PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Tom Brokaw Unwittingly Reveals What’s Wrong with Corporate Journalists” / Robert Reich ☮

1. Normalizer Syndrome. You want to believe Trump is just another president – more conservative than most, but one who will make rational decisions. You’re under a grave delusion. Trump and his ultra-conservative cabinet pose a clear and present danger to America and the world.

2. Outrage Numbness Syndrome. You are no longer outraged by what Trump says or does because you’ve gone numb. You can’t conceive that someone like this is our President so you’ve shut down emotionally. Maybe you’ve even stopped reading the news. Please get back in touch and re-engage with what’s happening.

Cynical Syndrome. You’ve become so cynical about the whole system – the Democrats who gave up on the working class, the Republicans who suppressed votes around the country, the media that gave Trump free air time, the establishment that rigged the system – that you say the hell with it. Let Trump do his worst. Well, you need to wake up. It can get a lot worse.

4. Helpless Syndrome. You aren’t in denial. You know that nothing about this is normal and you desperately want to do something to prevent what’s about to occur. But you don’t know what to do. You feel utterly helpless, powerless and immobilized.

h/t: truthdig

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: “Cenk Uygur and the Truthdig Team Question the Future of Progressive Politics” / truthdig / 02.16.2017 ☮

Cenk Uygur, host and co-founder of the progressive online news show The Young Turks, closely covered the 2016 election chaos. Although he regularly condemned Donald Trump in the days leading up to the election, he also did not hold back from criticizing the Democratic Party. Disillusionment with that party ultimately led Uygur and others to launch a political movement, the Justice Democrats.

Introduced by Uygur three days after Trump’s inauguration, Justice Democrats is a branch of the Democratic Party dedicated to promoting progressive ideals and replacing establishment politicians. Along with Uygur, Kyle Kulinski of the program “Secular Talk Radio” and leaders from Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign are also at the head of the movement.

On Thursday, Feb. 16, Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer and the Truthdig editorial team sat down with Uygur to discuss the new political movement, as well as media political coverage in the age of Trump.

h/t: truthdig

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Is Trump About to Come for You and Your Pot?” / The Big Picture RT / Thom Hartmann ☮

On tonight’s Big Picture, Thom discusses the Trump administration’s war on drugs and what it means for states’ marijuana legalization with Lt. Commander Diane Goldstein (Ret.). Then, Thom talks to Valerie Ervin of the Working Families Party and Kymone Freeman of We Act Radio about adviser Stephen Miller’s comments on the judiciary, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach advising Trump to crack down on voter fraud.