#NJRR​ Live: Racism In Writing with Teka

Welcome to #NJRR Live!

It is 8 o’clock on Wednesday night and that means it is time for #NJRR Live! This week, we are joined by a variety of knowledgeable guests. But first, we are going to acknowledge the COVID relief bill being passed in the Senate. Absolutely no Republicans voted for it, which is pathetic. Also, unemployment was reduced from $400 to $300 per month. While we waited for months as politicians squabbled over this check, the Biden administration made some insidious moves, such as bombing Syria. 

The Democrats are now in power and they are mismanaging things so poorly that they are falling out of favor. Brian will not be surprised if a Republican is elected in 2024, perhaps even someone worse than Donald Trump. If you’re not upset, you’re part of the problem. 

Horror Movie Spotlight: The Platform

Capitalism fails us time and time again. On that note, we bring show writer Leah Giannantonio and Editorial Board member Marilyn in to review a horror movie called The Platform. The Platform was a Spanish movie released in early 2020. In the film, a man volunteers to go to a prison program. 

The prison is a type of pit/hole with many cells at different levels. Every day, a platform with food on it is lowered through the prison, stopping for a few minutes at each level so the people in the cells can eat from it. However, the pit goes down so far that the platform always runs out of food before those in the lower cells can eat (SPOILER: some people even end up eating their cellmates out of necessity.)

Blatant Metaphor

Overall, as you can likely tell from that short synopsis, this movie is a metaphor for the capitalistic system in which we live. It is extremely common for horror movies to carry social messages. The main character enters into the hole willingly in exchange for a college degree. The lady who interviewed him for the program ultimately joins him in the pit, showing that even some of those involved in the system do not know how cruel it is. 

The film is deliciously gorey, comments Marilyn. It captures the moment of the pandemic so well. People’s needs are not being met. In the movie, there would be enough food on the platform for everyone in the prison if everyone only took what they needed. I don’t even need to explain how that relates to our real world situation — it is our real world situation. Necessity and scarcity are created by capitalism.

If you’re listening, watching, or reading—check out our Editorial Board! Also, follow @RevRadNat on social media to keep up with our updates. There’s always new stuff happening in the activist world, so don’t miss out!

[#NJRR Live March 10 with Brian Powers, Leah Giannantonio, Teka, and Marilyn Gomez-Agudelo]

#NJRR Live Welcomes Teka

We are honored to welcome Teka to the show tonight! Teka works for the Public Intellectuals newsletter as a writer and journalist and you can find her on Twitter. Brian asks Teka about the connection between writing and racism. Teka says it’s largely about how narratives are shaped. 

For example, a lot of people still think that the worst thing about slavery in the US was whipping, when in reality, there was so much more: murders, rapes, and other brutal displays; slaves were tortured, bred, and separated from their families. It doesn’t even stop there. But we rarely if ever hear about this, and never in schools. Why?

The Power of Narratives

Writing shapes the narrative. Media, narratives, and propaganda, all which heavily involve words and writing, can control a society. Teka points out that there is a lot of sexism and racism in the journalism industry. It is one of the least diverse fields, even when it comes to the left. 

This is because it all ties back to power. Those who want to control the public narrative do not want it to be dictated by minorities. They are afraid that we will divert the narrative from their control. Teka remembers being shut out of media by white leftist men on multiple occasions. She now has her own blog as well as her own Facebook forum. 


People underestimate the value of messaging. As a result, there is not much respect for journalists in the professional world. Journalists struggle to get the resources they need to cover stories. Independent leftist media networks, especially those run by people like Brian, are scarce. Brian anticipates that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter might start censoring activist networks. Teka agrees and says that we need to build our own networks.

In her works, Teka writes about policy, issues, and the history of this country. She tries to make a difference and impact people with her writing rather than preaching to the choir by repeating rhetoric. Algorithms on the internet tend to reward you for talking about trivial things, says Teka, but . She always tries to be objective. 

She doesn’t write “as a Black woman” unless she indicates her pieces as so.This has caused some problems for her in the journalistic world as many of those who have hired her as a writer had the expectation that she would approach her pieces from the specific perspective of a Black woman. 

Until Next Week

Teka is on Twitter and Facebook. Public Intellectuals is also on Facebook. If you enjoyed tonight’s segment on the horror movie The Platform, there will be more like it coming. Also, if you have an idea for a segment, join our Editorial Board to make it heard! The segment we did tonight was originally Board member Marilyn’s idea.

Next week we are going to be having a discussion about the power of digital media in activism! Don’t miss it! Until then, stay safe, and stay informed.

-Leah Giannantonio, for the Revolution Radio Network

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