Adam Kokesh, who recently served four months in prison in connection with an Independence Day incident in which he videotaped himself loading a shotgun in Freedom Plaza, near the White House, sits down with Dennis to discuss Libertarianism, performance art in protest, and the book he wrote in prison, Freedom.
Adam Kokesh did a tour in Fallujah, Iraq with the Marines in 2004 and came home to become an anti-war activist. He ran for Congress as a Republican, had a radio show, a TV show, and has gone to jail for his civil disobedience. He is the host of the ADAM VS THE MAN YouTube channel and podcast, and just released his first book, Freedom.
Eleanor Goldfield is a creative activist and writer based in Los Angeles. She works with organizations to create digital content as well as live events to combine pop culture and politics – art killing apathy; her political hard rock band Rooftop Revolutionaries being a primary example of this. As a writer, she writes for several political publications on our corporatocratic government and all the issues that stem from that.
George Zimmerman, signing autographs at a gun show in Orlando, Florida over the weekend, wondered why people are angry with him.
Here is one possible answer:
Here is the thing, George, people know that it is not an aberration for a wanna be cop like you to patrol a neighborhood with a loaded gun and, upon seeing an African American kid whom you did not recognize, assume that kid was a threat, and then tail that kid with your itchy finger on the trigger of your loaded gun and initiate and then escalate a situation that resulted in that unarmed kid murdered and killed by you, Georgie.
It is more than that, however. People are angry at the ALEC written stand your ground laws that, while it played no direct role in your not guilty verdict, played a very direct role in the culture that empowered you to cruise around packing heat. In the case of stand your ground, the NRA wrote the law, and worked with ALEC to grease it through the legislature and get it passed into law in 2005, and the rate of legally justifiable homicides in Florida has tripled since then.
You see this is America, where corporate profits drive legislation. So George, in some ways, you are a lightning rod for something much bigger than even your cowardly murder. Even more than that, people are angry with you George for something that you did not do- they are angry with you because you are the beneficiary of a justice system that at every level oppresses people of color in general and African Americans in wildly disproportionate ways. The fact that you, George, are a person of color adds some nuance to this previous point, but it does not change the fact that you must know in you gut that if Trayvon Martin was named Cody and was popping an Abercrombie and Fitch hoodie above his blond surfer boy lochs, he would not be dead, and if you were stupid enough to have killed him, you would be in a jumpsuit behind bars, having been convicted of murder in a case that would not have made you famous.
Aura Bogado writing for The Nation after the Zimmerman verdict noted that it was White Supremacy that acquitted George Zimmerman- a view that “one that is suspicious of black men in his neighborhood, is one that adheres to white supremacy. It was replicated in the courtroom by his defense, whose team tore away at Rachel Jeantel, questioning the young woman as if she was taking a Jim Crow–era literacy test.”
We are angry with you George, because you are the face of a horrible cancer on the body politic of American life.
Like any cancer victim George, we just want our cancer to go away, even as we ask ourselves what we could have done to bring this cancer upon ourselves. Read the rest of this entry →
A report came over the AP wire last night that, if this were any other country in the world, would have been the top news story for days: “Multiple shots were fired inside a northern New Jersey mall shortly before closing time Monday night,” read the opening line of the report and Americans, having been through this drill before, found a cable TV talking head or pieced together facts from the ever reliable twitter and were able to learn, in short order, that a man, described by eyewitnesses as wearing “body armor, black leather pants and a motorcycle helmet,” was seen walking by Talbots in the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey shooting his rifle into the air.
A huge local and state police presence responded the mall went into lockdown and the incident ended when the gunman apparently took his own life in a Footlocker store. Incidents like this always bring out the defenders of our gun culture in force. “Guns don’t kill people, defenders of the homicidal gun culture are wont to say, people kill people. Except there is this: If I want to get from point A to B a car, bus or train will do the trick, because that is what they are designed to do. If I want to get in shape, a treadmill, (if I ever get on the treadmill – but enough about me) will do the trick because that is what a treadmill is designed to do. If I want to signal to the world I am sucker for branding and fashion and will pay more for an inferior products, DR. Dre’s BEATS headphones will signal this to the world. And while cars, when driven by drunk drivers; treadmills when run on by people with a heart condition, and fashion all can kill, the difference between all of those items and guns is simple: when guns kill, they have functioned as intended by their manufacture.
When car accident kills people, it is a horrible accident. When a gun kills someone, it is an example of the product functioning as intended.
A new coalition of gun rights and conservative groups has proclaimed January 19, 2013, “Gun Appreciation Day” — the group, calling themselves GAD, has begun urging Americans nationwide to show their support for gun ownership by turning out en masse at gun stores, ranges, and shows from coast to coast.
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