This week we discuss Russia hacking our election, the Charlamagne and Tomi Lahren situation and Kanye meeting with Trump!
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Raquel: Hello everyone and welcome to the Black Girl Dangerous podcast. My name is Raquel Willis and I am your host, bringing you the most, dissecting the world around you with a dope intersectional feminist lens. Today, we have so much mess on the roster for you but we also have our bright, shining light of glory, voice of reason. All that good stuff today. [laughs] Jordan Scruggs, an amazing writer and dear, dear friend Jordan, do you have anything you’d like to say before we start?
Jordan: Oh, holy moly, that was quite the introduction. Oh, but yeah thanks I’m just, I am just doing what I can to get through the days, one awkward step at a time. So yeah, that’s what I’m here for. [laughs]
Raquel: Awesome, ok so I guess that we have a full plate today. We’re going to talk about the CIA releasing all of this ridiculous info about the Russians hacking the USA, we’re going to talk about Charlamagne the supposed god and his issues with the Tomi Lahren situation, also going to talk about Kanye and Trump, so, yeah. Let’s just go with the biggie right now and it it’s been a headline for the last few days I don’t see it going anywhere so the CIA released info, or I won’t say the CIA released info because obviously we can’t trust them that much [laugh] but information was released about the Russians hacking our election and follow-up information was shared saying that they specifically released certain information about Hillary Clinton and the DNC, Democratic National Committee, really to discredit them and get Trump elected. Now, there have been so many theories on why this election turned out the way it did. Obviously a lot of people didn’t think it would go this way and didn’t think that we would now be uttering the words President-Elect Trump.
Jordan: That just hurts. It hurts to hear it. [laughs]
Raquel: It hurts! I feel like I’m living in an SNL sketch right now. But what were your thoughts on Friday when this came out?
Jordan: I was not surprised, it was very obvious from the beginning because if you think about the way he was just answering questions when it came to foreign policy, the way he was belittling Hillary Clinton’s experiences, the vast experiences she’s had, with foreign policies and foreign relations and actually building relationships to, you know, within the interests of both the US and the parties that the other nations that she talked to, she has a history of working with these intelligence agencies, working with the people who represented these other nations and if she was telling people, “We have intel that says there are other nations that are trying to influence our presidential election”, that was a moment where everyone should have been invested. Bipartisan investment in exposing whether or not this is a fact and then when he came out and he tried to discredit her by saying, “Well, I know more than you know” and he’s a citizen who has no rights or has no legal bounds or no reason to be invested in these departments of intelligence, where is he getting his information from if it is not from the intelligence agencies that Hillary Clinton has been a part of in some form or fashion for the past three decades?
Raquel: I remember, it was like everyday on Twitter. The trending topic or one of the top five trending topics was the DNC link, the DNC leak, the Podesta emails.
Jordan: All these emails, all these emails!
Raquel: All these emails! All of this information, specifically on Hillary Clinton and all of this was happening. obviously during the height of Trump’s dalliances going public, you know with the Access Hollywood tape and it’s just, everything was going awry. I was like, okay, yeah that’s trending but obviously not that many people are going to buy into that. Blah blah blah. But obviously when the Comey letter hit.
Jordan: Ugh. [laughs]
Raquel: I was a little scared. When the Comey letter hit, I was like wow. Because you know it’s almost like half of our voters go out to vote on act the actual Election Day, right, so there’s still like only so many ballots that have been casted by that point.
Jordan: Yeah, it was just, it was just so frustrating just to hear people who were trying to explain how the emails situation was, like the facts of it, was it wasn’t confidential emails and the information wasn’t confidential until after she left the office, which happens with every single other position and that pretty much goes back into how we educate people on our edges, on our political system. Like, what does it mean to be this position? Like, what does it mean they’re in charge of when they placed over this? No one’s talking about what it means for him to have information that he shouldn’t have as a citizen of America. Like, I should not have access to the national security of our entire country. I’m a citizen. It doesn’t matter how much money he has, he should not be able to buy intel and that’s basically what he did. That’s basically why his cabinet is being filled with rich, successful businesspeople. Cuz that’s what his cabinet is. Because right now he just, he just decided, he just announced that the Exxon chief, the ExxonMobil guy- well I think his name is Rex Tillerson, which is the most straight white man name I can ever think of Rex Tillerman- Tillerson and a CEO of ExxonMobil, which is oil, that’s pretty much what ties him to Russia. Because it’s oil not just anywhere in the world, it’s oil in Russia. His connections are tied into Russian politics, diplomats, he has to be he has to have a relationship with Russia and for Trump to say that he has no relations to Russia, he has nothing- nothing ties him in or interests. There’s no way he can benefit in anyway, in Russia benefiting off of us, or, you know, exposing anything in America. There’s no way, he’s just- it is very frustrating. His excuses hid away the fact that Russia was pretty much tipping at the plate in his favor the entire time.
Raquel: One of the things that has been almost infuriating about the situation is that the leadership, really on both sides of our government, and terms of this two-party system, the Democrats and the Republicans have both been so weak on tackling this issue and obviously you know a lot of these things happen behind the scenes. There’s a lot of covert, kind of a clean up that often happens or continued messiness but it we have really not seen any good leadership on both sides of the fence. We’ve seen the outsider, Jill Stein came out pushing for the recount, right. We see Bernie on some level, Bernie Sanders, talking about-
Jordan: Bernie Sanders is frustrating me to no end. [laughs]
Raquel: Talking about holding people accountable, right. On some level. But even still Bernie is, you know, only going so far.
Jordan: He’s only going so far.
Raquel: And the other issue is that, particularly with the leadership in the House and Senate, with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell- Mitch McConnell, his wife Elaine Chao, is up for position in Trump’s cabinet. How that is not another conflict of interest on top of all of these conflicts of interest with this Trump situation, I don’t understand why this is happening, why people are allowing this to happen and then that completely tells us why Mitch McConnell is not really doing much of anything in terms of his job to really call out what’s happening with Trump and what’s happening with these so-called investigations happening so late and the problem is the some of these facts have been out since September-October, so people behind the scenes in the government has known that this has been an issue and led us into this election thinking that everything was a-ok, right, usiness as usual and obviously it isn’t. Obviously it’s not and right now, you know, there are only so many options to get this on track and it seems like nobody is really going to take the reins and make that happen. So, with that, then is Kanye our next great hope, since he’s meeting with Trump clandestinely, or actually not so clandestinely, out in the open with it. So yeah, so today Kanye was the trending topic for pretty much all of the day after his meet up with, our supposed President-Elect Trump. I’m never gonna get used to that. So he met up with him at Trump Tower and they had a little moment and the Don talked about how they went way back and they’re buddies and you know fellow Gemini’s. Which okay, I’m so hurt, as a Gemini, that you know these two are in the same camp but you know, I can’t do anything about that. I promise you, I will continue to be on my best behavior. [laughs]
Jordan: As a Gemini, it hurts so much! [laughs] Like, this is why we can’t have good things as a Gemini because we have folks like Donald Trump and Kanye West just out here, just messing it up for us, just the rest of us just trying to make our way through life.
Raquel: I think we make up for it. We make up for all the negativity.
Jordan: We do a good job, we do a good job. So what are your thoughts because that happened and then you know Kanye said he was talking about multicultural issues and then said on Twitter, #2024. So what are your thoughts on Kanye and his supposed meeting with Trump?
Jordan: In some circumstances, like I really do just want to be like Kanye, this is the end of us forever. You know, Late Registration can’t be that good for my morals. It can’t, it can’t beat my morals. It just can’t, no matter how great “Hey Mama” was. It’s just not worth me siding with you on this. I just cannot do it. And that’s- that’s really what I want to say and that’s what a lot of people are saying but then a lot of people are doing exactly what Donald Trump is doing, I mean- they’re doing exactly what Kanye West is doing and saying, “No one’s gonna throw out their electoral vote. There’s nothing we can do to stop this through the courts system, the justice system isn’t gonna overthrow him, so what I gotta do right now is just do what I can to make it through these next years or whatever. Maybe he wants to make changes because I noticed that he said you know you have to work with the President if you really want change” but that wasn’t what he was saying when he ran up on stage and said George Bush doesn’t like black people because we’ve gone from Kanye West just being very out and proud about how much he hates white supremacy in the White House and what that means for poor black people in the streets of Chicago, to saying I want to work with this white supremacist guy who may be, okay sure, let’s let’s not call Donald Trump a white supremacist. Let’s not. Let’s call the rest of his cabinet white supremacist because a majority of them are white supremacist. No matter how much they try to walk away from or call themselves alt-right and talk about how that’s not who they are, they would never. They have a history of doing anti-black, anti-people of color behavior and that is something you just can’t ignore and he said he wants to- Kanye West said that, you know, he wants to support the teachers. He wants to end violence in Chicago. Which is two, which are two very powerful things, which are very important things. We do need to have a reconstruction based around our education system. It needs to be revamped, it needs to be altered, it needs to amplify the students and education and the teachers over grades and excelling and just doing business but the fact of the matter is, is what Kanye West should have asked about is why was he bring a woman into the cabinet position for the education, when she doesn’t believe or support public schools? She doesn’t have children that have gone to public schools. She doesn’t have any history in education, whether you know, it’s being in the PTA. Because right now, she’s doing less than Sarah Palin in experience when it comes to being involved in the educational world. She has no experience in being involved or invested in what it makes- what it takes to make a school run properly or to make kids get a proper education. So that’s where he should have gone, he should have called him out, he shouldn’t have been smiling and shaking hands with the President-Elect. He should have been asking him questions. He has a platform. He could have been doing that on Twitter, he didn’t have to meet him hand-to-hand. He didn’t meet him face-to-face, he didn’t have to shake his hand and smile in front of cameras. Which, by the way, is very frustrating because Donald Trump says he has no time. He’s a very busy man and he’s too smart to go into intelligence meetings but he has times to have- he has enough time to have a press release or you know, to make a statement and take a photo op with Kanye West and have a meeting with him. It’s a double-edged sword because you want- I want Kanye West to have healing because I do believe that he is going through some mental stuff that he just does not- he hadn’t dealt with or he hasn’t been able to deal with and I want him to succeed as another black human being. I want to see him strive and I want to see less violence in Chicago. I want to see less violence everywhere but I don’t think going to Donald Trump first and foremost was the right move.
Raquel: I understand the idea of wanting to reach across the aisle or whatever. I don’t really have the energy to do that but somebody’s got to do it and I understand why some people, particularly people of color, black folks, take that position. I just don’t trust Kanye West to do that.
Jordan: Absolutely not. [laughs]
Raquel: Especially given just who he has become and the ideology that he has embraced. I don’t think we need to be scapegoating mental illness or mental health. I think that that is not even on the table for me. I honor his, his journey in getting well and trying to get through whatever he may be going through. I don’t trust Kanye West because this is the same guy who, like two years ago, said, “Oh well, race isn’t really an issue anymore. It’s all about class in America.” and this was on the coattails of releasing an album with the track called “New Slaves”, you know. So there’s so much contradiction happening with Kanye and I just- I’m aggravated. This is not the same Kanye who said George Bush doesn’t care about black people. This is not the same Kanye who was talking about when you get on he leaves your ass for white girl. This is not that same Kanye who was somewhat militant about his stance on blackness and a radical awareness and and love of the self and that blackness. This isn’t that same Kanye and, for the record, I’m perfectly okay calling Donald Trump a white supremacist and anybody in his cabinet a white supremacist and the majority of the folks supporting him because there’s no way you can, in my eyes, give a free pass to this disgusting neo-Nazi movement that’s rising around that.
Jordan: Yeah, definitely. No one gets a free pass anymore because this is just ridiculous when people- because that’s what they are, white supremacist. It doesn’t matter how much they want to gloat about how they’re changing how it looks. No, it doesn’t matter What it’s like, the saying if you like you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig? That’s what white supremacy is. You can’t leave it, that is literally, when they talk about you know certain leaders leaving, you know, no. You don’t, you don’t leave and you don’t alter it. You might you might one day wake up and be like “Wow, you know I was brainwashed with racism!” but unless you call it for what it is, it’s still the same thing. And it’s just- the journey of Kanye West from Late Registration to even just a Holy Grail. It’s just, literally, it’s been terrible. It’s been tumultuous, it’s been heartbreaking because there are so many people that invested in the dream that was Kanye West. The kid that was in the back, making beats, you know have a broken jaw and still rapping and then producing music for people like John Legend and then one and then just eventually kicking off his own career with his own album and then one day just winning Grammys and selling out concerts, all this type of stuff but then people forget that- that’s really- you’re right. It’s not the same Kanye anymore because it went from him writing “Hey Mama” to where is the song is literally nothing more than a love sonnet to his mother. It’s literally like a love track to his mother, an ode to his mother who was a beautiful black woman, a beautiful dark black skinned woman, who was also big. She was a big girl and there was nothing wrong with her and then he went from that to saying like, “My girl makes your girl look like Precious”. His mother looked like Precious if we’re going to go through that analogy, like that was his mother and now he’s making this analogy like there’s something wrong with being someone who was his mother and that is just- it’s heartbreaking and frustrating to me and that’s pretty much how I feel about Kanye West, cuz I mean you want to believe him, you wanna support him but then at the same time it’s just like, you can’t do this because you don’t- you represent an entire population, an entire population is learning from you, listening to you, and watching you and you’re influencing these people and these young black men to be anti-black woman.
Raquel: So speaking of of being against black women and people of color and women of color, specifically, last week Charlamagne tha God as he calls himself from the Breakfast Club, actually I usually like The Breakfast Club. I mean, he’s always on some BS. Not always, sometimes he’s not so bad but last week after the whole Trevor Noah situation where he supposedly confronted Tomi Lahren of The Blaze fame about her very, it’s not even a colorblind ideology because she obviously sees color and she hates certain colors more than others [laughs] but he confronted her about her rants on Black Lives Matter and Colin Kaepernick and whatever else she’s ranting about this year the black people have done and so obviously Twitter was in an uproar, a lot of people were in an uproar over the fact that he kind of sort of challenged her but then there are photos that came out that show that they look a little bit more buddy-buddy there are some issues there and then, of course, Charlamagne had to say something and he released this photo of him posing with Tomi Lahren too and caused another uproar and basically called out people of color and black women specifically and said, in essence, “Gosh it would be great if, you know, a black woman or a woman of color or people of color created their own platform and rose to the level that Tomi Lahren has!” It was a nonsensical statement to make and like many things that Charlamagne has said and done, hella anti-black. So what were your thoughts last week on that because Twitter was not having it, black woman were not having it, feminists were not having it.
Jordan: I have never been just so flabbergasted that someone in his position can say, “Where are the woke black women at?” I’m like, we’ve been here since Harriet Tubman was freeing slaves. I don’t know. So we’ve always been first. We’ve always been last and we’ve always been the ones that have done the work and like I just wanna to know, like someone show me. Like you can’t just look on your own feed? Like I want to know who was on Charlamagne tha God’s feed that he can’t see black women out here putting in work every single day. As if Black Lives Matter wasn’t started by three black women, two of them being queer, and as if like years and years and hours and all this time has been put into black women doing work. Now, whether they got the full credit for or whether someone else with more privilege picked up the pace and got it amplified, who knows? But there’s always some black woman, somewhere watching someone’s kids, doing free labor so their parents can go out and make a living. There’s always someone in the community organizing, doing unseen work behind the scenes to help kids graduate, help kids get to college, help families get a home. There’s always going to be a black woman doing woke work, whatever that means at this point because now I just don’t know because they’re saying Joe Walsh is woke and that is not a fact. [laughs] But it hurt just because how much more do black women have to do? Like, black woman put a man on the moon and he’s asking, “where the black women at doing real work?” I don’t know how much more work you need from women when we’re putting people on the moon and we’re building entire franchises or different types of things like Madam CJ Walker was a woke black woman. Ida B. Wells was another black woman. Like there would never be any of these organizations- fundamental black networks and things that we have in our communities without black women and so it wasn’t just like frustrating, it was just confusing and it definitely made me angry. I got so angry.
Raquel: So the things about it is knowing Charlamagne, right, like he gets paid to spout crap, right and so it’s- it’s a constant issue with him of saying one thing that’s like, “okay I guess that actually makes sense” and then he’ll go completely often the deep end and it’s like saying something really just to rile people up and be antagonistic and obviously that is a part of his persona, whatever. But the thing that’s an issue is integrity and I am sick of men, of black men in particular, saying, “Oh well, you just let it get to you. It’s not really that big of an issue.” It is an issue when this is the stuff that women are bombarded with every day. It is an issue for you to think, oh you can say this and it’s tongue-in-cheek and it’s a joke and then you have hundreds of thousands of followers who actually believe those things, actually act on those things, you are in essence an agent of that fake news that everyone’s trying to call out right now. You perpetuate this damaging idea that black women and women of color aren’t putting in the work. They don’t have to be three times as good at what they do as you do, right. Think of all of the women on my timeline on a daily basis who are ten times as eloquent, ten times as powerful and inspiring and analytical and intelligent as even Charlamagne himself and they will never be given an ounce of the attention, an ounce of the accolades that he is. They will never be looked at and considered in the same light that he is, even when half of what he says is a joke, nothing more than a joke. It’s sad. It’s sickening. It’s unfortunately an everyday issue of getting out of- out of bed and knowing you have to be a million times better at what you do still to get a third of what this black man gets and he’s already getting a third of what this white man gets. So that’s not even a part of his perspective. So this is- I’m over it with him and over giving him the benefit of the doubt and over really just speaking to ignorant men about feminism and sexism and all of that stuff until I’m blue in the face. I can’t. I can’t do it anymore. I’m drained.
Jordan: It’s so exhausting because someone- even as a black man, he’s still privileged to be above a black woman when it comes to how they’re respected, how they are paid, and how they are given the benefit of the doubt because there’s a stigma still. It goes on every single day of people, the people being on food stamps. It’s sorta why they go, “Oh, we need to cut- we have to cut SNAP because there’s too many people around here having babies who aren’t married, who are just lazy, like not doing anything” and what they’re really saying is we don’t want any more black women on SNAP just having babies so they can get money from the government and mooch off of us and do absolutely nothing but sit around TV and watch TV all day. When the reality of the matter is is the largest demographic that is on boost assistance, government food assistance programs like SNAP, are two-parent households, white, living in a rural area in a red state. Their white, full families, married, working minimum-wage jobs and you can’t afford to eat but that’s not what we get. We get this stereotype of being lazy. We get the stereotype of not earning or just you know using whatever laws as, oh like affirmative action. Like no, affirmative action isn’t just letting in lazy, non-working black people. It’s only letting in the best of the best because even then, it’s not the people that should be allowed in. Everyone should get an equal opportunity, an equal chance and black women just aren’t getting that. They aren’t getting it and for him to say that, it kind of enforces and puts more power to these stereotypes against black women because if a black man is saying, “Well these women aren’t doing anything, they’re not doing anything for me, they’re not doing anything for anybody else, for themselves. We need more black women out here.” It negates and dismisses all of the hard work the black women have been doing since we got placed on this country, on this continent. It defeats the purpose of progress and it defeats the purpose of fighting to defeat white supremacy if you just ignore all the work that black women have done because we wouldn’t have a feminist movement we have today if it weren’t for black women stepping up.
Raquel: I do want to say, you know, it seems like at least, on some level, the points that a lot of us were trying to make on Twitter and elsewhere to Charlamagne got through, I guess, or maybe it’s him backpedaling. Whatever, I don’t care. So I think either today or maybe it was released today, Jamilah of Interactive One and our fellow Echoing Ida member Amber Jay Phillips, both dope black feminist women doing the damn thing all the time and and truth-telling were on the show. I haven’t seen it yet, but they were on The Breakfast Club. I’m gonna definitely check that out but I’m glad that moment happened. I’m not glad about how it had to happen in terms of having to kind of, you know, twist to the arm to make him realize the error of his ways but you know maybe this will lead to some good opportunities for them and hopefully, you know, we’ll actually see some of the support that has come out of that conversation extended to all of these voices all these women and non-binary folks and queer folks of color, who have been building themselves and their platform for years. But I want to thank you so much for being on this platform [laughs] and is there anything else you want to say to our listeners before we head out?
Jordan: Yeah you can find me on Twitter, doing everything to help people make a difference, make change, progress forward but if you really want to help me out, what I want you to do is check out the Black Joy Mixtape that has Amber Jay Phillips on there and she was the one that Raquel was talking about and when it comes to talking to Charlamagne and calling out all the names of the beautiful black women that are out there doing hard and great work Jaz on your mind and Amber Jay Phillips are always out there putting in the good work and I endorse everything they do about that on the Black Joy Mixtape!
Raquel: Yay! [laughs] Awesome! Well, you can follow Jordan on Twitter at…
Raquel: Awesome! Alright, everyone that is our episode. Make sure to check out all things amazing, black, person of color, dangerous, queer, trans all that good stuff at blackgirldangerous.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @BGDblog and if you liked this episode or just want to rant to us use the hashtag #BGDpodcast. The Black Girl Dangerous Podcast is a production of Black Girl Dangerous Media. Bye!