Episode 86 – 2020 with Margaret Kimberley

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We here at Macro N Cheese are immersed in the world of MMT, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate people who aren’t yet on board. As long as they’re not pushing an austerity agenda, we welcome them. Today’s guest, Margaret Kimberley, of Black Agenda Report, is just such an ally. Her book, Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents, was published earlier this year.

This interview takes place as one region of the US is ablaze in wildfires and the pandemic is no closer to being resolved. Margaret sees the inadequate handling of COVID19 as confirmation that we live in a failed state. Countries that have responded best to the virus are either fully socialist or have robust public funding of their healthcare system. The climate crisis is further proof that capitalism is in crisis and neither of our two major political parties has plans to protect us from the fallout. Barack Obama illustrates the hypocrisy as he tweets dramatic images of the orange fire-lit skies and urges people to “vote like your life depends on it.” During his term as president, he bragged about increasing oil production and fracking. The Governor of California, another Democrat, has given more fracking permits this year than he did in 2019.

The point is, we have these two parties who come together more often than not. Margaret reminds us that Democrats used to go through the motions of being the working people’s party, and have been living off this reputation for decades. Yet when Kamala Harris was announced as Biden’s running mate, the headlines announced: “Wall Street Breathes a Sigh of Relief.” “Silicon Valley is Happy.”

It’s impossible to have a conversation nowadays without debating the current presidential elections. Steve brings up his fear that a Biden win will cause Democrats to relax and go to brunch. Any energy built up in the resistance to Trump will die out. He asks whether she sees more possibilities for revolutionary change arising from a Biden or Trump victory. Margaret, who votes Green, believes they’re about equal, but doesn’t want to focus on electoral politics. Our job is to build the movement, taking a lesson from the civil rights era:

During those years, people made concrete demands and they stuck with them. And they knew that they had an adversarial relationship with politicians and they didn’t care. They knew that when they demanded the right to vote, or an end to segregation, or an end to housing discrimination, they knew that politicians didn’t want to do what they were demanding. But they demanded it anyway. They worked cohesively en masse for years. And that is how those changes came about. I think the problem with electoral politics is that it should be what comes last. It’s the movement that has to come first to create the political crisis, to move politicians, because that is the only way they move.

That’s true not only of civil rights legislation, it’s true of the environment. Nixon gave us the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency. Why he gave it is because people were in the streets, there were millions of people.

Steve and Margaret talk about the differences and similarities between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. By the end of King’s life he had broken with Lyndon Johnson, who was seen as an ally of the civil rights movement. This could be a model for working with elected officials; you don’t have to sell out your principles.

The interview goes over many of the crucial issues affecting our lives in 2020, from Bernie Sanders to the actions of the Democratic Party elite; from Black Lives Matter to Antifa; from the Green Party to the need to end the duopoly.

Margaret Kimberley is a co-founder and Editor and Senior Columnist for Black Agenda Report. Her first book, “Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents” was published in February.

@freedomrideblog on Twitter

http://steerforth.com/titles/prejudential/

https://bookshop.org/books/prejudential-black-america-and-the-presidents/9781586422486

We here at Macro N Cheese are immersed in the world of MMT, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate people who aren’t yet on board. As long as they’re not pushing an austerity agenda, we welcome them. Today’s guest, Margaret Kimberley, of Black Agenda Report, is just such an ally. Her book, Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents, was published earlier this year.

This interview takes place as one region of the US is ablaze in wildfires and the pandemic is no closer to being resolved. Margaret sees the inadequate handling of COVID19 as confirmation that we live in a failed state. Countries that have responded best to the virus are either fully socialist or have robust public funding of their healthcare system. The climate crisis is further proof that capitalism is in crisis and neither of our two major political parties has plans to protect us from the fallout. Barack Obama illustrates the hypocrisy as he tweets dramatic images of the orange fire-lit skies and urges people to “vote like your life depends on it.” During his term as president, he bragged about increasing oil production and fracking. The Governor of California, another Democrat, has given more fracking permits this year than he did in 2019.

The point is, we have these two parties who come together more often than not. Margaret reminds us that Democrats used to go through the motions of being the working people’s party, and have been living off this reputation for decades. Yet when Kamala Harris was announced as Biden’s running mate, the headlines announced: “Wall Street Breathes a Sigh of Relief.” “Silicon Valley is Happy.”

It’s impossible to have a conversation nowadays without debating the current presidential elections. Steve brings up his fear that a Biden win will cause Democrats to relax and go to brunch. Any energy built up in the resistance to Trump will die out. He asks whether she sees more possibilities for revolutionary change arising from a Biden or Trump victory. Margaret, who votes Green, believes they’re about equal, but doesn’t want to focus on electoral politics. Our job is to build the movement, taking a lesson from the civil rights era:

During those years, people made concrete demands and they stuck with them. And they knew that they had an adversarial relationship with politicians and they didn’t care. They knew that when they demanded the right to vote, or an end to segregation, or an end to housing discrimination, they knew that politicians didn’t want to do what they were demanding. But they demanded it anyway. They worked cohesively en masse for years. And that is how those changes came about. I think the problem with electoral politics is that it should be what comes last. It’s the movement that has to come first to create the political crisis, to move politicians, because that is the only way they move.

That’s true not only of civil rights legislation, it’s true of the environment. Nixon gave us the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency. Why he gave it is because people were in the streets, there were millions of people.

Steve and Margaret talk about the differences and similarities between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. By the end of King’s life he had broken with Lyndon Johnson, who was seen as an ally of the civil rights movement. This could be a model for working with elected officials; you don’t have to sell out your principles.

The interview goes over many of the crucial issues affecting our lives in 2020, from Bernie Sanders to the actions of the Democratic Party elite; from Black Lives Matter to Antifa; from the Green Party to the need to end the duopoly.

Margaret Kimberley is a co-founder and Editor and Senior Columnist for Black Agenda Report. Her first book, “Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents” was published in February.

@freedomrideblog on Twitter

http://steerforth.com/titles/prejudential/

https://bookshop.org/books/prejudential-black-america-and-the-presidents/9781586422486

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