcare are only one example.

So how does the system really change? Corporate Democrats have to be challenged in every primary. The Green Party should fight for greater recognition, given the fact that its platform is what a majority of Americans want for their country. Finally, progressive movements have to divorce themselves from the corporate controlled parties and apply pressure pressure even when there is no election on the immediate horizon. The thousands of young people protesting environmental sellouts in our nation's capital have to expand to hundreds of thousands. Saving the planet won't be accomplished by the "business party."

Steve's focus on a Green New Deal, and his comments on the use of racism in the 19th District help the reform process take hold. Read his letter above thanking his supporters. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A weapon against the powerful and privileged

GUEST: DeeDee Halleck, media activist, founder of Paper Tiger TV, co-founder of Deep Dish TV and Democracy Now! Television, and Professor Emerita in the Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego, talks about her upcoming Supreme Court case, Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck.

DeeDee Halleck

It was a pleasure having DeeDee Halleck on the show. Her belief in the video camera as a revolutionary tool has made her an important pioneer in using technology to achieve social change.

She was the right person to have on our side a decade ago in Kingston, NY, when she filmed our small, Palestinian rights group being told that the park was "closed for the day." According to the police, the park had been rented out for Israel Day, and our flyers were against the law.

"Even on the sidewalk?" we asked the sergeant.

"There you are blocking business," we were told.

We watched DeeDee's tape over and over again, and finally sought out a lawyer who would take the case. When it came down to a trial in Albany, we had all our witnesses ready. But the video DeeDee had made was too damming, and at the last minute, the lawyer for the city of Kingston offered us about $25,000 to settle the case. Our group, Middle East Crisis Response was funded for the next ten years!

Justice sometimes comes when wrongs are documented on tape. Technology becomes the guaranteer of truth, a weapon against the powerful and privileged who often lie through their teeth. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

America's best friends in the Middle East

America's best friends in the Middle East are all radical theocracies with a penchant for murder. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni country, has killed tens of thousands of Shia in Yemen and made hundreds of thousands homeless. The Saudi bombing has put five million Shia children in danger of starvation. 

Israel's decades long mistreatment of Palestinians has been equally barbaric. Two million live in Gaza, the largest open air prison in the world, subject to periodic mass slaughters of civilians by Israel's high tech weaponry. The Jim Crow life of Palestinians in the West Bank under a brutal Israeli occupation is hardly better. Like Saudi Arabia, Israel directs its hatred and violence towards those of the wrong faith. The Zionist regime is simply built on a foundation of Jewish supremacy. 

We are now witnessing America's rise of white, Christian nationalism. The radical right is highly armed and prone to attacks on Jews, Muslims, gays, immigrants, Latinos and women. Anyone who doesn't fit their theocratic ideals of purity. We can't just blame it on Trump, racist though he is. We can't just blame the Saudi and Israeli money pouring into the coffers of our corrupted politicians. Saudi Arabia gave the Clinton Foundation 10 million before Hillary's campaign, and billionaire Sheldon Adelson, an Israeli/American Zionist, donated 82 million to Trump in 2016. 

No, America's white nationalism reflects the racism of our expanding empire abroad, as well as the extremist views of our closest allies in conquering and occupying the Middle East.

Fred Nagel

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Driven to ideas that will hopefully liberate us all from Zionism

November 15

GUEST: Heather Tenzer, documentary filmmaker and human rights activist, talks about her latest project, a film called "The Rabbis' Intifada" that tells the story of the Neturei Karta, a group of Orthodox rabbis speaking out in support of Palestinian liberation.

The Rabbis' Intifada 

Heather was a great guest, in part because she is still searching for the truth. Growing up in a Zionist household, she was shocked by the Neturei Karta. Rabbis against the occupation? Calling it a disaster visited on the Jewish people?

We didn't spend too much time on how the Neturei Karta dressed or even on what their other beliefs are. The issue is justice and how some rabbis come to put their religious values above nationalism and apartheid. Of course, Rabbis don't have to belong to that community to hold these beliefs. I went on the Gaza Freedom March several years ago and made a documentary about Jews who had come along on our trip. Some were Rabbis and some were not, but they all put human life above the needs of the theocracy that is Israel.

Talking to Heather I became more interested in her awakening than I did in the Neturei Karta. I think that is why her film will be so powerful. Heather is a fearless explorer, driven to ideas that will hopefully liberate us all from Zionism.