Read Power, Polarization, and Tech by Chris (hypervisible.com)
In Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, he writes about early colonists and how the rich were feeling the heat of poor white folks and poor black folks associating too closely with each other. The fear was that the poor, despite being different races, would unite against their wealthy overlords. Shortly after, the overlords began to pass laws that banned fraternization between the races. The message to poor whites was clear: “you are poor, but you are still far better than that poor black person over there, because you are white.” Polarization is by design, for profit.
Bookmarked Two Towns of Jasper (Vimeo)

In 1998 in Jasper, Texas, James Byrd, Jr., a black man, was chained to a pick-up truck and dragged to his death by three white men. The town was forever altered, and the nation woke up to the horror of a modern-day lynching. In Two Towns Of Jasper, two film crews, one black and one white, set out to document the aftermath of the murder by following the subsequent trials of the local men charged with the crime. The result is an explicit and troubling portrait of race in America, one that asks how and why a crime like this could have occurred. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) and National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) Co-presentation and a Television Race Initiative (TRI) selection.

Hat tip: This was mentioned in Episode 049 – Pop Culture Academia, Screen Time, and Automated Delivery | Media and the End of the World Podcast

📺 Can We All Get Along? | A Documentary about The Segregation of John Muir H.S.

Watched Can We All Get Along?: The Segregation of John Muir High School from Can We All Get Along?

A 50 minute documentary following filmmaker & Class of ’82 John Muir High Alumnus, Pablo Miralles (“Gringos at the Gate“) as he questions what has happened to his once diverse alma mater and whether or not to send his own son to the school today. In the film, Miralles explores the complex history of Pasadena’s schools and the 1970 court order that created the first Federal desegregation plan outside of the south. Weaving stories from alumni, administrators, and civic leaders of John Muir High School’s multi-cultural community, Miralles illustrates the challenges and failures of California, and the United States, to promote well-funded and diverse public education.

🎧 Hating In Plain Sight | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Hating In Plain Sight from On the Media | WNYC Studios

In the aftermath of white supremacist attacks in New Zealand, there's a tension between reporting on the shooter's motivations and not amplifying his message. This week, On the Media examines how the press can navigate that persistent dilemma. Plus, the debate over whether online archives of jihadi terrorist propaganda should be open to the public. 

1. Joan Donovan [@BostonJoan] describes the way the press has evolved in its responses to far-right terrorism, and argues for continued caution in coverage of white supremacists. Listen.

2. Kathleen Belew [@kathleen_belew] describes the White Power roots of the Christchurch attack, and argues that to effectively fight this hate, we must understand the movement in which it grows. Listen.

3. Dan Feidt [@HongPong] of Unicorn Riot [@UR_Ninja] on what alt-right groups are discussing in their secret online chatrooms, and what we learn by reading them. Listen.

4. Charlie Winter [@charliewinter], Rukmini Callimachi [@rcallimachi], Ali Fisher [@WandrenPD], Amarnath Amarasingam [@AmarAmarasingam], Pieter Van Ostaeyen [@p_vanostaeyen], and Seamus Hughes [@SeamusHughes] on the debate over whether online archives of jihadi terrorist propaganda should be open to the public. Listen.

As I was listening to the last two segments I was thinking that there are some interesting bits of user interface and ethics hiding in here for the IndieWeb community to examine. They’re definitely worth a listen and some thought for how we design public versus private and what we archive or don’t. Some in the academic arena may want to consider how we make research facing sites that don’t create more harm than good.

There was a spark of recognition on my part as I was listening to the Unicorn Riot segment, but I couldn’t put my finger on it until I looked at the episode notes just after. The interviewee is Dan Feidt (aka HongPong) a member of the IndieWeb community whose Drupal work relating to webmention I’ve always been a big fan of. His work here is far more interesting and valuable however (and that’s really saying something because I LOVE webmention).

Way to go Dan!

📺 BOSS: The Black Experience in Business | PBS

Watched BOSS: The Black Experience in Business from PBS

Learn about the untold story of African American entrepreneurship, where skill, industriousness, ingenuity and sheer courage in the face of overwhelming odds provide the backbone of this nation’s economic and social growth.

I’ve either seen or read about large portions of the stories in this documentary, but even then this goes into a bit more depth than some of the vignettes I’ve read about. It also does a great job of aggregating these stories into a broader story arc. A stunning bit of documentary work. I recommend this highly.

It is painful to watch the destruction of lives and value over several hundred years here however.

I was entertained to see the documentary re-appropriate The O’Jays song For The Love of Money to highlight African American entrepreneurship as it was obviously horrifically misused in NBC’s The Apprentice.

🎧 Tucker Was Tucker All Along | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Tucker Was Tucker All Along from On the Media | WNYC Studios

Will Fox News darling Tucker Carlson have to pay a price for newly unearthed despicable comments from his past? Eh, probably not.

To suggest that Tucker Carlson has a tendency to hint at deeply discriminatory tropes would be cliché — but also dead-on. Just this week, thanks to newly unearthed audio released by Media Matters, the Fox News darling ditches his signature dog whistle in exchange for unmistakable and unapologetic hate speech.

Who is Tucker Carlson, really? In this week's pod extra, Bob delves into the origins of the now-notorious commentator with Lyz Lenz, a writer for Columbia Journalism Review who profiled Carlson in September.

🎧 Crossing the Line | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Crossing the Line from On the Media | WNYC Studios

A secret government database of immigration reporters, new questions about the Obama Presidential Center, and the history of Plessy v. Ferguson

Mexican officials and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are using a secret database to target journalists and advocates at the southern border. This week, On the Media speaks with a reporter on the list who was detained for questioning by Mexican authorities. Plus, what the Obama Library’s unique arrangement with the National Archives means for the future of presidential history. And, the grotesque origins of segregation. 

1. Mari Payton [@MariNBCSD], reporter at NBC 7 in San Diego, and Kitra Cahana, freelance photojournalist, on the secret government database of immigration reporters and advocates. Listen.

2. Tim Naftali [@TimNaftali], historian at New York University and former director of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, and Louise Bernard, director of the museum at the Obama Presidential Center, on the Obama Foundation's decision to curate its own presidential museum. Listen.

3. Steve Luxenberg [@SLuxenberg], author of Separate, on the history of Plessy v. FergusonListen.

🎧 When 20,000 Nazis Gathered in New York | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to When 20,000 Nazis Gathered in New York from On the Media | WNYC Studios

A documentary film takes us back to the most notorious event of the German-American Bund.

Founded in 1936, the German-American Bund had approximately 25,000 members and 70 chapters around the country. While the Nazis were building concentration camps, the Bund held pro-Hitler retreats and summer camps. February 20th marks the 80th anniversary of the Bund’s most notorious event when 20,000 of its members gathered at Madison Square Garden for a "Pro-American Rally" featuring speeches and performances, staged in front of a 30-foot-high portrait of George Washington.

The rally is the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary short "A Night at The Garden" by filmmaker Marshall Curry. In this On the Media podcast extra, Brooke talks with Curry about how the film's themes resonate today and how a 30-second broadcast spot has had a media moment of its own.

This interview was awesome. Also it’s a bit ironic that the interview is longer than the film they’re talking about.

🎧 Bad Reputation | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Bad Reputation from On the Media | WNYC Studios

Poor coverage of female candidates; re-examining Lorena Bobbitt's legacy; and the farce of Black History Month.

The 2020 Democratic field is the most diverse ever, and five women are running to be the party’s presidential nominee. This week, we look at the sexist coverage of female candidates with a new Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Gender and Politics Edition. Then, a re-examination of a 90's tabloid spectacle, Lorena Gallo (Lorena Bobbitt), arrested for cutting her husband's penis off after he raped her. Plus, how Black History Month undermines black history. 

1. Lili Loofbourow [@Millicentsomer], staff writer at Slate, on the sexist coverage of women in politics. Listen.

2. Joshua Rofé [@joshua_rofe], filmmaker, and Lorena Gallo (FKA Lorena Bobbitt) on the new documentary "Lorena." Listen.

3. Doreen St. Félix [@dstfelix], staff writer at The New Yorker, on the commercialization of Black History MonthListen.

It’s really stunning to look back at major media coverage of Lorena Bobbit, Anita Hill, and Monica Lewinsky and see how terribly wrong they all managed to botch it up. I’m glad that some of the record is beginning to be corrected.

🎧 Misery in the Name of Liberty | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Misery in the Name of Liberty from On the Media | WNYC Studios

The Venezuelan press has been facing repression for years. This week, On the Media explores how journalists in the country are struggling to cover the standoff between two men who claim to be president. Also, how both the history of American interventionism and the legacy of Simón Bolívar color coverage of Venezuela. Plus, a critical look at the images coming out of Chinese internment camps.

1. Mariana Zuñiga [@marazuniga], freelance reporter based in Caracas, on her experience covering Venezuela's presidential standoff. Listen

2. Miguel Tinker Salas [@mtinkersalas], professor of history at Pomona College, on the legacy of Simón Bolívar. Listen.

3. Stephen Kinzer [@stephenkinzer], professor of international relations at Brown University, on the history of American intervention in Latin America. Listen

4. Rian Thum [@RianThum], senior research fellow at the University of Nottingham, on the internment of Uighurs by the Chinese government. Listen

I particularly liked the segment on the journalistic issue of photos seen in outlets which are supplied by the Chinese government and what they tell or don’t about the state of the journalism related to the Uighurs.

🎧 Empire State of Mind | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Empire State of Mind by Brooke GladstoneBrooke Gladstone from On the Media | WNYC Studios

Recently, a member of the Trump administration called Puerto Rico “that country,” obscuring once more the relationship between the island colony and the American mainland. In a special hour this week, On the Media examines the history of US imperialism — and why the familiar US map hides the true story of our country. Brooke spends the hour with Northwestern University historian Daniel Immerwahr, author of How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States.

A stunning 50 minutes of American History here! Folks who enjoyed John Biewen and Scene on Radio’s Seeing White series are sure to love some additional layers and texture that this view on our history brings.

I’d read it in my youth and knew of it more generally, but I didn’t know that Rudyard Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden” was written as advice to the United States about what to do in the Philippines where there was a long and bloody US war. Then the episode has a gut-punch of a quote I’d never heard from Mark Twain, who was friends with Kipling:

‘there must be two Americas. One that sets the captive free and one that takes a once captive’s new freedom away from him, picks a quarrel with him with nothing founded on and then kills him to get his land. For that second America,’ he proposed adding a few words to the Declaration of Independence, ‘governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed White men.’

If asked before today what the bloodiest war fought on US soil was, I’d have said “The Civil War” as I suspect that most would. Interestingly it turns out that it was the Japanese conquest of the Philippines during World War II that claimed 1.5 million people–or the equivalent of two civil wars. Why don’t most students know this fact? Likely because 1 million of that number were not white. They were Filipinos who were also considered U.S. nationals at the time.

Another surprising thing I hadn’t considered before, and mentioned here, is that a large portion of the “British Invasion” of music in the 1960’s–including that of The Beatles–can be likely be put down to the fact that there’s a major U.S. military base put into Liverpool just after World War II. The increased trade and exposure of local youth to American rock-and-roll music as well as instruments sourced from the base had a tremendous influence on the city and the music that would result.

These are just of a few of my favorite portions of this incredible show.

This episode is Part 2 of their series, “On American Expansion.” I can’t wait to hear the rest.

🔖 How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr

Bookmarked How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel ImmerwahrDaniel Immerwahr (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

A pathbreaking history of the United States’ overseas possessions and the true meaning of its empire

We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an “empire,” exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories―the islands, atolls, and archipelagos―this country has governed and inhabited?

In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century’s most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.S. soil. In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U.S. doctors conducted grisly experiments they would never have conducted on the mainland and charts the emergence of independence fighters who would shoot up the U.S. Congress.

In the years after World War II, Immerwahr notes, the United States moved away from colonialism. Instead, it put innovations in electronics, transportation, and culture to use, devising a new sort of influence that did not require the control of colonies. Rich with absorbing vignettes, full of surprises, and driven by an original conception of what empire and globalization mean today, How to Hide an Empire is a major and compulsively readable work of history.

hat tip: On the Media: Empire State of Mind

🎧 Policing the Police | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Policing the Police from On the Media | WNYC Studios

California recently passed a law that eliminates some of the barriers to accessing records on egregious police misconduct and deadly use of force. With the floodgates open, journalists, like KPCC investigative reporter Annie Gilbertson, are elated and terrified. Just one police violation can come with hundreds of associated documents for journalists to comb through. 

So, instead of fighting tooth and nail for the scoop, over 30 media organizations across the state are teaming up to share resources, bodies and insight as they begin the arduous task of combing through the newly-available records. The coalition is called the California Reporting Project. Bob Garfield talked with Gilbertson about what the project is uncovering.

🎧 The Daily: The Brief, Controversial Tenure of Kirstjen Nielsen | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The Brief, Controversial Tenure of Kirstjen Nielsen from New York Times

As homeland security secretary, she enacted and publicly defended the family separation policy. In President Trump’s eyes, she didn’t go far enough.

🎧 The Daily: Why Did New York’s Most Selective Public High School Admit Only 7 Black Students? | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Why Did New York’s Most Selective Public High School Admit Only 7 Black Students? from New York Times

The latest admissions numbers at Stuyvesant High School offer a stark picture of the persistent racial divide in America’s largest school system.

Perhaps the problem is more systemic than the small band-aid they’re offering as a means of fixing it?