In the USA, right-wing groups such as the National Rifle Association interpret the Second Amendment of the US Constitution as permitting any individual to own weapons. In this week’s episode of On Contact, historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortriz, in her new book Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, and in her conversation with Chris Hedges, argues the amendment has more to do with white supremacy and the subjugation of Indigenous peoples, African-Americans and immigrants than the individual right to have a gun.
“[Modern militarism] wants neither more nor less than the squaring of the circle; it arms the people against the people itself; it is insolent enough to force the workers … to become oppressors, enemies and murderers of their own class comrades and friends, of their parents, brothers, sisters and children, murderers of their own past and future. It wants to be at the same time democratic and despotic, enlightened and machine-like, at the same time to serve the nation and to be its enemy.” — Karl Liebknecht
So often, underlying structures and institutions of oppression escape serious scrutiny amid our country’s most high-profile political dramas. Take the recent conviction of Jason Van Dyke, the white Chicago police officer caught on tape four years ago firing 16 shots into 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
Since October 2017, America experienced three of the deadliest mass shootings in modern history. This epidemic coincides with a frightening resurgence of white nationalism. Sometimes the two trends overlap.
Facebook is erasing popular alternative media pages that had millions of likes and suspending anti-war and anti-police brutality accounts, in coordination with Twitter. Journalist Max Blumenthal says this is part of a larger political crackdown; EFF’s David Greene says the implications are dangerous.
In a conversation about his new book America: The Farewell Tour, Chris Hedges tells journalist, Hugh Hamilton, about the political goals of the Christian Right and the prison-industrial complex. Second part of two-part interview.
“Capitalism keeps us in a state of panic. Most of us are just one medical bill away from bankruptcy. It keeps us overworked and underpaid so we don’t have time to question its dominance over our lives. It takes the fruits produced by the many and gives them to the few. Concentrated wealth means concentrated power, concentrated power means less democracy, less democracy means less freedom, and less freedom means you are reduced to a precarious life of servitude.” — The Anti-Social Socialist
Tear gas is among the least of the problems facing those who care about the murder and destruction of war. But it is a major element in the militarization of local policing. In fact, it is widely deemed illegal in war, but legal in non-war (although what written law actually creates that loophole is unclear).
Boston teacher Nino Brown, of the ANSWER Coalition, speaks with TRNN’s Ben Norton about the links between US militarism, gun violence, and police brutality. He connects the epidemic of school shootings domestically to the endless wars internationally.
Co-hosts Tyrel Ventura and Tabetha Wallace venture down under to Australia to interview a number of experts, including Pulitzer Prize winner John Pilger, on gun violence, gun culture, and the differences between gun ownership in the US and Australia.
https://democracynow.org – Dozens of students who survived last week’s school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida have arrived in Tallahassee to push for new gun control measures. On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Florida House of Representatives blocked a bid to bring up a bill to ban sales of assault-style rifles in the state. The Florida gunman, a 19-year-old white former student named Nikolas Cruz, was a member of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program before he was expelled from the school. Cruz was also part of a four-person JROTC marksmanship team at the school which had received $10,000 in funding from the NRA. For more, we speak with Pat Elder, director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, an organization that confronts militarism in schools. He’s the author of Military Recruiting in the United States.