The Update 9/5 - The Waffle House + Daniel Prude + Trump is ending critical race theory + Jessica Krug blackface controversy
A variety of things to check out
Welcome to my freemium newsletter by me, King Williams. A documentary filmmaker, journalist, podcast host, and author based in Atlanta, Georgia. This is a newsletter covering the hidden connections of Atlanta to everything else.
Happy Birthday Waffle House
Happy Birthday Waffle House
The Avondale Estates founded company turns 65 today.
The Jessica Krug blackface controversy
In another case of someone using Blackface pretending to be Black for career gain, Jessica Krug, a George Washington University associate professor has outed herself as pretending to be Afro-Latina.
Krug, in a post written by herself on the blogging site Medium, entitled "The Truth, and the Anti-Black Violence of My Lies" states her reasons for assuming a Black identity. The most eye-catching statement circulating online are her words, "I am not a culture vulture. I am a culture leech." Krug is Jewish, White, and from Kansas. Many were drawing comparisons to the outing of Rachel Dolezal, the former Spokane, Washington NAACP leader who was outed in 2015. And while there are some differences, I do think it’s worth noting how Rachel Dolezal actually happened and you can read more about that in the Twitter thread below:
Trump is seeking to end critical race theory
This morning the Trump administration has announced that it seeking to eliminate all programs and mentions of critical race theory, White privilege, and any ‘propagandist’ teachings that America is racist/evil funded by US taxpayers. The Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought issued a statement yesterday that was immediately applauded on Twitter by conservatives, alt-right adjacent personalities, and those with staunch anti-ethnic viewpoints.
This also helps with a growing culture war that the Trump administration is waging. This war is part 1960s Nixon’s ‘law & order’ strategy, part Nixon’s 1968 ‘silent majority’ strategy, and the continuing 2010s backlash against ‘liberalism’ in universities.
What is critical race theory?
Critical race theory is a theological construct that examines the intersections of race in society.
It was birthed from a series of larger movements across the US in the 1960s and 1970s taking place in universities. Critical race theory as we know it was birthed from a movement within law schools during the 1970s in the period known defined as critical legal studies (CLS). These challenges and criticisms of the law, in addition to its relation to political and economic power. Critical legal studies ideas were drawn from the experiences of several individuals who came of age during the Civil Rights movements of the 1950s-60s, the counter-cultural movements of the 1960s as well as the Black Power movements of the 1960s-70s.
Proponents of critical legal studies stem largely from the notion that laws are used to maintain society's power structures and social norms. CLS also views the law as a societal construct for calcifying biases against marginalized peoples. This view often clashed with a growing libertarian ideology of the 1970s of free markets, codified conservatism, White flight, and rapid decentralization of two key tenets of White male-centered society: segregation and women’s rights.
Critical race theory is a spiritual successor to the work of W.E.B. DuBois
Critical race theory is a continuation of the work of one of arguably America’s first sociologists and fathers of the discipline, W.E.B. DuBois (1865-1953). DuBois’s work is the backbone for examining the intersections of larger societal frameworks of law, social interactions, race, and the urban/rural environment of Black Americans, often without his proper credit.
But DuBois was not alone in identifying racist and gendered attitudes reflected in all aspects of the Jim Crow era-south to be applicable to all of America.
If DuBois is the foundation, who is the architect?
But the person who is most credited with founding critical race theory is the late Derrick Bell (1930-2011), a lawyer, professor, and civil rights activist. He was a professor at USC, Harvard Law, and NYU whose work on race has shaped some of the most important discourse on race to ever happen. His works often challenged both liberals and conservatives, in addition to analyzing the fall out of civil rights initiatives often to the ire of both factions. But Bell was not alone as several others including Richard Delgado, Charles Lawrence, Mari Matsuda, and Patricia Williams are all contributors to what we now consider the discipline of critical race theory
The backlash against critical race theory
It’s because of this, the backlash against this theory usually emanates from White conservatives and non-white conservatives who ascribe to this ideology. YouTube has hundreds of videos of conservatives decrying critical race theory, anti-racism theology, and ethnocentric studies…seriously it’s a problem. The backlash to critical race theory centers around a few important aspects of American ideology:
Pro-White, Anti-ethnic conservatism
The notion of “free market” capitalism being the solution for all societal problems
If you want to learn more about this please listen to episode 22 of my podcast with professor Lawrence Glickman of Cornell University listed below.
Interview 020 of Talking to a former cop with Ernest Hawkins of Run With E
I hopped on Zoom to talk to a buddy of mine and former police officer, Ernest Hawkins of the mental health running organization Run With E. In this interview, we talk about what he sees at the protests from the perspective of a Black man and a former officer. His thoughts on defunding vs abolishing the police. His thoughts on the anti-Black Lives Matter movements known as 'Blue Lives Matter' and 'Defend the Blue'.
Interview 021 - Taking down Confederate monuments with Historian Kevin Levin
I sit down and talk to historian Kevin Levin. Kevin is the author of several books specifically on The Civil War entitled, Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder, and Interpreting the Civil War at Museums and Historic Sites.
In this interview, we talk about the history of Confederate monuments, the recent rapid removal of monuments around the country, the myth of 'the lost cause', why the truth about the Civil War was actually about slavery, and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton's bad response to the New York Times's 1619 project on slavery.
For more, you can check out Kevin's work at http://cwmemory.com/books/.
Interview 022 of Talking free markets, the backlash to The New Deal, and consumerism with Cornell University professor Lawrence Glickman.
In this episode of The Neighborhood Watch Podcast, I hopped on Zoom to talk to Cornell University professor Lawrence Glickman. Professor Glickman has written several books on consumerism, free markets, and society.
In this interview, we talk about whether or not boycotts are liberal, conservative, or both. Remembering the backlash to The New Deal, why consumers supporting brands politically is nothing new, and misunderstandings on what 'free markets' mean.
You can also read his two columns in The Atlantic are listed below:
Daniel Prude video surfaces, launching protests and spread of property damage propaganda
The murder of Daniel Prude, a Rochester, New York man in March has video finally surfaced.
In the video Prude while having a mental health episode, is completely naked while sitting down a residential street in Rochester at night as officers put a bag over his head, while handcuffed, and facing the ground, suffocating him in the process.
As a result of protests, last night several instances of property being damaged occurred in Rochester. This has been picked up by conservatives online and spread across the internet, like this video by online firebrand Ian Miles Cheong which has since caused his Twitter account to be suspended. What must be noted is that these violent incidents are being spread on the internet by online alt-right, conservative, and anti-Black Lives Matters accounts.
These violent incidents are often happening at night protests causing many to question whether or not these are being done by law enforcement and/or also by White nationalists. If this is news to you this type of destruction was used in the 1960s to disrupt the Black Power movements in a controversial counterintelligence program known as Cointellpro. This strategy has also been used by White nationalists this summer at several rallies including the George Floyd protests in late May of this year.
The Decatur Book Fair is going virtual this year!
One of my favorite events, which includes reading, festivals, and new ideas, will all be heading online this year for Labor Day weekend.
If you haven’t been the Decatur Book Fair is a book lover dream as hundreds of authors and thousands of books take over all of downtown Decatur for the weekend in a series of talks, events, readings, and pop-up stores.
I still suggest trying out the online version, and you can read more by clicking here.
DragonCon, my favorite event in all of Atlanta has gone virtual for 2020.
The usual 5-day multi-genre conference will be completely online this year and is one of the true gems of the year in the city.
I’ve spoken on several panels there in 2015 as well as in 2016 on the topics of filmmaking and fundraising. To be honest, nothing truly compares to the fun time I had, and hope to be there again in the future.
Hopefully next year we’ll all be able to go for a big meetup at the conference!
House in the Park 2020 will be virtual this year.
giving everyone the opportunity to groove at home or in the park on their own if they want. You can read more by clicking here for details.
MARTA resumes paid service Monday and if you happen to travel anywhere in the city this weekend, service is free.
Jimmy Carter approves the use of absentee ballots, despite President Trump’s concerns.
Governor Kemp’s plan to block the Affordable Care Act in Georgia is drawing criticism.
My good friend Bridgette Burton is hosting a series of drive-in movies at the Mable House-Barnes Ampitheater in Cobb. The event entitled, ‘Movies and Bands: Drive-In Edition’, people can drive to and enjoy classic films with live music scores on several films including Dirty Dancing, Drumline, Rocketman, and The Neon Queen
The showings will take place on September 18th and 19th, then again on October 16th and 17th. You can click here for more details.
Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) has opened a station in Valdosta, you can check it out at 90.9FM in partnership with Valdosta State University.
District Attorney candidate Keith Higgins (I) is officially on the ballot in Brunswick, Georgia.
Higgins received twice as many signatures needed to be on the Novembers ballot and will be facing off against the incumbent DA, Jackie Johnson (R), who is handling the Amhaud Arbery case, there are no Democrats running in the race.
Georgia’s Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan stops a study on systemic inequality citing budgetary issues and “a lack of interest”. Once word of this came out a few people on Twitter had a few words about it including the District 48 State senator Democratic nominee, Michelle Au.
In religious news, a Savannah congregation splits from the national United Methodists Church over its support of same-sex marriage.
Albright is the co-founder of TenderfootTV, the company behind the hit podcasts Up and Vanished, Atlanta Monster, and To Live and Die in LA.
Albright is also featured in an in-depth interview on (friend of the newsletter) Dan Runcie’s Trapital podcast on the inside scoop on the company’s success.
Morehouse School of Medicine received a surprise $26 million dollar donation from Michael Bloomberg, whipping out the debt for students at the college.
Black restaurant week is happening right now, please order some takeout from one of the businesses listed and it ends September 13th.
Friend of the newsletter and superstar entrepreneur Jewel Burks-Solomon has written a soon-to-be viral post on the blogging site Medium regarding why she keeps two jobs despite selling her first company to Amazon.
Old Navy will pay 50,000 employees to be poll workers instead of working retail in November. After the news of Old Navy, women’s fashion brand Tory Burch will do the same after announcing on Instagram.
Oklahoma City Thunder's starting point guard Chris Paul (CP3) has been utilizing his time in the NBA bubble to draw attention to several causes to the Back community.
The most recent has been his constant adornment of HBCU’s merchandise before each game, bringing awareness to these universities to his millions of followers on social media.
Prince Harry and Megan Markle have signed a production deal with Netflix.
Prosecutors are using gang laws to target activists, setting an eerie precedent in the war to criminalize protests.
Marvel has its first gender non-binary character named Snowflake. The character is introduced in the New ‘New’ Warriors comic line and you can find more on their website.
JP Morgan has given investors a warning of Trump's win in November due to ongoing violent protests.
The CDC orders a temporary halt on evictions as the economic recovery and treatment of covid-19 still hinges on a successful containment of the pandemic.
Speaking of Mississippi, voters in November will decide on a new state flag.
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