PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “James Baldwin and the Meaning of Whiteness” / truthdig / Chris Hedges / 02.19.2017 ☮

james_baldwin_37_allan_warren_590Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro” is one of the finest documentaries I have ever seen—I would have stayed in the theater in New York to see the film again if the next showing had not been sold out. The newly released film powerfully illustrates, through James Baldwin’s prophetic work, that the insanity now gripping the United States is an inevitable consequence of white Americans’ steadfast failure to confront where they came from, who they are and the lies and myths they use to mask past and present crimes. Baldwin’s only equal as a 20th century essayist is George Orwell. If you have not read Baldwin you probably do not fully understand America. Especially now.

To see a trailer for “I Am Not Your Negro,” click here. Click here for a longer version.

History “is not the past,” the film quotes Baldwin as saying. “History is the present. We carry our history with us. To think otherwise is criminal.”

The script is taken from Baldwin’s notes, essays, interviews and letters, with some of the words delivered in Baldwin’s voice from audio recordings and televised footage, some of them in readings by actor Samuel L. Jackson. But it is not, finally, the poetry and lyricism of Baldwin that make the film so moving. It is Peck’s understanding of the core of Baldwin’s message to the white race, a message that is vital to grasp as we struggle with an overt racist as president, mass incarceration, poverty gripping half the country and militarized police murdering unarmed black men and women in the streets of our cities.

Whiteness is a dangerous concept. It is not about skin color. It is not even about race. It is about the willful blindness used to justify white supremacy. It is about using moral rhetoric to defend exploitation, racism, mass murder, reigns of terror and the crimes of empire.

Continue reading . . .

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “The Soldiers of Odin: Inside Canada’s Extremist Vigilante Group” / VICE News / Ben Makuch ☮

VICE News investigates the Soldiers of Odin and their declared commitment to preserving Canadian values. Amid rising Islamophobia and violence in Canada, reporter Ben Makuch explores the blurry line between nationalist pride and racist rhetoric.

WHITE-WING CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN THEOCRACY: “Trump’s Theocratic Cabinet” / Freedom From Religion Foundation☮

trumps-theocratic-cabinetEvangelicals who pushed Donald Trump over the top in the election are surely pleased with several of his appointments to the cabinet and other high-ranking positions in his administration.

Trump promised to be “the greatest representative of the Christians,” and he seems to be heading in that direction. Before even being elected, he chose Mike Pence as a running mate, a man who denies evolution and has voted to restrict LGBT rights based on “religious freedom.” Trump has also appointed several other religious fundamentalists who pose a threat to church/state separation.

Here’s a look at a number of them… http://bit.ly/2iPk19W

CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN BIGOTRY: “Ellen Cancels Famous Gospel Singer After Anti-Gay Comments” / The Young Turks / Cenk Uygur, and Ana Kasparian ☮

Ellen DeGeneres has decided to rescind a show invitation to famous gospel singer Kim Burrell after a video of Burrell saying homophobic things was released online. Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur discuss Kim Burrell’s bigoted comments and Ellen’s response.