Humorless Queers tackles post-election 2016. We talk action: What are we going to do now? And what is the future of surveillance and financial reform under the weight of a Donald J. Trump presidency? And we also dive into what just happened. How on earth did we get here? And how can we learn from this recent history?
This episode, we dive in to the Wells Fargo scandal, break down what happened and who’s to blame for the over 2 million scam accounts that Wells Fargo created for customers who never asked for them (and was then charged fees for those fake accounts). And during that segment, we’re going to tell you who Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren believes really needs to quit his job.
After that, we’re going to take a brave look at the election. What is at stake? What are we thinking about? What do things like Deep State have to do with all of it? And why is Donald Trump especially dangerous if he DOESN’T want to govern?
And finally, we ask listeners what we need to do in order to battle the white nationalism that Donald Trump has emboldened — whether or not he wins. Send us your thoughts! info at humorlessqueers dot com.
Kade and Alexis discuss the tragedy in Orlando, the response from politicians, the failures of the FBI, the questions politicians should be asking vs the reaction they are having, and how proud we’ve been of the LGBTQ community’s response to this tragedy, including rejecting responding to bigotry with more bigotry and Islamophobia.
Alexis speaks with ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio about the flurry of news happening around the insanely bigoted anti-trans bill in North Carolina, #HB2. From North Carolina suing the Feds, to the Feds suing North Carolina, we catch you up on what’s going on. We also discuss how much more the Department of Justice needs to do to truly protect trans people, including their ongoing refusal to allow Chelsea Manning to grow her hair long. We also discuss the Departments of Justice and Education issuing guidance to schools on how to ensure the civil rights of students at federally funded educational institutions .
We talk to historian Kathleen Frydl about Donald Trump and American fascism, and with ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio about the insanely bigoted anti-trans bill in North Carolina, #HB2. Kade tells Jonathan Chait to take a break from punching the left to Quit his Job. And Alexis tells Ted Cruz “Bitch, Please!” for naming Phil Gramm (a major architect of the 2008 financial crisis) as an economic advisor.
Kade also discussed the play Mariposa & the Saint. Through letters with longtime friend and current collaborator, Julia Steele Allen, Mariposa brings her experience in solitary confinement to the stage.
How to Help
Here are organizations that Chase mentioned are doing work in North Carolina that folks can donate to or support in other ways:
Kade gives a quick update on the FBI vs Apple case, and explains the government’s curious backing down from their attempt to force Apple to hack into its own device (as discussed last episode). And we interview writer, activist, and Executive Director of CAIR-AZ Imraan Siddiqi (@imraansiddiqi) about dangerous election rhetoric, Ted Cruz’s fear-mongering advisers, and Islamaphobia in America.
Kade breaks down Apple vs FBI. Kade explains why this isn’t really about a phone (especially not about a work phone, the only phone left un-smashed by Syed Rizwan Farook). We discuss how the FBI’s actions may actuallydamage their OWN security, and the security of the rest of us, if they succeed. And we touch on how Congress has so far REFUSED to give the government the power the FBI is seeking, so now FBI is trying to obtain this power through the courts.
We also provide an update on the scammed students of Corinthian Colleges, and tell you who needs to check themselves, and who needs to quit their jobs.
For episode 8 we speak with none other than the fabulous Marcy Wheeler, a national security and surveillance policy expert with a most refined bullshit detector. Marcy helps us understand exactly WTF congress has just done by tacking on dangerous warrantless surveillance authorization onto the omnibus budget, under the guise of protecting US “cyber security.” If you’ve been confused about what CISA is or why you should care, don’t miss our interview with Marcy.
Also featured on this episode is a breakdown of what else was hidden away in the 2016 spending package, including financial and drug war related items, as well as some surprises, for example a nifty little clause that says cops can look at porn on their government computers.
That, plus a special edition of Quit Your Job, in which we beg NYT public editor Margaret Sullivan to NOT quit her job.
This episode, we are thrilled to interview Mariame Kaba (@PrisonCulture), an educator and organizer based in Chicago. We discuss the “absolutely quotidian and mundane way” that white supremacy manifests in our society, how we arbitrate terror in the wake of Charleston, how Afro-pessimism describes our current predicament, and how the homes of black Americans have always been fair game for the state—from Batterrams in L.A., to warrantless raids in NYC, to raids that persist in Chicago today.
We also discuss why, even though Chuck Todd should TOTALLY quit his job, unless we shift the media’s allegiances, someone else will just pop in to take his place and replicate the same conversation.
In addition, Alexis discusses one example of how racial prejudice makes its way into policy. We’ll dig into the GOP’s hatred of “disparate impact” theory, and how conservatives have long been fighting, both in the Supreme Court and in Congress, to make racial discrimination in housing even harder to prove than it already is. Here is a good summary of Rep. Scott Garrett’s two amendments, to two different appropriations bills, to try and block disparate impact theory from being used to enforce Fair Housing cases. The vote breakdown of Rep. Garrett’s amendments can be found here and here.
“Housing affects your chances of being robbed and shot as well as your chances of being stopped and frisked. And housing discrimination is as quiet as it is deadly. It can be pursued through violence and terrorism, but it doesn’t need it. Housing discrimination is hard to detect, hard to prove, and hard to prosecute. Even today most people believe that Chicago is the work of organic sorting, as opposed segregationist social engineering. Housing segregation is the weapon that mortally injures, but does not bruise.The historic fumbling of such a formidable weapon could only ever be accomplished by a graceless halfwit—such as the present owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.”
Alexis mentioned the essay by academic Robin DiAngelo “White Fragility,” which states that white people “often confuse comfort with safety and state that we don’t feel safe when what we really mean is that we don’t feel comfortable. ”
Mariame mentioned that “we can’t leave it at those arguments about white fragility. White fragility has as its counterpart black un-humanness. We cannot see black people as human beings that that sentence [Chuck Todd wrote, in response to criticism of the segment, “Meet the Press should make all viewers uncomfortable at some point or we are not doing our job”] could be uttered by Chuck Todd.” And she discussed a number of Afro-pessimists, who discuss this black un-humanness at greater length, including:
As a general reminder, please RATE US on iTunes, and help Kade with her dream of knocking NPR shows out of the top five News & Politics podcasts on iTunes.
Credit Where Due
The theme for this show is the song “Missing You” by Jahzzar, also know as Javier Suarez. You can find his work at betterwithmusic.com. And the font for our logo is by the graphic designer Marisa Passos. And the image at the top of this post is by Emory Douglas, who was the Revolutionary Artist and Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party.
Kade breaks down what’s going on with the Patriot Act, and why even if it sunsets, more reforms are needed. Alexis discusses the five banks that pled guilty to felony charges…and why the consequences for the felonies these big banks pled guilty to are totally different than felonies that mere mortals face. And Kade gives an in-depth overview of the Tsarnaev trial: It’s finally over—or is it? What we learned in the final weeks, and what’s likely to come.