Independent Media Vs. Donald Trump: #GivingTuesday

"I'm not like other people. We're going to have people sue you like you never got sued before."

With words like those uttered in February this year, Donald Trump set fear into the hearts of the Fourth Estate. "We're in for the fight of our lives over press freedom," said the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation the day after election day. The threats are very real on the campaign. Trump bullied and blacklisted reporters he didn't like. From the stage, the candidate egged on his crowd to hiss the press corps, and a long list of untrustworthy reporters were famously barred from the scene. Not satisfied with blacklists and bully tactics, Trump threatened lawsuits. It's pretty clear he hasn't the slightest grasp of the constitution, which come January 20th next year, he'll be pledging to uphold. It's real. Donald Trump's disdain for the first amendment spurts from his lips, his eyes, his everywhere.

Still, while others profit off rumors of a press-White House war, I say bring it on. We need relations between the press and the powerful to be as cantankerous as possible. It's media coziness with power that brought us to this place. The Washington Post and The New York Times were suppressing pictures of dead and tortured Iraqis and holding back stories about illegal state spying long before Donald Trump came to power. More frightening to me than a new chill in press-presidential relations was the picture of Trump's secretary of state contender, Rudolph Giuliani, with Rupert Murdoch of News Corp recently. To get real, lawsuits cost money. If media corporations are to fight for their rights and defend their reportings, they're going to need real cash.

It is great that readers are stepping up to the plate signing up in droves for new subscriptions to The Times, The Post, and magazines. The New Yorker says it signed up 10,000 new subscribers in a matter of hours. Sign up. Subscribe. We need you more than ever, but put your money where the courage has been. Who has best had your back? The crony corporate press, or the independent media who've never held anything back and never had two pennies to rub together?

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We Have Everything to Gain

We at the Laura Flanders Show are grieving. The results of this election confirmed our fears and dashed our hopes. Although we are afraid, we are not defeated.

We may not feel our bravest today, but we are gathering courage from our communities and holding our loved ones close. We're reaching out to them and offering words of protection, empowerment, and radical kindness. We are centering the voices and feelings of POC, femme,indigenous, immigrant, queer, undocumented people.

And as ever, we are preparing to continue our mission of bringing to you, our most important community, a progressive vision of the future. You may receive some solace from our episode this week, featuring this very same vision, as echoed by ten incredible activists. Today, we mourn. Tomorrow, we organize.

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Never Again

Knowing everything I know about Hillary Clinton and the Clintons and voting for her anyway feels like the nadir of my political life.

 

I never want to be here again.

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Chateau Hough and Hip Chick Farms

2016 is an exciting -- and precarious -- time to be an entrepreneur, particularly when you’re queer women. Serafina Palandech and her wife Jennifer Johnson, the founders of organic food startup, Hip Chick Farms, had to deal with a lot when they wanted to start their business.  Now they’ve been able to secure an investment from Whole Foods (and Johnson’s cooked at the White House). But it hasn’t been easy, more like a misogynist gauntlet, in fact.

Also in this episode: a visit with Mansfield Frazier, manager and founder of Chateau Hough, an award-winning vineyard in inner-city Cleveland. Chateau Hough employs local residents, formerly incarcerated workers, and youth as part of its project to invigorate the local community.  Then, an F Word from Laura on Political Animals, a film about the marriage equality act and the California Assemblywomen who made it happen -- why collaboration and toil get things done.

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Special Report: The Day After The Election

 

This week, American voters come to end of a long national "nightmare," as Laura has called it. This electoral seasons has left many of us battered and jaded, resigned to hit the polls for a less than satisfying ballot. And yet, this is the same election season that has seen the urgent rise of bombastic movements such as Fight for $15, #NoDAPL, and Movement4BlackLives. So what happens #AfterTheElection?

How will we resist post-election complacency and the four-year cycle of civic engagement? How should we continue to mobilize against empire, capitalism, racism, and oppression when it’s not just the presidency at stake?

Our guests this week might have a few answers. They explain why it’s necessary that people continue to raise their voices against injustice - especially at the point that most of us will clue out of politics.  Organizing communities on a range of issues, including gentrification and LGBTQI advocacy, our guests understand one thing well: the problems aren’t going to go away with a new president, no matter who it is.

Featuring words from a radical motley: Mab Segrest (Southerners on New Ground), Imani Henry (Equality for Flatbush), Cindy Weisner (Grassroots Global Justice), Pamela Brown (WBAI), Emma Yorra (Center for Family Life), William Brownotter Jr. (Intl Indigenous Youth Council), Agunda Okeyo, Brigid Flaherty (#GOPHandsOffMe), Jodeen Olguin(Movement Strategy Center), and Richard Seymour (Salvage Magazine).

 

Plus, an F-word from Laura on why she never wants to be faced with this kind of political choice again.

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LFExcerpt: Hip Chick Farms

From this week's episode with organic food entrepreneurs Serafina Palandech and Jennifer Johnson. Donors of $10 or more receive open access to our transcript archives.

Laura: I don't suppose it came up at that dinner because you were probably being very polite. But there are policy changes that would help businesses like yours. Can you talk about some of them? Because some of the people who might be watching might be people who are in government or who are in position to actually make some policy change. Rush Limbaugh wasn't right in saying there's money flowing to lesbian farmers.

Serafina: No.

Laura: But there could be.

Serafina: There could be, yes. Certainly. I think that our experience is limited. We've only been in the industry for 3 and a half years. I can't speak to it as an expert by any means.

Laura: But there are presumably things that could've been easier for you.

Serafina: Access to capital for rural businesses. That's where we actually did access our, the VC money came through a program that Secretary Vilsack created. We're very fortunate to have that access stream. There's a lot of people in rural communities, in agricultural communities that don't have access to those kinds of resources that's greatly needed.

Just even some of the regulations around the access to kill facilities and poultry processing and how that's ... Folks want to do things locally, and there's not an ability to do it. There's a huge need for changes and shifts for how people can create meat and poultry products on a local basis. It's kind of a globalized industry right now. It's very expensive to get into it.

When we started, we were like well how hard can it be, we'll make some chicken fingers. Then we learned about the USDA ...

Jen: We did a Kickstarter for $25,000. That's it. We're good. We're done.

Serafina: No. We needed millions.

Jen: That was less than a drop in the bucket.

Serafina: You need a huge access to capital to get into this particular industry.

Jen: Owning your own meat company is extremely expensive. We didn't know, and I'm shocked we're still here today.

Laura: Talk a little bit more about the sexism in the business. I think we all, clearly, if this election has taught us anything, need to talk more about the sexism that we're up against.

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Movement Building Politics: Pramila Jayapal and Chase Iron Eyes

 

At the Laura Flanders Show, we say we talk with “tomorrow’s heroes today.”  One of those could well be forward-thinker Pramila Jayapal, Washington State Senator, now running for Congress. If elected, Jayapal be the first south Asian woman in the House of Representatives.  Jayapal describes herself as a “proud immigrant from India.” She founded Hate Free Zone (now OneAmerica) in response to hate and discrimination after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack and played a big role in the push for a $15 minimum wage. Hear how Islamophobic racism, has shaped her campaign and why she believes politicians must address institutional racism head-on. Pramila Jayapal is running for Washington, U.S. House of Representatives, District 7.

 

Also running for Congress is Chase Iron Eyes, a populist candidate for indigenous voters and a leading organizer for the #NoDAPL fight. We talk with Iron Eyes about lifting up in the face of oppression. Chase Iron Eyes is a Native activist and attorney, and a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.


All this, and Laura’s F Word on opening highways not gates.

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Are we stuck in a two-party gridlock, or is there still room for democracy? Ralph Nader, former presidential candidate and famed political maverick, joins us to discuss what really constitutes “people power” when it comes to this election. Known for his lifetime advocacy for electoral reform and corporate accountability, Nader talks about what the 2016 election’s taught us about the need for a government overhaul. For Nader, the choice between what he calls a “warmonger” and an  “empty suit,” is no choice at all. But that doesn’t mean voters can’t make a difference, especially on Congress.


Nader is the author a new book, Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think.”  Also in this episode, a look at those most integral to this election: the voters, with a retrospective from the Democratic National Convention, more from the fight at Standing Rock and an F Word from Laura on winner-take-all media coverage.

From the F-Word, a link to Arun Gupta's bombastic article on what stakes the Left has in this election.

 

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We Gon' To Be Alright - Really: Jeff Chang

It may seem at times like there’s a thousand movements to be a part of, a thousand and one tragedies in the news. How do we keep ourselves accountable to the communities we truly care about? Is "diversity" enough? And how do we stop ourselves from panicking? Our guest this week, celebrated journalist and author Jeff Chang takes on some of these questions. According to Chang, hope isn’t yet lost and really, we’re going to be alright -- if we work together.

Connecting the dots between modern American resegregation, the 2016 elections, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the “hip-hop generation,” Chang paints a picture of distress. Yet, there’s power in this, says Chang. Collaboration, the likes of which we see in successful movements everywhere (Movement for Black Lives, #NoDAPL), can ebb the flow of oppression. Jeff Chang is the co-founder of CultureStr/ke and Colorlines. He currently serves as the executive director for Stanford University's Institute for Diversity in the Arts. His latest release, “We Gon Be Alright,” from Picador, is in stores now.

Also in this episode, we see a movement in practice at Standing Rock in Očhéthi Šakówiŋ territory. Indigenous activists and nations across the country are joining together in a historic effort to protect the water and defend the land against corporate energy. These indigenous leaders can teach us a lesson about doing radical work, even when facing improbable odds.

From the F-Word, a link to Arun Gupta's bombastic article on what stakes the Left has in this election.

Find out more at www.lauraflanders.com. For Jeff Chang's other works, http://jeffchang.net/

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RISE With Standing Rock

There's a revolution happening in #StandingRock, at the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ camp, and across the country. Over 200 indigenous American nations and 6,000 people have travelled to the community in an unprecedented act of solidarity.

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