This week on Talk World Radio, we’re talking about a Zone of Peace in the Americas, and events in Uganda, and presidential indictments, and everything we find time for with Margaret Kimberley, Executive Editor and Senior Columnist at Black Agenda Report, member of the coordinating committee of Black Alliance for Peace, and author of a wonderful book previously discussed on this show called Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents.
With the recent spate of vicious attacks on drag performers and drag shows, I’ve been thinking a lot about a brilliant quote by the late Ram Dass: “Treat everyone you meet as if they were God in drag.” And I think it gets to the heart of this manufactured controversy.
It has become impossible not to notice the trend. Whether it is banning the word “gay,” or banning books that contain topics related to human sexuality, or the Supreme Court decision to overturn a woman’s federal right to an abortion, the war on human sexuality and those who are sexually divergent is ramping up on multiple fronts. Even I’ve been a target of this war. Because of my outspoken advocacy for LGBTQ+ youth, I have been labeled a “groomer” by a few figures on the far right.
In front of us, something is unfolding that we don’t want to properly see, but that we subconsciously recognize. The warning signs for a fascist crackdown in America have been here for years, if not decades. It’s now that they’ve become too big for much of this country’s complacent left to ignore. We’re accelerating towards a level of direness which people living under fascism so often can’t perceive at first, until the reality of their situation has finished creeping up onto them. By George Jackson’s definition of fascism, which is when capitalism forcibly maintains itself through reform, we’ve already been living under fascism for generations. With the Supreme Court’s decision and its ramifications, this is becoming more visible to more people.
The overturning of the landmark Roe v Wade case providing federal protection for a woman’s right to choose is both appalling and enraging. Now, several conservative states have already begun outlawing abortion rights. It is undeniable that women’s rights have taken an enormous blow, and the effect will have repercussions around the world.
If you’ve never traveled around the state of Texas, you won’t really get an accurate picture of this odd land of extremes. The cities, especially Austin and Houston, are islands of relative sanity surrounded by a sea of crazy. All this considered, the unveiling of the Texas GOP’s platform should come as no surprise. They have merely tapped into the paranoid, hyper-nationalist, fascist zeitgeist so prevalent among a large swath of its white, Christian population.
As we observe Pride Month, we should remind ourselves that the original Pride Parade was a riot, not a celebration of conformity to society. There were no permits issued to the people who marched down those streets in New York City. There were no corporate, bank or military floats participating. And it was mocked by mainstream press like the New York Times.
The leaked majority draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which suggests the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, returning the question of abortion to the states, is part of a broader assault against women.
In the midst of the threat of Roe V. Wade being overturned, and abortion being automatically banned in 13 states within the next two months, the calls from liberals to vote come across as totally vapid. This is because over the last several decades, we’ve seen dozens of times what happens whenever Democrats become the dominant party: they fail both due to their own lack of principles, and due to the reactionary nature of America’s political structures. Because of this, the paradigm is pushed further towards fascism regardless of which party is in charge. In the present moment, where U.S. hegemony is in decline and capitalism is the most unstable it’s ever been, this dynamic is intensifying.
“Puritanism has made life itself impossible. More than art, more than estheticism, life represents beauty in a thousand variations; it is indeed, a gigantic panorama of eternal change. Puritanism, on the other hand, rests on a fixed and immovable conception of life; it is based on the Calvinistic idea that life is a curse, imposed upon man by the wrath of God. In order to redeem himself man must do constant penance, must repudiate every natural and healthy impulse, and turn his back on joy and beauty.” — Emma Goldman
Screenshot by Dandelion Salad via Flickr Watch the video below
by Yanis Iqbal
Writer, Dandelion Salad
February 12, 2021
Since January 4, 2021, student protests have been going on in Turkey. At Bogazici University in Istanbul, rectors are elected through free and fair elections by faculties. The only time in the institution’s history when these democratic processes were suspended was in the aftermath of the 1980 coup d’état. In today’s time, it is again being done.
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to author Naomi Wolf about the bitter legacy of British and western colonialism of rampant homophobia, so virulent that people to this day are murdered for being gay in countries such as Uganda or Egypt.
In 2016, more than 50 bills were introduced in Congress targeting Trans people. Since Trump took office, dozens of pieces of landmark legislation have been canceled, severely rolling back Trans rights.