LOADED: A DISARMING HISTORY OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT (City Lights Publishing) – is a provocative, timely, and deeply researched history of gun culture, and how it reflects race and power in the United States. Although LOADED is highly topical as we broadcast because of the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, production of this show actually began last November, 2017. And in case you feel overloaded with coverage of the aftermath of this latest massacre, Professor Dunbar-Ortiz’s history of gun culture and the second amendment is very different from the approach taken by the mainstream media or academia. For one thing, it is rooted in her 50+ years of activism. In the 1960s and 1970s, she was active in the anti-Vietnam War Movement and radical left movements, and worked closely with the SDS, the Weather Underground, and the African National Congress. She was also very active in the women’s rights movement, and from 1968–1970 was a leading figure in the radical feminist group, Cell 16. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades, and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. In 1974, she began teaching in the newly established Native American Studies Program at California State University – Hayward, and she helped found their Departments of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies, where she is now Professor Emerita.
She has published many books and articles, including Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, 1960–1975 . Blood on the Border is about what she saw during the Nicaraguan Contra war against the Sandinistas in the 1980s. Her 2014 book, AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, radically reframes Eurocentric history.
Her 1977 book, The Great Sioux Nation, was the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, held at the United Nations’ headquarters in Geneva.
We are also thankful to the ever magnificent Roy Zimmerman for permission to include his “SING ALONG SECOND AMENDMENT SONG” after our interview with Professor Dunbar-Ortiz. You can hear more of his pointed, pithy civic lessons here: http://www.royzimmerman.com/
or see him perform the Sing Along 2nd Amendment song here:
Linda Gordon is Florence Kelley professor of history and Professor of the Humanities at New York University. Her early books focused on the historical roots of social policy issues, particularly as they concern gender and family issues. Her first book, Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: The History of Birth Control in America, published in 1976 and reissued in 1990, remains the definitive history of birth-control politics in the US. It was completely revised and re-published as The Moral Property of Women in 2002. More recently, she has explored other ways of presenting history to a broad audience, publishing the microhistory The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction and the biography Dorothea Lange: A Life beyond Limits, both of which won the Bancroft Prize. She is one of only three historians to have ever won this award twice.After being disbanded in 1870 following the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan was officially re-formed in 1915 by founder William J. Simmons, and saw a huge rise in popularity in its early years. Pictured, an eerie sight as hundreds of members gather adorned with hoodsFocused on an anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, prohibitionist and anti-Semitic agenda, the new Klan took much of its early influence from popular 1915 film, the Birth of a Nation, which glorified the first version of the Klan. In this image, the streets of Washington are filled with 25,000 KKK members during a march in August 1925.Despite attempting to portray themselves as a respectable establishment who ‘upheld law and order,’ the Klan’s activities were often coupled with widespread violence.
The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) shared a common interest in promoting and defending alcohol prohibition, women’s suffrage, Protestantism, and the protection of domesticity. They also both shared hostility toward immigrants. For this reason, the two groups cooperated with each other and shared many members and leaders.
A whole family can be seen taking part in a racist parade including three young children wearing KKK robes .
The drum corps of the Dallas Women’s KKK poses in front of Union Station around 1930. The Dallas Klan No. 66 at one time was the largest KKK chapter in the nation. (Photos courtesy of the Library of Congress and
the DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University)
Amidst the backdrop of a post-war recession across America, the Klan proved hugely popular during the period, not just in its membership but in its support from every day Americans, too.
They also wielded significant political power, moving their offices to Washington D.C. in the mid-1920s and reportedly playing a big role in the election of several Congressman and Senators across the country. However toward the end of the decade the Klan’s influence began to wane substantially. One of the group’s leading members, the Grand Wizard, was convicted of murder in a trial which revealed many at the top of the organization as womanizers and alcoholics, shattering their image as the upholders of law and order.
“…The civic leaders posing with Powell and Gifford in the photograph, from left to right, are: H.P. Coffin of the National Safety Council; Captain of Police John T. Moore; Chief of Police L.V. Jenkins; District Attorney W.H. Evans; U.S. District Attorney Lester W. Humphreys; T.M. Hurlburt, a sheriff; special agent of the U.S. Department of Justice Russell Bryon; Mayor George L. Baker; and P.S. Malcolm, the sovereign inspector general in Oregon for the Scottish Rite Masonic Lodge.
This photograph makes clear how comfortable KKK leaders were in the public spotlight in the early 1920s—despite their supposed anonymity—and how indulged they were by many civic governments, at least for a short time. That night Powell announced, “There are some cases, of course, in which we will have to take everything in our hands. Some crimes are not punishable under existing laws, but the criminals should be punished.” He did not elaborate, but the implication was clear: the KKK felt entitled to act outside the law. In a room full of enforcers of the law, Powell and Gifford spoke freely without fear of prosecution.
Klan membership in Oregon grew starting in 1921, with chapters springing up throughout the state. Its brief popularity stemmed, in part, from a general racism against minorities (particularly Chinese and Japanese), anti-Catholicism, and a belief in the enforcement of social morality. Gifford successfully lobbied for anti-Catholic legislation in Oregon during his term as Grand Dragon. The political effectiveness of KKK chapters was due in large part to the relationships its leaders formed with the state’s policy makers, law enforcers, and fraternal organizations…”
BRYAN STEVENSON is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, and a professor of law at New York University School of Law. He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the US Supreme Court , and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color. He has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant.
He will be delivering the Convocation Speech to the incoming Freshman Class at MSU Bozeman on August 24, 2017.
Great-grandson of slaves, he attended “colored” schools. As a young attorney, he created The Equal Justice Initiative to address the hierarchies of inequality in the criminal justice system. He says, “America is a post-genocide society.” “The great evil of American slavery was not the involuntary servitude and forced labor, the great evil was how we created this ideology of white supremacy.”
Professor MARC BEKOFF
Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He has published more than 1000 essays (popular, scientific, and book chapters), 30 books, and has edited three encyclopedias. His latest book is THE ANIMALS’ AGENDA: FREEDOM, COMPASSION AND COEXISTENCE IN THE HUMAN AGE, co-written with Jessica Pierce, and published by Beacon Press (2017). http://www.beacon.org/The-Animals-Agenda-P1250.aspx
This interview was prompted by his recent interview with Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense (predatordefense.org), whose investigative work exposes shocking activity at the US Dept of Agriculture, as well as the complicity of wildlife organizations, such as Defenders of Wildlife and The Humane Society of the US, in the “Administrative Removal”, i.e. killing, of wolves in national forests.
There is a separate posting for our full interview with only Professor Bekoff and more specific citations referenced here: