#NJRR Live With Brian Powers

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#NJRR Live: Police and The Far Right. How Much Influence is There?

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Welcome to #NJRR Live!

Tonight, for the first time, #NJRR Live aired directly from the homepage of the our website. Our audience is to thank for what we’ve been able to achieve this far. Please keep sharing, re-tweeting and donating to keep us going! Tonight we are going to be talking about infiltration and toxicity in the police force, and how that can lead to tragedy, such as the police shooting Jacob Blake in Kenosha last week. Our co-host, Daryle Lamont-Jenkins, an activist, writer, and award-winning producer, joins us tonight to talk politics. 

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Racial Problems

The first topic of the night is the President’s visit to Kenosha, The Presidential Roundtable, where the President is praised repeatedly by people sitting around a table. Someone asked a question about systemic racism that was intended for two pastors that were in attendance. These pastors were from Jacob Blake’s community, but it was a little unclear there relationship with the family was. When asked about systemic issues, Donald Trump interjected and answered for them, effectively silencing Black voices in a move that can only be described as par for the course for this President.

The city of Portland, Oregon has historically faced racial issues. There were 25 or so years during which the problems subsided, but Donald Trump has re-instigated racial tensions in Portland. This began in 2017, when right-wing groups began holding rallies in the city. A few attendees of these rallies committed murder against minorities in the city and the situation has only escalated since. 

Trump’s Role In This

Donald Trump has most recently attempted to accelerate the race war in Portland by sending in armed federal troops. Last month, officials in Portland asserted themselves and denounced the federal troops. The troops retreated from Portland but now their presence threatens Kenosha. Trump is already claiming the situation in Kenosha as a victory due to the fact that he was able to silence a few rallies. 

On the left, most people are hoping to see Donald Trump brought to justice and locked away for his multiple abuses of power, such as deploying federal troops into local communities to silence peaceful protestors. This is definitely an appealing option but we need to keep in mind that the most important thing is to avoid loss of life. Daryle remarks that provoking the president into severe action is dangerous. Although it could be potentially incriminating for him, it could put the lives of activists in legitimate danger, and there is nothing worth that. Even after Trump is gone, there will be Nazis and KKK members and other dangerous individuals. The war does not end with the downfall of Trump.

Election Issues

Election season has the potential to be extremely disheartening for activists and 2020 has been the pinnacle of this. This year, we look at the political climate and we see people who are supposed to be on our side and these people don’t care. Conservative Democrats have taken power and our practical Presidential options are both disappointing. No matter who wins, it’ll be four more years of the same shit. 

Biden’s is an uninspiring campaign. Biden is low-energy. It has been said that the Democratic party will never be progressive. Even though progressives have helped build the Democratic Party from the ground up, their voices have disappeared. If Biden wins, people will breathe a sigh of relief that Trump didn’t win and hang up their hats. There will be few if any strides made by Biden in the name of real activism. Biden refuses to promise the legalization of marijuana or forgiveness of school debt even though such a promise would likely guarantee him a win in the election. 

Corrupt Campaigns

Brian notices a pattern in the campaigns of both main parties of our political system. During primary season, parties instruct candidates to rally up their bases. They host events and spread rhetoric that appeals to people with extreme far-right views. Many of these people are fanatic, mentally ill, or both. The average American, sadly, is not paying attention to the intricacies of politics unless it is election season. The candidates tone down the content of their rallies as it gets later into the election season and more people start to pay attention. In this way, hateful and dangerous rhetoric flies under the public’s radar but reaches dangerous individuals. 

Problems with the election and with our political parties run so deep as to be irreparable as they stand. We need to dismantle the systems around us. Daryle optimistically believes that the two-party system is on notice. He knows that people are tired of the structure that has been oppressing them for their whole lives. It’s time to demand change. 

Let’s Doxx a Racist!

We now welcome Christian Perez from the Modernity & Absurdity podcast, our resident conspiracy theory expert. Christian joins the conversation as we are about to doxx a local racist. Christo Makropoulos, the man in question, is running for the Edison school board. This guy has Youtube and Facebook pages. He was at a Woodbridge City Council meeting with a Confederate flag tied around his waist, recording Black children speak. He has a history of being vocally hateful towards Indian people.

Daryle remarks that it was convenient that this man exposed himself as a racist so that he can be aware of the situation. Christian reflects on how right-wing extremists have a tendency to pitch these far-fetched hypothetical ideas in order to make their points. Instead of focusing on finding solutions for real issues, they scrape together hypothetical scenarios in attempts to push their corrupt and hateful ideals. 

[Pictured: Christo Makropoulos attending a Woodbridge City Council meeting with a Confederate flag tied around his waist, recording Black children speak.]

Is All American Law Enforcement Racist? 

We are joined now by NJRR comrade Margaret Kimberley, who has recently been participating in activism outside of her home. With tonight’s full panel now present, Brian asks: how bad is it? He doesn’t want to believe that all cops go home and take off their uniform and put on their white hood. Brian is aware that one bad apple can spoil the bunch and we have been seeing this play out in our country. But is every cop racist? Is the whole system racist?

Daryle says: yes. He acknowledges that he is getting political in this answer and remarks that law enforcement in this country is being fueled by a cruel right wing. Police have been operating as shock troops for a long time without any real pushback from us. Margaret states that we live in a right-wing militia. We need to stop looking at hateful people as outliers in our society or in the police force. They’re not. Christian confirms that, sadly, this is not just some conspiracy: America is indeed truly, deeply racist. 

Problems on the Right and the Left

For an example, we can take a look at the officer who shot Jacob Blake, who we will not be naming in this article. He was well liked by the local police force in Kenosha. A huge part of the problem here is that we have a weak left. There’s no countervailing force. We’re being told that the only way to get rid of the orange racist is to put the dementia racist in office. Ask yourself: what are the Democrats actually doing? You’ll find yourself coming up short. 

The entire spectrum of the right is dangerous. We can’t forget that there are so-called skin sleepers among them. People who are outwardly racist are horrible, there’s no doubt about that. But there are also racists who are more calculated about sharing their beliefs for sinister reasons. They keep their extreme ideals to themselves so that they can fit into society and advance into positions of power such as law enforcement, justice system officials, and educators. From there, they make life difficult for people of color through any means necessary. 

This is Not New

These problems exist not just in politics, but it is also in academia. We have to keep an eye on far-right professors. In 2020, there still exist educators that proliferate racism in the classroom, spreading ideas such as white separatism. We mustn’t act like this never happened before. The KKK was walking through the streets a century ago, in the 1920s. This is not new. 

We had the Red Summer of 1919 where Black people were massacred across the country. There are images of KKK members walking the streets in front of the White House and holding meetings in churches. President Harry Truman was a damned KKK member! People say it can’t happen here but we know it can because it already did. Acting like this is some strange time that America has never seen before doesn’t make it true, it only holds us back from progress. The time to hold people accountable in politics is now. People need to stop making excuses and hold politicians’ feet to the fire. We don’t need cheerleading, we need activism. 

Things Must Change

Daryle insists that we are going to change things. We may not be able to make this world perfect, but we can’t stop fighting. You might be surprised what you can achieve. You can go to the websites for Daryl’s organizations, One People’s Project and Idavox, to find a place to begin. New Jersey Revolution Radio officially endorses Margaret’s organization, The Black Agenda Report, as the best news source in America today. Check out the website, where you can find podcasts, including a recent discussion on historical political activist Hubert Harrison.

If you appreciated our discussion tonight, please consider donating if possible. Christian does it at least once a month! When you contribute, it accelerates the growth of New Jersey Revolution Radio. We want to be able to afford what we need to bring you the best content possible. Thank you so much for making it happen! We had a wonderful panel tonight and we are thankful to all of our guests and co-hosts as well as our listeners for being here. Until next week at 8PM EST, stay safe, everyone! Remember that a stream of #NJRR Live can now be found on the homepage of the NJRR website.

-Leah Giannantonio, for New Jersey Revolution Radio

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