Saturday, October 02, 2021

FRED HAMPSTON LEFTISTS, Richard Medhurst, Glenn Greenwald and more

FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS is a YOUTUBE channel we highlight often.  (You can call them a podcast.  I don't do that.  I don't highlight podcasts anymore because, as I've noted, the sound quality really hurts my ears.  We highlight programs on YOUTUBE or on the channel Glenn's using, etc.)

They did a live video that just ended as I'm typing this.  It's apparently a big drama, to read the public e-mail account for this site (

I will say I disagreed with one statement made.  Nick said that there would probably be no new content this weekend because they were just going to have a conversation this weekend.  

That's his right and that's their right.  I would disagree with the approach however.  This is apparently big to some people -- whatever took place -- and if you're trying to put it behind you, you do that by focusing on the work.  

Does it always work?

No.  Infamously, Martha Stewart, as she faced federal charges, was on TV for a cooking segment for CBS' MORNING SHOW and the anchor had to bring up the charges -- it would have been bad journalism not to since Martha was a contributor to the show -- and Martha responded, "I just want to focus on my salad."  

But in most cases, you just focus on the work and that lets people focus on that as well and not on whatever is threatening to become an issue.

I did not catch the broadcast from the start of the live FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS broadcast from the start.    I was in the e-mails for the public account and all the sudden all these e-mails started coming in about it -- boom, boom, boom -- so I switched over to it.  I think it was near the end, by the way Sabby Sabs was speaking, I think it was near the end.  I tuned in around the time she said that, as some had noted, she wasn't drinking tea (it was wine).

So I really don't know why someone has left or been pushed out.  

Apparently Kerri Barber has left FHL.  I'm not familiar with her work.  Many e-mails misspelled her first name and I was about to give up when I thought Sabby might have reTweeted her.  She had, that's how I found her Twitter feed.

Kerri apparently made comments that upset people.  Sabby, when I watched, was the only one who seemed to address or summarize the comments.  Sabby said that it was wrong for Kerri, a White woman, to lecture an African-American man about racism.

Was it?

 I don't know.  On the face of it, yes, it was.  But I don't know what she said or what context or anything about it.  I know that a lot of White people on the left feel comfortable saying the most racist things about African-Americans who are conservative.   And it's rare that I see pushback on that.

I'm sure that whatever was said or done was covered at the top of the broadcast but for those coming in after that -- and I'm sure I wasn't the only one joining late -- it would have been nice to have done a 'reset' like when a program on the radio comes back from a break.  

Recently, Tucker Carlson has come under fire for supposedly promoting some theory.  And I had an e-mail to the public account insisting that I had to address it.  (The public account?  Community members e-mail the private account.  The public account really exists today mainly so people can e-mail if they want something noted -- preferably something related to Iraq.)  I had to, did I?

No, I don't have to anything except breathe and eat and, at some point, die.  

We made this community without you.  Throw your tantrum in an e-mail to the public account but don't think I have to respond.  Maybe I'm going to use the Ferber method on you.

I don't know the theory that Tucker's supposedly promoting.  Does Tucker know the theory?

I'm serious.  We often fly off the handle at people because they said this and we know this.  Well, we don't all have the same working knowledge.  I've spoken before about how a trauma wiped my memory.  Everything you've learned in school, the basics?  If I didn't reteach myself, I don't know it.  I know what I learned in college.  And in college, to be up to speed on many topics, I had to do a lot of work -- and I usually, with a topic that I had no knowledge of -- started with children's books, I'm not lying and I'm not too proud to admit that.  The good news to that memory dump is that I lost a lot of the prejudices that were part of the lessons we were taught.

So there are many times when someone will say something like, "Don't you know . . ."  And, honestly, I don't.  

I don't make Hitler references because I think they're tacky but also true I really don't know WWII.  It's not something I've studied since the memory loss or wanted to read up on.  I know some about the tragedies and hardships civilians experienced due to journals and biographies and other narratives on topics beyond WWII but that cover someone's life during that period in the volume.  But, no, I've never made it a point to re-learn WWII or, honestly, any of the wars.  

So my point here is that we sometimes assume we're all working with the same knowledge base and we're all in agreement on the basic terms.  But we may not be.

So if Tucker's promoting a theory -- which, honestly, as described by the e-mailer is a hypothesis regardless of whether it's called a "theory" or not (that's always one of Elaine's pet peeves, when people get that wrong) -- and you think it's a racist theory before you make the leap of racism on his part you probably need to be sure that the two of you have the same understanding of the theory.  

I'm not a Tucker fan. I have not praised Tucker Carlson.  I've long criticized him and haven't offered a re-evaluation of that criticism.  

I have no obligation to weigh in on the e-mail and I'm not going to.  I don't know the so-called 'theory' and I'm not going to waste my time looking it up and then spend time going through Tucker's statements to see if that's his understanding of it and then blah blah blah.

WE have posted videos of Tucker in the last 12 months which is something we wouldn't have previously done.  But he has had on Glenn Greenwald and they have addressed serious issues.  More on Glenn later on.

My posting a video doesn't mean that I agree with it.  In most cases, I haven't streamed it.  Most of the stuff comes in to the public account.  I've said before that my opinion is not the only one that gets expressed here.  

Jonathan Tasini, for example, gets reposted here.  That may soon change.  His post late Friday may be the last time he appears.  Why?  He used the f-word.

I have no problem with the f-word.  I frequently use it.  But not here.  This needs to be work safe.  There are too many people reading on work computers.  If I can't say the f-word here, no one else can.  His latest had the f-word in the title.  I took it out of the title and was about to post when I thought, "If he used it in the title, he probably used it in the body of the post as well."  And he did.  And I had to go through it and I'm not doing that again.

Sorry, Tasini, but f**k you if you think that's my job.  My eye sight is going, going, nearly gone.  I'm not in the mood to strain my eyes to take out your foul words that I can't even use here myself.  If it happens again, Tasini won't go up.

I'll be having another surgery shortly, in the meantime I'm doing shots, laser and multiple eye drops. It's beyond rude to ask me to highlight your writing when you don't even meet our sole criteria -- to be work safe. Don't send your s**t if you can't be work safe.  Look, I just used the s-word -- but did so in such a way that it's work safe.  

I have eye issues and I'm not wasting my time on your stuff.  Meet the basic guidelines or go away.  I'm just not in the mood.

'B-b-b-b-but videos have gone up with the f-word.'  

They have.  One did this week from USEFUL IDIOTS.  But you're streaming if you access them.  That's another platform and you're taking a chance.  That's completely different than working for a Catholic Church and pulling up this website at your work computer and having one foul word after another spelled out.  Long ago, when THE WASHINGTON POST reported on Dick Cheney's use of the f-word and used the f-word one of our community members got in trouble for that, for reading it at a work computer.  That was before this site existed.  When this was relayed to me after this site started, that became our rule: work safe. 

Someone at work can decide whether or not to stream a video.  But if they pull up the site and the text has the foul word -- uncensored in it -- they don't have a choice on that.  And I'm not out to get anyone in trouble at their work.

So I don't know what Tucker's doing or what he's not doing and I really don't care.  I also do not care for attempts to pull him from the airwaves.  I loathe Bill Maher because he is racist and anti-Arab.  But all I've called for -- repeatedly, year-in-and-year-out, is for HBO to find other voices.  Not to pull his show but to find other voices.  That would mean talk shows hosted by people who did not look like Bill and who did not share his opinions.  That would mean diversity.

I don't favor censorship, I favor robust debate and that requires real diversity which means diversity in terms of race, gender, economic class, religious and non-religious beliefs, etc, etc.

MEDIA MATTERS and whatever that stupid group -- FREE PRESS, is that it? -- which keeps pimping fire! fire! fire! are really disgusting.  

I don't favor censorship.  I don't favor banning from the airwaves and I don't favor book burning.

FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS is not one person.  It's a group.  Often times, it can be difficult for any group to work together.  That's even more true when people come together because they believe in something.  In that case, it's not about making money or punching a clock to pay the bills.  It's about believing in something and working for something.  People tend to overwork when it comes to that and burn out is a very real possibility.  Tensions can be high and tempers can run short.  

A group of people can have love for one another and best intentions all around and it can still just not work.  And that can happen through no one's intent.  It's just what can happen.  

For whatever reason the break happened, clearly it was time for the break to happen.  In the best possible world, FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS and Kerri Barber will both go on to make many wonderful contributions to the left, to the country.  

That's really all I have to say on that and the only strong negative criticism I'm lobbying at FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS is that I think it's a mistake to go the weekend without new segments posted to show that (a) they're focused on the work and that (b) nothing's really changed.

In the absence of new segments, the focus will be on the split.  That's why I think it's a mistake.

Richard Medhurst.

Since I'm having to address this, I'm addressing another topic.

We highlight Richard Medhurst here.  Unlike a lot of videos that go up here, I watch Richard's segments.  I watch them on TV on YOUTUBE.  There are times when it goes up here before I've watched it but I do watch Richard's segments.  

I consider his analysis important and think it benefits the dialogue and the discussion.

Richard has ticked off some people.  Some people don't like him.

Lots of people don't like online me.  That's fine.  I don't need love and I function much better with lowered expectations.  I can even thrive on hate and did on many, many sets. 

It's not unusual for someone to dislike someone else.

But the e-mails on Richard . . .

They seem to loathe him for his politics and for his genes.  

They're tossing around that he's a pedophile.

Don't see it.  Doesn't mean it's not true.  I don't see it. And I took the time to read up on it.  Two articles widely reposted.  So "Victim A" -- as she's referred to -- was 17 or 15 (depending on the article) and had a relationship with Richard.

A sexual relationship?

No, an online relationship.  Hmm.

He was in his 20s.  As far I can tell from the articles, the two never met face-to-face.  Nor did they ever plan to meet face-to-face.  

He was a 20-something at the time.  I don't see that she knew that.  I don't see ( texts are reproduced) that he knew her age.  I do see that he said some sexual things that struck me as the way many 20-something men have spoken in the past.  I hope that's changing.  It should.  I don't know that he initiated that talk because the texts are never in full.  They're selectively edited and you get snippets.  

Is it a moment Richard should be proud of?  No.  It's not one he needs to destroy himself over either.  Your 20s are about learning and growing and hopefully that's what happened, he learned from it.

But there's nothing in there that justifies calling him a pedophile and I don't see that he's "grooming"  a victim.  

I see a horny young man who made a remark that might have been a response or it might have been an initiating remark.  I don't know.  

Again, men in their 20s often make remarks based on the desire.  Women do as well.  We're sexual beings.  We learn to navigate our way.  That's part of growing up.  

He didn't assault the woman, he didn't threaten her and we have no way of knowing what came before that or what came after in terms of dialogue the two were sending one another in texts.  

Assault and harassment are real.  I'm not seeing either in the claim being made.  

But, again, I am seeing this claim pimped by those who don't like Richard's political takes and who seem to think it's okay to call him outrageous names because of his heritage and makeup.  I don't know that you're going to sway anyone to your side with terms that are racist.

We'll continue to highlight Richard.  

Glenn Greenwald.  I just want to get this out here since we're doing a clearing the air post.

He needs to stop posting to two video platforms.  It's not helping him.  I understand that Ruptly or whatever it is has led to some mocking of him.  And going to YOUTUBE to cross post helped him demonstrate that he can still get the numbers.  So leave it at that.

By cross-posting right now, he's hurting himself.  We don't cross-post anymore.  We used to but then we got under attack and we stopped.  I'm not going to go into that any further.  We keep this in the community newsletters.  We do that because were we to talk about it outside of them, we'd encourage more.  

By cross-posting, Glenn is making it very easy for his voice to be diluted by those who dislike him and I will leave at that.  I've shared my thought on that and I'm done with that thought.

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