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Humorless Queers speaks to Mariame Kaba (@prisonculture), organizer, educator and curator. We discuss the #FreeBresha campaign, the fight for reparations in Chicago, the #Medicare4all campaign, art in social movements, and “social movements as a form of collective art making.”
Kaba has worked with young people for over two decades in various capacities (as a teacher, mentor and organizer). In 2009, she founded Project NIA, a grassroots organization with a long term vision of ending youth incarceration. Her work has extended from the classroom, to community-based settings, and to the streets. She currently organizes with Survived and Punished.
MENTIONED ON THE SHOW:
Kaba’s piece for the Poetry Foundation, “Imagining Freedom,” where she writes “ poetry can’t end state violence but it can lift our spirits so that we might live another day to fight for more justice.”
Lifted Voices – an action oriented organization aimed at defending the lives and rights of women and non binary people of color.
Creative Interventions – a space to re/envision solutions to interpersonal violence.
Humorless Queers tackle the horror show that is Trump’s choices for the cabinet, including Jeff Sessions for the Department of Justice, Steven Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary, and Betsy Devos for the Department of Education. We also discuss the Boston police department’s plan to spend $1.4m on social media spying software. And finally, we’ll have an interview with the co-founder of DemocrEC.org, who are demanding that Republican members of the Electoral College honor the popular vote.
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.