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Feeling Political Transcript: Episode Two - Rose Brewer & George Ciccariello-Maher

FEELING POLITICAL - Episode Two, Rose Brewer: This is not a time to lay down and throw up your hands
Released: December 14, 2016
Length: 7:24 minutes
By Daniel Horowitz Garcia, The Alternative Historian

CLIP

We were in trouble before this election.

NARRATION

I don’t know about you

CLIP

I’m not feeling afraid. I’m thinking and I’m feeling that there are a set of possibilities at this moment.

NARRATION

But I’m feeling political…


This is a podcast series about emotions and politics and the actions we take. Or the actions we think we should take. Or the actions we wish we could take. I'm talking to people about how they feel and what they want to do based on those feelings. 
This episode features Rose Brewer, a scholar activist based in Minnesota and one of the founding board members of Project South. Project South is a southern-based, leadership development organization creating spaces for movement building. They celebrated their 30th anniversary in November, and I stopped by for sidewalk conversations with some of the board, staff and other people connected to the organization. Look for more interviews from them in the coming weeks. 

Here’s Rose.

ROSE BREWER

I’m Rose Brewer. I am a professor, teacher, activist.

I’m not feeling afraid. I’m thinking and I’m feeling that there are a set of possibilities at this moment. I hope people, as this generation says, are woke, have become woke.

You know, it certainly an unprecedented political moment in some ways. But in other ways it isn’t. I think it has taken the veil off of some mystification of the nature of this society. I do know there are many populations within the US who have been feeling this pain for a very long time. It wasn’t recognized. It wasn’t understood.

The neoliberal policies that have been very harsh for brown and black and poor, white working-class people really indicate that we were in trouble before this election. But this election certainly has made it very clear that we are going to have some profound challenges before us as a new regime comes into office.

This is not a time to lay down and throw up your hands. It’s a time to organize. It’s a time to be smart and astute, and to know that we are many and they are few. But we have to be connected. We have to be organized, and we have to understand, in a very critical and profound way, what we’re dealing with. I think the bell has been sounded if we don’t get it together now. This is an opportunity for that to happen from my perspective.

Join an organization that expresses your values. Get educated around the political and social issues. Connect with others. This is not a time to be standing alone. It’s not a time to be isolated. It’s a time for us to build solidarity and connection, and make sure that our values, a progressive agenda that is humanistic, isn’t forgotten. That’s up to all of us. Don’t hide in the sand, but get connected with like-minded people who are committed to justice and fairness, not just for the people but for the planet. That’s what I plan to do.

NARRATION

That was Rose Brewer, a scholar activist based in Minneapolis and one of the founding board members of Project South.


You have something you want to say?

Is there anything you want to ask?

Something you just want to get off your chest?

Take three minutes and record a voice memo on your phone. Tell me how you want to be identified, how you’re feeling in this political moment, and your advice to someone about what to do. Email the file to daniel@alternativehistorian.com. It’s totally fine if you don’t have advice. Record the memo anyway.

This is a memo sent in by George Ciccariello-Maher, a professor of political science. I know, this is two professors in a row. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. to participate in the show. And if you do have a Ph.D., you don’t have to have all the answers. But George has some ideas. 

Here’s Dr. Ciccariello-Maher. 

GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER

My name is George Ciccariello-Maher. I’m an associate professor of politics and global studies at Drexel University. 

At this moment politically, I’m feeling sort of strangely optimistic despite everything. Mao Tse-Tung had a great saying that said, “There’s great chaos in the heavens. The situation is excellent.” With the chaos that will come with the Trump presidency—nothing that we would have chosen to happen, nothing that is good in and of itself—but suddenly people have been mobilized. People are in the streets. People are willing to resist, and people are asking questions about what it means to be elected but to be totally and utterly abhorrent. And about whether we do need to respect in any way the existing political system.

What this means for fighting against the Trump presidency is that…My biggest advice to people is to organize, to fight, to resist, to do so with direct  actions. Trump has said that he plans to deport millions of people, there are ways that we can make that next to impossible to happen. The police, of course, are going to continue killing black people, and yet there have been powerful movements developing over the last couple of years responding to police violence. But also preemptively attempting to prevent it and to build institutions of community control. These are all things that people can plug into and deepen our strength and self awareness as we move forward.

NARRATION

That was George Ciccariello-Maher on a voice memo he emailed in. If you have a smartphone and email access, you can too. No advanced degree required.

You can find more information about this podcast at alternativehistorian dot com. 

The music is by Rebel Diaz.

Take a moment to rate Feeling Political on iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play or SoundCloud or wherever you get your podcasts.

Feeling Political is produced by Daniel Horowitz Garcia, the Alternative Historian. The series will be part of the history podcast Change Over Time, coming in Spring 2017. Sign up on the newsletter at alternativehistorian.com. We are part of Amplify, an oral history podcast network bringing podcasting to the field of oral history.

I also Tweet @danielalthist.

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