This week, the Atlantic Studies Podcasts of Note blog continues to offer episodes on Atlantic History and more recent issues for the study of the Atlantic World. Selections for this week focus on nationalism and violence, labor and the environment, development, impeachment, and agriculture. As well, the Journal of the Plague Year sadly continues with the five senses centered upon a peaking pandemic, a failed and flailing non-military coup, and all the redeeming hope that a vaccine and inauguration can provide in such dark times.
For those willing to delve deeper into Right-Wing media by watching, listening to, and reading some of the central conspiratorial arguments, the attack on the Capitol has quickly become much less important than the concerns with Twitter shutting down the bullying and manipulative account of the President. The violence at the Capitol is quickly becoming a secondary story on the Right, as nearly hybristophillic tendencies that have become common during the Age of Trump jump even higher above the shark to slowly accept extreme paramilitarism as an inescapable aspect of our American futures.
The Right let these militant groups into the mainstream political spectrum, accessing their votes and support instead of moving to the center during the Obama Era, specifically denying the suggested triangulation after the now infamous “autopsy” following the elections of 2012. The coronavirus has accelerated these Right-Wing media machines desire to move ever farther to the Right, recently propped up by greater use of the psychological “nudge” made more accessible and conventional by Cambridge Analytica during the Brexit votes and within the 2016 Presidential Election. These radio stations, the networks, the message boards all consistently continue with creating a bubble of Right-Wing knowledge that does not need evidentiary proof to rise against masks, claim doctors are personally profiting from death counts, or for some to even assert that the novel coronavirus does not exist.
When the President-elect recently brought up Goebbels in his remonstrance against the violence, he was not wrong, he has not trodden upon a bridge too far. The Far-Right movement created a lie upon a lie upon a lie upon a lie, in an echo chamber of deceptions, within a group that prides itself on using falsehoods to commit deeds that prop up white pride, preach Confederate nationalism, and influence more mainstream Republican politics. Power should not rule in the United States of America. The passion for criminality must end, whether it came from the Right or is overly indulged upon by the Left-Wing media as some sort of spectacular exposure for the masses.
Might does not make right. The assault on the Capitol attempted to use Power to overrule the state certifications of an American election. The Republican Party, since the 1960s and the Southern Strategy, has been the party of State’s Rights. But the deeper conservative face preaching this message has again been uncovered; that State’s Rights, as it was in the Civil War, with the Lost Cause, and in the Southern Manifesto, is often part of a fanciful form of political language applied to hide the search for illegal and criminal Power at the core of much farther Right-Wing politics, regardless of historical party affiliation.
What is probably most ironic in the entire electoral mess, is that the November election was at its most unfair to many populations that usually vote Democratic. Shelby County v. Holder (2013) has made voting more difficult again in areas that were punished for previously disenfranchising Black voters. The irony that arrives currently is that Democrats and Black voters have nearly unanimously had to assert that this November’s election was “fair” to counter the absurd claims of illegality from the Trump portion of the Right-Wing, when all the actual evidence points to an election that was at its utmost unfairness, as it has been for the last 250 years, against gerrymandered and disenfranchised African American populations.
Be strong in the abnormal.
Wear masks. Wash hands. Keep distance.
Atlantic Studies Podcasts of Note:
1) BBC – Witness History – Puerto Rican Attack on the US Capitol
2) New Books in History – The Last Turtlemen of the Caribbean: Waterscapes of Labor, Conservation, and Boundary Making – Sharika D. Crawford
3) New Books in History – The Idea of Development in Africa: A History – Corrie Decker and Elisabeth McMahon
4) NPR – Throughline – “Impeachment” – Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment
5) Wondery – Tides of History – “Agriculture and Complex Societies in the Americas, 400-1500 BC”
This Date in History:
1/11/1879 – British Invade Zululand
Remembrance of Past Podcasts:
NPR also offered two episodes this week that provide stark analysis relevant to many historical discussions of slavery and race in the Atlantic World. One focuses on “The Racist History of the Senate Filibuster.” The other centers in on “The Story of ‘Black Radical’ William Monroe Trotter.”
As well, following a trend from social media in recent weeks, this podcast listing offers a New Books Network episode on Sailor Song: The Shanties and Ballads of the High Seas by Gerry Smyth.