Friday, June 22, 2018

480 Minutes - I Care Do U?

As a white kid in New York in the 1970s I witnessed racism.  It seemed to most often come from "old" people, Archie Bunker-type buffoons, rarely from young people. The future I believed in looked like the bridge of the star ship Enterprise, with phaser-armed people of all colors and backgrounds working together for the common good of humanity. To idealistic young me, all signs pointed to racism disappearing over time. The obvious delusion that the color of one's skin made some people better than others was a simple problem, one that would solve itself -- the idiot old racists would die off, and the young, inclusive people would take their place.

Little did I know how pervasive and insidious that racism was. It was hidden by the racists, by people who denied it was still there, and by "the arc of justice bends towards justice" narrative.

It is painfully obvious now that it never really went away. We've watched it continue to cause destruction in the form of police brutality against people of color.  Black hurricane victims photographed wading through post-Katrina flood waters with groceries were described as looters, while similar pictures of white hurricane victims explained how they had found bread and soda. In 1990 David Duke, a former KKK Grand Wizard and actual Nazi, nearly won a senate seat.  When his opponents pointed out that he was a racist he countered with this message to his supporters: "When they smear me, they are really smearing you." He knew what he was doing. Duke's stunning near-victory was attributed to economic insecurity fears. One asshole businessman saw it as more than an isolated, Southern anomaly, though, and suggested that if Duke ran against Bush 41, he'd give pappy Bush a run for his money.

That asshole businessman ran for President in 2016 and tapped into the same seething, ignorant white rage to the tune of 63 million votes. In response (the royal) we again told ourselves we're better than that, it was simple economic insecurity that fueled Trump's win. It was not, and now that we've been embarrassed and enraged by the Muslim ban, Charlottesville, KneelGate, and by-design systemic child abuse at the southern border, it is painfully obvious that racism (acknowledged and denied) is the engine that drives Trumpism.

Now that the Republican Party has been ceded to Trump, 21st century Americans find ourselves with a choice between a party we may not always agree with but in recent decades more often than not comes down on the right side of history and seems to know who are enemies are, or a regressive party of oppression and racism, a party that lies about and insults our longstanding allies while publicly felating barbaric, murderous dictators. If you count yourself as a member of today's Republican party you are, most certainly, a racist and having a black or brown friend does not exempt you.

This situation would have been unfathomable to me as a child, but somehow America in the twenty teens has revealed itself to be as racist as ever, and as skilled at pretending it's not (via rationalization, obfuscation, denial) as ever.

What are we going to do about that? Serious question to ponder as you listen to new music during the 480 Minutes program today.

Today's BAGeL Radio debuts will include new music today from The Donkeys (San Diego, CA, @TheDonkeys), Momma (Los Angeles, CA, @momma_band), Protomartyr (Detroit, MI, @protomartyrband), and Stella Donnelly (Perth, Australia, @stelladonnelly).

The show is live-hosted from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (probably more like 4 p.m. today) Eastern U.S. Time and is followed by 2 hours of uninterrupted music.  The show is then rebroadcast in it's entirety beginning at 7 p.m., then again on Saturday at 5 a.m. and 3 p.m., and one final time on Sunday at 1 a.m., followed by a rebroadcast of this week's Fuzzy Road radio show at 11 a.m. and then a couple of old 480 Minutes episodes from this week in past years, making for hosted shows all weekend long.

Tune in!

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480 Minutes / Year 14 - Episode 24 / Episode #606 overall

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