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1033masonhersonhord

When the left adopts loose, relatively incoherent language - 'defend our community,' 'local autonomy from outside forces' - without clear, coherent political content, it makes it easy for racists to latch onto that, and redirect that narrative to their own destructive ends. In developing a politics of local, democratic power, we need to make sure we're framing in terms of the needs of interdependence as an end in itself. Of democracy as the value, and localism as the site - rather than localism, pulling back from the world, as being the end itself.

Organizer Mason Herson-Hord previews the dangers of anti-democratic, reactionary localism - as the left looks towards municipalism to combat the power of a growing nationalist right, efforts must center values of democratic interdependence and internationalist cooperation to avoid losing more (local) ground to the fascist wave.

Mason is co-author of the article 'Dark municipalism' - the dangers of local politics for The Ecologist.

 


Episode 1033

No Debate

Dec 8
Posted by Alexander Jerri


In 1915 – (103 years ago) — Arch and Cordella Stevenson, an African-American couple living in Columbus, Mississippi, were regarded by locals as respectable, hardworking people. But rumors were circulating that their son, who had a reputation as a troublemaker, had deliberately burned down a local white farmer’s barn several months earlier. Questioned just after the fire, Cordella Stevenson had told police that her son was out of town and that she had no idea where he was. Convinced of her honesty, the police had let her go, and dropped the case for lack of any evidence. But now, at ten in the evening, Cordella and her husband, Arch, were awakened by a loud knock on their door. Before they could answer it, a mob of angry, gun-wielding white people broke down the door and burst into their home. They grabbed Cordella and threatened to kill Arch, who somehow managed to escape and ran to get help. The next morning, Cordella Stevenson’s naked body was found hanging from a tree near a railway track, where it could be seen by horrified train passengers going in and out of town. It was left hanging there all day and through the night. Only on the following morning was it finally cut down and an inquest held, in which an all-white jury quickly ruled that Cordella Stevenson had been murdered by persons unknown.     

In 1966 – (52 years ago) — The SS Heraklion, a Greek ferry, was sailing from the island of Crete to the port of Piraeus in high winds and rough seas, carrying some 270 passengers and crew along with a large load of cargo, including a refrigerator truck full of oranges. Evidently, the truck was poorly secured inside the ship’s cargo hold — and, as the ship pitched and rolled in the heavy waves, the truck repeatedly banged against a large loading door in the ship’s side. The door finally gave way, spilling the truck into the sea, and water rushed into the ship, causing it to capsize and sink in a few minutes. Hours went by before Greek, British, and US planes and ships arrived and were able to rescue thirty-seven passengers and sixteen crew. The other 217 people aboard the Heraklion all died. An inquiry later found the shipping company guilty of negligence, false documentation, and manslaughter. Twelve of the company’s other ships were pronounced unseaworthy, and its owner and general manager were both sent to prison.

In... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri
1033lineup

Listen live from 9AM - 1:00PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

9:20 - Writer Martha Pskowski examines the cross-border solidarity powering the migrant caravans.

Martha wrote the article The Rebel Project of the Caravan: Solidarities and Setbacks for Viewpoint Magazine.

 

10:05 - Organizer Mason Herson-Hord previews the dangers of anti-democratic, reactionary localism.

Mason is co-author of the article 'Dark municipalism' - the dangers of local politics for The Ecologist.

 

10:35 - Writer Zenobia Jeffries Warfield explains why grassroots economics don't generate Black wealth.

Zenobia wrote the article Why Co-ops and Community Farms Can’t Close the Racial Wealth Gap for Yes!

 

11:05 - Writer Mychal Denzel Smith explores the burden of presenting the Black experience to a White audience.

Mychal wrote the article The Gatekeepers: On the Burden of the Black Public Intellectual for Harper's.

 

12:05 - Writer Aisling McCrea argues with the internet about the merits of self-care and debate.

Aisling wrote the articles Self-Care Won't Save Us for Current Affairs and Resolved: Debate Is Stupid for The Outline.

 

12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen spins the tale of A Hundred and One Welbutrins.

Nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, headache, constipation, increased sweating, joint aches, sore throat, blurred vision, strange taste in the mouth, diarrhea, or dizziness may occur.

Episode 1032

Past Due

Dec 2
Posted by Alexander Jerri

"What have we become?" I keep seeing people post this, in reaction to the shootings at the Chicago hospital and the Colorado thing, whatever it was, and the bar in Sherman Oaks. A school again? A movie theater again? A concert? A picnic? A church? A fish fry? We have not become anything new. The only change is who does what brutal, sickening thing to which innocent people, I regret to opine. How often, and how near. Maybe we've become less lucky. I sincerely do regret to opine thus. And I'm open to dissuasion.

Steven Pinker, who is a popular author, and a few other things, believes we're less violent these days. He believes we've made progress as a species. It's an opinion, and he defends it well, although very often, according to historians I've heard comment on his work, he deceives himself.

I know I don't have to convince any imbibers of This Is Hell that all that's really happened is a reshuffling and a miscounting. People lived as victims of brutal violence back in the Hellenic days, and they do now. People were slaves back in the reign of Hammurabi, and they still are today. Women and children and subjugated men were raped in China and Samarkand, at either end of the Silk Road, from its opening onward, and conditions are only cosmetically different in our own time. And that's not even to mention the animals. But "better to be an uptown dog than a downtown Jew" was a saying back in the rich and colorful days of the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Why would things be any different? What would have caused this putative ebb of human cruelty? The Enlightenment? The internet? "I Love Lucy"? The Magna Carta? The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights? The Geneva Conventions? "Imagine" by John Lennon? The Statue of Liberty? Star Trek? What do we have more of now than before? Technology? Detergent? High fructose corn syrup? Pollution?

We try. We try so hard. We have ideals. We exalt the best of human nature, and castigate what is base. And you know what? It was ever so. There has never been a time when kindness wasn't considered a virtue. There was never a time when hypocrisy, betrayal, and malicious behavior weren't frowned upon. Even back in ignorant times, ignorance was a human foible. We've always known the right and good thing to do.

But there has also never been a time when ignorance wasn't considered a virtue, a kind of pure state, blessed by the grace of heaven. There's never been a time when authorities... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri
1032lineup

Listen live from 9AM - 1:00PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

9:20 - Writer Natasha Lennard explains what the press misses between White supremacists and the police.

Natasha wrote the article Even the FBI Thinks Police Have Links to White Supremacists - but Don’t Tell the New York Times for the Intercept.

 

10:05 - Historian Pero Dagbovie surveys the contested, shifting grounds of Black history in the American present.

Pero is author of Reclaiming the Black Past: The Use and Misuse of African American History in the Twenty-First Century from Verso.

 

11:00 - Historian Sarah Churchwell examines the authoritarian ends of America First ideology.

Sarah is author of Behold, America: The Entangled History of "America First" and "the American Dream" from Basic Books.

 

12:00 - Writer Zoé Samudzi explores the Africas beyond the Western political imagination.

Zoe wrote the article Africa’s Place in the Radical Imagination for ROAR Magazine.

 

12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen answers the question, What Have We Become?

You might have been wondering about that lately.

Episode 1031

Staff Picks: Alex

Nov 24
Episode 1030

Beyond Borders

Nov 17
Posted by Alexander Jerri
1030lineup

Listen live from 9AM - 10AM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

9:20 - Viewpoint Magazine's Magally Miranda Alcazar and Robert Cavooris trace the path of the migrant caravan, and the road to solidarity.

Maga and Robert are members of the editorial collective that wrote the essay The Border Crossing Us for Viewpoint Magazine.

Episode 1029

Ballotproof

Nov 11