We take a look back at 2022 with the help of previous guests including: Sussan Tahmasebi, Jasmin Ramsey, Marcela García, Susana Chiarotti, Sunsara Taylor, Andrew Seidel, Coco Das, Bradley Onishi, Samuel Perry, Andrew Seidel, Thomas Zimmer,
Wajahat Ali, Paul Street, Rachael Wachstein, Danielle Moodie, Henry Giroux
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Refuse Fascism Episode 140
2022 Year End Review
Sat, Dec 31, 2022 12:27PM • 1:10:44
Sam Goldman 00:22
Welcome to Episode 140 of the Refuse Fascism podcast. This podcast is brought to you by volunteers with Refuse Fascism. I’m Sam Goldman, one of those volunteers . Refuse Fascism exposes, analyzes and stands against the very real danger and threat of fascism coming to power in the United States. Today, we’re sharing a year in review, bringing together clips of previous interviews to help make sense of the year that was and prepare for the fight ahead. This is the last episode of 2022.
As we look ahead to the new year, our show is committed to helping break people out of the deep trees that paralyzes those who should be a need to be confronting clear eyed the storm had, we aren’t aiming to just air out some good ideas on the show, we aim to broadcast the conversations and analysis necessary to action that could change history at this pivotal moment, and to involve you and a growing audience. In those conversations. You’ll hear ominous warnings from people who know and understand the stakes for humanity. You’ll hear the highlights from deep dives into the most significant issues and firsthand accounts of horror and resistance.
Hopefully, some of these clips will inspire you to go back and listen to some of these episodes in full as well as follow our guests. And while I don’t have tidings of comfort and joy for you, we do have a reason to hope for something better, based on the potential that exists for the decent people, the majority of people to come together with the necessary moral clarity and determination to resolutely refuse fascism. There are insights here that will inspire the courage and confidence that we can do just that, and the means to do so.
Before we get into it, we want to thank you for listening. Thank you for being on this journey with us as we engage dialogue and debate with a broad array of writers, scholars, legal experts and people from different walks of life, on the roots nature and trajectory of fascism in this country. Together, we’re working on changing the way people think that prevents them from taking necessary action, helping people to look at uncomfortable truths and act with daring. Together, we are forging understanding and relationships aimed at preventing the consolidation of fascism.
This year, we saw a terrible consequence of downplaying and normalizing the fascist threat represented by Donald Trump’s rise to power. The Supreme Court, with three justices appointed by Trump overturn Roe v Wade plunging 22 million women and girls into a nightmare of female enslavement, second class citizenship and forced pregnancy. Earlier this month, the same Supreme Court heard Moore v Harper, a case that entertains the fascist “independent state legislature” theory that can legalize attempts to overturn the results of the 2024 elections. These Republi-fascists will not stop, They are aiming for a national abortion ban, attacks on marriage equality and birth control and the continued demonization of immigrants and LGBTQ people. Now is the time for more vigilance, not less.
So to start, let’s hear from Sussan Tahmasebi and Jasmine Ramsay about the ongoing uprising in Iran. We are inspired by the bravery and vision of these young people making what yesterday it seemed impossible possible, and we’re still the future is unwritten. Everyone who hates fascism should learn from the example being set through this fierce and unrelenting rebellion, refusing to lower their sights or their heads.
Sussan Tahmasebi 04:21
Initially, these protests took shape in demand for justice for Mahsa Jina Amini, a woman who was killed in custody. And they also had, it’s sort of a central part of the demand was a demand that had to do about women’s rights. So I think in that sense, they’re incredibly unique. Initially, the protesters went out, calling for justice for Mahsa, an end to all hijab laws, and then also an end to the violent enforcement as well. But, of course, we know that those demands have now expanded greatly, and have really called for broad-based freedoms and democracy and serious political change at the highest levels. But initially, they really were centrally focused on women’s rights and justice for Mahsa.
Women are central to these protests, even five weeks on, they’re still very central. Women have participated in the protests in the past, and people have paid attention to women’s roles, but we’ve never seen this level of participation for women. Also, these protests are intersectional. They have men, they have people of different ages, different socio economic backgrounds, different ethnicities, different religions. So they’re very unique in that sense. And also the protests are creative. So if the university is cracked down upon which we saw, especially Sharif University where a lot of violence was used, then somebody else pops up.
Women are central to these protests, even five weeks on, they’re still very central. Women have participated in the protests in the past, and people have paid attention to women’s roles, but we’ve never seen this level of participation for women. Also, these protests are intersectional. They have men, they have people of different ages, different socio economic backgrounds, different ethnicities, different religions. So they’re very unique in that sense. And also the protests are creative. So if the university is cracked down upon which we saw, especially Sharif University where a lot of violence was used, then somebody else pops up.
In that sense, it’s very unique that we would have national protests in support of women’s rights and, you know, demanding justice for the killing of a woman, because we’ve never had national protests like that for women before. We’ve had smaller protests in different cities, but they’ve never been able to garner this level of support. I think these protests, in a sense really are unique, because they are so dispersed. They’re so decentralized. They don’t have one particular leader or even a group of leaders, but they’re organized locally. I think every person who participates in them is a leader in their own right. They are national. They have the support of a lot of young people.
I should say, because you also mentioned the slogan, the slogan that emerged at this protest, which has now become international, is a slogan that actually has its history in the Kurdish women’s Freedom Movement, Zhen Jian Azadi, that was initially used in the Kurdish areas of Iran but then quickly translated and went national and now we see that it’s international. So I think a lot of people can identify with this, and a lot of people around the world can identify with this. It is about ending oppression, oppression of women, but also political oppression as well. So it’s taken on different dimensions.
A lot of women around the world have identified with these protests because it’s very central to them as a demand for women’s rights and ending oppression against women. And they see themselves in it, that women are dealing with patriarchy, growing fascism that tries to control women’s bodies all over the world, whether it’s Islamic religious fascism or Christian fascism or nationalism, nationalist fascism, we see this emergence of these movements around the world. And very central to all of them is the control of women’s bodies, whether it’s Latin America or the Middle East or Europe. [A] very central tenet of these fascist movements [is] control of women’s bodies, women’s roles and sexuality and deciding what constitutes a family. So I think that struck a chord with a lot of people because they’re experiencing similar threats against their rights.
And her family was critical in this story sort of going nationwide, because they faced a lot of pressure. And from what we hear, they’re still facing a lot of threats. But they refuse to succumb to that pressure and insisted that masses body be taken back home to Sophos, and be buried not at night as the security forces wanted. But during the day when a lot of people actually participated in the burial. And at that burial, there were protests, women took off their hijab, and they chanted a slogan that said, you know, a death for hijab, how long will we endure this humiliation and that also really resonated, I think, broadly, nationally, and on her grave, they wrote that she No, you haven’t died, but that your name will become a code word for resistance. And that’s really happened.
That’s also something that resonated at the same time, the student movement and the women’s movement announced protests, protests happened spontaneously in the baryon, sokos and other parts of Kurdistan but then also the women’s movement and the student movement also announced protest, students held protests in universities, the Kurdish political parties were largely outside of Iran. They called for a general strike, and it was observed in many Kurdish cities. So I think this combination, but generally, I think it’s just that people are fed up, especially younger women are fed up with the control of their bodies and the violent enforcement of hijab and there are also many other grievances that have emerged after the first I think week that we see very loudly being pronounced in the protests, but I think these are some of the main reasons why these protests became national and why so many people engaged in them and you know, they have of the participation of so many young people. And I think for those young people, even initially, it went far beyond the hijab, it was about bodily rights and control over their own bodies and bodily integrity.
Jasmin Ramsey 10:10
Jina Amina was her Kurdish name. She was from Kurdistan province. She was just a young woman visiting Tehran with her family when she was arrested by the morality police. The morality police have nothing to do with morality and everything to do with repression. They are basically an arm of the state that police’s mainly women, although they can do it to men as well, based on what they wear. They can arrest and harass people, really with impunity. Mahsa died in state custody. Her family believes that she died because she was beaten and not hospitalized soon enough. The state went hard against that and said that No, you know, she just passed away from natural causes, and there was no discussion of why she was in state custody in the first place. There has been no independent investigation. Her family has been harassed, as all families of victims of state violence are, and told not to speak about the case. So, this speaks to this kind of crisis of impunity that runs rampant in the Iranian government, where the government is interested in its own survival and the people have to exist in a society where there is no rule of law. There’s only the state and what the state says is okay, and you can either do that or you can suffer.
So I think her story sparked something, as many of these events do in Iran. It sparked something in so many people. One of the chants that we hear is “Join Us or You Will Be the Next Mahsa.” And it’s not just women who are very much at the forefront of these protests, but also men that are chanting this. Her story speaks to the experiences of so many people in Iran, whose bodies and ways of living their culture, their language, their religion, is policed in such a violent way. So people have really come out into the streets to call for social and political change at the highest levels of government.
“Death to the Dictator,” or “Death to Khomeini”, who is this unelected supreme leader who’s been at the highest level of power for decades in Iran. And when Iranians chant that, they’re saying that they don’t want to live in a dictatorship anymore. They’re not calling for reform; they’re calling for a new system. And the state really has faced something that it’s never seen before. Because it’s not just in the large liberal cities that typically we’ve seen. It’s also in small towns, conservative places that people are chanting this, even chanting at funerals of people who have been killed in these protests.
Sam Goldman 12:52
Since the beginning of the year, when it was crystal clear that the Supreme Court was intent on decimating the right to abortion. Refuse Fascism helped launch Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights with a righteous goal of stopping the Supreme Court from overturning Roe. We sounded the alarm and mobilized people to act. We helped people understand what was truly at stake through interviews with lawyers, journalists, and doctors.
On this show, we consistently featured the voices of young people who led student walkouts and protests, we brought you to rallies and actions across the country from Texas to outside the Supreme Court, and we called on you and everyone else to join us. It’s worth re-listening in full to many of the episodes we ran on this topic, because too many people are slumbering through this escalating assault on women’s lives. The reality that for the first time, a Constitutional right has been ripped away and women declared second class citizens once more is not comprehended by too many. Too many putting their heads in the sand, adjusting to the loss of abortion rights nationwide, too many letting the enslavement of women and girls plus the whole fascist movement that is going after trans rights and LGBTQ rights and voting rights be normalized, too many allowing their sights to be lowered and fury and rage confined to electoral politics.
While it matters that measures protecting abortion rights were passed in several states in the midterms, the fascist Supreme Court has the ultimate power to determine whether these measures will stand and restoring abortion rights for the over 22 million women who have lost them wasn’t on the ballot and couldn’t have been. This is why we must continue to be in the streets.
Now you’ll hear from Marcela Garcia and Susan Chiarotti on lessons from the green wave in Latin America. You’ll hear from Sunsara Taylor, speaking at a protest in New York City on International Women’s Day. Then you’ll hear insights from Andrew Seidel and Coco Das.
Marcela Garcia 14:59
It started in Argentina. It’s a social movement that began with women advocates lining the streets, like you said. These Argentinian women basically drew from experience from an earlier generation of feminists. I’m not sure how you and your audience are familiar with the history of what happened in Argentina a few decades ago, when there were a lot of kids who were killed by the Argentinian junta, and the mothers of these kids who have been basically kidnapped by the government took to the streets. They were known, and they were famous. They would use a handkerchief, a white sort of bandana too, and they were known as the Mothers of the Plaza Maya, because the Plaza Maya was where they would congregate. Basically, demanding change and demanding answers from the government.
Ultimately this movement became very, very strong through the years and they got accountability. It’s a really long story, but what I’m trying to say is that there’s women now, this generation of women who are fighting for abortion rights, they drew from that experience and they took a green handkerchief as their symbol, and they took to the streets. I think one of the most important lessons from Argentina is that it created a very strong social movement, and that led to the public opinion needle, if you will, moved. And that is what basically prompted the change, because you have this younger generation of women — of course, it’s not just the younger generations; it’s just basically feminist and women’s rights advocates, but this was basically driven by the younger generations — they took to the streets, and they changed public perception around abortion, because a social movement, I think, is very important. The mobilization, the visuals that you say, to create pressure, and ultimately create social change, I think that worked.
Susana Chiarotti 16:36
I think that what is happening in the US regarding abortion is a brutal lesson for feminists. That draft ruling, which I hope will be corrected, wants to take us back to medieval times. If it were to be approved it would have a negative influence on the courts of other countries all over the world. So the lesson it teaches us is that our rights never remain free. We must defend them day by day. We cannot take them for granted. Many young women today who were born with this right have no idea how much it cost to obtain, nor of the serious consequences of losing it. Clandestine and unsafe abortions, increased maternal mortality, etc.
This is because abortions will continue to be performed, whether they are legal or illegal. Behind the judge that drafted this sentence, there are powerful and coordinated attempts to rollback hard won sexual and reproductive rights, not only in Latin America, but around the world. It is not just these judges, there is a whole movement behind it. They have a well funded international network. They have worldwide lawyers trained by international conservative groups to litigate or lobby against women’s rights. And these groups not only outline a detailed agenda to end the constitutional right to abortion in the United States, but continue to confront the rights of women around the world.
Sunsara Taylor 18:00
It is possible to stop this fascist assault on women, it is possible. But it is not possible by constricting ourselves to choosing between candidates where one half of them are fascist lunatics who sometimes refer to women as host bodies, and the other half are led by a President Biden, who will not even say the word abortion. We cannot win by accepting defeat in advance. We have to be honest, this is what way too much of the so-called leaders of the so-called women’s movement have done already. They have accepted that Roe v Wade will fall and abortion rights will be gone.
No, this has to stop. Women are not incubators. Women are not property of the state. Women are full human beings. We have to go out today and going forward all of us here and wake up and organize and mobilize the one force that is powerful enough to stop this fascist assault, and that is the masses of people rising up in their millions, relentlessly again and again — filling the streets with our fury, shutting down the campuses and walking out, shutting down the freeways, taking over everywhere, again and again, and making clear to the fascists on the court and everywhere else that if they try to take this right away, if they try to slam women backwards their society will be prevented from functioning at all. If we want an example of what can be accomplished by people who refuse to accept the unacceptable and who dare to go out and challenge others, look at the women of Columbia.
If you do not know, those are deeply Catholic countries; very repressive states very patriarchal places where abortion has been criminalized for years right and sent to prison for miscarriages. But the women down there went in the streets, not once, but again and again relentlessly. Sometimes a million strong, and the wave this green bandana, and they kept coming back and they tore down those laws and they decriminalized abortion. Through their struggle, they made what everybody thought was impossible possible.
As we go out, we will find others who are like us, and as we do, we’re gonna open up the big questions of what kind of society do we live in that has put these fascist lunatics in power? Where does this desire to control women come from? And what will it take to end it once and for all? For my part, as a follower of the revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian, who is also the architect of the new communism, I will be fighting for what I understand to be true, which is the oldest patriarchy all this oppression all these centuries of patriarchal chains are rooted in this system, along with all the other forms of oppression of capitalism/imperialism. It cannot be ended without bringing that system down; without overthrowing it once and for all in an actual revolution. Until we do that, all this oppression will regenerate, just like the villain in one of those misogynist slasher movies; where you think he’s dead at the end and he comes back and he comes back. We have to bring this system down.
I also want to say a great strength of this movement is our diversity of views. We don’t all agree. We come from different perspectives shoulder to shoulder in insisting that women control their own bodies and lives. After today, we’re going to organize to bring more people out. April 8, we’re going to spread this green bandana into the workplaces, hospitals, schools everywhere, it will be a day of green. And April 9, we are coming back to this park thousands strong, and across this country thousands strong. And from there, we are doubling down and doing it again and again until we flood the streets and bring this society to a halt. Because they must not, they must not be allowed to shatter the lives of women and slam history backwards.
Andrew Seidel 23:03
I’ve been fighting this fight on the front line. So I was screaming that the overturning of Roe versus Wade was coming for years, and I was kind of surprised by how surprised everybody was, but I do get it. I think there’s a couple of things that contributed to this. One is: We hear about these cases as though they are standalone cases, as though they’re disconnected from each other and not part of this coordinated, top down push to tear apart the democratic fabric of our secular Republic. And they truly, truly are, right?
The Dobbs decision is really a perfect example. Not only does it have its roots in the religious right, and where they decided we’re going to overturn this rule, it also very clearly violates the separation of church and state. It is imposing one narrow religious doctrine on the entire country through the US Supreme Court. They are saying that life begins at conception, which is just a religious view, that is all it is, and they’re imposing that on all of us. You can actually see this in the language of both of the legislators who passed these laws and and even in Sam Alito’s majority opinion, he cloaks it and camouflages it by talking about morality, but it doesn’t take much to scratch below the surface and see that he’s really talking about his religious beliefs.
Coco Das 24:19
I think one big lesson that I think has been borne out since the 2020 elections, and since 2016, is how polarized and how divided this country is. Someone immediately after the evening or the next day, in the New York Times said it’s almost like the polarization of the country has come its own check and balance. You don’t actually have these other checks and balances anymore. She didn’t say all this on expanding the Supreme Court is gone. But there are these very sharply divided polls and where that goes, is likely to be a very dangerous place. Is the polarization actually in the the interests of the people of the country and the world?
In Refuse Fascism we have the slogan “in the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America.” This is something that needs to spread as a commitment very quickly among millions of people. The other thing I want to say is the Democrats, if they really cared about the right to legal abortion nationwide, there were so many things they could have done before the fall of Roe. We had a fucking leak that told us what the Supreme Court was going to do. And did the Democrats say “all hands on deck” people getting in the streets to use your right to nonviolent protest and joined Rise up 4 Abortion Rights and stop this from happening, compel the Supreme Court to not overturn Roe because it would threaten the stability of the country? No, they didn’t do that. They said “there’s nothing you can do. It’s already done.” This fatalism of “all you can do is vote for Democrats.” Why? You know, this thing that they dangle over people’s heads, “I voted?” I’m not telling people to vote or not vote. But if you’re relying on the Democrats to give back millions of women and girls have the right to abortion, dream on, it’s not going to happen.
It is sort of mind-boggling that there was a movement. There were the beginnings of tens of thousands of people in the streets after the leak, and then after Roe was overturned. That is what was needed: the green wave that swept through Latin America and won abortion rights. Then here everything got channeled back into the midterms. Part of doing that, I think, was the attack on Rise up for Abortion Rights and Sunsara Taylor and Bob Avakian. This very unprincipled attack did a lot of damage. Even people who were in the streets, then thinking all they can do is vote for Democrats. Yes, it’s better to not have Christian fascists in power who are trying to enslave women. But I mean, we’ve said this a lot. Nothing in this country has ever been won by voting alone. The Democrats use this as an issue. They use the fall of Roe to perform better than expected in the midterms. That is highly cynical. Like Paul said, it’s a big middle finger to all the women in these red states, including Texas and Florida, who now are being denied miscarriage care. There are all the abortion funds that people thought — maybe not all, but in Texas — everything in this area that people thought was going to be the answer, they are not funding abortion. Okay, so all this money that people poured into that and then being chained to these normal channels that are being eviscerated, it’s making life hell for women and girls all over this country.
You know, I have to say that I’m pretty pissed off at the Democrats and the women’s movement aligned with the Democrats for taking that strategy. Not to mention that they’ve actually funded some of these fascist candidates thinking that it will give their candidates a better chance to win. This is highly irresponsible and risky. You know, but I don’t see any reaction. I don’t actually know what the plan is. You know, it doesn’t seem like there is a plan. And once again, people are being led to make peace with the fascism that is driving these attacks on abortion.
Sam Goldman 28:27
The Christian fascist movement in this country is inextricably linked to the battle over abortion. And for many years, the common wisdom was, this was their obsessive “single issue” of framing, which by the way, helped minimize the importance of abortion rights in the public consciousness. But this was never true. The Christian fascist vision for subjugating half of humanity into nothing more than a living death is only one element of the nightmare they are trying to impose on humanity. This year, they came out swinging as not only a big voting bloc and organizing force for the fascists, but with an unprecedented number of open theocrats, Dominionist and unhinged End Times evangelists as leaders of the broader fascist movement and even candidates on the GOP slate. Just this past year, we spoke with Sarah Posner, Catherine Joyce, Philip Gorski, Thomas Lukach, Bradley Ohnishi, Samuel Perry, Andrew Seidel, and Thomas Zimmer to help us understand the Christian fascist threat. Here, you’ll hear clips from our conversations with Onishi, Perry, Seidel, and Zimmer in that order.
Bradley Onishi 29:46
There’s this character on The Simpsons, Ned Flanders, who’s the annoying neighbor up the street. Ned Flanders is the Christian who goes to church every week and goes to Bible study on Wednesday night, and he’s always telling Homer Simpson not to drink as much beer and don’t use cuss words And he’s always like kind of that irritating moralist like the guy that you don’t really like, but you’re not afraid of because he’s just that good old hokey sandal- wearing cargo shorts-wearing neighbor up the street who, you know wants you to come meet Jesus someday. And all right. That is the common image of white Christians in the country that has the benefit of the doubt they’ve been given is, you are the pesky moralists, who are always trying to get us to come back to Jesus. We’re not scared. You’re not fascists. You’re not insurrectionist. I mean, you’re annoying, but you’re not the person who’s going to ruin the country. In fact, yeah, I’d probably be good if I drink less beer, and it probably be good if I didn’t use cuss words in front of my kids as much. That’s probably a good idea. Yeah. Okay.
Now, there’s another character in the Simpsons, who’s Mr. Burns. Mr. Burns is this authoritarian owner of the nuclear power plant, and he’s always scheming to take more and more power. There’s nothing good about Mr. Burns, when you watch the show. He’s evil. And he’s cunning and he’s really cruel. My argument is that we didn’t see this coming because we have treated white Christians in the country like Ned Flanders, when they have been giving us the cues all along, that they’re more akin to Mr. Burns
Their number one goal is power. And they don’t care if that means exclusion. They don’t care if that means taking rights away from people, they don’t care if that means not extending rights to people, they don’t care if that means being anti-democratic. That kind of talk has been going on for decades if we just listened, but the lens is, no, you’re just a Christian. I mean, your church going Bible-holding irritatingly moral kind of guy. You’re not the fascist up the street. You’re not the extremist up the street. Your church is not the place where people get radicalized to know that’s not what happens there. You’re a small business owner, you own this shop up the street, you’re the dad who coaches the baseball, you’re the mom who is on the PTA board, and all of the fears and all of the ludicrous kind of paranoia that was cast upon Muslims in this country in the oughts, the 2000, fives and sixes and eights, all of the ways that supposedly Sharia law and extremist forms of Islam were supposedly infecting the country.
None of that kind of lens was ever conjured when Christian extremists actually acted in ways that were overwhelmingly deleterious to our democracy. The Tea Party, if you read Ruth Bronstein, a sociologist, was an overwhelmingly Christian fundamentalist movement, even though they said on the surface, we’re libertarians, were just against taxes. Dig into the data, dig into the respondents and what they said, going back to when we had a Black President in the Oval, the Tea Party formed very quickly and very adamantly, very vehemently. This is the era of the whole goal is just to shut down the country until we get our power back.
Thomas Zimmer 32:47
But we see white Christian nationalism emerge basically, in times of heightened racial and cultural conflict. When the question gets asked, Who is this nation for and who deserves to have power in this nation? Some form of white Christian nationalism starts to appear in the in the early 1800s. It starts to appear again around the time of the Civil War, and after World War Two, and obviously there’s this continuity, there’s this thread that white Christian nationalism always around but again, it starts to get activated and to reemerge as a dominant force again, after World War Two. Eisenhower, Billy Graham, because anti-communist push, who is this nation for and what are we as Americans?
Well, we are defining ourselves as Christian middle class capitalists, Christians up against those godless communists and this is where Kevin peruses brilliant work starts to pick up the thread. Then we see it emerge again after after the Civil Rights Movement, and after Roe vs. Wade, and really during the Moral Majority, right, like, Who is this nation for? Well, it’s for good, moral white Christian citizens like us that just keeps on reemerging. And so why Christian nationalism is an ideology. It is also a political strategy. This is where we can start talking about how people who don’t necessarily believe in white Christian nationalism can use white Christian nationalists.
So for example, Donald Trump, I don’t think Donald Trump believes anything. Like I wouldn’t define Donald Trump as a Christian nationalist in the sense that he deep down believes this country belongs to like evangelical Christians who subscribe to certain theological Donald Trump doesn’t believe any of that, that sort of suckered. That’s the stuff that Donald Trump uses. But he is able to leverage Christian nationalist language in order to build a base to activate a base of really angry and scared people who feel like this country is being taken from them and want to get it back. So why Christian nationalism in Athens is both an ideology that mobilizes an audience but it’s also a political strategy that can be used to activate people and it can be leveraged by actors who really just don’t care either way. They just know they need to make a base very scared and angry.
Sam Goldman 34:45
Oftentimes, people say, Well, isn’t freedom of religion important? Isn’t that such a cornerstone of this society? How is what they’re going for different than those who advocate or promote religious freedom?
Andrew Seidel 34:59
It’s such an important question, because when I say they are weaponizing religious freedom, I really do mean, just that: They are litigating the legal meaning of religious freedom as a constitutional right in case after case, and in the process, they are redefining that protection, they’re perverting its meaning. The Crusader’s “religious freedom” cases are superficially about Christian crosses, and veterans or playgrounds and skinned knees, or private school vouchers, or bakeries in gay weddings or coaches that just want to pray. But really, they are about privilege and supremacy, literally about privileging the “right” kind of conservative Christian over everyone else. Their goal is to use religious freedom to elevate conservative Christianity above the law.
Legal questions of religious freedom, when religion and the law collide, I actually don’t think they are that hard for us to sort out. In fact, I think they’re pretty easy. Sometimes religious freedom questions can be emotionally fraught, especially if they involve children, but as part of the crusade, the Crusaders have misled and confused, deliberately, so many Americans about where we draw the legal lines for this founding American principle. So I really do think that these religious freedom cases, they may not be the simplest questions, but they’re not very hard either.
Historically and legally, we draw three basic lines, and I go over those lines in the book and they’re actually, they’re really, really simple. The first is that we distinguish between action and belief: Your right to believe is absolute. Your right to act on that belief is not. So I opened up “American Crusade” with several stories about drivers, letting Jesus take the wheel, literally doing that. Now, they are free to believe that Jesus will drive but the civil law can step in very clearly and say: No, you can’t do that. That’s reckless, we can fine you, we can take away your license. If you hurt somebody, you might be going to jail.
So your belief is unlimited, but action is limited. Which brings us to the second line. If it’s okay for the government to step in, when is it okay? The answer here is actually pretty simple, too: It’s where the rights of other people begin. Just as your right to swing your fist ends at the other person’s nose, your right to exercise your religion ends where the rights of others begin. Religion has never been — ever in the history of this country — a license to harm others or infringe their rights in any way. It is that line that we are seeing completely perverted and turned on its head. We are seeing these crusaders argue: Not only is my right to exercise my religion absolute, violating line number one, but I can also harm other people or violate their rights when I’m exercising my religion.
Then, the third line is the separation of church and state, which is also pretty easy. The short version is our government has no religion to exercise, and government officials can’t abuse government power and resources to promote their personal religion. In the book, I lay out these three lines and then I show how the court has warped,not just the lines and the law, but also facts and reality to help rewrite those lines in the last decade or so.
Thomas Zimmer 38:22
He explicitly says: I think over 50% of the electorate should not even be considered American, right? I don’t think you need to know much about history to understand how radical and how dangerous that sort of rhetoric and that sort of thinking is. Once you start excluding people from the body politic, I mean, look, what’s the next step, that basically means you also forfeit all the rights and all the protections that come with being an accepted member of the body politic. But that’s where they are, they’re openly anti democratic, they’re very blatant in their sort of disdain for democracy.
More than that, they are very clearly sort of saying we are the minority. They’re not claiming to be the numerical majority, right? There’s a big shift here from even a few decades ago, when these sort of conservative intellectuals would usually claim to be speaking for a moral majority or a silent majority, right? They’re not doing that anymore, they are acknowledging, more people voted for Joe Biden, but that’s exactly what makes them sort of more aggressive, not less aggressive. They’re not willing to grapple with the fact that oh, okay, so maybe we have to either moderate or we have to sort of find a consensus. No. Nothing. They’re basically saying: Look, numbers don’t matter. We are the only proponents of “real America” — again, by which they mean a white, Christian, patriarchal understanding of America — so we have a right to rule and to dominate in this country.
Basically, what they say is, if democracy doesn’t grant us that right anymore, then democracy has to go. And the people who vote for democracy, or for the Democrats specifically, they have to go too; their vote doesn’t count, it doesn’t matter. It’s a radically anti-democratic, it’s a radically anti pluralistic vision. And again, it’s radicalizing precisely because they acknowledge that they’ve lost the 2020 election. I think what we always need to ask ourselves is: How are they justifying the radical, radically anti– Democratic agenda that they are sort of propagating? They’re justifying it by basically creating this supposedly radical leftist threat that is out to destroy the country.
So, if you are the sole defender of real America, if you are the sole proponent of real America, which they claim to be right, then you have every right to defend America by whatever means. That’s basically sort of where these people are. What is really interesting is how openly and how blatant they are with that diagnosis, which is something that has shifted over the past few years. Those anti-democratic tendencies and impulses, they have been there for a long, long time, that’s not new, but the radicalism and the openness with which that is now put out there by these reactionary intellectuals is very — I mean, I can say, interesting, but it’s honestly — frightening is what it is.
Sam Goldman 41:18
Thomas offers the perfect segue into our next major topic because what happens when a hyped up violent movement on a mission from God believes they are the only true people of this land? Well, it might flow from that to say, storming the Capitol Building to keep your dear leader in power. We focused on this a lot this past year, not only to understand what happened on January 6 2021, but to recognize its importance, and the importance of its afterlife to appreciate how it continues to shape the political terrain today, we discuss in depth this day that many want to move past because the decent people in this country must be polarized, not against some imaginary buffoons are the illusion of slightly unreasonable Republicans.
But the reality of a violent legitimized fascist movement that came within a hair’s breadth of overturning an election, potentially kicking all the fascist violence that has come down these past six years into overdrive, and they have only strengthen their resolve and develop their strategies since that fateful day. So now, listen to insights from Wajahat Ali, Bradley Onishi, Danielle Moodie, Paul Street, and Rachel Wachstein in that order. Rachel speaks about how the Highland Park shooter Crimo wasn’t a lone wolf. In addition to discussing Trump’s coup, we were talking about that you thought you might have scared your fellow panelists earlier today.
Wajahat Ali 42:53
Yeah, so I was on Mary Trump’s podcast, the great Mary Trump, and she’s invited a few of us to give commentary during and after the fantastic hearings that I hope people have seen, or at the very least, you’ve caught up on them later on, on the YouTubes or the news channels. Specifically, she asked me about my assessment about what does it say about the Republican Party that even if they throw Donald Trump under the bus after these hearings, that many of them even the people that we’ve heard from, such as rusty Bowers and Brad Raffensperger have said, “Oh, yeah, even though Trump pressured us to do illegal acts in his illegal coup, and the Maga base has literally threatened us and our family will still vote for him again.”
What I said my conclusion was, is that the GOP and the entire right wing ecosystem has become a radicalized and weaponized force that is against the majority and against democracy. They will try to implement white Christian nationalism and gain power for the minority by any means necessary. They will take back this country with violence if they must, and they will stand their ground because they believe the rest of us, including Republicans who don’t go along with a big lie,are an active threat to them, their religion, their lifestyle, and now their children’s specifically. They believe we’re part of an international cabal led by the Jews who are trying to both replace them and also kidnap and eat and kill their children. And I’m not making that up. That’s part and parcel of Q Anon.
As evidence of that, I said a lot of that is 108 Republicans who’ve just won their primaries since May all believe the Big Lie. A majority of Republican voters believe the Big Lie. The RNC, ladies and gentlemen, not just Marjorie Taylor Greene, the RNC itself decided to censure Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for appearing on this bipartisan committee. Liz Cheney used to be the number three Republican, ladies and gentlemen, but that same day where they censured Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, who voted with Trump 93% of the time, but said you know what, a violent insurrection is a step too far. They said the violent insurrection as the RNC said this, the violent insurrectionists were “ordinary citizens” engaging in a “legitimate political discourse.”
The RNC said this and what we’re witnessing right now is the Republican Party is purging itself of everyone who’s not extreme enough. Mo Brooks, a freaking extremist who wore a Kevlar vest on the day of January 6, and according to the hearings, apparently asked for a pardon. He’s kicked out why? Because he eventually said “we should move on from the election.” Dan Crenshaw is now called “eyepatch McCain” and a traitor. He is a freaking hard, far right Texas Republican, acostedf just last week by the Texas GOP because he says “we gotta move on.” The Texas GOP itself is saying, “Hey, guys, in 2023, we reserve the right to secede.” And by the way, the Texas GOP, the Republicans are in the second most populous state have said that they affirmed the big lie, and Joe Biden is not the legitimate president.
So even if the hearings went, what I see right now, Sam, is that the institution’s barely held, and all it would have taken was a few more Republicans who are seeing the Justice Department who are already in the Supreme Court who are already packed in the state legislatures to go along with this ongoing coup, and boom, that’s a wrap. That’s it, all it takes is a few and the next time they get power, which seems like likely in 2022 and 2024. They’ll have the House, they’ll have the Senate, they have the Supreme Court that the state legislatures, they’re unleashing the precinct strategy, they’ll have the Justice Department, and the coup will be a success, who or what will stop them. And if I’m wrong here, tell me where I’m wrong. I’d love to be proven wrong. That’s what I said.
Sam Goldman 46:04
Elie Mystal who I respect, and many people do, and should put something out that I just wanted to get your opinion on. He tweeted earlier today that people need to understand that one of the only things keeping conservatives, I don’t like that word but he used it, is that in line 20 years ago was the concern of political revolt if their decisions were too extreme. Now, they don’t fear that at all. They think the opposition is too weak. They’re going to keep doing this, arguably the conservative justices are more concerned over their personal safety, random acts of violence directed at them by a crazy person than they are of a conservative political pushback by a dedicated opposition. They don’t think the “will of the people” can stop them. What are your thoughts on that? And how should we change that?
Wajahat Ali 46:47
No, I absolutely agree. You’ve seen it embolden the Alito, Thomas court. You know what these decisions are? As of today’s recording where apparently you don’t need Miranda rights anymore? Awesome. So police can do whatever they want. And apparently, they went after blue states who decided to just in New York that hey, you know, maybe we will limit concealed carry, they’re like, nope, constitution says you can’t do that. So they’re flexing to the hilt because they’re like, who’s gonna stop us? We’re running out of time. We’re under attack from Antifa and the deep state, We have to save our country. We have to save our children from becoming atheist transgender activists. We’re gonna do exactly what we want to do we have the majority. What are you gonna do? F You!
It’s like the woman who’s running for Arizona governor tweeted yesterday, she said that if you elect me, Governor, I’m not going to even implement these unconstitutional gun laws and then she just straight up threatened: “what’s the Fed going to do? Come and arrest me? I’d like to see you try. I call your bluff.” Boom, there you go. A beautiful snapshot of the mindset that “we’re going to do what we have to do to save our country. You’re too weak to stop us. Even if you think you’re going to stop us, we’re going to call your bluff. We know you’re not man enough to do it. You’re gonna bring a pencil to a knife fight. We’re gonna bring a mother effing AR15. We got the courts. We got the state legislators. We got that House probably in 2023. We got the Senate. We got the presidency.”
This is how you also mobilize a vigilante mob. This is how you get Kyle Rittenhouse who says “This country belongs to me. I’m going to stand my ground. I’m going to take a gun. I’m going to shoot whoever I want. What are you going to do about it? Nothing.” Look what they did to Kyle Rittenhouse. Nothing. Look what they did to Eddie Gallagher, the Navy SEAL? We’re gonna pardon them. Look wha tthey did to Mark McCloskey who took out a gun against apeaceful BLM protester. Pardon him, and now he’s running for Senate. “It’s my country.” Now it goes back to the 40s and 50s. right? In the South, all part of the KKK: “we’re going to implement frontier justice and what are you going to do to stop us? And they’re right, what are we going to do to stop them so far? It seems nothing.
So if people are overwhelmed, exhausted trying to survive the coming climate change refugees, gas prices are going up. They’ll feel drained and they feel tapped out. That’s what they expect us to do. They expect us to first and foremost be intimidated by a minority, to cede the ground. It’s working in school boards where then they step in and take over and they’re expecting us to be too exhausted and confused with disinformation. However, I’ll say this, my friend said after the George Floyd murder, same thing, like I just said, “right now, people don’t care. People are overwhelmed, people are exhausted.” And I said, “Sometimes all it takes is one spark. It takes one moment to galvanize the majority and 23 million people came out.”
I still believe that when enough women realize that Roe v Wade is gone, and the Supreme Court keeps on being extreme as it is, and perhaps even overturns Griswold, for those of you don’t know that’s the right to privacy, the right to birth control. They’ve said they want to go after it Loving v. Virginia that allowed interracial marriage. My thing is, some Republicans realizes we’re going too extreme too fast. And some Republicans are like, whoa, whoa, let’s slow the roll of our fascist plot. But at the end of the day, it will be up to the people, the people in the streets, the people within these institutions fighting back; the people within these corporations saying enough is enough, because without the people I do not have faith in the institutions anymore. And I do not have faith in the Democratic Party that unfortunately is too weak and has the wrong type of leadership for this type of fight.
Sam Goldman 49:41
There are plenty of people who are Christian whose faith moves them to be part of fighting for justice, of expanding who has rights and who has freedom to feed the hungry to do what they believe they are doing in their move to do that. Good buy their faith in what we’re talking about is something different. I agree very wholeheartedly with Brad with what he’s saying about the cover that it gives the white nationalists. I also think that the Christianity is not a joke, and that there are many people who have for some time been taking the Bible literally. And we should see that for all the harm that it is. It is a doctrine if you take it literally, of pro-slavery, a doctrine of pro-rape, and just the most patriarchal doctrine you can find.
Bradley Onishi 50:34
No, I think you’re exactly right. I’ll give you one example of this. The night before the January 6 insurrection, there was a Jericho March, which was supposed to be this big prayer rally for supporters of President Trump. And there had been many “Jericho marches” going on in the month before this, but what were they doing? Well, they were referencing the story of Jericho where the Israelites marched around Jericho. And eventually the walls fall down, because God miraculously does that. And then they’re able to take Jericho and part of the promised land that God had promised them. Now, there are many ways that Christians and Jews have read that text over the years to try to confront what seems to be attempted genocide and the violence there.
There are many communities that have said, we need to confront this, we need to see the complexity involved. We can’t read this literally, because if we do, it’s going to lead us here. And yet, if you have a group of people who have a Jericho March, and they read the Bible, literally the day before January 6, what happens in that story? Yeah, the walls fall down. And then they go and annihilate every man, woman, child and animal they can find. And it starts to kick in. Oh, and they’re not just praying for a miracle. They’re praying for a miracle that will allow them to do what happened and all of a sudden, your wheels start turning in, you’re like, holy moly, the literal reading of the Bible you’re talking about leads to real world violence in ways that are horrifying.
Danielle Moodie 51:50
Donald Trump needs to be in jail, as does everyone that was involved in the January 6 insurrection not because I think that it’s going to stop Trumpism. But because it needs to send a signal to the millions that are coming in their stead that we are not accepting this in this country, and that we will fight back against this rhetoric, against this hate. But if you do nothing, then that is akin to providing a pardon for Donald Trump and Trumpism. And clearing the way for who comes next, which will in fact, be worse.
Paul Street 52:21
Well, let me give a shout out to Tony’s point that he just made about the importance of prosecuting Trump. It’s not clear that the GOP, which is now a fascist party has a replacement. I’m not sure that DeSantis or Abbott or God knows who has that kind of background in whatever that weird charisma this orange lunatic has, with his face, we’re gonna find out perhaps whether that can be replicated, very important that Skye be put away, at the very least disqualified from a running again, I’ve been wondering for a while, where’s the mass movement to demand, the prosecution of this guy sweater crowd is going to show up outside the Department of Justice and demand the garland move on this, I guess the main myths that I just want to reinforce that we really need to gut check and question people on are this American exceptionalist notion that it can’t happen here.
The myth that I know personally, a lot of people engage in it, she did, you can ignore politics, you can just sort of not pay attention to them and sort of live in a privatized world where all that crazy stuff out there, it’s just something I really don’t need to pay attention to. When you’re in the audience when you’re in the crowd, just watching the game if that if of course a lot of people aren’t even watching, right, the game as a way of jumping up off of the field and impacting your life and really, really horrible ways. And the abortion decision, which caught a lot of people more by surprise than they should have been caught is a really classic case of that’s a case where the game has really jumped out and it’s starting to have a direct impact on young people’s lives.
Rachel Wachstein 53:50
You know, the thing is, is that when something like this happens, and it does happen a lot, it really does feel like it couldn’t happen in your town or it couldn’t happen to you. But after this happened, and I started talking online about my experiences with the shooter and sharing the articles from the time that came out in the Chicago Tribune, and a variety of other media outlets, when I started publishing what I knew and then reposting newspaper articles that had the shooter standing next to other young men who are more aggressive than him.
People from all over the country started messaging me and telling me their stories, their militias, their ordeal with Proud Boys members and all kinds of far right activity in their community. And they are all scared. And so I guess one of the messages I want to get out there is that Crimo, or the shooter, is not a lone wolf. He may have acted alone. He may not have even told anyone exactly what he was going to do. But he and these guys who are still in our community, being radicalized in similar ways. They’re participating in neo-Nazi online groups. They’re fetishizing Nazism, they’re encouraging each other, they get a signal from the White House to stand back and stand by, they’re invited in to the Capitol to overturn democracy, and they are encouraged to bring weapons.
I mean, this is something that is growing in America, the prime example of how what’s going on nationally, and with the committee hearings, and all of that, to me, I flashback to when Trump was at the debate with Biden and said to the Proud Boys, when asked to disavow them, “stand back and stand by,” and we’ve heard at the hearings, that that drove up the membership. We felt that in our local area, we all of a sudden had people who were members of the Proud Boys showing up at Stop the Steal rallies that we were counter protesting, when it’s on a national stage like that. When it’s made to seem like it’s okay, or it’s normal, or it’s politics as usual, people act accordingly.
And the longer that Trump and all of the others who were actively involved in the insurrection until they’re held accountable, it’s a free-for-all. So this, unfortunately, is not the first time that people have acted like this in history when faced with fascism. We know for a fact that German Jewry was highly educated. They were people of means; they were in Germany for hundreds of years. They were participating as soldiers in World War One. And there were many who saw what was happening and brown shirts in the street and all of that. And that didn’t happen overnight, that built up over 10 years. And there were people who saw it, and if they could, they got out. But there were a lot of people who didn’t because they could not believe that things could go that badly. And who couldn’t believe that at that time. There wasn’t really any precedent in history. But we have a precedent. We have museums. To the precedent, we are raised on the slogan never again. And here we are.
Sam Goldman 57:39
Despite the damning evidence against him presented in the January 6 hearings and their commission report, Trump has been free to hold his hate rallies and announced his candidacy for president. Whether he wins the nomination or not, he has transformed and hardened the Republi-fascist party and political base, fomenting and relying on xenophobic nationalism, racism, misogyny, and the aggressive reinstitution of oppressive, quote unquote traditional values. Election workers get death threats, school boards, banned books. Truth is obliterated. Threats of violence, including talk of civil war is a key part of the fascist advance. As we talk about frequently on this show, once in power fascism’s defining feature is the essential elimination of the rule of law and democratic and civil rights.
This year, we spoke with people on all kinds of frontline battles against fascism. People who refuse to hide away who refuse to even just say not in my neighborhood, but who recognize the fascist threat for what it was and said, No, fuck no, we won’t accept their future inspiring and organizing others to join them. In addition to the folks you’ve heard from already, organizers with rise up verb bortion rights. We spoke with student organizers against the don’t say gay bill and Florida trans rights activist and Texas drag performers Drag Story Hour defenders, people who organized against the fascist, Canadian trucker convoys and anti war activists.
We know you take seriously the threat posed by this vicious revenge fueled fascism and the real possibility of a Trumpist GOP re seizing the White House. We also know that you recognize that we cannot sit back and let this movement grow in strength and power, ignoring or miss understanding this threat further imperils the lives of millions of people in this country and billions all over the world, so too does relying on the Democratic Party to resolve this nightmare. Even after threats and acts of violence being targeted as enemies Diem traders, the Democratic Party consistently consolidates and tries to collaborate with Republic fascists. Trump and his fascist movement have torn up the norms thrown out the rulebook yet the outrage and hopes that people on the side of justice keeps getting diverted into the very channels that are being eviscerated and away from the kind of deep mass society wide struggle that is needed.
That’s why I hope that you’ll help us change that dynamic, moving people from passivity and accommodation into active visible refusal, you can do that a lot of ways. Listening to the show, talking about the show, following and subscribing to the show, rating and reviewing to help this show we’ll reach more people talking about it in person, and on social media. And yeah, chipping in to support this show, and help us reach more listeners. So with that, we’re bringing you next, Danielle moody, on resistance and Henry’s euro on the connection between critical thinking and refusing fascism.
Danielle Moodie 1:00:58
I want people to be activated to push these members off of their perch of complacency. And I think that the more people that demand action, the better just recently, Sri Lanka of the 10s of 1000s of people that rushed the goddamn the government and said like we’re done, right? Like we’re done with this, you all need to get the hell out of this country flee to the Maldives, like we’re done. And I’m just like, When are American citizens going to do the same and be like, so we’re actually done with working, we’re done with keeping our head down and thinking that all of this is gonna get better. We’re living in multiple pandemics at one time, the earth is literally on fire; you got Republicans trying to take control of this country and bring it back to what they believe to be its white nationalist core.
Then you have Democrats going around talking about well, we cut prescription drug prices, and I’m like, What the fuck, I feel crazy. While I’m happy that you’re doing that, okay. But I also need you to acknowledge that these people are trying to kill us right in no uncertain terms. Like I’m not being hyperbolic, like they literally are trying to kill us and are saying so in no uncertain terms. And so at some point, you need to brace what is instead of like you had said earlier, trying so desperately to hold on to what was what was is dead, what was is gone, it is never coming back. Whatever machination of America is for us in the future will look nothing like what it was in the earlier parts of the 2000s and backwards. If you can’t come to that reality that place then how can you build out strategy to combat the issues that we have if you’re still living in the fantasy of who we were.
Henry Giroux 1:02:44
So what we’re talking about here is a collapse of consciousness is that the basis for the collapse of political agency, individually and collectively, and without the foundation for critical agency, which is an informed public or critical public and public that learns how to govern rather than be governed. You have the foundation for fascism, fascism is rooted in a kind of anti intellectualism, that’s a lot smarter than simply saying somebody stupid, that personalizes the problem. It’s about an ignorance that’s manufactured. It’s about a culture that’s no longer able to question itself. It’s about a culture that aligns itself with strong men.
And I use that word, the masculine version, very purposely with strong men who basically have all the answers strong men who hate women, strong men, who basically are waging a war on young people, strong men who hate the other strong men who really believe that white replacement theory is true, that they are the victims that the public should only be occupied by basically the purification of what we would call racial blood. But what DeSantis is doing that’s very smart, is he’s destroying the institutions that would make it possible for people to learn how to hold power accountable. And he knows that he knows it plays well. He knows that mass ignorance has a certain currency and enormously anti intellectual culture that’s been weaponized.
Anti-intellectualism has been weaponized. It’s no longer just an attribute. It’s a weapon of political power. And I think that he’s done a number of things. He starts with the school with the banning of books. He starts with terrorizing teachers by claiming that they could be fired if they teach certain things. He’s eliminated tenure, done everything he can to eliminate tenure in higher education. He uses the language of McCarthyism, he terrorizes LGBTQ students, because he knows they’re relatively powerless as a bloc, and it goes on and on.
So it seems to me that he has basically brought together two things a political strategy, he sees it as having enormous valence among his base, preparing himself for the elections for 2024. Secondly, he knows that the institutions that threatened him the most are those that basically are involved in the form of criticism that could expose how empty he is on fascistic, he is a right wing he is and what the consequences should be he has completely shut off. Increasingly, not just the schools, which are a laboratory for fascism, but he’s shut off, he’s now moved to any institution that would take critical thinking seriously, and holding power accountable seriously, when you read that history, what jumps out at you are the powerless, which are basically mind blowing.
First of all, the book burning the attack on universities, the anti intellectualism, the attempt by Hitler, and Goebbels, who make the claim that you have to be conquered, we have to make sure they never think again, the claim to ultra nationalism and racial purification, nothing can exist in the curriculum, which is undermined the firing first of all Jewish professors, then the firing of anybody who disagreed, the intervention into the curriculum, the rewriting of history, the claim that it could only be patriotic German history, the ongoing attempt to create organizations outside of the schools that reinforce the schools, the urging of students and other faculty in both the high schools in higher education to basically spy on each other, the signing of loyalty yields, you can’t ignore this stuff. And you can’t ignore the larger project, which is really fundamental in which it took place.
These are not simply ad hoc policies that happened to come out of nowhere. There was systemic, they wanted to build institutions that produced a consciousness of other conformity, loyalty and racial superiority. And I think that what strikes me the most about that curriculum, and what strikes me the most about those educational policies, is not just the attempt to make people ignorant, but the racial cleansing the white supremacy, at the heart of this curriculum was white supremacy and racial cleansing.
Ask yourself, what is going on in the schools today that suggest the same thing, it’s impossible. It’s impossible to separate these policies in the United States from white supremacy. It’s impossible, the call for vouches the call for getting rid of government schools, the claim that teachers are pedophiles, who believe in anything critical, the claim that basically you have to eliminate from the universities and from high schools, and elementary schools, any teacher who basically is willing to hold power accountable. I mean, this is about creating a systemic formative culture that ensures that fascism will thrive in those institutions that threatened at most, the first casualty of authoritarianism are the minds that would oppose it.
Fascism begins with language. It begins with the language of dehumanization, it moves to the language of exclusion. It embodies the language of racial cleansing, and it moves them into camps. And the camp is a metaphor. It’s a metaphor, not simply for genocide is a metaphor for developing what I would call a politics of disposability in which the punishing state overrides the social state, and all problems now that you disagree with a criminalized IE for instance, Ron DeSantis passes a law in flour that says a protest is a too close to certain areas, particularly in suburban white suburban neighborhoods. People have the right to run them over. literally run them over, they pass the law.
Sam Goldman 1:08:30
Thanks for listening to Refuse Fascism. We, as always want to hear from you. Share your thoughts, questions, art, ideas for topics or guests or lend us scale. Tweet me @SamBGoldman. See the link for our Mastodon in the show notes. Drop me a line at [email protected] Leave us a message, go to anchor.fm/Refuse Fascism. And click that message button. If you want to support the show. Amazing. It’s simple. Show us some love by reading and reviewing on Apple podcasts or your listening platform of choice. And of course, follow subscribe. never missed an episode.
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