Run It Black Podcast · Making Sense of the Moment We’re in
2020 has been a year unlike any for most of us. From coronavirus to the national movement against police violence, it feels like we’re in a moment that could best be described as tectonic. This week on the show, Mike and David explore recent protests over the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. They also address criticisms of uprisings taking place all over the country and discuss the larger issue of policing. Tune in.
I’m excited to announce that 34justice is partnering with Run It Black, a podcast on “sports, politics, culture, and the intersection of race” from David Tigabu and Mike Mitchell. Mike taught me much of what I know about podcasting, and David is no newcomer to 34justice, having previously authored a great piece for us on how the co-option of Christianity helps explain the election of Donald Trump. Besides being good friends of mine and knowing far more about pop culture than I ever will, David and Mike have awesome insights about the connections between racism and various other forms of oppression. Often containing fascinating historical context, their episodes are both entertaining and informative.
You can listen to Run It Black episodes directly through 34justice’s new Run It Black widget, which can be found on the top right-hand-side of our webpage on a desktop computer and towards the bottom of the page on a mobile device. You can also tune in on iTunes. Here’s a quick overview of the first five episodes (from earliest to most recent):
What to do about the NFL?
Find out why David and Mike are boycotting the NFL this year and what they think of the Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor showdown.
The Politics of Hurricanes
People of color suffer most when natural disasters strike, are often de-prioritized during our inadequate responses to such disasters, and will continue to face disproportionate harm if we fail to address climate change. David and Mike explain.
Jemele Hill Was Right
Hill’s Black colleagues backed her up when she called Donald Trump a White supremacist, but ESPN didn’t. David and Mike discuss the Right-wing backlash to race-conscious sports media before delving into some statistics on and possible remedies for the racial wealth gap.
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Disaster
As David and Mike note, our government has treated Puerto Rico significantly worse than it treats US states during times of natural disaster, a problem consistent with a long history of unjust policy towards Americans on the island. They also comment on the evolution of NFL players’ protests against racial injustice.
The Enduring Significance of HBCUs
While neither David nor Mike attended an HBCU, they’ve thought a lot about the important role such institutions play in improving opportunities for Black Americans. They note HBCUs’ many strengths, why some criticisms of HBCUs are misplaced, and the curious case of HBCU presidents accepting Donald Trump’s invitation to the White House.
Especially if you aren’t getting enough Run It Black between episodes, I highly recommend following the podcast, as well as David and Mike, on Twitter. Happy listening!
Filed under Environment, Gender Issues, Labor, Poverty and the Justice System, Race and Religion, Sports, US Political System
Tagged as Black culture, climate change, HBCU, NFL, protest, Puerto Rico, race, Run It Black
Pundits get justifiably upset when voters or political candidates suggest that Hillary Clinton is just as bad as Donald Trump. The differences between Clinton and Trump and the dangers Trump poses are frequently overstated, but for those of us who believe in social justice, there’s no denying that four years of Trump would be expected to be worse than four years of Clinton.
Yet the pundits themselves commit a much greater sin of false equivalence when expressing their unhappiness with those critiquing the Democratic Party. Jonathan Chait, for example, recently equated protesters at the Democratic convention with Republican politicians, asserting that the only difference between these two groups of “unhinged extremists” was that the former had been “screaming at the stage” in Philadelphia while the latter had been “screaming from the stage” in Cleveland.
On Saturday night, I met one of the people Chait maligned, a Bernie Sanders delegate from California named Yolanda Gonzalez. A veteran elementary school teacher in Los Angeles, Yolanda has been touring the country as a volunteer for Brand New Congress during her summer break. The organization plans to run a full slate of congressional candidates in 2018 who commit to a grassroots-developed platform in the mold of the Sanders agenda: getting money out of politics, taking bold action on climate change, revamping our criminal justice system, ensuring a basic standard of living for everyone, and ending discrimination against historically disadvantaged communities.
Yolanda is proud of her protests at the DNC; in contrast to Chait’s insistence that critiques of Clinton are “more characterological than ideological,” Yolanda’s beef with the Democratic nominee is substantive. She takes issue with Clinton’s history of pushing fracking around the world and her hawkish foreign policy and believes that Clinton faced far fewer consequences for what FBI director James Comey called “extremely careless…handling of very sensitive, highly classified information” than would have been faced by a less powerful person (Yolanda is almost certainly right). Yolanda says her students deserve politicians who will fight for the real changes they need, not those who insist that incremental change is all that’s accomplishable.
That’s why Yolanda became a Sanders delegate. It’s why, despite the rudeness she endured from Clinton delegates (one of whom called a member of her delegation a “fag”) and the Democratic Party’s attempts to silence her protests (which included the installation of noise-cancelling machines) throughout the convention, she continued to show up every day and join her fellow delegates in chants like “No More War,” “Stop the TPP,” “Ban Fracking Now,” and “Black Lives Matter.”
Chait may not share Yolanda’s social justice inclinations and might disagree with her tactics. But “unhinged extremism” comparable to what you saw from the likes of Rudy Giuliani at the Republican convention those tactics most certainly were not. In fact, it’s a lot less accurate to say that than to say that Clinton is the same as Trump.