Monday, April 15, 2019

My Conversation With Robert B. Reich on How Donald Trump is a Gangster Capitalist Tyrant, the Wisdom of Bernie Sanders, and Why Young People Like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Will Save America

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration and was also an economic adviser to Barack Obama. Dr. Reich has written fifteen books, including the best sellers Aftershock, The Work of Nations, and Beyond Outrage, and, his most recent, The Common Good. He is also the co-creator of the award-winning documentary, Inequality For All as well as the Netflix original documentary Saving Capitalism.

Dr. Reich explains how extreme social inequality helped to create Donald Trump's presidency and if those fundamental problems are not addressed then Trump is but the first of many American gangster capitalist tyrants. Reich also reflects on the America that could have been if President Roosevelt's Economic Bill of Rights had been implemented, why the right-wing hates Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and how America's young people are going to save the country from the evils of the new Gilded Age.

On this week's show, Chauncey DeVega shares his thoughts on the new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer, the very problematic politics of the new hit movie Best of Enemies, and why Kofi Kingston and Wrestlemania 35 made him happy. Chauncey also puts a human face on America's neoliberal Donald Trumpian gangster capitalist Social Darwinism nightmare by sharing a story about how poor rural white folks go off into the mountains to scavenge for roots when their disability checks run out each month.

And Chauncey warns, again, that Donald Trump's fascist regime is out of control and the assault on the rule of law is reaching what appears to be a never-ending crescendo.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Is Jordan Peele's New Film "Us" a Triumph? Or is it a Missed Opportunity and a Failure?

This week's very special episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show explores the politics and meaning of Jordan Peele's new film "Us".
Kendall Phillips is a professor at Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University. He is the author of Projected Fears: Horror Films and American Culture as well as Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter, and the Modern Horror Film.
Kendall explains how "Us" is part of a new golden age of American horror movies, the ways that horror movies reflect the social anxieties and fears of a given moment in time, the sophistication of Jordan Peele's understanding of the horror genre and its narrative conventions and aesthetic, and how "Us" is a deep critique of class, racial, and other types of privilege.
Dr. Adilifu Nama is an Associate Professor of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University. He is the author of several books including Race on the QT: Blackness and the Films of Quentin Tarantino as well as Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes.
Adilifu is much more critical of Jordan Peele's "Us". To that end, he suggests that "Us" fails to live up to Peele's previous film "Get Out" and does not tell the truth about race and class in America.
Adilifu is also concerned about how "Us" is, in his opinion, narratively incoherent.
Chauncey and Adilifu also try to make sense of the racial semiotics of "Us" and what Peele suggests about "grotesque blackness", violence and race--but ultimately fails to fully develop in the film.
On this week's show, Chauncey DeVega ponders the following question: what is the role of horror movies in a horrible and cruel world where Trump and his evil regime are abusing the vulnerable by doing such things as putting non-white immigrants and refugees in concentration camps, allowing children like Jakelin Caal Maquin to die because of a lack of proper medical care, and the Supreme Court approves inmates being executed by especially cruel and unusual means.

Friday, March 22, 2019

A Conversation with Tim Wise About White Privilege, Corrupt White Elites and the "Varsity Blues" College Admissions Scandal

Tim Wise is the author of numerous books including his most recent Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America.

Time Wise explains how the "Varsity Blues" college and university admissions cheating and bribery scandal reflects a pathological culture among America's white elites, the many ways that unearned white advantages and white privilege along lines of race and class operate across all levels of America's educational system, and how "affirmative action" for white folks--especially the rich and upper classes--is the norm in American society.

Tim Wise also explains why the beneficiaries of the "Varsity Blues" criminal conspiracy should be expelled from their colleges and universities.

On this week's show, Chauncey DeVega ponders more examples of this broken malignant reality that is TrumpWorld. First, Donald Trump insults the deceased Senator John McCain and demands that the corpse-ghost thank him for providing a proper funeral. Second, Trump embraces and endorses the vile hateful violent views of his fellow authoritarian, President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, during their recent meeting at the White House.

And there is a fun "Easter egg" for ghetto nerd boys and girls on this week's podcast if they listen through to the very end of the show.


Saturday, February 16, 2019

A Conversation with Historian Louis Hyman About How Black Americans Used the Sears Catalog to Fight Back Against Jim and Jane Crow Racism

Professor Louis Hyman is a historian of work and business at the ILR School of Cornell University, where he also directs the Institute for Workplace Studies in New York City. He has published two books on the history of personal debt (Debtor Nation and Borrow) and a history of how American work became so insecure (Temp).

Several months ago Louis wrote a series of Twitter posts which were read by millions of people about the "hidden history" of how African-Americans used the Sears catalog as a way of fighting back against Jim and Jane Crow white racism and white supremacy.

Professor Hyman explains how the consumer's republic was and remains a key battleground for civil rights and the color line, the many ways that black Americans used the Sears catalog as a way of participating in day-to-day resistance against segregation and other types of discrimination across the United States, and how Sears and America's suburban mall culture were sites where whiteness was both reproduced and defended. Louis also debunks the very popular (and empowering) myth that Sears was co-founded by a black man.

On this week's show, Chauncey DeVega reflects on Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" and  a recent experience with everyday racism. And in keeping with the theme of this week's show Chauncey also shares a wonderful story about the nationwide network of Sears retirees who gather on a regular basis to socialize, reconnect, and who are keeping the wonderful legacy of that American cultural and retail institution alive.

This week's podcast with Louis Hyman can be listened to or downloaded here.

Friday, February 8, 2019

A Conversation with Professor Eddie Glaude Jr. on the Color Line, Survival, the Black Freedom Struggle and the Age of Trump

Eddie Glaude Jr. is the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University. His publications include Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul and In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America. In 2006, he worked with Cornel West to develop a public online course called the “Covenant Curriculum: A Study of Black Democratic Action.”

Professor Glaude has also written for The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and Time, and he has appeared on the Tavis Smiley Show, Hannity & Colmes, MSNBC, CNN, and C-SPAN.

Professor Glaude explains the lessons of the Black Freedom Struggle for surviving in a time of disaster that is Donald Trump's presidency, how not to surrender to despair in this moment, developing a more sophisticated way to discuss race and social inequality, and how Black Pragmatism and black folks' "Blues Sensibility" are tools for living and maintaining our moral virtue.

On this week's show, Chauncey DeVega explains why Donald Trump's State of the Union address was (another) vile, violent, and dangerous threat to democracy and the American people.

Chauncey is also disgusted by how the American people continue to aid and abet Donald Trump and the Republican Party's evil treatment of brown and black children from Latin and South America who have been "disappeared" into concentration camps.

At the end of this week's show Chauncey shares a story about a Black History Month Pioneer who invented the video game cartridge.

This week's podcast with Eddie Glaude Jr. can be listened to or downloaded here.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

A Conversation with David Leonard about the Super Bowl, Colin Kaepernick, and the Politics of the Black Athlete

David Leonard is Professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman.

He is the author of numerous books and articles on race, politics, popular culture and sports including After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness.

David explains how sports are inherently political, why Colin Kaepernick is viewed as such a threat by the NFL and White America, Black Lives Matter and resistance by "taking a knee" at sporting events, the black athlete as a social and political figure, the insincere and problematic neoliberal politics of Nike's 30th anniversary "courage" ad campaign, as well as Tim Tebow, white privilege and hypocrisy.

On this week's show, Chauncey DeVega challenges the myth of billionaires and capitalism as uplifting the world's poor and being saviors for humanity and shares how Donald Trump is now the White House sex tour guide who lies (even always, again and often) about Barack Obama.

At the end of this week's show, Chauncey shares two happy stories. The first is about a working class man who just won Powerball. The second is a wonderful story about a 3-year-old boy who was lost in the woods and saved by a friendly bear.

This week's podcast with David Leonard can be listened to or downloaded here.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Conversation with Tim Wise about White Privilege and the Trump Teen MAGA Mob from Covington High School

Tim Wise is one of the United States' leading anti-racism activists, authors, and scholars. He is the author of numerous books including his most recent Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America.
Wise explains how the Covington High School Trump mob's racist mocking and harassment of Native American elder Nathan Phillips in Washington, D.C. is an example of white privilege in action, how white racial innocence is presumed to always be operative in America, the ways that white folks--especially white conservatives--are rarely held responsible for their racist behavior, and the many ways that teachers and parents and other adults have failed to properly educate the white Trump teen MAGA mob.
Tim Wise also shares what he would tell the Covington High School teenage Trumpsters if he was invited to give a talk or training at their school.
On this week's show, Chauncey DeVega shares some recent  examples of horrible and abominable behavior including Donald Trump and Mike Pence trying to claim Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy as their own, how the Trump regime wants to kill the "useless eaters" by cutting food stamps--again, and how 26 billionaires have more money than 3.8 billion people on the whole planet.
And at the end of this week's show Chauncey DeVega shares a story about the intelligence of our animal friends the crows and geese. 
This week's podcast with Tim Wise can be listened to or downloaded here.

Monday, December 31, 2018

My Conversation with Peter Bebergal About How Ghost Hunters, Psychics, and Mediums Use Technology to "Hack" the Paranormal and Supernatural

Peter Bebergal writes widely on the speculative and slightly fringe. His essays and reviews have appeared in, The Times Literary Supplement, Boing Boing, The Believer, and The Quietus. He is the author of Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll. His new book is Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural.


 ****To support The Chauncey DeVega Show during this fundraising month you can make a donation via Paypal at or at Patreon.**** 
During this Art Bell Coast to Coast AM inspired New Year's Eve special episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Peter explains how mystics, psychics, and other practitioners of the occult and magic used the early versions of the internet as a space to practice their dark arts, how the national trauma of the American Civil War fueled the practice known as "spirit photography", and how séances were a space for female empowerment through the "spiritual fluid" known as "ectoplasm". Peter also researches if yes, you can actually hear the voices of the dead speaking through radio waves and other manifestations of "electronic voice phenomena".
On this week's New Year's Eve special episode Chauncey honors Alan Naiman, a hero who worked as a humble (and very frugal) social worker, and who at the time of his passing away gave 11 million dollars to charities which help babies and children.
Chauncey also reflects on our shared trials and struggles in the Age of Trump during these last few weeks of 2018. And as we wind down 2018 and transition to 2019, Chauncey offers some critical appraisals about the progress of the podcast, his own personal successes and failures during 2018, and (hopefully) shares some wisdom about goal setting and personal progress in the new year.
This week's podcast with Peter Bebergal can be listened to or downloaded here.

Monday, December 24, 2018

My Conversation with Paul Breines About Being a Freedom Rider and What It Was Like to Risk His Life Fighting Against Jim Crow Terrorism

Paul Breines was a student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin and a member of the Student Council on Civil Rights when he was arrested for his participation in the Freedom Rides during the summer of 1961. As part of the Freedom Ride Breines, along with three other students, traveled from Nashville, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi via a Greyhound bus where all four participants were arrested in the Greyhound terminal in Jackson, Mississippi on 21 July 1961. Paul Breines is also Associate Professor Emeritus of History at Boston College.

****To support The Chauncey DeVega Show during this fundraising month you can make a donation via Paypal at or at Patreon.**** 

Professor Breines shares what it was like to challenge Jim Crow terrorism--with his life--as a Freedom Rider during the Civil Rights Movement, how he as a white person made the decision while in college to confront white supremacy, and the rules of living a principled life that he learned from his mother.

Professor Breines also reflects on one of the most important questions of the modern age: What type of White Person do I want to be? And by implication, what type of Human Being should we all want to be?

This conversation is from one of the very first episodes of The Chauncey Devega Show and has been reedited and remastered as a holiday gift and way of saying "thank you" to all of the good and kind friends, listeners, fans and other supporters of the podcast.

On this week's Christmas holiday-themed podcast Chauncey warns the public about how Frosty the Snowman is really an evil undead wizard. Chauncey also hopes that Krampus--the goat man supernatural being who punishes naughty people during the December holiday season--will take Donald Trump and his wicked voters and other supporters to the underworld as punishment for their sins.

And Chauncey also reminds the friends, supporters, and other listeners of The Chauncey DeVega Show that racism and white supremacy are often absurd but that this makes such ideologies no less dangerous. A Christmas holiday example: in the Netherlands neo-Nazis and other right-wing fiends are physically attacking people who want "Zwarte Piet" aka "Black Peter", the racist blackface minstrel assistant to "Sinterklaas" aka Saint Nicholas, removed from that country's and region's holiday celebrations.

This week's podcast with Paul Breines can be listened to or downloaded here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Conversation with David Blight About Frederick Douglass "The Prophet of Freedom" and How His Wisdom Can Help America Survive Donald Trump

David Blight is the Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale University. He is also the Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. Professor Blight is the author of many books including his newest Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.

Professor Blight is also a contributing writer for such publications as The New York Times, Washington Post Book World, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Boston Globe.

****To support The Chauncey DeVega Show during this fundraising month you can make a donation via Paypal at or at Patreon.**** 

Professor Blight explains how the wisdom and example of Frederick Douglass's life can help save American democracy in the Age of Trump, separating the myth and legend of Frederick Douglass from the real man, and how studying the Black Freedom Struggle and the color line can help us to better understand how the United States of today came to be.

On this week's podcast Chauncey reflects on the many interesting happenings in one recent day and what they tell us about our shared humanity and the horrible death--and the Trump regime's mocking and evil response to it--of a seven-year-old child from Guatemala who recently was stolen away from her family and this world while in the custody of the United States Border Patrol.

This week's podcast with David Blight can be listened to or downloaded here.