Welcome to #NJRR Live!
Welcome, one and all, to today’s episode of #NJRR Live! This week, Brian Powers and special Guest Host Lark join us to host Tom Violett, Co-Chair of the Green Party of New Jersey and discuss primary results. Did the activists and progressives accomplish anything? We begin our discussion with Lark, who has noticed an interesting connection between current events.
At Trump’s July 4th address at Mount Rushmore, Trump used his time to denounce cancel culture rather than focus on issues such as the Coronavirus and police reform. Trump equated cancel culture to totalitarianism, claiming that “our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.” There is irony in the fact that our President has chosen Mount Rushmore as the location from which to spread this rhetoric, as Mount Rushmore has a problematic history. It was built on land that was stolen from Native Americans. Putting the faces of racist Presidents on Mount Rushmore was a slap in the face to indigenous people. It was, as Lark so succinctly puts it, “white people petty”.
Speaking of outrageous claims about cancel culture, J.K. Rowling recently said some offensive, terf-y (transphobic) things on Twitter. The tweets were, rightfully, received very poorly. Then, her and some of her intellectual friends, including the confused Noam Chomsky, signed a letter put out by Harper Magazine about the dangers of cancel culture. Some of the people who signed the letter (Including Rutgers Affiliated “Academics” have since backtracked and claimed that they blindly signed the letter without reading it.
More terrorist behavior from ICE.
Our immigrant comrades are still locked up. Brian lives just 10-15 minutes from a concentration camp for innocent immigrants. ICE has announced that if you are a non-immigrant living in America for school and all of your classes are online in the upcoming semester in response to the pandemic, you will be deported. U.C. Berkeley has a solution for this. They are hosting an in-person one-unit resuscitation class, which will exempt students from the ICE declaration.
This type of workaround for this horrible ICE policy could be relevant for many people. People certainly aren’t going to take ICE’s declaration sitting down. Workarounds are bound to be created, but all of this raises the question: why? Why is this needed? We haven’t always had ICE. It was introduced in 2003 by George Bush, along with a handful of terrible pieces of legislation. ICE wouldn’t exist without prisons; it builds off of the prison industrial complex. We need to abolish all of these systems.
We are pleased to welcome special guest Herb Tarbous, who is a candidate for Middlesex County Clerk. Herb has experience in the Democratic Party; he has run campaigns from within it before. Down in South Jersey, two white ladies have stolen the show from a Black man. These two rich white women, who will not be named by New Jersey Revolution Radio [but whose names you can find here], were flown in by establishment progressives to defeat local candidate Will Cunningham in the election.
If the establishment progressive racists who flew the women had instead used their resources to back the local candidate, he could have very well won. Tom Violett comments that Vineland is struggling. He doubts that the result of this election is a victory that New Jersey, specifically Vineland, needed.
Herb Tarbous, who ran for office, Herb notes that New Jersey Democrats regularly tear each other down to get by. The system’s priority is to maintain itself at all costs. No matter which of the two white ladies won, the same people were going to stay in power.
Politics can get violent. Lark says from personal experience that if you try to disrupt their system by running a campaign for office,she has had personal experiences of being shot at during runs for office in LA. Host Brian is not surprised “because the government is the country’s most successful gang.” Within the Democratic Party, Herb shares, there is unethical behavior. He notes that it technically can’t be considered a criminal organization because they write the laws for themselves, but it’s still morally wrong.
The panel doesn’t agree on everything, but Tom and Herb are working together to grow a movement for a better, more fair system of ranked-choice voting in New Jersey. You can find their page on Facebook. Teka has a children’s book called “What Every Child Should Know”, which deals with issues like science, the environment, and social justice coming out this summer. Brian highlights that there is a petition to put Howie Hawkins on the presidential ballot.
Until Next Week
We are grateful to our listeners and readers as well as this week’s guests. Every Wednesday, Brian Powers and a Special Guest co-host look around the state and discuss important activist work. #NJRR Live is dedicated to the mission of New Jersey Revolution Radio of fostering art and activism. If you aren’t contributing to independent media, hear this: we are out here sweating in this blistering July heat to bring you this content. Consider donating. It truly helps, especially since we don’t take corporate sponsors. Set your alerts for our pages/ channels! Youtube Facebook and @NJRevRad for the rough version recorded and broadcast live, Itunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and everywhere podcasts can be heard for the finished version.
-Leah Giannantonio, for New Jersey Revolution Radio