Tim Wise : White Like Me

Race, Racism and White Privilege in America

The continued prominence of racism is explored through the prism of white privilege in the engrossing documentary White Like Me. Based upon a book of the same name by author Tim Wise, the film explores the many advantages afforded to whites throughout the history of the United States, and the extent to which they have defined a culture of racial discrimination that continues to this day.

The shameful days of blatant segregation thankfully exist in the rear-view mirror of the country’s history.  But although great attempts have been made to achieve racial equality, America is nowadays more segregated than ever before, with cities like Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and New York taking the lead. The residue of discrimination still reverberates in nearly every corner of society. The film argues that the promise of a post-racial society has not yet been realized, and that the deeply embedded traditions of white privilege are largely to blame.

„For more than twenty years now, I’ve been trying to better understand for myself and to raise awareness among others how dangerous and damaging it is when white people like me are blind to racial inequality and our own privileges,” says Wise in the film. That search for understanding begins in a study of the laws, policies and institutions that have long informed America’s identity, including the Naturalization Act of 1790, and the initial enactments of programs that ensured social security and veteran benefits.

Whether obvious or insidious in their approach, the documentary contends that each of these instances catered to some level of racial discrimination in their formation, and set a foundation from which individual attitudes and governmental policies continue to operate.

White Like Me goes on to explore avenues like education, housing, the prison system, the government-waged War on Drugs, and additional aspects of American society in which racial discrimination still plays an informing role. Along the way, the film also tackles the notion of reverse racism in the age of affirmative action, and the belief that America has moved beyond matters of race in the wake of electing its first president of color. White Like Me handles these potentially inflammatory subjects with great sensitivity and frankness, and supports its assertions with a wealth of enlightening facts and data.

© Media Education Foundation, 2013

Published based on a Standard YouTube License.  To be used within the borders of the Fair Use clause of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, which allows for the rebroadcast of copyrighted materials for the purposes of commentary, criticism, and education.

Watch ,White Like Me’ ($4.99, Vimeo on Demand)
Licensing by Media Education Foundation

Tragedy & Hope : Rise up!

[Official Video]

Version with German subtitles

„When you are ready to rise, you’ll rise up.”
— Garret John Loporto

A collaborative effort of Tragedy & Hope and activist, author and speaker Garret John Laporto of the viral sensation „The Wayseers Manifesto.”

Speech written and spoken by Garret John Loporto [Facebook] [Twitter] [Web]

Edited by Tragedy & Hope [Facebook] [Twitter] [Google+] [Web]

Version with German subtitles

Goldman Sachs : Eine Bank lenkt die Welt

Aufgrund des großen Erfolges mehrfach auf ARTE ausgestrahlt.

Die amerikanische Investmentbank Goldman Sachs ist in den letzten Jahren zum Symbol für die Maßlosigkeit und die ausufernde Spekulationen in der Welt der Finanzen geworden. Der Dokumentarfilm gibt Einblicke in die Mechanismen der finanziellen und politischen Machenschaften der Bank.

Seit fünf Jahren steht die amerikanische Investmentbank Goldman Sachs für sämtliche Exzesse und Entgleisungen der Finanzspekulation. Durch hochspekulative Geschäfte mit der Zahlungsunfähigkeit der amerikanischen Privathaushalte konnte sich die Bank an der aktuellen Finanzkrise bereichern und wurde dank ihrer politischen Verbindungen selbst vor dem Bankrott bewahrt. Als die amerikanische Krise über den Atlantik nach Europa schwappte, wurde Goldman Sachs zu einem der Protagonisten der Euro-Krise: Die Bank soll gegen die europäische Einheitswährung spekuliert und die griechische Staatsschuldenbilanz mit Hilfe komplexer und undurchsichtiger Währungsgeschäfte geschönt haben. Als die europäischen Regierungen nacheinander dem Zorn der Wähler zum Opfer fielen, nutzte Goldman Sachs die Gunst der Stunde, um ihr komplexes Einflussgeflecht auf den alten Kontinent auszuweiten.

Goldman Sachs ist mehr als eine Bank. Sie ist ein unsichtbares Imperium, dessen Vermögen mit 700 Milliarden Euro das Budget des französischen Staates um das Zweifache übersteigt. Sie ist ein Finanzimperium auf der Sonnenseite, das die Welt mit seinen wilden Spekulationen und seiner Profitgier in ein riesiges Kasino verwandelt hat. Mit weltweit einzigartigen Verflechtungen und einem Heer aus 30.000 Bankern konnte Goldman Sachs auch in den letzten fünf Krisenjahren kräftige Gewinne einstreichen, seine Finanzkraft weiter ausbauen, seinen Einfluss auf die Regierungen stärken und sich vonseiten der amerikanischen und europäischen Justiz völlige Straffreiheit zusichern.

Das Geschäftsgebaren der Bank ist überaus diskret. Ihr Einfluss reicht weit in den Alltag der Bürger hinein – vom Facebook-Börsengang über die Ernennung des Präsidenten der Europäischen Zentralbank bis hin zum Lobbying gegen die Regulierung des Finanzsektors. Der Arm der Bank ist lang, und sie befindet sich stets auf der Gewinnerseite.

Video © Capa Presse, ARTE France, 2012

America’s Unofficial Religion — The War On An Idea

Everyone in the United States knows that „Socialist” or „Communist” is considered a bad word. How did things get that way?

Abby Martin explores the history of anti-Communism in America, and the heavy repression of an idea that became an unofficial religion.

Excerpt (17:02 – 19:05 mins):

In 1947, House Committee on Un-American Activities began to target people in the entertainment industry.  „Dangerous professions“ such as screenwriters, actors, directors, producers, technicians, authors, musicians and others were all summoned to Congress and forced to publicly swear that they were not Communist.  Those who said they were, were barred from employment and blacklisted in Hollywood.  But you did not even have to say you were to get punished, you just had to assert your rights.  Like the ten screen writers and directors who took a stand against the nation-wide witch hunt:

„We are aware of a developing nightmare of fear in our land in which increasing numbers of citizens are being forced to swear ‚I am not this,’ ‚I am not that,’ ‚I don’t belong to anything,’ ‚I don’t believe in anything,’ ‚I do not criticise anything.’ (…) Thought control entering the university campuses.  (…) Labor leaders being framed on purged testimony. Lawyers sent to prison for defending their clients.“

All ten decided that when asked if they were Communist they would refuse to answer.  All ten were sent to prison.  For those who were open Communists, well, they were just arrested.  Under the Smith Act it was deemed illegal for anyone to be a member of the Communist Party.  In a surprise attack, the state arrested everyone who held a leadership position in the party. All of them were sent to prison. Over a 100 were convicted of being Communists and given sentences of up to 6 years — jailed for nothing but their beliefs.

(…)  The climate was such that anyone who even leaned to the left was completely persecuted.

Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it? ◻︎


35 Photos Taken Moments Before Disaster

„Photos taken one second before disaster:  These sometimes funny other times horrible unbelievable pictures capture crashes moments before disaster.”

Picture 26 (at 2:03 mins), depicting a leopard seal preparing itself to chow down some penguin sushi, is pretty gruesome.  ◻︎