Tuesday, January 16, 2018

White Supremacists Know That Donald Trump Shares Their Political Dreams and Goals

Donald Trump is a white supremacist. The evidence in support of this conclusion is overwhelming. His infamous comments last Thursday suggesting that Haiti, El Salvador and the many countries of Africa are "shitholes" -- and that immigrants from a predominantly white country such as Norway are preferable -- is just the most recent example of Trump's racism.

Too many voices in the mainstream news media remain in denial, or are simply dishonest, about this fact. Instead of stating the obvious about Trump's racist attitudes, beliefs and behavior, they suggest that "we can't know what is in his heart," ask rhetorical questions ("Is Donald Trump a racist?") and offer evasive qualifiers: "Is Donald Trump making the country's racial tensions worse?" In a moment better suited for a "Saturday Night Live" skit, reporters ask Donald Trump if he is a racist -- as though he or most other racists would admit to that in public.

Predictably, the mainstream media will send more reporters to ask Trump supporters in the so-called heartland whether they still support him after these most recent hateful and bigoted comments. The answer will almost always be yes.

However, there is one group of people who are honest about Donald Trump. White supremacists know that Donald Trump is one of their tribe. The Daily Stormer, the white supremacist website founded by neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, described Trump's comments last week as "encouraging and refreshing," because they suggest that "Trump is more or less on the same page as us with regards to race and immigration."

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Conversation with George Ciccariello-Maher About Being Targeted by a Right-wing Witch Hunt

George Ciccariello-Maher is the guest on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show. He is a political scientist and activist who is a visiting faculty member at New York University. Professor Ciccariello-Maher was formerly at Drexel University before he was forced out of his position by a coordinated right-wing campaign of harassment which included death threats and other violence.

Professor Ciccariello-Maher was targeted by the right-wing mob in this new era of McCarthyism because of a series of online posts and other comments which discussed toxic white masculinity and mass murder by guns in the aftermath of the Las Vegas Massacre. He further inflamed the mob by also mocking the delusional myth of so-called "white genocide" that is circulated by white supremacists across the right-wing echo chamber including Fox "News".

During this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, George and Chauncey discuss white identity politics, the right-wing's assault on higher education, as well as the rise of Donald Trump and what this moment reveals about enduring white supremacy and white male rage. George also shares what it was like to go on "Fox News" and defeat Tucker Carlson.

In this week's episode, Chauncey DeVega continues to caution people to remain focused on the real issues instead of being mesmerized by Donald Trump's extremely bad and shameful second week of 2018--a week which included revelations about hush money to a porn star, saying that nonwhite people come from "sh@!hole" countries, the release of the very damning Fusion GPS testimony, and public incompetence during a public meeting on immigration. To close out this week's podcast, Chauncey discusses the connections between "white trash" and Trump's "sh@!hole" slur of nonwhite immigrants.

This episode with Professor George Ciccariello-Maher can be downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show is available on Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

White Privilege, Laziness, and How Donald Trump is America's "White Trash" President

For black and brown Americans, Barack Obama's two terms in office were a rebuke to a society where nonwhites have long been marked as second-class citizens. For black people in particular, the literal presence of Obama's family in the White House represented a high point in the long, black freedom struggle. In the long arc of history, for centuries black Americans were owned, murdered, abused and raped by whites as human property, and yet a black American had become the most powerful man on the planet.

Of course, Obama's ascent did not heal the centuries of harm done to black Americans by white racism. But that next chapter in America's history -- where one more "first" for a black person was demolished -- was still symbolically intoxicating because it validated a belief in this country's ability to change for the better.

For many millions of other Americans, the overwhelming majority of them white and conservative, Obama's presidency represented a personal insult. The very presence of an intelligent, graceful, educated and accomplished black man in the White House -- as president, instead of as a maid, janitor or butler -- rocked them to the core of their being. If a person inherently connects being a "real American" with whiteness, then a black president is unthinkable. Such a reality forces a cognitive dissonance that cannot be easily reconciled. What was understood to be the natural order of things for white America was turned upside down.

Over the course of those eight years, many white conservatives became lost in the fever swamps of white supremacist paranoia, consumed by an existential dread about some vague notion of black or brown power, manifested in their archenemy and political demon Barack Obama. For too many people, Obama seemed to represent the displacement and obsolescence of white America and the birth of some undiscovered country where nonwhites rule and whites are made to kneel at their feet in submission.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The American News Media Can't Get Enough of the Political Freak Show That is Trump's "White Working Class" Voters

From the safety of their redoubts in such great American cities as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, the corporate news media continues to send its brave reporters out into the hinterlands of TrumpLandia. Following Trump's shocking win in November 2016, the media elite has been insatiable in its curiosity and desire to better understand the "white working class," who supposedly swept the president into office. The fixation on these strange and seemingly unknowable people -- at least unknowable to the media elite -- will continue unabated in the year 2018.

In one of the last expeditions of 2017, the Associated Press profiled Trump supportersin Sandy Hook, Kentucky. What did reporter Claire Galofaro discover about these denizens? They still view Trump as their hero and savior:
Everyone in town comes to [Steven Whitt's] diner for nostalgia and homestyle cooking. And, recently, news reporters come from all over the world to puzzle over politics — because Elliott County, a blue-collar union stronghold, voted for the Democrat in each and every presidential election for its 147-year existence. 
Until Donald Trump came along and promised to wind back the clock. 
“He was the hope we were all waiting on, the guy riding up on the white horse. There was a new energy about everybody here,” says Whitt.
“I still see it.”
These Kentuckians apparently retain an attachment to Trump that is emotional -- fueled by rage and a desire for vengeance for the pitiable life circumstances they find themselves stuck in:
Despite the president’s dismal approval ratings and lethargic legislative achievements, he remains profoundly popular here in these mountains, a region so badly battered by the collapse of the coal industry it became the symbolic heart of Trump’s white working-class base. 
The frenetic churn of the national news, the ceaseless Twitter taunts, the daily declarations of outrage scroll soundlessly across the bottom of the diner’s television screen, rarely registering. When they do, Trump doesn’t shoulder the blame — because the allegiance of those here is as emotional as it is economic. 
It means God, guns, patriotism, saying “Merry Christmas” and not Happy Holidays. It means validation of their indignation about a changing nation: gay marriage and immigration and factories moving overseas. It means tearing down the political system that neglected them again and again in favor of the big cities that feel a world away. 
On those counts, they believe Trump has delivered, even if his promised blue-collar renaissance has not yet materialized. He’s punching at all the people who let them down for so long — the presidential embodiment of their own discontent.
They believe Donald Trump is a victim. They have also been fully brainwashed by Fox News and the right-wing echo chamber. One man interviewed in the story, a registered Democrat named Wes Lewis, says he trusts Trump for his "values" and believes he will keep his promises. "If the factories and mines don’t come back," Lewis will blame Democrats. "If there isn’t a wall on the Mexico border, he says, it won’t be because Trump didn’t try. If investigators find his campaign colluded with Russians, it’s because so many people are so determined to bring him down. . . . The people against Trump are, by extension, against people like him, too, Lewis figures."

These dispatches from TrumpLandia make for entertaining reading, combining crude anthropology with the cheap thrills of a political freak show. But this genre of writing, like the mainstream media that produces it, reflects the same errors in logic and reasoning that helped Donald Trump to win the White House.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sociologist Randy Blazak Explains the Connections Between White Supremacy and the So-Called "War on Christmas"

Randy Blazak is the guest on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show. He is a tenured sociologist and criminologist who has taught at Portland State University as well as the University of Oregon. He is the author of numerous books and articles and has had his work featured on NPR, CNN, the Discovery Channel, BBC, and the New York Times. He is most well-known for infiltrating white supremacist hate groups such as the neo-Nazis in an effort to help the public understand the threat embodied by such organizations and individuals. Professor Blazak is also heavily involved with human rights organizations such as the Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime.

During this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Randy and Chauncey discuss how Trump and the American right-wing wing's obsession with the nonexistent "War on Christmas" is part of a larger white supremacist agenda, why young white men are so angry and attracted to Trumpism and other white supremacist so-called "alt-right" organizations, if Trump himself is a white supremacist, and the lies and confusion about "white working class economic anxiety" that helped to usher in American fascism under Donald Trump.  

In this week's episode, Chauncey DeVega tries to make sense of the maelstrom of chaos and confusion that is the first week of 2018 where the book "Fire and Fury" has distracted too many people from substantive politics, a white supremacist planned a mass murder spree against black folks on anAmtrak train, Trump continues his fascist assault on the Constitution and an independent legal system, and the radical right-wing keeps on winning while so-called progressives and liberals (and too many other Americans) are stuck in a condition of learned helplessness.

And to close out this week's podcast, Chauncey shares two uplifting stories about our animal family members and their human friends.

This episode with Professor Randy Blazak can be downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show is available on Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Conversation With New York City Icon Marvin Scott About His 50 Years of Experience as a News Reporter and Journalist

Marvin Scott is the guest on this week's special New Year's Eve episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show. He is a journalist and reporter with more than 50 years of experience. Scott is an iconic personality in the New York area and has been a host on WPIX Channel 11 since 1980. He is also a master storyteller who covered some of the 20th century's most important events and personalities. He shares those stories in his new book As I Saw It: A Reporter's Intrepid Journey.

During this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show Marvin Scott and Chauncey talk about the rise of the 24/7 news cycle and Donald Trump, how Scott watched the news business quite literally change before his eyes, interviewing Yasser Arafat, a chance encounter with Martin Luther King Jr., and all of the regular people who helped to make the civil rights movement and the black freedom struggle possible. Scott also shares what it was like to spend a night in the infamous "haunted" house of Amityville horror fame.

In this week's New Year's Eve episode, Chauncey reflects on the year past and shares some of his favorite movies, TV shows, podcasts, and comic books from 2017. On this week's show, Chauncey also does some personal reflecting about the year that was and his hopes and plans for 2018.

And in keeping with the new tradition that is The Twilight Zone marathon on New Year's Eve, Chauncey reads a wonderful short story from Ray Bradbury about black folks on Mars who face a dilemma when white people seek salvation from a ruined Earth as refugees.

This episode with Marvin Scott can be downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show is available on Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher.

Friday, December 22, 2017

A Conversation with Brian Klaas About How the American Fascist Donald Trump is the Despot's Apprentice

Brian Klaas is the guest on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show. He is a fellow in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics. In addition to writing columns and essays that have appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, Foreign Affairs and numerous other publications, Klaas is the author of several books. His newest book is "The Despot's Apprentice: Donald Trump's Attack on Democracy."

During this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Professor Brian Klaas and Chauncey discuss how Trump's behavior is in keeping with despots around the world, the ways that political polarization helps democracy to fail, and how Trump's apparent incompetence lulled the public and the news media into a false sense of complacency which made American fascism possible. Klaas also explains how Trump's election is a powerful reminder of how there are tens of millions of Americans who have fascist and authoritarian inclinations.

In this week's Christmas week episode, Chauncey DeVega shares some stories about the real people who are the targets of Trump and the Republican Party's vicious and evil "tax reform" bill, a plan that is really designed to kill the useless eaters. To that end, Chauncey reads some stories about elderly people who have been evicted from nursing homes and thrown out into the street. And to close out this week's podcast, Chauncey--who loves animals--can't help but share how macaques are apparently now having sex with deer in Japan.

This episode with Brian Klaas can be downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show is available on Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Immigrants are "Human Garbage": The Fascist Donald Trump and the Republican Party's "Soft" Ethnic Cleansing

Donald Trump believes that immigrants (read: nonwhites and Muslims) are human garbage. Proving that point, Trump gave a speech to FBI graduates in Virginia last Friday, where he said this:
You think the [foreign] country is giving us their best people? No. . . . What kind of a system is that? They come in by a lottery. They give us their worst people, they put them in a bin. But in his hand when he’s picking them is really the worst of the worst. "Congratulations, you’re going to the United States, OK."
There was no outpouring of outrage or shock at these words from the American news media or the public. Trump's comments were instead met with a mix of silence and quiet rumbles of discontent. Evil is now normalized. This is how authoritarianism thrives.

Fascists use racism, nativism and ethnocentrism to win and maintain power. Trump has learned that lesson well. To cite the title of Brian Klaas' recent book on the threat Trump poses to democracy, he is the "despot's accomplice." His most recent claims that immigrants are trash who will despoil (white) America is just the latest chapter in a hate-filled epic from a man who has suggested a national registry for Muslims, wants to bar people from entire regions and countries from the United States, has proposed publicly posting the names and pictures of "illegal immigrants" who commit crimes (as the Nazis did with alleged Jewish criminals in Germany), and believes that an entire ethnic group comes to America in order to rape and kill (white) women.

Trump's screeds against people in other countries who dream of making a better life in America are a violation of the country's national creed and mythology about being an inclusive and welcoming country of immigrants. He is perhaps the first modern president to hold such values in open disdain and contempt.

Trump's comments about immigrants are, of course, grotesque lies. Immigrants have helped to drive America's economic productivity. Immigrants have also helped keep America competitive while other countries with more restrictive policies, such as Japan, have become culturally and economically stagnant. Immigrants also help America become a more cosmopolitan society, contributing human capital in ways that make the country more dynamic.

Friday, December 15, 2017

A Special Episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show: Physics, Roleplaying Games, "Star Wars" and "The Last Jedi"

May the Force be with you.

This week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show celebrates all things Star Wars and the release of the newest installment in the saga "The Last Jedi".

Patrick Johnson is the first guest on this week's show. He is an assistant professor of physics at Georgetown University and the author of the new book The Physics of Star Wars: The Science Behind a Galaxy Far, Far Away. 

Patrick and Chauncey discuss how science can help us to understand the Force, the physics behind lightsabers, the engineering involved in building the Death Star, and yes, if Han Solo could have made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.

The second guest on this Star Wars themed episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show is Bill Slavicsek. He is one of the world's foremost experts on Star Wars. Bill helped to perfect the classic Star Wars roleplaying game from West End Games, wrote the legendary A Guide to the Star Wars Universe as well as the Star Wars SourcebookBill's work continues to influence the writers and creators of the new Star Wars films including Rogue One and the TV show Rebels. He is also one of the principle game designers for Dungeons and Dragons and the online video game The Elder Scrolls.

Chauncey and Bill discuss the joy of playing "old school" roleplaying games like Star Wars and Dungeons and Dragons, how Bill became a game designer, the principles of good storytelling and share some life wisdom. Bill also offers his thoughts on the health of traditional pen and paper roleplaying games in an era of digital culture and video games.

In this week's episode, Chauncey DeVega tells the truth about all of the folks who claim to love black women after the latter helped to defeat the wicked likely child sex predator and Christian fascist Roy Moore in Alabama. And Chauncey also shares his thoughts about Star Wars: The Last Jedi--hint it is not the great success that many reviewers and other people are claiming it is.

This episode with Patrick Johnson and Bill Slavicsek can be downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show is available on Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A Conversation with Nancy MacLean About How the Republican Party's New "Tax Reform" Bill is Really a Plan to Destroy American Society as We Know It

There are two guests on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show.

Nancy MacLean returns to explain the real impact and long-term devastation to the American people that will be caused by the Republican so-called "tax reform" bill. She is the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University and author of the new book Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.

Democracy in Chains was also one of the five finalists in the 2017 National Book Awards for non-fiction.  

During this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Nancy and Chauncey discuss how the Republican Party's "tax bill" is part of a bigger plot by the most extreme elements of the right-wing--including libertarians allied with the Koch brothers--to return America to a time before the 20th century. With last week's passage of their "tax plan" the Republican Party and the plutocrats (as well as Christian fascists) to which they are beholden to have taken one more stop closer to eliminating programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid with the ultimate goal of eliminating the "useless eaters". Professor MacLean predicted this would happen in her new book Democracy In Chains.

John Feffer is the second guest on this week's installment of The Chauncey DeVega Show. He is a foreign policy expert, philosopher, and author of the much-discussed new book Splinterlands which is a brilliant exploration of a future ruined Earth, an America in the midst of a de facto civil war, and how it call came to pass. This conversation with John is just a preview of a much longer full length episode that will air in the very near future.

On this week's show Chauncey mocks the Democrats and other liberals who actually believe that forcing Senator Al Franken and others who have been accused of sexual harassment to resign will somehow shame the Republicans into moving against Donald Trump and Roy Moore. Chauncey also shares some wisdom from Hannah Arendt about Trump's fascism and the threat posed by his human deplorable trash mob. And at the end of this week's podcast Chauncey shares a story about meeting an angel in human form at the local library.

This episode with Nancy MacLean and John Feffer can be downloaded from Libysn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show is available on Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher.