This week, the Atlantic Studies Podcasts of Note blog offers links to episodes on abolition, rebellion, academia, medicine, and the Caribbean. As well, this blog fails again at trying to avoid belaboring with repetition the concerns of our current moment. It has been well stated by many others and consistently asserted here that academic freedom is under attack, voting rights are being curtailed, pandemic is being used to create a rhetorical field of ambiguity, and a tipping point of economic stress is soon to arrive.
Abuse of power rises in these moments when misinformation reigns. In a week that saw the passing of a legal giant and trolling levels of political hypocrisy concerning her replacement, thousands of spectators entered football stadiums, hundreds of citizens journeyed to political rallies, and scores upon scores of students packed bars and restaurants in American college towns. The disregard for the health and lives of others signals the rise of a third wave of cases in the United States, as Europe attempts to beat back the social exhaustion of seven months with more responsible behaviors.
What must be reiterated in this moment is that judging actions during this pandemic should not concern whether any person has the right to risk their own health and life by doing irresponsible things. If someone so chooses, they generally do have that right to infect themselves with risky behaviors.
People do not, on the other hand, have the ethical or moral right to infect others. No matter how much the narrative circles back to the conservative arguments on personal choice, this pandemic has never been about individual decisions to take on risks. The President provides cover to his followers to act in failing patterns through allowing them to dismiss facts and lean on false narratives. Still, those making risky choices know, deep down in the pits of their selfish stomachs, that by taking increased risks they continue spreading infection to those who are trying to avoid illness.
Take care of others.
Wear masks. Wash hands. Keep distance.
Atlantic Studies Podcasts of Note:
1) New Books Network – Teresa A. Goddu – Selling Antislavery: Abolition and Mass Media in Antebellum America
2) Witness History – BBC – The Mau Mau Struggle Against British Rule
3) This Week in Black History, Society, and Culture – BADFU – “Blacks in Higher Education”
4) New Books Network – Zachary Dorner – Merchants of Medicine: The Commerce and Coercion of Health in Britain’s Long Eighteenth Century
5) History of African Philosophy – J.J. Thomas and F.A. Durham – Frowning at Froudacious Fabrications
This Day in History Class:
9/15/1963 – 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing
Remembrance of Past Podcasts:
Sam Harris’s Making Sense offered an important episode on race in America with “The New Religion of Anti-Racism.”