Welcome to Our First Regular Idavox Report
Hello and welcome to another Idavox Report from #NJRR Live, here to show you that hate has consequences. This is Daryle Lamont Jenkins’ premier podcast, the first of many regular episodes of the Idavox Report on Revolution Radio. From now on the podcast will air every Tuesday at 8PM EST. We begin tonight’s show by playing the music video for Stand Up and Fight.
The video is a visual compilation of activism and police violence overlaid with a moving song about never giving up. It ends with a photo roll of those priceless Black Lives recently lost to police violence in America. Stand Up and Fight was produced by Midnight Transit, a group consisting of our two esteemed guests tonight. Lester and Dylan Chambers are a father and son duo who have been involved in activism for most of their lives. They join us tonight from California to discuss their music, their activism, and the intersection of the two.
Stand Up And Fight
There is a lot to unpack in the Stand Up and Fight music video. You may have noticed if you clicked to watch the video (which we highly recommend!) that you were met with a content warning. Dylan notes that this content warning is interesting because he gathered most of the clips used in the video from major news networks. The videos from which he took the clips never had any content warnings on them. Dylan expected this type of thing to happen because he knows that racism is so often covered up in this country. The video was only up for two days before it was flagged with the warning. Lester pitches in that it is not often that people are confronted with a whole picture of police brutality but it is important that it happens.
There has been feedback from the general public for Midnight Transit to make more digestible, pop-friendly lyrics. However, Lester and Dylan don’t make their art for the money, so they don’t bow into pressure. They will not compromise their message. Midnight Transit has been around for about 6 years so far and is looking forward to getting back out there for performances as soon as it is safe.
It’s Not Just History
Dylan made sure to learn the stories of all 47 of the victims shown at the end of his music video. He hopes people will remember that behind each of those photos is a valuable human life that had potential, who was loved by many, who had their own story. Lester shares that he considers himself lucky to be here and Dylan chimes in with agreement. Many of those that were killed were activists much like Lester and Dylan who were only ever trying to spread a message of social justice.
A lot of people in our country today throw around the word “ancestors” without considering the implications. “Ancestors” implies, but does not technically necessarily denote, relatives more than two generations back. This is so often not accurate. Lester personally lived through the Civil Rights Movement. He describes living life as a boy in Mississippi, when his whole family lived in a shack and would get one shared pair of clothes each year.
On a regular basis, the KKK would roll through, so Lester’s family had to stay armed and guarded through the nights. Since Lester is a living victim, many of those who victimized him are most likely still alive as well. People have been so reluctant to acknowledge that these dangerous people are still around.
Trump: The Festering Wound of America
One thing that finally made some people wake up and smell the danger was the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6th. Now that the act was committed against a community besides the Black community, the country has acknowledged that violence by right wing groups is a serious threat. Dylan likens the situation to a festering boil on America. Divide and unrest were already swelling and mixing and Donald Trump’s influence is what popped America into the disgusting nightmare of hatred that it is now.
Being A Responsible White Ally
Brian shares that lately, he has been learning how to be a better ally to the Black community. He realized that in order to even begin, he needed to let himself learn directly from Black People about the struggles that they face. From there, he could begin to spread that message using his network instead of creating his own message. Being a better ally means letting communities tell their own stories and using your own influence to bolster them.
Dylan reveals a hard fact that he tells his white activist friends. People who are racist, whether consciously or subconsciously, will almost never learn from people of color. POC are often stereotyped as “too noisy”, “too loud”, “too nasty”, etc. This is why white allies need to accurately reflect the messages that their Black brothers and sisters are trying to spread. Often, white people will only learn from other white people. So teach well and teach true, having made sure that you’ve listened to Black people first. That is one of the best ways that you can contribute to the movement as an ally.
We Can Make A Difference
Dylan tells us that the elites of this country don’t want us to focus on them. They want us to focus on the challenge of making ends meet in our day-to-day lives. However, if we were to band together, we could take them down. An example of something similar that we saw recently was when Reddit drove up the price of GameStop stocks and thus screwed over rich Wall Street hedge funds. It is possible to make a huge difference when we come together.
Daryle asks what’s next for the Chambers boys. Midnight Transit is working on a full-length album, but for now, Stand Up and Fight will be available as a single on all platforms this Friday. Dylan and Lester will also be touring the country with the band Full MoonAlice as The Chambers Brothers. You can find out more as well as see more Chambers Brothers content on the Full MoonAlice website. Lester also has a personal website where you can learn about his career.
Lester cites musician Jimmy Reeds as an inspiration for much of his work, stating that Jimmy’s influence shaped much of music as he was growing up. He also shares that, in his experience, music can soothe like nothing else. Dylan will continue to carry on the Chambers name in his music for years to come. Brian plays one of Jimmy Reeds’ songs as the Chambers boys head off for the night. Thank you so much for joining us tonight for an Idavox Report! We’ll see you next week, same time, same place. Until then, stay safe, and remember, hate has consequences!
-Leah Giannantonio, for Revolution Radio