I’ve been listening to a new (6-month-old) Buzzfeed podcast, called Another Round. I like it, because it reminds me of my cousin Grant’s podcast, where they sit around and drink, and record the podcast. I love that idea, and I love how it represents the unwieldy power of the podcast.
Hilary Clinton appeared on Another Round, just before the debate. NPR’s “The Takeaway” interviewed the Another Round hosts, Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu
The funny thing about The Takeaway – or not funny; just regular, given the show’s name – is that the show gives you the bullet points. In one particular instance, the Takeaway guy, John Hockenberry, played a clip of the women “nailing” Hilary for evasion of a question. They asked her what she planned to do, if elected President, about the gross inequities that Blacks are subjected to in the prison system. Clinton replied that most prisons were subject to State and Local law, and not Federal – to which Hockenberry and the Another Round hosts cried out EVADING THE QUESTION!
Now, please listen to the actual podcast, and listen to Clinton’s response in full.
Did you listen to it? You see, the problem is the collective ADHD of our culture. No one takes the time to listen. Neither did the hosts. They are from a sound-byte/tweet generation, and to listen to a rather long response, carefully, with the intention of understanding, is not something they were trained to do.
In fact what Clinton said was VERY important, and very educational, especially for these “young radicals”, who cry out for change, and are incensed that somebody doesn’t do something when the yell! Clinton said that the President of the United States has not power over State law. Wow. You have to study how this government was designed, which these women haven’t just yet, to see that we are really in a bind – if the States don’t want something, the President can’t make them!
I think Heben is the one who is the active Twitter tweeter. She says she tweets suggestions to Obama all the time with suggestions. I may sound condescending here, and maybe I am. Or maybe I am old and in the way. But I think she would want to know that she comes across as very naiive and very uniformed. Whether she is, or whether I am, I will leave to her to figure out. But here it is: the President is not a King, and there’s is a lot of deeper meaning in that.
Hilary said that while the President can push for Federal laws that radically change incarceration and law enforcement directives at a Federal level, this can only be used an an example for State to follow, if they choose. So what she was trying to teach these young women is to point your barrels in the right direction! Don’t interview the President, and demand change. Interview the the Governor of Alabama, for God’s sake! Interview the Sheriff of Cobb County in Georgia. Because you will probably discover some racist motherfuckers in that nest, and THEY are making and upholding the laws you hate.
The hosts were very focused as well on Hilary’s meeting with the Black Lives Matter crew:
They were again very desperately trying to make her into the enemy of all Black reform. And let me take the opportunity to state right here that I have NO LOVE for Hilary Clinton, and that deep down inside, they are completely right: she is a white woman’s white woman, and the fact that she protested in the 60’s and was inspired by Dr King is, well, you know, a little bit of Centrist bullshit. So there.
But this does not give permission to these podcasters and new age Black Panthers to make the argument about the Clintons. Because to do so has but one effect: nothing will change. That’s right: if you muck around in angry protest, the Machine will just roll over you.
The Round hosts asked Hilary to take responsibility for the legislation that came about in the wake of the Rodney King mini war in LA in the early 90’s. That’s it – she wanted to know if her and Bill were going to confess to their “fucked up” legislation, that has resulted in all these young Black men being incarcerated. Wow. Don’t even know where to begin.
First of all, Hilary was the Wife of the President at that time. She had nothing to do with any Federal laws that were passed. Second, that business in LA was a war. Sorry. It may have had everything to do with horrible injustice to Black men like Rodney, but the result was a fucking war on civilization. And everybody, including Reverend Al Sharpton, called for the country to stop the violence.
But let’s say that Heben and Tracy are completely right: that the Clintons and all the other White people in government in the 90’s are responsible for the current state of cops killing Blacks. How on earth does their confession have any effect on the HERE and the NOW?
The deal is this: start a revolution. But then keep it going. Hilary kept trying to get them to hear this, but the missed it. How many new revolutions are started these days, by a round of passion, only to just fizzle out within a few years? Lots. Most of them. If Black Lives Matter is going to succeed, and it had fucking better succeed!, then they have to figure this one thing out: they are up against the Big Machine, and they are not going to topple it with tweets. This will take intelligent, and sustained effort, for years and years to come, beyond the slogans and the popularity of dreads. Dr. King worked steadily for years and years and years, carefully eroding the walls of Big Government. That’s how it happened. The Black Panthers walked up the steps of the White House one day with sawed off shotguns. Test question: which of these two acts, or both, have created any change in the state of engrained racism in the law of the United State?