Episode

6/22 Birth Of The Starbucks Union Push, The Development Of “Groomer” Rhetoric, & Seriousness Of Jan. 6th w/ Jaz Brisack & Michael Bronski

June 22, 2022

Sam hosts Jaz Brisack of Starbucks Workers United to give us some updates from the unionization efforts on the ground. Then, Sam is joined by Michael Bronski, professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Harvard University, to discuss his recent piece in the Boston Review “Grooming and the Christian Politics of Innocence”. First, Sam dives into the continuing defamation suit by Dominion against Fox, SCOTUS’ decision to publically fund private religious schools, and the blistering updates from the 1/6 hearing, including testimony from Shea Moss, the election official accused by name by Trump, on the life-shattering matter that this was for her, from death threats at her home to racist threats in public, and Trump asks Arizona House officials to give him a break, I mean it’s what? 11,000 votes?? Next, Jaz Brisack joins as she and Sam get right into her incredible history in labor organizing having only recently graduated, discussing growing up in Texas and Mississippi and knowing she wanted to work in the field of labor, with her first dip into organizing during the fight with the United Auto Workers to organize a massive Nissan factory and what she learned from those original interactions with dirty anti-union corporate tactics. Although that vote fell short in 2017, Jaz discusses the massive influence it had on her and her hopes for organizing, as she carried her interest in labor organizing and labor history into her years as a Rhodes Scholar, before finally getting into her work organizing fast-food franchises in upstate New York. Here, she dives into her work, both labor and organizing, at Panera and Spot Coffee, and how her work with the International Workers of the World finally brought her to the Starbucks in Buffalo where the inklings of SWU began. After diving deep into the challenges and unique qualities of being the first (of so many) unionized Starbucks in the world and the nature of supposedly “progressive” organizations creating a divide in the workplace when it comes to labor rights and violations, they wrap up the interview by covering the importance of labor fights making it onto the mainstream stage and where SWU is going next. Professor Bronski then drops by to walk through the history of the translation of a Christian politics of innocence into homophobic and transphobic legislation, first looking at the sexual psychopath laws of the 1920s to ’30s and the shift in the ‘40s and ‘50s to focusing on the threat to children, before diving deeper into this concept of “innocence” and how it plays into a Christian fundamentalist’s political ideology. Next, they discuss the role of figureheads like Anita Bryant in pushing back against any social progress for the LGBTQ+ community and bringing about the ’90s version of “don’t say gay” legislation, before they wrap up the interview with a larger conversation on the waves of homophobia as reactions to threats on the patriarchy, the role of the Women’s lib movement in this, particularly in opening up children to be corrupted, and situate this moment of homophobic political backlash.

And in the Fun Half: Sam dives into the 1/6 hearings and why Democrats are obsessed with the few Republicans that determine speaking out against Trump to be their best career path, and listen into Adam Schiff’s discussion with AZ Speaker of the House on Trump’s official requests to overturn the election, Shea Moss’ mother on how Trump’s public accusations have had wildly distressing effects on their day-to-day lives, and Ron Johnson’s defense of his chief of staff attempting to deliver false elector lists to Mike Pence in the WAKE of the 1/6 violence. Chris from Berkeley and Valerie from AZ dive into the pain and frustration they feel about how Democrats are handling these hearings, Gregory from Oklahoma dives into his race for State House District 26, and Jesse Watters pitches COINTELPRO-ing the reproductive rights advocates protesting outside of the Supreme Court. Plus, your calls!

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