Episode

4/28 The American Myth Of White Colonialism w/ Alicia Puglionesi

April 28, 2022

Emma hosts writer and historian Alicia Puglionesi to discuss her recent book In Whose Ruins: Power, Possession, and the Landscapes of American Empire, on the US imperialist claims over land, resource, and history. Alicia begins by situating her work within prior research on parapsychology and the story of a white tourist’s psychic experience while visiting an indigenous burial mound, which led her to look to the colonization of the past as a practice to legitimize the colonization of the present. Starting from these earthworks, Alicia and Emma then dive into the various tactics of 19th Century America in manipulating the history of the land, with perspectives from the sciences, antiquarians, and even archeology to produce myths such as that of the “Lost Race” that was really responsible for indigenous wonders, that served to support their contemporary politics. Next, Alicia dives into the story of Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, a failing businessman who went to work for the Office of Indian Affairs in Michigan, where he marries into an Ojibwe family and begins collecting their stories and traditions, publishing them under his own name for the express purpose of creating a connection to the place for white Americans. Moving away from land as the primary resource for the accumulation of wealth, Alicia and Emma get into the stories of the early oil barons in western Pennsylvania and how they painted their role as a divine benediction, the culmination of the purpose of the land being this mass industrialization of the region, before Alicia dives into the completely ignored historical use of oil in indigenous communities as a representation of how the destructive capacity we associate with it, is not necessarily inherent in oil. They then look to the early 20th Century and the waterways projects as the US began building dams across America, as they get into the concept of non-military claims to land, with capitalism as an extension of power just like the military is, exploring the flooding of countless vital indigenous lands for the purpose of, once again, building up industrialization in the region. Alicia dives into the final resource explored in the book, looking at the Manhattan Project’s relationship to the New Mexican indigenous communities and histories, and exploring nuclear power as a representation of the US’s building of hegemony to the point of apocalypse – alongside what we’ve seen with oil and climate change – before they wrap up the interview with a conversation on the role of the land back movement and how the land of national parks may serve as a starting point. Emma also touches on Russia’s developing tactics in their imperialist invasion of Ukraine, Marjorie Taylor Greene’s looking to the church as the savior of woke charitable giving, and Chuck Schumer’s push for student debt relief.

And in the Fun Half: Emma doxxes Matt Binder’s Nancy Pelosi fancam account, and Brandon waxes poetic on countless topics. They cover Judge Jeanine Pirro’s objections to both forgiving student debt, and paying off her own debts, Dennis Prager dives into the false flag that is every hate crime ever, and Colin from Brooklyn reflects on his assault and fining by an NYPD officer over biking through an open red light. This sparks a greater conversation on policing and police control, before Dave from Jamaica dives into the absurdity of debate as a way to convince others to change their mind, Matt, Emma, and Brandon watch Andre Iguodala dive into HIS $25k in crypto losses, and why they’re a form of student debt themselves. They also watch Oklahoma GOP Chair John Bennett discuss the non-violent firing squad he wants to take on Anthony Fauci, plus, your calls and IMs!
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