🎧 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.

🎧 “The Daily”: The Rise of Right-Wing Extremism, and How U.S. Law Enforcement Ignored It | New York Times

Listened to "The Daily": The Rise of Right-Wing Extremism, and How U.S. Law Enforcement Ignored It from New York Times

In an atmosphere of seeming indifference on the part of U.S. law enforcement, a dangerous movement has grown and metastasized.

It’s tremendously painful that the optics of right wing extremism in the Obama administration was used as a means of allowing the alt-right, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis to rise unfettered in the United States. This is worse when one thinks of the death and destruction they have caused in relation to the obscene amounts of money that have been thrown at decreasing international terrorism within our borders.

🎧 Episode 54: American Made (MEN, Part 8) | Scene on Radio

Listened to Episode 54: American Made (MEN, Part 8) by John Biewen and Celeste Headlee from Scene on Radio

American history—law, economics, culture—has built different notions of masculinity (and femininity) for people of varying races and ethnicities. A trip through a century of pop culture and the stereotyped images that white supremacy has manufactured and attached to Asian and African American men. With scholars Tim Yu and Mark Anthony Neal and co-hosts John Biewen and Celeste Headlee.

Now I’m even more sad that Bruce Lee died an early death.

👓 White supremacists committed most extremist killings in 2017, ADL says | NBC News

Read White supremacists committed most extremist killings in 2017, ADL says (NBC News)
White supremacists and other far-right groups committed the majority of extremist-related murders in the United States last year, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League.

👓 When the Fourth of July Was a Black Holiday | The Atlantic

Read When the Fourth of July Was a Black Holiday by Ethan J. Kytle (The Atlantic)
After the Civil War, African Americans in the South transformed Independence Day into a celebration of their newly won freedom.