Episode

3/21 Jim Crow & Class, The Republican Q Attack On KBJ w/ Adolph Reed

March 21, 2022

Sam and Emma host Adolph Reed, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, to discuss his recent book The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives, on the lasting legacy of the racial order that defined the post-reconstruction era, and its intrinsic ties to labor and exploiting the Black workforce. Professor Reed first situates when the Jim Crow period was, as regimes of racial segregation began consolidating as reconstruction waned, and becoming a genuine wholescale institution of the South at the end of the 1800s, lasting well into the 20th Century and beyond the Second World War, before he dives into the driving forces behind this coalition: power and labor. Prof. Reed leads Emma and Sam through the pushback to rising Republican populism in the South during the flux period of reconstruction, as the white Democratic elite began to fear their overthrow (just more taxes and multi-racial labor coalitions), thus pushing coups (some literally) throughout southern governments, and shutting the doors behind them, reserving politics to control of the ownership class, and employing disenfranchisement and segregation to undermine the growing power of Black freed folks. This brings them to the concept of disenfranchisement as a means to an end for the Right, keeping them in power by relying on the racial social order that had been created, and how this is representative of why the Right has found footholds in power where the left has failed: having a practical end (keeping power and elite control) that they can maneuver different means to support. Next, Professor Reed dives into two mainstream misunderstandings of the end of Jim Crow: 1) That racism ended with the end of Jim Crow, or 2) that the changes didn’t truly matter. He then dives into how neoliberalism (and liberalism) have created a view of race as the one and only fault-line of American politics – that slavery and Jim Crow were made to produce racism, not cotton and sugar or Right-wing governments – and the importance of centering the labor exploitation of Black folks (alongside many others), before they wrap up the interview by looking at how anti-racism organizing and the future of US politics will have to deal with this “flattening” of political discourse. Sam and Emma also touch on Lindsay Graham complaining that he was criticized for supporting Brett Kavanaugh (potential sexual assaulter) while the Dems don’t receive that backlash for the Kentanji Brown Jackson (definitely a Black woman) nomination.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma watch Josh Hawley go off about the constitutional nature of child pornography as he tries to tie Ketanji Brown Jackson to the people she put in jail, Chucky Summer from LA calls in about redistricting, and then they cover Kentucky’s 15-week abortion ban and State Sen. Karen Berg’s incredible impassioned plea as one of the few women and ONLY radiologist in the State Senate. Ronald Raygun and Emma team up to question Sam on why he doesn’t capitalize on this correlation between the amount of skin he exposes and wealth redistribution to refugees. Kowalski from NE goes from Sam’s body to rising wood (prices), and Ohio republicans brawl over… definitely something. Dave Rubin responds to the backlash to his birth announcement and grapples with maintaining both his dignity and grift, plus, your calls and IMs!

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