Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

It Could Happen Here Weekly 56

It Could Happen Here Weekly 56

Sat, 22 Oct 2022 04:01

All of this week's episodes of It Could Happen Here put together in one large file.

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In the next 30 seconds, 20 parents will send their children off to college and decide it's time to downsize and finally get that RV. And as they're thinking of open roads, diners, and how they're gonna fit a king-sized mattress, they'll realize, we've got to sell the house and fix it and stage it and show it. Or skip the house, sell directly to Open Door and move on to the things that matter, like that mattress. Get your free offer at slash sold eligibility and offer price may vary. Open Door is represented by Open Door Brookridge Inc. license 0206-113-0 in California and Open Door Brookridge LLC in its other markets. When it comes to LASIC, you don't have to save up for years or put off going on vacation just to pay for it. At the LASIC Vision Institute, we make LASIC more affordable by partnering with most vision insurance plans. Sign up VSP, I'm Ed and more. They provide exclusive discounts to their members that you can use here at the LASIC Vision Institute. So visit and save hundreds on LASIC when you use your vision insurance. The LASIC Vision Institute, amazing vision, amazing price. It's never been easier to communicate with people, but it's never been harder to know which platform you're supposed to communicate on. Here's a simpler solution. With call, meet, and message all in one app, ring Central Makes Communication Easy. With all that connectivity in the palm of your hand, you can work from anywhere with anyone at any time and never miss a beat. Because when it comes to communication, simple is better. Learn more at Ring Central, simpler communications. Hey, everybody. Robert Evans here, and I wanted to let you know, this is a compilation episode. So every episode of the week that just happened is here in one convenient and with somewhat less ads package for you to listen to in a long stretch. If you want, if you've been listening to the episodes every day this week, there's going to be nothing new here for you, but you can make your own decisions. Hello and welcome to it could have been here. This is Shireen. And today is going to be the start of a little series about Libya. Why Libya, you may ask? Well, I wanted to learn about Libya. So selfishly, I thought, why not record myself learning about Libya? And maybe y'all can learn along with me. I think there are so many countries right now that are in a state of unrest or turmoil or instability. And it's really important to know how we got here, know what those countries went through to reach this state of unpredictability and unease. So we're going to start with Libya today. There are so many other countries I want to do this with, but I really love history. And I love knowing the context of a country. So hopefully by the end of this will reach present day news about Libya and we'll have a foundation to talk about Libya in the future from a place of knowing. Let's go to 74 BC all the way back to 74 BC. The Romans conquered Libya and held control until 643 AD. In 643 AD, Ahmed Ibn Al-Alas conquered Libya and spread Islam across northern Africa. He was the Arab commander who led the Muslim conquest of Egypt and is regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of Egypt because he introduced Islam to the country. He also served as its governor in 640 to 646 AD and again from 658 to 664 AD. He founded a new city just north of the Roman fort of Babylon called Fostat. Today the mosque of Ahmed Ibn Al-Alas still marks the site of this city. He is a highly respected figure for Muslims. Now let's fast forward to the 16th century when Libya became part of the Ottoman Empire. At this point the Ottoman Empire had accumulated a huge amount of territory and continued to do so. In 1643 AD the Ottoman Empire was at its largest extent. Goal of a map, it is a lot. It's known as one of history's most powerful empires and it grew from a Turkish stronghold in Anatolia into a vast state that at its peak reached as far north as Vienna Austria, as far east as the Persian Gulf, as far west as Algeria and as far south as Yemen. It is a huge swath of land and the Ottoman Empire on its own deserves many episodes. I think it's a very fascinating part of history but we'll get there another time. Now let's jump ahead centuries to the early 1900s at the start of World War I. So this whole time all these centuries between the 16th century and the early 1900s the Ottoman Empire was in control of Libya and a lot of other territories surrounding it. But at the start of World War I the Ottoman Empire was already in decline. The Ottoman army met with a disastrous defeat in the Italian Turkish War that was between 1911 and 1912 and the Balkan Wars between 1912 and 1913 and both of these defeats resulted in the Ottomans being driven out of North Africa and nearly out of all of Europe. The Ottoman Empire officially ended in 1922 when the title of Ottoman Sultan was eliminated. Again this was only a century ago, 1922. We think everything happens so long ago but a century isn't that long and I feel like maybe the the word empire makes something seem very far away but it really wasn't and maybe this is just a little prequel to me talking with the Ottoman Empire in a future episode who knows if that ever happened. Stay tuned I suppose. Anyway, Turkey was declared a republic on October 29th of 1923 when Mustafa Kamal Aratuk who was an army officer founded the independent Republic of Turkey. The Ottoman Empire deserves many episodes on its own as I said but let's go back to Libya for today. There was a stretch of time preceding the fall of the Ottoman Empire when Libya was under Italian rule. It started between 1911 and 1912 when Italy seized Libya from the Ottomans. Omar and Machtar then began a 20 year insurgency against Italian rule. In the 1920s, Libyan resistance grew as the Sanussi dynasty joined in alongside the Machtar campaign. Just a quick little thing about the Sanussi dynasty, it was a Muslim political religious tarika which means a Sufi order and a clan in colonial Libya and the Sudan region founded in Mecca in 1837 by the grand Sanussi aka Sanussi al-Khabid, the Algerian Muhammad ibn Ali al-Sanussi. Sanussi was concerned with what he saw as both the decline of Islamic thought and spirituality and the weakening of Muslim political integrity. I bring this up to note that by the 1920s this dynasty had been around for nearly a century and so when it joins the Libyan resistance alongside the Machtar campaign it seems very significant. But in 1931, Italy broke the resistance through a combination of major armed operations and concentration camps for the rebel population. El Machtad is captured and executed. In 1934, Italy unites the provinces as the colony of Libya and steps up Italian migration as part of an eventual plan for the incorporation of Libya into a greater Italy. In 1942, the Allies ousted Italians from Libya which was then divided into three sections. There was Tripolitania in the northwest, Faizan in the southwest, and Cyrenica in the east. The French took control of Faizan and the British took control of the remaining Cyrenica and Tripolitania. In 1951, Libya becomes a dependent under King Idris El Sanusi and in 56, it grants two American oil companies a concession of some 14 million acres. In 61, King Idris, who was now in power for a decade, opened a 104 mile pipeline which links its important oil fields in the interior to the Mediterranean Sea. And this makes it possible to export Libyan oil for the very first time. I don't know, but that last sentence of being able to export Libyan oil for the first time seems like the beginning of the end for me. Again, how do we get here? This is how. Anyway, let's continue from the 1960s which introduced the Gaddafi era. In 1969, King Idris was deposed in a military coup led by Colonel Maumat Gaddafi. He pursues a pan-Arab agenda by attempting to form mergers with several Arab countries and also introduces state socialism by nationalizing most economic activity including the oil industry. In 1970, Libya orders the closure of a British airbase in Thadabuk and the giant US wheelless air force base in Tripoli. Property belonging to Italian settlers is also nationalized. In 1971, the National Referendum approves the proposed Federation of Arab Republics, the FAR, which was comprised of Libya, Egypt, and Syria. However, the FAR never really takes off. And in 1973, Colonel Gaddafi declares a cultural revolution which includes the formation of peoples committees in schools, hospitals, universities, workplaces, and administrative districts. And then Libyan forces proceed to occupy the Auzu strip in northern Chad. In 1975, Gaddafi writes and publishes the Greek book, which was a short book setting out the political philosophy of, you guessed it, Libyan leader Maumat Gaddafi. It is said to have been inspired and part by the Little Red Book, aka quotations from Chairman Mao Seitong. An English translation was issued by the Libyan People's Committee and a bilingual English slash Arabic edition was issued in London by Martin Brian and O'Keefe in 1976. During the Libyan Civil War, copies of this book were burned by A. Gaddafi demonstrators. In Libya, according to British author and former Greater London Council member George Tremlet, Libyan children spent two hours a week studying this book as part of their curriculum. excerpts were broadcast every day on television and radio, and its slogans were also found on billboards and painted on buildings in Libya. This book was everywhere. And internationally, by 1993, lectures and seminars on the Green Book had been held at universities and colleges in France, Eastern Europe, Columbia and Venezuela. On a state visit to Libya in 2008, socialist Bolivian president Evo Morales cited the Green Book as a major influence on his political beliefs and policies. The Green Book rejects both capitalism and communism, as well as representative democracy. Instead, it proposes a type of direct democracy overseeing by the General People's Committee, which allows direct political participation for all adult citizens. It also talks about the crucial importance of complete freedom of speech. There's also a paragraph in the book about abolishing money that is similar to a paragraph in Federic Engels' principles of communism. Gaddafi wrote, The final step is when the new socialist society reaches the stage or profit and money disappear. It is through transforming society into a fully productive society, and through reaching in production a level where the material needs of the members of society are satisfied. On that final stage, profit will automatically disappear, and there will be no need for money. As far as the reception of this book goes, though, it wasn't great. The US ambassador David Mack called the book quite jumbled, with various ideas including, quote, a fair amount of xenophobia wrapped up in a strange mixture. When I told my mom I was researching Libya, she immediately mentioned this book to me, and she couldn't stop cracking up. She's still in this belief that a leader wrote something like this and then forced his entire country to read it and basically praise him for it. So, that was entertaining to watch. I will say that. But anyway, five years later in 77, Gaddafi declares a people's revolution, changing the country's official name from the Libyan Arab Republic to the great socialist people's Libyan Arab Jumhariya. He sets up revolutionary committees and this heralds the start of institutionalized chaos, economic decline, the abuse of authoritarian power, and general arbitrariness. This is a good place to take a little break. So, BRB. Okay, we're back. Before the break, we talked about Gaddafi declaring a people's revolution and how ultimately all this led to a lot of chaos and decline and the abuse of authoritarian power. So, three years later, in 1980, Libyan troops intervened in the Civil War in northern Chad. This is where the US decides to insert itself because it always does. In 1981, the Libyan army has a confrontation with the US. The US shoots down two Libyan aircraft, which it said challenged its war planes over the Gulf of Surda, which was claimed by Libya as its territorial water. In 1984, a British policewoman was shot dead outside the Libyan Embassy in London while anti-Gaddafi protests were taking place. Because of this, the UK breaks off diplomatic relations with Libya entirely. But of course, the United States isn't finished yet. It never is. In 1986, the US bombs Libyan military facilities, as well as residential areas of Tripoli and Benghazi, killing 101 people. They also bombed Gaddafi's house, which killed his adopted daughter. The US said that these raids were in response to the alleged Libyan involvement in the bombing of a Berlin disco, frequented by US military personnel. Just a small tangent about the reported killing of Gaddafi's adopted daughter, Henna Gaddafi. This has been something that's drawn quite the controversy over the years. Apparently, Henna may not have died, or the adoption may have been posthumous, or he may have adopted a second daughter and given her the same name after the first one died. After the Gaddafi family residence, which was in the Bab-Elaziza compound in Tripoli, was taken by rebels, the New York Times reported evidence complete with photographs of Henna's life after her declared death when she became a doctor and worked in a Tripoli hospital. Her passport was reported as showing a birth date of November 11, 1985, making her six months old at the time of the US raid. In August of 2011, the Daily Telegraph reported on the finding of dental records relating to a Henna Gaddafi. This report, which also cites a 1999 spotting of Henna by Chinese officials, cites an unnamed Libyan government spokesman, stating that Gaddafi had adopted a second daughter and named her Henna an honor of the first one who had been killed in the 1986 raid. In September of 2011, the claim that Henna had been killed in the 1986 bombing was further disputed when a video recorded in 1989 by Gaddafi's cameraman, Mohammad Ali, was obtained by the Daily Telegraph. In the video, Mohammad Gaddafi and other members of the Gaddafi family refer to her by her name while playing football at a campsite. Henna is rumored to have fled to Algeria with her mother and three siblings. That is some absurd shit and I wanted to bring it up because it's such a crazy controversy that probably needs more digging into. But yeah, let's go back to Libya now. As I mentioned, in 1986, the US bombed Libya and killed 101 people. And again, the United States sent that these raids were in response to the alleged Libyan involvement in the bombing of a Berlin Disco frequented by US military personnel. This will become important later on. But anyway, this takes us to December of 1988 and the locker-be-playing bombing. Pan Am Flight 103 was a regularly scheduled Pan Am Trans Atlantic flight from Frankfurt to Detroit, via a stopover in London and another stopover in New York City. On December 21, 1988, while the aircraft wasn't flight over the Scottish town of locker-be, it was destroyed by a bomb that had been planted on board, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members in what became known as the locker-be bombing. Large sections of the aircraft crashed into a residential street in locker-be-which killed 11 residents. With a total of 270 fatalities, it is the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the United Kingdom. This bombing, this terrorist attack, will come into play later, similar to the Disco bombing. So it's very significant and also just a terrible thing that happened. And I didn't know about this being the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the UK. So just a good, important history here. So in 1989, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Martaña, and Tunisia formed the Arab-Maghrib Union, or simply the Maghrib Union, in an effort to promote cooperation and economic integration in a common market. It is a political union and economic union trade agreement aiming for economic and future political unity among Arab countries and states that are located primarily in the Maghrib in North Africa. It was envisioned initially by Maumad-Gaddafi as a super-state. The Maghrib is basically the name for Northwest Africa, which includes the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. Following a three-year joint investigation of the Locker Rebombing by the FBI and the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, aka the territorial police force responsible for Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, until April 1, 2013, after this joint investigation with them and the FBI, arrest warrants were issued for two Libyan nationals in November of 1991. In response to this in 1992, the UN imposes sanctions on Libya in an effort to force it to hand over for trial two of its citizens that were suspected of involvement in the Locker Rebombing, one of whom of these people was a government employee, more on this later, as we go on. In 1994, Libya returned the AUSU strip to Chad, which they had been occupying since 1973. In 1995, Gaddafi expels around 30,000 Palestinians in protest of the AUSLO Accords between the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the PLO, and Israel. A quick refresher here. There are two AUSLO Accords that make up the AUSLO Accords. The first AUSLO Accord was signed in Washington, D.C. in 1993, and the second one was signed in Tebia, Egypt in 1995. They marked the start of the AUSLO process, which was a supposed peace process aimed at achieving a peace treaty based on resolution 242 and resolution 338 of the United Nations Security Council, and FFFilling the quote, right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The AUSLO process began after secret negotiations in AUSLO Norway, and resulted in both the recognition of Israel by the PLO, and the recognition by Israel of the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people, and as a partner in bilateral negotiations. The vast majority of Arabs and Arab countries disagreed with the AUSLO Accords because they viewed it as defeat, as a surrender. My mom explained to me that a lot of AUSLO Accords didn't like or trust Yasat Arifak, who was the PLO leader during the AUSLO Peace process. A lot of people still don't like him, to be honest, and much of this dislike stemmed from his signing of the AUSLO Accords. He died in 2004 at the age of 75. We'll talk more about Gaddafi's relationship to AUSLO Accords and how this changed after the AUSLO Accords in our next episode. But for now, I'm going to leave you here. Have a good day. Good-bye. Football is back, and Bed MGM is inviting new customers to join the Huttle and enjoy the action like never before. 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They'll realize we've got to sell our houses. You can't find a new one. Where are we going to live in the meantime? Not with your folks. No worries. Avoid double moves and double mortgages. Seemlessly sell your house and buy your next one with Open Door. Start with a free offer at slash offer now. Alligibility and offer price may vary. Open doors represented by Open Door Brookridge Inc. license 0206-113-0 in California and Open Door Brookridge LLC in its other markets. Let me guess. Unknown caller. You could reduce the number of unwanted calls and emails with online privacy protection. The latest innovation from Discover will help regularly remove your personal info, like your name and address, from 10 popular people search websites that could sell your data. And we'll do it for free. Activate in the Discover app. See terms and learn more at slash online privacy protection. Hello and welcome back to it could happen here. It's me again. It's Shireen. And we're going to continue our discussion of Libya that was started yesterday. And yeah, I hope it's been interesting and I hope it continues to be interesting because I'm not going to stop. Okay, we left off our last episode after we talked about the Oslo Accords about how a lot of people distrusted and didn't like Yasser Adrafat, who was the PLO leader during the Oslo Accords or the Oslo Peace process rather. My mom, Medgadathe was one of those people that disagreed with signing the Accords because he viewed it as a surrender, as a defeat. And because of this 1995 Gaddafi expelled around 30,000 Palestinians in protest at the Oslo Accords between the PLO, aka the Palestinian liberation organization and Israel. So I do think it's notable to mention that before Oslo Gaddafi was on good terms with Adrafat. In 1992, Adrafat was on a plane in route to Tunisia and he was accompanied by his bodyguards and some assistants. The flight was scheduled to land in the Khurfa Oasis airfield southeast of Libya to refuel. However, intense sandstorms impeded the vision of the pilots who were forced to adjust the flight route. One hour and 40 minutes after takeoff, the control tower in the Libyan capital received the following message. Special flights Khartoum to Tunis cannot land. We fly on to Estara. We will attempt an emergency landing. Five minutes later, the plane disappeared from Libyan radar screens and wireless telecommunications were off. A state of emergency was declared. International media outlets immediately reported that Adrafat's plane had disappeared in the Libyan desert. For approximately 15 hours, it was thought that the plane had crashed and that Adrafat had died. It turned out, however, that the plane hit a sand dune in the Libyan desert and Adrafat was thrown a distance of 30 meters. The two pilots and the mechanic perished in this accident, and all the passengers were found wounded but alive, including Adrafat. I bring this up only to mention that I found a photo of Adrafat recovering in a hospital after this crash covered in bandages and Gaddafi is at his bedside. They're even holding hands in the photo. But that didn't matter to Gaddafi after Oslo, which he viewed again as a sort of betrayal to the Arab world. So back to 1995, when Gaddafi expels about 30,000 Palestinians in protest of Adrafat signing the Oslo Accords. Gaddafi urged other Arab countries to follow his example and send home all Palestinians to expose what he said was Israel's plan to create a Palestinian state in name only. Speaking at a makeshift camp in the desert near the border with Egypt, Gaddafi told a crowd of thousands that his expulsion of thousands of Palestinians was the greatest service to the aims of establishing a Palestinian homeland. In this speech, he said, the Zionist plan is to create a Palestine without Palestinians, he said, adding that other Arab countries are taking part in the Zionist plan by allowing the Palestinians to stay in their land. He very publicly criticized Adrafat's signing of the Accords with Israel and handing over authority in the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority. His speech continued, saying, overnight they told us that Israel was no longer the enemy we knew. They said the Palestinian cause was over and because Libya believes them, it has asked the Palestinians to return to their home. So a little bit passive aggressive there, or maybe overly aggressive. Nonetheless, he disagreed with the Aslable Courts and Adrafat and a lot of other Arab countries did also. In 1999, Gaddafi handed over the two Lockerby suspects for trial at campsized in the Netherlands after protracting negotiations and UN sanctions. The UN sanctions were suspended and diplomatic relations with the UK was restored after the suspects were handed over for trial. In January 2001, the Netherlands finds one of the two Libyans accused of the Lockerby bombing and Makhrahi guilty and sentences him to light imprisonment. He was freed in 2009 on compassionate release grounds before dying of cancer in 2012. The other suspect Fahima is found not guilty and freed after the trial. In January 2002, Libya and the US say they held talks to men relations after years of hostility over what the Americans termed as Libya's sponsorship of terrorism. A year later, in January 2003, Libya is elected Chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission despite opposition from the US and human rights groups. In August of 2003, seven months after this, Gaddafi accepted responsibility for the Lockerby bombing in a letter to the UN Security Council and Libya signs a deal worth $2.7 billion and paid compensation to the families of the victims, although he maintained that he had never given the order for the attack. Acceptance of responsibility was part of a series of requirements laid out by UN resolution for sanctions against Libya to be lifted. Libya said it had to accept responsibility due to Makhrahi's status as a government employee. In September of 2003, a month later, the UN Security Council votes to lift sanctions, and in December of that same year, Libya said it will abandon programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. At this point, Gaddafi has been in power for many, many decades, and similar to other dictators, he developed a cult of personality and his pictures were seen all over the country with his quotes. Remember the Green Book? Yes, that book. He had been in power for so long, and this book was still distributed and praised, and he stayed in power, like most dictators do. In March of 2004, British Prime Minister Tony Blair visits Libya, and this is the first such visit since 1943. Gaddafi was clearly working on a return to respectability for Libya, and in August of 2004, Libya agreed to pay $35 million to compensate the victims of the bombing in the Berlin Nightclub in 1986. We talked about this briefly in our previous episode when I mentioned that in 86, the US bombed Libya and killed 101 people and said that these raids were in response to the alleged Libyan involvement of the bombing of a Berlin disco that was frequented by US military personnel. Gas forwarding to where we currently are in 2004, Libya has agreed to pay $35 million to compensate these victims. This is a good place to take our first little break. Don't go anywhere. BRB. Okay, we're back. We're now in January of 2005, and Libya's first auction of oil and gas exploration licenses heralds the return of US energy companies for the first time in more than 20 years. In February of 2006, at least 10 people are killed in clashes with police in Benghazi and part of a wave of international protests by some Muslims who are angered by Danish newspapers cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. Three months later, in May of 2006, the US says it is restoring full diplomatic ties with Libya. And in 2008, a lot of things happened in 2008. First, Libya took over the one month rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, marking a huge step returning to respectability after decades as a pariah of the West. Libya and the US also sign an agreement committing each sign to compensate all victims of bombing attacks on the other citizens. Italian Prime Minister Silvia Borsconi apologized to Libya for damage inflicted by Italy during the colonial era, and they sign a $5 billion investment deal by way of compensation. US Secretary of State, Koteliza Rice, makes a historic visit in 2008. The highest level US official to visit Libya since 1953. Rice says relations between the US and Libya have entered quote a new phase. In February of 2009, Gaddafi's elected chairman of the African Union by leaders meeting in Ethiopia. He sets out the ambition of the United States of Africa, even embracing the Caribbean. In June of that year, in 2009, Gaddafi pays his first state visit to Italy. Libya's former colonial ruler and trading partner. What a plot twist. Wow, who would have thought a century prior? In 2010, Russia agrees to sell Libya weapons in a deal worth $1.8 billion. A deal is thought to include fighter jets, tanks, and air defense systems. The European Union and Libya sign an agreement designed to slow illegal migration. That same year, British oil company BP confirms it is about to begin drilling off of the Libyan coast. In 2011, you start to see the seeds of an anti-Gaddafi uprising, and Libyan's rose up against the rule of Gaddafi and many took up arms. You might know that 2011 marked the beginning of many Arab springs in many countries, including Libya. And I guess this is also a good time to remind you that Gaddafi was always a dictator and ruled with fear as dictators do. A lot happened in 2011. In February, inspired by revolting other Arab countries, especially neighboring Egypt and Tunisia, violent protests break out in Benghazi and spread to other cities, leading to escalating clashes between security forces and anti-Gaddafi rebels. The government's security forces responded by opening fire on the protesters. As an initially peaceful protest movement transformed into a fully fledged armed uprising against his 42-year rule, Gaddafi pledged to chase down the cockroaches and the rats, who had taken up arms against him, quote, inch by inch, room by room, home by home, alleyway by alleyway, person by person. A brutal conflict began with pro-Gaddafi forces and discriminantly showing civilian areas arresting thousands of protesters and others suspected of supporting the opposition, holding many in secret attention and carrying out summary executions. In March of 2011, the UN Security Council authorizes a no-fly zone over Libya and airstrikes to protect civilians over which NATO assumes command. In the months that follow, Libya and rebels initially capture territory, but are then forced back by better armed pro-Gaddafi forces. In July, the International Contact Group on Libya formally recognizes the main opposition group, the National Transitional Council, the NTC, as the legitimate government of Libya. In August of 2011, Gaddafi goes into hiding after rebels swarm into his fortress compound in Tripoli. Let's take our second break here and we'll come back and talk more about what happened in 2011 because it seems like it's the year that never ended, BRB. And we're back. So, as I mentioned before, the break, in August of 2011, Gaddafi went into hiding after the rebels swarmed his fortress compound in Tripoli. In September, the Afghan Union joins 60 countries which have recognized the NTC as the new Libyan authority. On October 20, 2011, Gaddafi is captured and killed as rebel fighters take his hometown of Serta. After air burst bombs are fired from a NATO war plane, instead of raiding dozens of Gaddafi fighters, Gaddafi and other survivors are nearby a walled villa compound and soon thereafter they try to escape through the fields and two drainage pipes underneath a major road nearby. That is where the Masrata militaries found them. Masrata is a city in Libya, by the way. When militia fighters found Gaddafi in his inner circle hiding next to the drainage pipes, one of his bodyguards threw a hand grenade at them. In this hand grenade, bounced off the concrete wall and exploded in the midst of a leadership circle, killing Gaddafi's defense minister Abu Bakr to UNICE. Yes, that actually happened. You had to have been there. This explosion sprayed shrapnel that wounded Gaddafi and others, according to the survivors of the incident, to whom the human rights watch interviewed. Gaddafi was immediately set upon by Masrata fighters who literally wounded him with a bayonet in his butt and then began pummeling him with kicks and blows. By the time Gaddafi was loaded into an ambulance and transported to Masrata, his body appeared lifeless. It remained unclear whether he died from this violence, the shrapnel wounds, or from being shot later, as Sam have claimed. Ultimately, he died, is the point. In that same morning of October 20, Masrata militia members separately apprehended Rammur Gaddafi's son, Mustaim. He was in charge of the military defensive surta and had led the doom convoy, and he tried to flee from the scene of the fighting. Three days later, the NTC declared Libya to be officially liberated, and they announced plans to hold elections within eight months. In November 2011, Sa'i Fale-Islam, the fugitive son of former Libyan leader Rammur Gaddafi, is captured, becoming the last key Gaddafi family member to be seized or killed. Between January and March of 2012, clashes erupt between former rebel forces in Benghazi in a sign of discontent with the NTC. The NTC again stands for National Transitional Council. So, Benghazi-based NTC officials campaigned to reestablish autonomy for the region, further increasing tension with the NTC in Tripoli. In August, this transitional government hands power to the General National Congress, which was elected in July. There's still significant unrest amongst civilians during this time in regards to a nephilidorship. In February of 2014, protests erupt in response to the General National Congress's refusal to disband after the desired upon Mandai expires. In May of 2014, the Libyan National Army Renegade General Khalifa Haftad launches a military assault that includes airstrikes against militant Islamist groups in Benghazi, and he tries to seize the Parliament building, accusing the Prime Minister at the time Prime Minister Ahmed Mateg of being in thrall to Islamist groups. In June, Prime Minister Mateg resigns after the Supreme Court rules his appointment illegal. A new Parliament has chosen an election, but the election is marred by a low turnout, attributed to security fears and boycotts, and the Islamists suffer heavy defeat. Fighting breaks out between forces loyal to the outgoing GNC and the new Parliament. In July of 2014, the UN staff pulls out, and the embassy shut down, and foreigners are evacuated as the security situation deteriorates. Among all this fighting, the Tripoli International Airport is also largely destroyed. Ansad al-Sharia, which was a solid-fist Islamist militia and al-Qaeda aligned group that advocated for the implementation of Sharia law across Libya, sees as control of most of Benghazi at this time. Later that year in October of 2014, the UN envoy to Libya, Verna Dina Leon, proposed a national unity government for Libya. In this new government was to be led by the Presidential Council of Fayez al-Saraj, as Prime Minister, and three deputies from the country's eastern, western, and southern regions, as well as two ministers. UN Security General Ban Ki-moon visits Libya during this time to continue the UN broker talks between the new parliament and the government based in Tharabuk and Islamist Libya-Dom militias holding Tripoli. The UN says that hundreds of thousands of civilians are displaced by these clashes. And this takes us to 2015, but I think we're going to stop for today because a lot happens in 2015, and I'd rather not split it up into two episodes, so. That's where I'm going to leave you guys for today, and you'll hear me tomorrow if you want to. Goodbye. Football is back, and Bed MGM is inviting new customers to join the Huttle and enjoy the action like never before. Sign up today using bonus code Champion, and your first wager is risk-free. Up to $1,000, you'll also have instant access to a variety of parlay selection features, player props, and boosted odd specials. Just download the Bed MGM app today or go to and enter bonus code Champion, and place your first wager risk-free, up to $1,000. The Bed MGM app is the perfect way to experience the excitement of wagering on live sports. Now in more markets than ever, visit Bed for terms and conditions must be 21 years of age or older to wager, Virginia only. New customer offer. All promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non-withdrawable free bets or site credit. Free bets expire seven days from issuance. Please gamble responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-888-532-3500. In the next 30 seconds, 20 couples will be planning their wedding, and as they're thinking about the name change, the registry, and the whole public... I do. They'll realize we've got to sell our houses. We've been fine to new one. Where are we going to live in the meantime? Not with your folks. No worries. Avoid double moves and double mortgages. Seemlessly sell your house, and buy your next one with Open Door. Start with a free offer at slash offer now. Eligibility and offer price may vary. Open doors represented by Open Door Brookridge Inc. license 0206-113-0 in California and Open Door Brookridge LLC in its other markets. Let me guess. Unknown caller? You could reduce the number of unwanted calls and emails with online privacy protection. The latest innovation from Discover will help regularly remove your personal info, like your name and address, from 10 popular people search websites that could sell your data. And we'll do it for free. Activate in the Discover app. See terms and learn more at slash online privacy protection. Hello and welcome back to It Could Happen Here. You are listening to Shrine and our last installment of our Little Libya series. We're just going to jump right back in. Our last episode ended off in 2014 in Libya when the UN Security General van Kimu, visited Libya to continue UN broker talks between the new parliament that was assigned and the government based in Torbrook and the Islamist Libya-Dom militias that were holding triply. At this time, the UN says that hundreds of thousands of civilians have been displaced by clashes. The Islamic State extremist militia then sees control of the part of Dernna and Eastern Libya. In January of 2015, the Libyan army and Tripoli-based militia alliance declared a partial cease fire after UN-sponsored talks in Geneva. In February of 2015, Egyptian jets bomb Islamic State targets in Dernna, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians. The Libyan army offensive to retake Dernna in March of that year fails to dislodge the group. The Islamic State establishes control over the poor city of Surta, which is halfway along the coast between Tripoli and Benghazi. In July of 2015, a Tripoli court sentences Gaddafi Sun, Syaf al-Islam, and eight other former officials to death for the crimes committed during the 2011 uprising against his father. He is later freed by an armed group. In January of 2016, the UN announces a new Tunisia-based interim government, but neither Tobruk nor Tripoli parliaments agree to recognize its authority. Libyan politician, Fayez al-Saraj, is now the chairman of the Presidencial Council of Libya and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord. The Islamic State group attacks Rasa the Newf oil terminal and threatens to move on to Brega and Tobruk. In September of 2016, the Libyan National Army of Khalifa Haftad, who was described as a renegade general, ceases key oil export terminals in East Libya. Haftad is a Libyan-American politician, military officer, and the commander of the Tobruk-based Libyan National Army. A year and a half prior, on March 2, 2015, he was appointed commander of the armed forces loyal to the elected legislative body, the Libyan House of Representatives. In December of 2016, pro-government forces oust Islamic State militants from the coastal town of Surta, which they had seized 18 months previously. In July 2017, the Islamic State is ejected from Benghazi after three years of fighting. A year later, in July 2018, Khalifa Haftad claims that his forces are fully in control of Derna, the last Islamic stronghold in the East and the only city in the region thus far outside his control. In April of 2019, the Haftad Libyan National Army advances on Tripoli, sparking clashes with the forces of the internationally recognized government of national accord. In June of 2020, the UN-backed government drives Haftad forces out of Taruna, which was their last stronghold in the west of the country near Tripoli. At this point, Fayez Asadaj had been Prime Minister of the government of national accord since its installment in 2015 as part of a UN-led political agreement. Fighting was occurring between Sadaj loyalists and those who opposed him, and Sadaj stated that he would be stepping down from his position by the end of October of 2020. This came after a month of protests in Tripoli. On October 31, 2020, however, El Sadaj rescinded his decision to resign. But after the Libyan political dialogue forum, he transferred his powers on March 15th of 2021. So in March of 2021, Abdul Hamid and Deiba took over as Prime Minister of the GNA, the UN-backed government of national accord in Tripoli. In the Libyan political dialogue forum procedure for choosing a unified executive authority to lead into the December 21 Libyan general election, Muhammad Al-Mainfi ran on a joint ticket with Abdul Hamid Deiba as Prime Minister and Musa Al-Khony and Abdullah Al-Lafi as members of the presidential council. Al-Mainfi serves as head of state. Human Rights Watch reported that hundreds of residents in the Libyan town of Taruna were abducted or reported missing between 2014 and 2020 after the local al-Khony militia known as the Kaniyat to control of the town in 2015. Residents reported that the militia often abducted, detained, tortured, killed, and disappeared people who opposed them or were suspected of doing so. Some said that the militia also seized private property and stole their money. After the armed conflict in June of 2020, there was a discovery of mass graves in the town of Taruna. Libyan authorities said they had retrieved more than 200 bodies for more than 555 mass graves as of October of last year. Additionally, as of October of last year, the international organization for migration, the IOM, estimated there were almost 400,000 internally displaced people in Libya, including 300,000 people displaced since the beginning of the April 2019 conflict in Tripoli and the surrounding areas. The displaced include many of the 48,000 former residents of the town of Thawarcha, who in 2011 were driven out by armed groups predominantly from Miss Rata because of their support for the former Agadaphi government. Despite reconciliation agreements with Miss Rata authorities, they have been deterred from returning by the massive and deliberate destruction of the town and its infrastructure between 2011 and 2017, predominantly by militias from Miss Rata and the scarcity of public services by the GNA. To describe the election process in Libya as a clusterfuck would be an understatement. And as far as the most recent election or the attempt for the most recent election in 2021, various postponements have resulted from disputes about fundamental rules governing the election, including the voting timetable, the eligibility of the main candidates, and the eventual powers of the next president and the parliament. So registration for the presidential candidates opened on November 7th of last year and lasted until November 22nd. In this time, several people registered their candidacy, including Saifa-Essalam-Qaddafi, the son of the former Libyan leader Ma'am-Murqaddafi, Khalifa-Hafdad, the commander of the Libyan National Army, Adaf-Naheed, the chairman of the Ixhla-Lubia Party, and the current prime minister, Rob Duhamid-Dibaba. These men all registered their candidates in the November of last year and in total 96 men and two women registered as candidates. A preliminary list of 73 presidential candidates was released by the HNEC, the High National Election Commission on November 24th. 25 candidates were disqualified from the election, including Saifa-Essalam-Qaddafi, and a bunch of others that I'm not going to say their names because I haven't said them yet, and you don't need to know. But ultimately, Khalifa-Essalam-Qaddafi and a bunch of other people were disqualified under Article 10-7 of the electoral law for having been convicted of a crime. Khalifa-Essalam-Qaddafi was also disqualified under Article 17-5 for not providing a certificate showing a clean criminal record. Another candidate Zaidan was disqualified under Article 10-2 for having more than one nationality, and under Article 11 for not having 5,000 supporters. According to the electoral law, any appeals against the disqualifications are to be decided by the judiciary. On November 28th, the Tripoli Appeals Court rejected the candidacy of current Prime Minister Rob Duhamid-Dibaba after accepting two appeals against his bid. The first appeal was filed by three presidential candidates as well as two Libyan political dialogue forum members, while the second appeal was filed by presidential candidate Baty Basharra. On November 30th, Libyan field Marshall, aka Renegade General Khalifa Haftad, was disqualified from the presidential election after these we accord a first instance accepted an appeal against his candidacy. On December 1st, four candidates were disqualified by the HNEC, including Dibaba, and they were placed back on the ballot by a Tripoli a court of national appeal. On December 2nd, Saif and Aslam Gaddafi was placed back on the ballot after the Seppag Court of Appeal accepted his appeal against his disqualification from the list of candidates. See, costra-fuck, understatement, and then on December 6th, Khalifa Haftad returned to the presidential election after the Tripoli Court of Appeal rejected in November 30 ruling by the Lower Zawiya Court. Let's take our first break for the love god, uh, BRB. And we're back, and I don't believe it, god, but anyway, days before the first round was scheduled to take place, the election was already up in the air with no official list of candidates presented to the public and no formal campaigning underway. On December 22nd, the Parliament of Libya confirmed the postponement. The chairman of the Election Committee said, after consulting the technical, judicial, and security reports, we inform you of the impossibility of holding the elections on the date of 2040 December 2021, provided for by the electoral law. And in this statement, he didn't give a new date. Foreign policy summarized that the causes for the delay were that, quote, the process was beleaguered by two interrelated issues, differences over the idea of holding a presidential election in the current context, and the resulting failure to reach the required consensus on a framework for elections. The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and the United States urged Libya to set a new date for the delayed presidential election quickly. The H-N-E-C insisted that the House of Representatives is responsible for setting a new date. The speaker of the House of Representatives said the Election Committee responsible for overseeing elections must set a definitive date for postponed presidential and legislative polls by the end of January of 2022, like several months ago. The U.N. Special Advisor on Libya, Stephanie Williams, who has pursued a new election date, told the AP that it was still, quote, very reasonable and possible for the country's 2.8 million voters to cast their ballots by June of 2022, which would be in line with the U.N. Brokard Roadmap. On January 23rd of 2022, interim Prime Minister Abdul-de-Baba called for a constitution to be established before holding the delayed presidential and parliamentary elections. A month later, on February 22nd, De-Baba announced a plan to hold the elections in June of 2022. He later proposed holding the elections at the end of 2022. So, he just keeps on postponing it. Because why not? You're in power. You don't want to give it up. Sure. In July of 2022, the Prime Minister, the interim Prime Minister, Abdul-de-Baba made an unexpected alliance with his former enemy, the Eastern Warlord, Renegade General Khalifa Haftar, in a bid to cement a fragile ceasefire and end a month-long oil blockade. Less than three years ago, Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army besieged triply in a failed attempt to capture the capital. But in this unexpected alliance, in a highly symbolic gesture, the Libyan National Army's chief of staff, El Naduri, was invited to visit the city for talks. The prospect of De-Baba and Haftar burying their differences was really welcome by the UN as it was struggling to maintain a ceasefire that had ended a previous six-year civil war in 2020. However, barely a month later, after this extended reconciliation, supposedly, on August 27th of this year, deadly clashes occurred in Libya's capital between militias, backed by its two rival administrations, portending to a return to violence amid a long political stalemate. In these clashes, at least 23 people were killed, and more than 140 people were wounded in the fighting, according to the health ministry. Six hospitals were hit, and ambulances were unable to reach areas affected by the clashes. In the ministry said that these effectively are war crimes, and they condemned these actions. The escalation threatens to shatter the relative calm. Libya has had for most of the past two years. As we know, after listening to me talking for all these millions of minutes, Libya was sent into chaos after a NATO backed uprising that toppled and killed longtime autocrat from Maghdafi in 2011. Obviously, Hadafi was also bad, not saying that. But if things were already chaotic during Hadafi and before Hadafi, taking him out in the way that he was taken out only led to more chaos. So the instability only got worse. The clashes that are happening pitted the Tripoli Revolutionaries for Gade Milisha, led by Hathum Tajuri against another Milisha allied with Abdel Rani El Kilki, who was an infamous warlord known as Raniwa. This is according to local media. Prime Minister Debeba's government, which has based in Tripoli, claims that the clashes broke out when one Milisha fired at another. The fighting, however, is highly likely part of an ongoing power struggle between interim PM Debeba and his rival Prime Minister Fatih Basharra, who is operating from the coast city of Serta. Both Debeba and Basharra are backed by militias, and the latter was mobilizing in recent weeks to try to enter Tripoli to dislodge his rival. An attempt in May by Basharra to install his government in Tripoli triggered clashes that ended with his withdrawal from the capital. The US ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, urged for de-escalation before quote, things get worse, and he also urged for the Libyan parties to agree on an early date for elections. Prime Minister Debeba's hold on power is very precarious. In July of this year, protests erupted in nine cities against corruption and power cuts. Debeba was originally installed, again, as a temporary Prime Minister to run the country until the elections were due last December. But he hasn't given up that power because power is a disease. And when those elections were canceled amid constitutional arguments, he obviously decided to stay in power. And this is despite Libya's parliament demanding that he step down. So as we've learned in this brief history of this country, Libya has been racked with internal divisions and intermittent civil war conflict since the armed uprising of 2011 of the longtime dictator, Lattafi, and while international efforts to bring rival administrations together in a unity government succeeded in early 2021, this only created a fragile peace. The proliferation of weapons and autonomous militias, flourishing criminal networks, the interference of regional powers, and the presence of extremist groups have all contributed to the country's persistent lack of physical security. More than a decade of violence has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, and human rights conditions have steadily deteriorated. The ceasefire I mentioned earlier was due to an occurrence in 2016 when forces loyal to Khalifa el-Rawil attempted a coup d'état against Fayez Esh-Saraj and the presidential council of the GNA. So in 2020, the Joint Libyan military commission that represented the LNA and the GNA reached a permanent ceasefire agreement in all areas of Libya. The agreement was effective immediately, and it required that all foreign fighters leave Libya within three months while a joint police force would patrol disputed areas. And the first commercial flight between Tripoli and Benghazi took place that same day. On March 10, 2021, an Entremunity government was formed, and it was slated to be in power as we know until the presidential election, but it's still in power now. So when I'm talking about those peaceful quote-unquote two years, I'm talking about this time between this permanent ceasefire in 2020 and now. And despite improvements following the ceasefire that was broken in October of 2020, political and military violence has remained common. Human rights violations are widespread, and this includes unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary detentions. These conditions are further affected by the presence of various armed groups, thousands of foreign mercenaries, a large migrant population, and mass internal displacement. And so Libya has been in a tumultuous state since the start of the Arab Spring-related Libyan crisis of 2011. The crisis resulted in the collapse of the Libyan Arab Jemperia and the killing of Ma'am-Murqaddafi amidst the first civil war of Libya and the foreign military intervention. The crisis was deepened by the factional violence in the aftermath of the first civil war, and this resulted in the outbreak of the Second Civil War that happened in 2014. The control over the country is currently split between the House representatives, in Tobruk and the government of national unity and triply, and their respective supporters, as well as various jihadist groups and tribal elements controlling parts of the country. And as we've learned, the violent protests are continuing to go on today, and the country remains in a state of unrest, to say the least. But I think this information is a good foundation to serve as a starting point if we talk about Libya going forward to really understand how this country came to be so unstable, because like most countries that are experiencing a pevel, it's usually because of a lot of different powers, buying for control, international powers, intervening, and just a lot of clustered-fuck-y stuff that results in clustered-fuck-iness. So that's what we're going to end for today. I hope this was informative, and I hope you appreciate some of the history. I definitely do. So yeah, until next time, go drink some water and stay hydrated, and go head a dog. Play your props and boost it on specials. Just download the Bed MGM app today or go to and enter bonus code champion and place your first wager risk-free up to $1,000. The Bed MGM app is the perfect way to experience the excitement of wagering on live sports. Now in more markets than ever, visit for terms and conditions must be 21 years of age or older to wager, Virginia only. New customer offer, all promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non-withdrawable free bets or site credit. Free bets expire seven days from issuance. Please gamble responsibly. Gambling problem, call 1-888-532-3500. In the next 30 seconds, one sweltering beach bomb will decide, it's just too hot, and want to move somewhere milder, and S.E. streaming of a brisk outdoor jog, cracking up in a window, and the comfort of throwing on a light layer. He'll realize, I've got to sell the house and fix it and stage it and show it. Or skip the hassles, sell directly to Open Door, and move on to the things that matter, like that cool breeze. Get your free offer at slash new move. eligibility and offer price may vary. Open doors represented by Open Door Brookridge Inc. license 0206-113-0 in California and Open Door Brookridge LLC in its other markets. Let me guess. Unknown caller. You could reduce the number of unwanted calls and emails with online privacy protection. The latest innovation from Discover will help regularly remove your personal info, like your name and address, from 10 popular people search websites that could sell your data, and we'll do it for free. Activate in the Discover app. See terms and learn more at slash online privacy protection. You should never say how I mistook one party consent, also on a recording rub it. It's okay. It's with a president, so it can't be that bad. Shouldn't have done that. Jimmy Carton, dude. Well, he's never recovered, man. Yeah, you can see it in his eyes when he tried to rebuild those houses. Welcome to it could happen here. The podcast where one of us committed a crime against Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States. That might actually get us in trouble with the secret service, but you know what? It's happening. It's happening, James. Well, they're going to have to figure out which one it was. Yes. And that, of course, second voice, James Stout, who might wind up in Guantanamo for this, because he's not a US citizen. But I feel pretty safe. And I feel like our guest for today is pretty safe. And I would like to introduce Steven Monticelli. Steven, you work for and are an editor at Protein magazine. You've written for the Rolling Stone. You've written for a bunch of people, Dallas voice, a number of different news websites, magazines. And you have been spending a big chunk of the last year or so in the streets and Dallas reporting on the escalating series of well, hopefully not escalating. I guess time will tell on that. But the series of right wing, I don't even want to I don't want to dignify them. I call them protests, but like right wing organized attempts to intimidate and spark violence at LGBT events in the DFW area. And some of the left wing protest counter against that, which is involved groups like the Elmfork John Brown Gun Club, who we've had on the show a few times, and has involved groups of armed leftists kind of in opposition to groups of armed right wingers. Now, Steven, the specific reason we're talking today is you were just the other day part of a panel put on by the Cato Institute, which is a libertarian think tank titled domestic extremism and political violence, the threat to liberty. Your fellow panelists were Mike German. Mike is a former FBI agent who went undercover against the far right and now works for the Brennan Center and Christopher Viles, who is a professor of English and a director of American studies at the University of Connecticut and wrote the US anti-fascism reader. Now, this was interesting for a number of reasons, kind of in the lead up to this event, the Cato Institute published a graphic that showed a number of domestic armed organizations. And so in the same graphic, you had groups like the Proud Boys and Patriot Front, as well as groups like Yellow Paral Tactical and the Elm Fork John Brown Gun Club and the Socialist Rifle Association. Prior to the event, this sparked a bit of frustration from the left and some people suspecting that this was going to be kind of geared towards attacking left wing armed groups and smearing them as violent extremists in the same way that the Proud Boys are. That is not what happened and I'm going to open the floor up to you, Steven. Thank you for being on the show. Hey, thanks for having me and I'm glad that this is not sort of a criticism session that I'm going to be sitting with, y'all on in terms of my participation with a, I hesitate to even use the word libertarian because of the historical definition of the term, but conservative libertarian, whatever big L versus small L, I don't know. Yeah, we can call them a right libertarian think tank. They're Rothbodies, right? Like you're truly founded by Rothbodies. Yeah, they love them some Rothbard. Did it, they like X communicate him or something though at some point? Okay, I couldn't, I'm not deep on the floor. Right. One thing, if you're doing my favorite meme with the two hands meeting in the middle, middle left libertarians and right libertarians have X communicating. Remember something. Marie Rothbard is on an island in exile. Marie Rothbard in Marie Bookshin united in cancellation. So yeah, I guess I'm not being cancelled, which is good. And so yeah, they had reached out to me in September about being on this panel, and they had mentioned the other guests. And frankly, I was intrigued because people want to pay attention to the growing threat of fascism, I think that's pretty neat. And it seemed like an opportunity to do the thing that Glenn Greenwald claims that he does when he goes on Tucker Carlson, which is like reaching out to an audience that doesn't already agree with the things that I think. Yeah. Because he just goes on because they're pals and they already agree. So I digress. I thought it was maybe an interesting forum. And I was really interested to hear from the other panelists in particular, because I had looked at what Mike German had written after his service in the IFBI, and as well as the author of the anti-fascist handbook. And I thought, well, if Kato has invited all three of us, it's not going to go too off the rails in terms of sort of the false equivalency problems, or it just becoming a session to bash on groups that aren't really the part of the problem. Yeah. Interesting. We enough, the primary amount of bashing that went on was Mike German former FBI agent repeatedly, viciously criticizing the police and the FBI for their complicity with far-right street movements. Yeah. Mike's been pretty consistent. I spoke in the... Yes. For like a couple of years. I'm sure you people are probably aware of his presence by now, but he's been pretty consistent on bashing the feds for failing to act on white supremacy for decades. And it's fair. There's a number of reasons this is interesting that we'll be getting back into, but I really do recommend people take a listen to this conversation between y'all. Among other things, there's some good history in there. We'll talk about a couple of things that got introduced that I don't 100% agree with, but there's some good history in there. And I think more to the point, you get a lot of updates from your reporting in Dallas and a lot of kind of summaries of that, which I find very valuable. And I think we'll be valuable to people who have maybe been following it less. And then also, it's really interesting to get Mike's perspective as someone... He was in, I was late 80s, early 90s. He was doing a lot of undercover stuff in the West Coast and neo-Nazi movements. And so hearing him discuss the way in which the FBI's programs targeted at the far-right work and don't work was really interesting to me. Oh, absolutely. That was the sort of the side of the story that I knew the least about. Christopher Viles, the professor, the guy who wrote the handbook, I think he provided a very important set of historical information that kind of helped iron out some of the issues in terms of the framing, perhaps. Yes. And some of the inconsistencies, which I think we can dive into a little bit or rather inaccuracies that kind of got slipped by and we weren't really able to address in the course of the conversation. But hearing him just put it so bluntly, kind of took the wind out of me in a good way where I was like, I don't have anything else to add here. No notes. Because he really made the point that, yes, some of these organizations were canned in glove with police officers at the local level, even at the federal level. He's witnessed it. He has a number of experiences that he cited where the FBI is basically saying, do not talk about your cases involving white supremacists and these similar type of groups because there are people in the agency who are sympathetic. And I think that's kind of why I ended up on the panel because in part, the story that I've been covering around here with this harassment campaign over the past few months of LGBTQ groups and events, part of the story is that policing has not really done anything to prevent this incitement and harassment from continuing and occasionally turning violent, not in the sense of weapons being used other than bear mace so far, but in the sense the physical violence and slurs and violent threats being hurled at people. So I think that Mike's points were really timely and well said. And frankly, he's the kind of person that they needed to come from because otherwise they just kind of get smacked away as a leftist talking point by people who probably have some internal biases or prejudices that prevent them from engaging with it when it comes from the wrong person in the wrong way. And there were a number of interesting kind of discussions happening. What I think that I was happy about is that while the initial framing, I think there was a lot of fear that all of these left wing groups are going to get lumped in with groups that have to put a bluntly tried to overthrow democracy. We should point out that that's how the FBI does do it. Right? Like they, for instance, they'll group white supremacists with like black identity groups as racial identity extremists. Yeah. Support statistics that way. Like that's how the feds see this. But yeah, they didn't, which is which is good. It's like a form of obfuscation to do so. And you know, why would they do that? Well, I mean, there's a few reasons they might do that, especially if you ask someone like Mike. And, you know, it's such a blind spot for obvious ideological reasons for so many people involved. Yeah. And it's, it's, it was interesting because there was this bit in the middle of it where Mike, you know, being a former fed walked through kind of like, well, it makes sense to me, given the fact that law enforcement is not able to be trusted in a lot of instances and often is working hand in glove with these far right groups that want to harm marginalized people, that they would seek to arm themselves. And that prompted from the, the fellow who was actually kind of the organizing the, the event Patrick Eddington, who's a senior fellow at the Keto Institute, him to point out. And he was, I would have to say, broadly fair. And generally, he seemed a little bit kind of, he had this attitude, you, you get sometimes around libertarians where he was, he was like, there was a moment where he was like, well, I'm glad someone the left to finally started accepting the second amendments and stuff like that. But, but he had a, he had a moment where he expressed a concern, which was the, his fear about the possibility that if you keep having these events, at some point, you're going to have two groups of people who are armed, shoot at each other. Um, yeah. Which is we have, we've been right up to that line. You have had exchanges of fire, just thinking in Portland, you had a moment where a single right wing individual with a handgun fired into a group of people, thankfully, didn't hit me. Two people in the anti-fascist side fired back and forced him to flee. Um, you had a moment earlier this year in Portland where a right winger shot into a group of unarmed people doing traffic security, killed a 61 year old woman, uh, wounded, I think five other people and then was shot and stopped by a leftist. Um, you obviously had, um, a, a proud boy, well, I remember, Patriot prayer shot and killed during an altercation, but not an exchange of fire. The only person who fired was the person who killed that, that individual. So none of those are quite two groups of people with guns, exchanging fire, you know, in a sustained way. Um, none of those even entirely approach kind of what happened at like Greensville, but they're all on that spectrum. And, and while I think this guy, there's a degree to which he's kind of spooked at seeing leftists with guns, I do think that that's a reasonable thing to be concerned with because when and if we hit that point, it's going to be an inflection moment for I think the entire country. Right. Right. I think the reality is that most normal people, whatever you want to use the word to describe them, people who aren't brain poisoned and plugged into the internet and know about all these things, uh, or, or having to deal with them and are affected by them in real life, uh, they might see these groups and just cast them all under the same umbrella. Um, you know, there's a good meme. I chuckled at that. It came out afterwards where it had the slide showing on all the groups, the right one groups and the left one groups, sort of armed groups in, you know, the United States and then replacing them all with just domestic cleaning products. Like, yes, they all have something in common. They have weapons and they're armed to some degree. But beyond that, they all have distinctions and we shouldn't, uh, draw an equivalency and I think Drew, uh, you know, Mike did a very elegant job of drawing that distinction. He says these people not only have a right to defend themselves, but they probably have a good reason to give in all of these things. He was basically writing the lyrics to a rage against the machine song. And, um, I was a little astonished by that. And he made a very clear point to say like, there are people who are aggressors and there are people who aren't. We can find a distinction in that. And if we're just now getting concerned about this violence, well, maybe we should ask why we've had such a big blind spot for so long and he got right to the core of it. It's these ideologies deeply baked into our institutions of white supremacism, right supremacy, uh, basically all the way back to colonization and, uh, you know, dealing with that is necessary for us to deal with the broader problem. And I think he was very clear to say like the things that were required to get to that point of like a potential shootout would be a total breakdown in policing. Yes. And so he played place the blame at the feet of the police. Likely said, it's there goddamn fault that people feel the need to do this because if they just focused on the crimes that Proud Boys commit in the Dallas area, uh, you know, basically minor assaults and stuff, they would trace it back to the people that are committing them and they would cut down on these escalations. Yeah. Because the same people are the ones that show up to these events time and time again. It's worth like rubber. You talk about like an inflection point, right? And, um, we spoke about like failures in policing too. I think part of the reason that we see things as super duper exceptional right now is the way that we teach history in schools here. And part of the things we don't teach are like, now this has happened before, right? Like the battle of Hayes Pond being a paramount example. Uh, if we look at the like the standoff at Wounded Knee or the second battle of Wounded Knee or whatever you want to call it and like throughout the civil rights movement, right? And there's a book by Rob Williams about, uh, the contemporary book about the use of firearms and the civil rights movement that people can read. And like all of this stuff did happen then and this same tension that we're feeling now about like a society pulling itself apart and we're lead to a civil war also happened then. And people felt this then too. And we, we, well, the progress was made at that time. We didn't fix everything right. Like that's why we're having this discussion now. But like, I think the fact that we've removed so much of that specifically the violence and the use of guns from our discussion of the civil rights movement sometimes leads us to see what's happening now is like really particularly exceptional. And it's not like, yeah, it's always been the case of marginalized folks that have resorted to the same tools that are used to oppress them to defend themselves. And why wouldn't they? Right? Like Mike said, like Steve said, there's a very good and clear reason for oppressed people to want to defend themselves in their communities. The only analog that we were able to bring up in the conversation is like the pink, uh, pink panthers. Pink Panther, which was, you know, something that a lot of people don't know about. And we did get a little bit of opportunity to discuss, you know, the black panthers and how community defense is a different set of reasons for arming yourself and having knowledge of the second amendment and all those sorts of things. Then, you know, um, going outside in another event hosted by an organization, you have no interest in belonging to wearing your guns on your body to send a message. That's a very menacing form of free speech. And I think another good moment to bring up when we talk about this would be the red summer of 1919, which was a series of race riots targeting black people in the United States that also involved large groups and communities, particularly in cities of black Americans taking up arms and defending themselves. Um, and was fairly enormous in its death, hundreds and hundreds of people were killed. Yeah. Um, it's, it's really a pretty nightmarish moment in history, but it's the thing when you have groups and we're about to have someone on from, from yellow peril tactical, when you have groups that are specifically organizing and saying like we are organizing, we are teaching skills for people to become armed because we are afraid that we and people like us will be victimized. It's stuff like the red summer that they're directly looking at. It's not theoretical, you know. Yeah, you're friend Carl from in range TV, have some good videos about a lot of these different things if people are interested in looking them up. Yeah. Um, and I think probably we should bring on our next guest for tonight. Uh, and and Stephen will be staying on as well. Uh, snow from yellow peril tactical snow. Do you want to introduce yourself and your organization for folks who may not be as, uh, as familiar with the stuff as we are? We briefly covered y'all a little bit earlier in this, but yeah. Yeah, thanks for having me. My, my name is snow, my pronouns are she or they and I am one of the many members of yellow peril tactical. We are a collective of leftist Asian Americans, um, under the shared ideology of being anti-authoritarian. Um, and we talk about all sorts of things, um, but particularly how to develop firearm skills and also community defense and the occasional ship post. And, uh, first question is because we're talking about this Kato Institute thing that Stephen was on. Have you had a chance to listen to that yet? Since y'all watched it twice. I have four paid notes. Oh, yeah. Let's go. Yeah. Yeah. Why don't we start here? Yeah. Go off. You know, okay, like the chat was lit when we first saw that we were mentioned. We were like, wow, we fucking made it. Uh, because originally we started as a ship post account and then we were like, oh, people actually care. Um, and this is just one of those moments where, uh, I don't know, it felt like really surreal that Kato would even give a fuck about us. Uh, because we do all of this in our free time, you know, this is like nobody pays us, right? Um, and so we had a lot of skepticism going into it. Um, and in a sense, uh, we're a bit on the defensive kind of preparing for a lot of false equivalents rhetoric, um, and a lot of just like, I don't know, maybe like orientalism as well. Um, just given the history of how like Westerners have viewed Asian culture. Um, but ultimately, like, the consensus has been that we were pleasantly surprised of how balanced it was. I thought overall, it was very intriguing. And I got some good, some good quotes written down, but I don't know if you want to go into those now or later or what? Can we start with having, I really want to like anchor this and having you explain what community defense means. Like so people can understand why, and then we can go from what people said on you. Yeah. Um, so earlier, y'all were talking about like, um, the 1919 riots and actually reminded me of like the Pacific Coast race riots of 1907. Oh, god yeah. A bunch of communities were like murdering and committing violence against Asian people, right? And 1907 was not that long ago. Um, and in a sense, it never has gone away. Um, and, and, you know, I think, um, Chris Viles said it, like, put it nicely when he was like, you know, in the backdrop of a lot of anti-Asian violence. Um, it's just that it's been a lot more prevalent among Asians specifically. That doesn't stop, you know, like, boba liberalism identity politics from happening where there's not like a grand supervision of like what's going on at large. Um, but we know that like our communities are under attack and the cops don't give a fuck about us. And if anything, they just make it worse most of the time. Uh, and so it's truly up to us. Cause, you know, cops don't prevent crime. They come after and they fuck it up. Um, and it's not something that has come easily to me personally. I've been in denial about it for a lot of years around thinking like if I just avoid going out late at night, if I am always walking with a buddy, if I just, you know, spend 20 minutes looking for a closer parking spot, it'll, uh, prevent me from being harmed and ultimately like, that's just me being in denial. Um, and part of it, another realization is like being strapped. I can see all carry every day. That's not going to deter someone from attacking me because of how I look. Uh, without doxing myself, I just look alternative, right? Um, and knowing that that puts me at risk has never deterred me from wanting to express myself with how I look, but I know the risks. And that doesn't stop people from me, but part of it is like, I'm not going down with that. A fucking fight. Like my ancestors have come too fucking far. We kicked out the French. We kicked out the US, right? Uh, and now I'm, I'm in their turf. I've infiltrated the wire. Um, that doesn't mean that, but you know, it, it doesn't mean that it's going to stop them from harming us. Um, and you know, we know that we can't live in a fever dream where every single fascist on this planet will be gone. Um, but at the very least like my life goal is to make them think twice. And I'm scared a little bit. It's interesting because you bring up sort of what I think is a really good point, which is that like even if you're, if you're in your day to day life, the fact that you're carrying a gun doesn't going to stop somebody from starting, you know, an interaction with you that could turn violent because you just look the way that you look. I do want to talk a little bit about what's kind of the opposite thing. And it's sort of part of why I think folks were a little on edge when this event got announced. And you know, that graphic came out that had, as we've discussed, yellow parallel tactical alongside, you know, these, these, these other groups. And there's one of the things that kind of results from the way gun culture works is that there's a very recognizable kind of uniform that you see, particularly you've seen it with the blue blue boys, you see it with groups like the proud boys. It's the, it's the thing where you've got a plate carrier, a belt, you know, an AR or some other kind of long gun helmets and usually other tactical gear on it. And this kind of this outfit, so to speak, is kind of evolved over time. It really is result of the war on terror. And it's both an aesthetic choice. And there's a huge number of companies that exist, particularly on the right to provide people with aesthetic options for kind of having all of this gear that are sort of ideologically simpatico with them. But it's also just actually a track. Well, some of this stuff is less practical than others, but the basics of the, of the get up exist because it's what worked, right? There's one of the things people noted when the Taliban took back over in Afghanistan is that all of their special operations guys were dressed the same way that US fighters just because it's just what works. You see the same outfits on Ukrainian and Russian speck ops guys. And one of the things when we're looking at kind of domestically when you have people who are organizing and going out in the world armed as part of a public event is that two people who are not familiar with what's going on, it can be hard to tell them apart sometimes. And that is that strikes me as a thing that the left particularly needs to deal with because both in kind of in the media and also out in the field, you don't want to be mistaken for groups like the proud boys. And Steve, and I want to start kind of with you here because I think you're you're reporting has always done a really good job of kind of making that difference clear. If you kind of have any thoughts on that and then we'll we'll go back to you snow. I think that's a really interesting problem. The proliferation of tactical aesthetics and the ideological sort of turn in the production of weaponry and accessories. I mean, there's like a goddamn tactical 88. So the franchise is which is making me lose my mind for a number of reasons. Yeah. And that is is a is a real distinct thing that I see all the time around here. And I think there's subtle things that groups do to try to distinguish themselves obviously are patches. But in order to see a patch, you have to be close enough to someone in order to even find it legible. So then okay, you have flags. But then you also have to know what these flags are. Something that some groups around here have done when they're sort of protecting an LGBTQ event is they'll have flags affiliated with the LGBTQ movement. But once again, you have to know what those are. And one more people know what those are these days. So that's a way in order to distinguish themselves. But it still takes a second for you to see a group of armed people and then process you know, exactly all of these sort of semiotic markers of who they are and what they're doing. Because if they have a different set of those things, it can be a very different set of conclusions that you can walk away from if you identify them. And in Texas, the right does love carrying these flags and wearing these patches. So it makes it very clear who has consistently shown up to these events. But like the reaction of normal people if a group of armed people are leading a protest is to kind of be like, what the heck double take. Maybe they won't start filming it because it's the craziest thing that they've seen that week. And ultimately, you know, they have to kind of know some contextual clues in order to even make these distinctions. Particularly when you're talking about groups like, you know, John Brown clubs or yellow peril where you're just concerns around op-sac or infosac and you don't want to necessarily reveal your identities because you're already a part of a group that's facing violence at a disproportionate rate. And maybe you're potentially targeted by the FBI at a disproportionate rate like the former FBI officer interestingly noted during the K-doh conversation that yeah, you may have an even harder time sort of distinguishing yourself and making it known who you are. So it's an interesting challenge. I don't know if I have sort of any lessons from it other than that, you know, these classic signifiers also seem to work. Sometimes they're kind of kitschy or, you know, seem ridiculous, but it's kind of the same thing like you said about the speck-op stuff like it's been used for centuries. Stuff like this has been used for a long time because it works because you immediately can comprehend, is this person with a gun here to kill me or to protect me? Yeah, yeah. That's really interesting because I obviously I have a complicated history with flags, but there's few better ways to inform other people about what a group of folks is doing than having one. As long as you're not conducting an ambush and that's an offensive maneuver, and then suddenly, you know, it's like as long as you're cool with being like we're here, and this is what we're doing. A flag is exactly the thing that you might want. So one of the things I've always paid attention to and appreciated about yellow perilous, the way in which y'all social media and y'all's kind of forward face is both unapologetically focused on firearms, focused on training, and also feels completely different from any of the sort of right wing kind of groups that focus on some of the stuff. Even when you're doing stuff, let's like videos of people shooting and training. Do you want to talk? I mean, just anything in general on the subject that you've felt, but that's something I've always particularly noticed about y'all. Yeah, so thank you. We try really hard. You should see the group chat, but it's something that, you know, when historically Asians represented in firearms culture tend to be conservative, folks who fit within the norm or, you know, procsimity to whiteness, and that's something that we are not at all interested in. And we know that comes out of risk. That's why one of the reasons why our identifiable tattoos are clothing and our faces are always blurred, one, because we don't want cold-up celebrity around individuals. But two, it's like, part of that is a lot of folks generally, but especially on the right, we'll kind of have this very grandiose, I don't know, buffered sense of legitimacy, just because they have cool, you know, video editing, they have like the nicest guns, they have a lot of guns, and our thing is like, you don't need all that. What you do need is to train with what you got, and our target audience are folks who don't know shit about firearms or just getting into it and need some more reputable to go. And we take that very seriously, because I only got into firearms like two years ago. And so that is fresh in my memory, and I know very well what that's like, and how intimidating it could be. So a lot of our work is to try to demystify it, and really break it down to a way that like, it doesn't, like we don't make people feel like they have to be at a certain level already, it's even entering into the firearms world. Like we want to meet people where they're at, and encourage people, so like, you know, do our drill of the month, and like tell us your score, and then do it next month, and tell us how you did better. And so it's really encouraging people to get better on an individual basis. We encourage people to go out with their friends. But we also try to throw in like community international solidarity with our fundraisers in there too. So we try to do a lot of different things. But at the end of the day, like if we help just even a handful of shooters get better at defending themselves or their community, like it's all worth it. Thank you. Now, I want to ask next, and I'll ask you both again kind of same question. Where do you see the armed left moving, particularly in this next year? As we kind of get through our last, or start, go through our last blessed year before the 2024 election. What are some things that are on your radar? What are some things that you're sort of expecting to see? What are some things that you're worried about seeing? A lot. That's a big question. I try to keep it to a year, right? Yeah. But yeah, that's the big one. I worry a lot. I try not to get too caught up in it because life will surprise you know. But I think ultimately like where I live, we are facing down a really tight governor race in which if the Republican candidate wins, a lot of work that has been put to, you know, codify abortion rights, workers rights, things like that will be reversed by this governor. And it's something that a lot of people are worried about myself included. And where I live, even within city limits, there are white supremacists, flags, Confederate flags, even just like a couple miles from my house. And so there's a lot of fear around that becoming even more emboldened. Even though we managed to fight back a lot and deterred, it doesn't mean that they're not taking this moment, the right, the fast, right, to re-stratage eyes and to recalibrate what they want to do next. And so it kind of feels like we're in the calm before the storm. Oh, man, not like the J6 storm, that's not what I mean. But like genuinely what it will actually look like. Because I don't think it's going to be, I don't think there's going to be like, you know, we meet at the football field and we have like our drummers out and like our little pipe players out and then we have a problem. It's going to be like urban, like warfare is what I think. And a lot of other people think that too. And you just throw in climate change as a treat. Like we don't know what the literal climate is going to be like. And so it really just feels like there's multiple fronts right now. But it seems like climate change or the fascist will kill me before my smoking habit will. And a lot of people think that too. Yeah, I mean, I do anecdotally know a lot of people who justify their cigarette use with like, look, there's wildfires all around my house. I'm not worried about the Marbress. It is it is October and the city of Portland is blanketed in smoke. I don't know if the cigarettes are going to get it. Steven, did you, did you want to go next? Yeah, well, I mean, you know, the fact that a shit posting account gained some traction. Maybe there's hope yet. I don't know. But shit posting will save us in the end. Yeah. It's it's another one on the board for shit posting. Let's put it that way. So looking forward to what what are we dealing with? Well, Texas is deep in it right now. We're one of the sort of laboratories of fascism in the United States. The moment sort of a spear tip of a lot of really bad stuff. Really just like, you know, codifying in the state, oppressive things, things that they just talk about in other states. And so yeah, our governor's race basically doesn't either, you know, kind of split things because our lieutenant governor runs independently of the governor and you know, the house is a whole other thing. Yeah, if it goes far right, which a ton of money has been spent billions and billions from people in the industry that's primarily responsible for destroying the planet are pushing that to make it happen. And so that all works their way. Then yeah, we're probably going to get some seriously bad laws, really bad state sponsored violence, a variety of forms. And yeah, people are already thinking to themselves like, do I want to live in the state anymore? But that's also basically what the extreme people on the right want is to either just get rid of these people one way or another. And so some people don't want that. Obviously, some people don't have a choice to leave because it's expensive to move and they may be tied to their families and other sorts of things. So I don't like to predict the future because history is, we keep pumping shells into it and it keeps getting back up. And it's just going to happen. And I don't really know exactly. I just am very thankful that there are people and groups in my state that are trying to protect vulnerable people and people working to hopefully make it not super bad. So I think like the optimistic view is that it won't be all totally terrible, horrible, but it'll be still kind of same. Same. Yeah. You know, yeah, that's kind of like how I see broad speaking, you know, the big projection cone. Otherwise, I'm not sure. Yeah, shit's going to be fucked up, but at least we'll have friends, hopefully. It'll be wavy and it'll be about the friends that we make along the way. Yeah. Yeah. I was going to miss that joke. Okay. Do either of you have anything else you'd like to to talk about or bring up or say before we kind of bring this to a close? I guess I'm just like, I was kind of surprised how decent that the panel went. You know, the anti-fascist coalition can be broad because it is sort of anti-thing. It's not necessarily positivist, but you know, maybe that's another episode to describe, you know, why it's important to also perhaps have a positivist message along with what you're trying to do in response to fascism. And, you know, like more discussions like this hopefully will happen. And I think they could be improved by like not all four panelists being white dudes. That would probably be helpful. As a thought. Yeah. Well, yeah. That was actually the first thing I wrote on my my note page is that it was four or four way. I should have said that earlier. Wow. You know, never too late. Now I'm just playing, but I think one thing I want to add is like similar to what you were saying, Stephen was kind of like what is the pro-positive thing? And ultimately like, to me, it's like the city that I live in, there's a lot of decentralized mutual aid groups that got a lot of people through the pandemic and still provide daily relief to people consistently. Like I'm in like a million fucking signal chats where people post a need and it gets met eventually. And it's like, I'm pro-bat mutual aid. And like it's something that I mean, maybe it's the only thing that will really get us through whatever is to come. And that's just like pro community building and coalition building, whatever that looks like in your community. Maybe if we want to talk about mutual aid, you can I know you guys do a lot of fundraisers. I think that's a really cool thing. Certainly, the distinction is you from a lot of other gun clubs. So maybe do you want to talk about a couple of those? Maybe plug those? You know, I would plug our foward patches, but we just sold out of the second batch. It's a it is. We didn't think people would care that much. Especially the first round and so the second round, we only ordered a hundred and it's sold out in a day. Those are supporting the resistance in Myanmar, right? Yes. People are getting them by donating directly to liberate Myanmar and then someone sends them a cool, forward patch. And it's one of many fundraisers we've done. We recently have done a couple for folks in Ukraine. We helped them fund an ambulance out there. I can't remember the Instagram handle right now. We've also done a bunch for like a group in Portland, for example, Black and Beyond the Binary. I think we've done two actually for liberate Myanmar. But it's just something that we don't do this for money. And we also want to support other groups doing things that we support, especially like popular fronts that are fighting back against authoritarian regimes. And hoping that if shit hits the fan here, that people will do that for us too. Because we really value international solidarity. And as corny as it is for, we're like, we got us. We fund us, not George Soros, but it's something that brings us joy to be able to help. As mostly anarchists, we really believe that we are all that we have. And we can't wait for someone else to be a benefactor to come and save us. Because that shit's just not going to happen. Yeah, that's great. Where can folks find you on the interweb? They want to follow along. You can find us on Instagram, yellow.parall.actical. You have to spell it out, I think. Because I think we're shadow band right now. Our Twitter, regrettably, is YPT actual. We also have a website, just We just took it so no one else could. But that's where you can mainly find us. We are primarily on Instagram. But most of our stuff is on Twitter. If you really want to see a shit post, go on Twitter. We recently got into it with this person and Oregon over the gun control measure. And let me tell you, it was a hoot, but also a little like maddening. Because this guy. Yeah, this guy actually ties into how we open the episode. Because he was he was a local liberal thought leader guy who saw two pictures of people with guns, one of them being fascists and one of them being one a y'all. And was like, clearly, these are the same thing. It was a good time. Vote no on 114 in my opinion. If you're in the state of Oregon, but we'll talk about that at a later point. Steven, you want to plug your first off? Obviously, really good work on the panel. I want to plug that for folks because I think it is really worth a listen. As everyone is here, said there's a lot of good historical information in there and and and your contributions are in valuable. So folks can check that out. If you just Google Kato Institute, domestic extremism and political violence, you'll find it. And how else can people find you, Steven? You can also find me on Twitter. I will make sure that my handle is there. It's at Steve Anzetti, STE, VanZetti, as in the, you know, one of the two that got killed by the state unjustly because it's anti-Italian discrimination. So I digress. You can find me there. ProDien is obviously something that I work with and I would say check that out as well. Add ProDien Mag. That has a website, And anything else that you want to know about me, you can either find on Twitter or Google. There's really only like two guys named Steven Monticelli in the entire state, United States. And the other ones like a CPA in his 60s. So that's just not that one. And yeah, you can find me there. Excellent. Well, I'm glad we got to end on a Sacco and VanZetti reference. And yeah, everybody go help somebody. Football is back. 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But I get paid whether or not we find an answer to that question. This has been the introduction to the podcast. I'm Robert Evans. Hello, everyone else. Hello. Hello. Good morning afternoon. This is Garrison. We have Shereen and we also have our friend prop from Hood politics here. Hello, greetings. So y'all talked to me nice. I fully respect the transparency about like, will you get paid regardless? Yeah, exactly. Exactly. When I learned if it could happen here. Here's the thing. When I used to teach high school, which believed or not, I did. Todd and I graders. We was like maybe eight years apart at the time. And there was at one point. And I taught inner city. And it was it was at one point. I got this idea from one of my like, like mentor teachers where I was like, okay, check this out. So I made, you remember overhead transparency. Oh, yeah, I do for sure. So I made one of my check. It was like, I'm just going to put this because I'm just going to put this up here because like, y'all can do your work or not. You know what I said? Like I could pay it either way. Yeah, I could pay it either way. I cared. That's why I show up in a trissel hard. You know, but you not hurting me by whatever rebellion you're practicing here. Like this, this is the like who ends at three o'clock at three o' five. I forgot everything you said to me. You know, so you're not hurting me. Now if you want to make me earnest, then let's get busy. You know, and it was like, no, man, you go and harness. I was like, all right, let's go to it. You know, I was a great teacher. So it worked. Do you know? I mean, I may have turned off a few people, but I don't know that. You don't say it. Do you know what does hurt me, prop? What hurt you? Oh, God, Garrett. What is this? The main streaming event. You submitted a rhetoric. Um, so, wow, wow. No, you did a good job there, garrison. Great. She's, you know what? You know what? Put puttin in for a commendation for you. You're going to get a little trophy from the company for that one. Hey, homie, that was trophy. Garrison. That was, yeah. So that's varsity, bro. That was varsity, fam. Unfortunately, today, we're going to be talking about con con, con, yeah, West. There's a lot of elements to this topic of discussion between the media's coverage of what's happened. Sorry, but isn't it ye now, garrison? I don't know. It's yay. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Okay. I've got prop. You don't say the thing is like at, at, at, like, at some point, probably now, I am, I have refused to talk about us. Same. Yeah. You know, and specifically even covering it, you know, on the pod, but it's definitely time to be like, you know, who's man's is this? Yeah. You know, like, come on, somebody come get, somebody come get your man's here. You know what I'm saying? Um, yeah, there's a lot of different kind of parts of this between how the media has been covering it the past month, his own, like, history of like attention, grabbing spectacle, the whole mental health side of things. There's religion, his uptick and edgy, his medicaments, and how the rights of the whole reacting. There's, there's there's a lot, a lot of stuff based on, you know, a few, a few, uh, not, not great statements. And a lot of interesting things have revolved around him in the past. I just like pick your, just pick your favorite subversive artist from 15 years ago. And then picture that person doing this. The guy's like, oh, yeah, come on, my favorite subversive artist from 15 years ago might have been Dave Chappelle. You know, my favorite subversive artist from 15 years ago was probably Steve from Blues Clues. Um, hey, Steve remains, remains solid. He's, he's, yeah, he's a hero. Oh, wait, no, I'm, I'm now seeing on deadline that he has recently embraced white nationalism. You know, he said he said the 14 words got an 88 tattooed on the back of his head next to the blue paw print. Oh, dear. Wow. That's a joke. Steve is fine. He's kidding. He's kidding. That didn't happen. Yeah. But yeah, absolutely. Cause you're like, and knowing all of it's, it is, and I hope I'm not, I hope I'm not co-op in this whole show, but it's, it is the Tyra Banks clip from America's top model. It's like, we, we believe, we all believed in you. Just, furious. Like we, we got, yeah, damn it. We believed in you. You know, yeah. Yeah. And as the perspective of like a younger person who wasn't really around for, I guess, when Kanye was better, this stuff has not been surprising to me. Cause I've only been watching him the past decade. And that's kind of what we're going to talk about. I would, it would probably be fair to call me like a, a casual knower of Kanye, but I'm, I'm, I'm much older than you, Garrison. And so I remember George Bush doesn't care about black people, which was like, yeah, that's the height of all Kanye. That seems, that seems accurate. That was the high water point. Well, I were like, he's for the generation. This, this is, this is a new breed because, but what was, what was ill is like, it was, obviously, a sign of his manickness, right? In retrospect, in retrospect, it was like, oh, he was in a manic episode. I mean, and the other thing is that he really just has a history of basic contrarianism. So, yes, he'll, he'll oppose George W. Bush because that's the contrarian thing to do at the moment post 9-11. Everyone was very pro, Obama. So instead, he's going to be pro Trump because he's going to, he's going to try to be that subversive. Yeah, exactly. And that's not even a pattern throughout his career. It's just, it's just, it's just to see it. Go ahead. I'm not, I'm not an expert on his music. I wasn't particularly a fan, but the thing I know that, like everyone talked about is the motherfucker sample blood on the leaves. Like, and now that's a, but also at the time it was like, wow, this is, you know, he's, he's, he's, he's trying to say something. And now there's a degree to which it's like, well, was that just the most contrarian, like, that's what it's getting, he could be making, right? Yeah. I don't know. And like what you said, prop, like initially, when this, when the, when the T-shirt stuff was happening at Paris Fashion Week, I really did not want to talk about this because I thought I was just another one of Kanye's publicity stunts kind of in line with his mega hat and Trump appearances from a few years ago. And I didn't want to like play into the media cycle of just amplifying these stunts that Kanye does, which I think kind of feeds into and encourages this kind of behavior. But then Kanye went on Tucker and started posting on the internet and things have gotten a lot worse since then. And now I feel like it actually is, we should now actually talk about this because there's some interesting things going on. And ideally, we can talk about it in a way that's actually useful and that we can gain insight from and not just, you know, highlighting the bigoted and unhinged things that a public figure has said. So, and I think kind of feigning with shocker surprisement at his recent actions and behavior and statements is mostly not useful, like as opposed to just like clearly condemning bigotry and anti-semitism and doing like de-platforming. And also upon the, upon the news of the T-shirt stunt and the pointless matter stuff and anti-semitism, I was not actually really surprised because I kind of saw this as a natural evolution of the logical progression of the type of bit that Kanye has been doing particularly for the past five years. And that's kind of the angle that we're going to approach this with. I think we should probably start by talking about what the types of alignments Kanye has had over the course of his career towards Christianity and how that kind of reached the peak in 2019. So, you can see the kind of earliest hints of this type of thing. It's pretty dumb. A song like Jesus walks in 2004. And then he kind of does some cool stuff. We get to the album, Jesus, which kind of revolves around self-deification. I never expected to hear you say Jesus. Awesome. Okay. Which is a pretty good album. It kind of, it's before he gets actually into like Christ, it's more like God as like a spiritual force that you can interact with and you can like align, can like align yourself with. Can I fill in the, can I fill in the Jesus walks area? Yeah. Yeah. Like a important, important context about Kanye. One is understanding how the South side of Chicago is. You know, and what it's like to be black, there's like, you're not, how do I say this? Church is as normal as dinner. Yeah. With in, in our community, specifically in the South side of Chicago. Of course, of course, your daddy's a deacon. Of course, your mom teaches Sunday school. Of course, the heart most hardened of criminals will stop and talk to mother Johnson when they see her on the side of the road because she was your Sunday school teacher. You know, so and you still come every Sunday like it's just such a part. So the Christian idea is such a part, an integral part of our of our community and of course of his community because he's just one of us, you know, that of course, he's going to do a song called Jesus walks, you know, of course, and of course, he actually probably the whole time believed he was a Christian, you know, because of, because we all are, you know, say it like, and unless you come from like the F.O.I. or like nation of Islam stuff situation like specifically, just with black people, we're just, we just went to church, you know, so and all of our, all of our musicians, you take the greatest musicians of any of our times, they used to be choir singers. They used to be in the worship band. Like we just, it's just the part of our life, you know, so, so for him to do that was not strange. What was strange was him thinking it was unique. Well, that was the part that was so weird about like, why do you think this is, there's like, you know, yeah, there's the aspect of thinking that some of like the gospel types of he was doing was unique, which yeah, maybe was unique for me on such such a large platform, but it was not new. And the other thing that is different is that there is a difference between the type of, the type of like a black church that you're talking about and white Christian evangelical born again, I the very different around conversion, which is what he starts getting into in the which what he's about. Yeah, what he became, you know, I'm saying, but that's not that's why I was like, let me give it that so that's why like at first and I'm speaking to somebody who also came from like a very person of color experience in with Christianity and then finding, you know, sort of white evangelicalism and thinking because we're using the same words that we're talking about the same thing. Yeah. And then you about five minutes sitting at that table, you're just like, oh, oh, y'all different. Yeah, you just kind of like make the little peace outside and let me slide out because clearly we don't believe the same things. No, I first found your music as I was kind of me and my family were exiting evangelicalism. Yeah. And that was a very useful kind of step that was still using some familiar language, but it was like going in a better direction. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So I think the next kind of notable thing is the more gospel-esque album Life of Pablo allegedly inspired by the life of the biblical Paul and there's the song ultra ultra light beam, which features contemporary gospel superstar Kirk Franklin and Chance the Rapper, who is also a very open Christian. Yeah. Then he, Garnier, has a few years of dealing with mental health stuff. He gets hospitalized. He comes out of the hospital and then in April, he somewhere around 2016, he kind of endorses Trump kind of, but then in April 2018, West sends out a series of tweets expressing admiration for Trump, including that he felt he was his brother and they both have quote, dragon energy. Oh, there he is. People like Chance the Rapper initially came to West's defense saying that black people don't have to be Democrats, which he later apologized for and a lot of tweets that were up that are now gone. Yes. And then one of the kind of worst inclinations of where things are kind of going was a fucking TMZ interview, which was supposed to be about Conghye's support of Trump, but then he went on to make some pretty gross comments about black people choosing to be enslaved. I don't think people necessarily understand what happened last week with the great American hat. What are you trying to do with the message you're sending? Well, it was really just my subconscious. It was a feeling I had. You know, like people were taught how to think, we're taught how to feel. We don't know how to think for ourselves. We don't know how to feel for ourselves. People say feel free, but they don't really want us to feel free. And I felt a freedom. And first of all, just doing something that everybody tells you not to do. I just love Trump. You hear about slavery for 400 years? For 400 years? That's sound like a choice. Like, it was there for 400 years and it's all of y'all. You know, like, it's like we're mentally in prison. I like to wear prison because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. It's like slavery Holocaust. Holocaust Jews slavery is blacks. So prison is something that unites us as one race. Blacks and whites being in one race. We're the human race. And fun fact, like Van who stood up to him, I think to this day, especially among like black media figures, as far as I can remember, one of the only that confronted him in the moment, boldly didn't meant his words. You could tell he was like almost weeping because, I mean, that's the way I felt watching it where it was just like, oh, what are you, what are you saying? Like, it's just, it's just so hurtful because you're like, you can't believe like, come on, man. Like, drop the act, bro. Like now, now we're all suffering. It's like, it's almost like I get, I get it. We get it. Looking back, yeah, even college dropout that record was just him being. Now I wish to think it was like revolutionary. No, it's just him being a contrarian. I don't have to go to college. You know, now I know like, oh, man, it wasn't as deep as I thought it was. You know, so you're thinking, yeah, at the moment, you're like, this is dope. Dark Trusted Fantasy was like the most amazing album I had ever heard up to that point, right? Brilliant. Yeah. And as you guys are talking, there's like a sprinkle of religious stuff in that one and a lot of his stuff. Yeah. But he just takes it one step too far because I just remember thinking like, oh, this guy's a musical genius. And then when you see that genius kind of turn on itself, it's just disappointing. Yeah. But yeah, shout out, Van, for like confronting him and directly saying, you're wrong. This hurts. And I can't believe you say that. And you owe your community an apology. That was pretty dope. Yeah. So after that incident, he took to to clarify slash defend slash double down on his slavery comments, talking about mentally enslaved and how it's we need to, you know, this is just an example, like, and how his comments were just an example of of free thought. It's just an idea. And once again, I'm being attacked presenting new ideas. And then he ended this kind of tweet thread with a fake Harriet Tubman quote saying I free to 1000 slaves. I could have free to 1000 more if only they knew they were slaves, which is not not a real Harriet. That doesn't seem like a thing she would say at all. Oh, and all of all the tweets related deleted. But it was kind of doubling down on some of the same rhetoric. And then allegedly, some of the TMZ staffers have also now come out and said that he said some anti-Semitic things during the interview that were cut out. Now that's not verified. And TMZ is obviously not a great source. But just an interesting note on him possibly saying some other things that people were thought were kind of weird and just thought that we may as well just cut this out because it doesn't seem super relevant at the time. Anyway, so around the same time in 2018, Kangeba friend did someone named Candace Owens, who was at the time the communications director for the far right group Turning Point USA, led by man with face too small for his head, Charlie Kirk. Collier tweeted quote that he loved the way Candace Owens thinks. Candace Owens basically makes all of her money by being paid by rich conservative white men to say that racism isn't a problem anymore. Days after his Candace Owens tweet, when there was the mega hat wearing TMZ visit, he was accompanied to TMZ by Candace Owens. That's something that a lot of people miss. Is that? I know that. Owens is a core vector point for all of the stuff around Kanye. And much of Kange's rhetoric in the vein of slavery being thought to control, a lot of that directly comes from Owens. That's the talking points that he gets. Yeah, his free thinking. Yeah, all of those talking points come directly from Owens, which come from her being paid by the Koch brothers. And then obviously West solidified his position in the pro-Trump camp with the heavily publicized white house visit in late October of 2018 where Kanye gave like a 10-minute long monologue while wearing the mega hat. And that's why I love this guy right here. Let me get this guy. I love this guy right here. Yeah, that's really nice. And that's from the heart. I didn't want to put you in that position. But that's from the heart. These are like the intersections that are being vectored in this scenario. And this thing is like, like I said, like I didn't, I did not want to cover this, but now that it's like it's clearly necessary to do just for even for this context, like there's a certain, I saved the word Koon. Like, Koon is not something you throw around. Like that's to me. It's the, yeah, it is, it's as far as a black person or me as somebody who works in justice and stuff like that. It is the worst thing I can call you. You know what I'm saying? So like I saved that term. And it's because of the same reason why it's hard for the totality of our of the black community to ever really fully disavow somebody. It's because of our history of collective suffering. Like we've survived because of our communal protection of each other. So even when somebody is losing it, it's just like, baby, just come home, baby. Okay, listen, no, you didn't have a bad day. You know what I mean? You just, you want so much to protect them because you understand how much internalized, like self-hate and racism, how much you internalize that stuff. You know, so you just want so bad, so bad to be like, okay, Candace, let's turn the cameras off. Like you get in your money, right? That's this, this is what we're doing, right? You just come on. You could tell us. You just, if you get in your money, just tell us. You know, it's like, you know, nah, fam, you don't really believe this. Do you? You know, and then we get to be like, baby, don't get your money like that. Like don't, don't get your money based on our suffering. Like you, because you're thinking that there's no, there's no way. There's no way this is really you, you know? And so, so, so when you put those two together, it's like, like, why did it take us so long to disavow our Kelly? Why did it take us so long to dis? Why is Chris Brown still a star? You know what I'm saying? It's because it's, it's because of that. It's just, you don't ever want it. Like you got to save, you got to save Cune. You got to save that for when you really mean it. You know what I mean? Uh, for me personally, I'm like, I just, I don't, I don't put that word out often. Yeah. And then there's moments when you're just like, I don't know what else to call it is. Like I just, you, if you, if you are selling your own people out for the purpose of making money, that's Cone, that's Coneery. Like I don't, and it's just hard for me to say it. But anyway, go on. Tell us more about Candace Owens. The girl that sued, the girl that sued her, uh, school, sued her school board for racism. Yeah. She should, she should, she's sure, she's sure, she did. We'll get back to Owens in a bit. By the time 2019 started, uh, you know, this is when Kanye went public about his born again conversion to Christianity and kind of his full pivot towards the, I guess mostly kind of untapped mainstream Christian rap market, which is kind of, I'm going to try to frame some of his decisions here as being more monetarily driven than what a lot of people assume because I can totally understand these as business choices, especially coming after the Trump visit. His, his, his, his state of alignment with Trump and friendship with Candace Owens, handed him a partially alienated fan base accompanied by a new wave of fans from right wing Christian evangelicals to alt-right, you know, turning point you with say daily wire type supporters. And then by the beginning of 2019, West kind of tamped down on some of his explicit, uh, Trumpian political persona type stuff. And in its place came this weekly pseudo Christian gathering known as the Sunday service, just like a weekly, mostly invite only choir packed music gathering that changes locations every week. Sometimes that properties owned by Kanye, sometimes that churches, outdoors, all all around the country. Yeah. See, and this is, this is where things get uncomfortably, start to get uncomfortably colty. This is where things get quite colty. Yeah. And it's like, and, and, and, and, and, and don't get it like, let me not, let me not cap. They were objectively dope. Like as, as music concern. Hey, these are objective. And that's, and that's the hard part about Kanye, where it's just like, I didn't know. Look, you go back, you go back a couple of decades, that was not untrue of people's temple, right? True. They, they had great artists. They put on great music. That was a big part of their appeal. And, and, and Kanye for Sunday service, hired a lot of extremely talented people to lead up those programs. It backed, yeah, a lot of, a lot of like legendary gospel singers, you know, and very recognizable names. And again, giving that, that his history and context and then the context is just black people in general. Part of it felt like at the time, okay, he's trying to return to his roots. It's like, this is what you grew up in. And you realized, like, maybe you've gone too far. Maybe it's like, I'm so far into this Hollywood world. I, you know, I'm starting to like, so I'm like, I'm going to do my best to like, like anyone does. Like, let me return back to what I know was the safest moment in my life. And it was Sunday services. So it's like, so I gave him the benefit, I am, I gave him the benefit of the doubt because it's like, that's what we all do. You return home, you start praying again. You know what I'm saying? And just, I would, I would totally believe that if it weren't for the fact that he tried to trademark the term Sunday service. Yeah. Right. Like, what's awesome? Once you start doing that, you're like, huh, I wonder what's actually going on. Wait a minute. Yeah. Like performers and attendees had to sign NDAs and adhere to a strict dress code that changed every week. The service featured gospel inspired remixes of classic songs from different genres and also a straight choir led gospel tunes with the occasional biblical servant often, often given by like a white guy in his 30s or sometimes Kanye. Yeah. It's, it's, it's probably mostly known for attracting celebrities to come and then also playing at Coachella in 2019. Yeah. Well, there's nothing wrong with Coachella. So yeah, nothing, nothing, nothing ever bad. It's happened at Coachella. And there, they're just normal booking promoters that are just looking at numbers and saying these people will buy tickets. So I know I showed this to you, Garrison. Prop, have you ever seen the movie Marjo? No, I have not. There's a couple of, it's about the evangelical movement right at the start of the religious right. Okay. You know, the fall well days and everything. Uh-huh. And there's a couple of moments that show an early mega church with a majority black congregation and incredible singers and incredible music acts. And then a bunch of like old white people running things and taking all the money. Um, I don't know. Yeah, it makes me think about that. That's a little bit familiar. I don't know entirely. Yeah. And the thing is like, like I said, you know, uh, I obviously as a fan of the show, you know, I, I'm familiar, you know, Garrison with your, your history and even you describing your history of church is just like, God, it's just not my experience. I like that wasn't the church we were in because I was just in a whole different tradition. Yeah. So when you, when you come across, and I like, I can't stress this enough, when you come across, you know, the Nashville of it all, the like the CCM of it all like in, in, and these bigger, you know, suburban mega white charges, I like you again, you think you're saying the same thing. Like you, you just, it's this weird like, and I know one of the things for me was like and then, uh, Oscar Grant happened. Do you know what I mean? And then Mike Brown happened. And then I'm like, and then you realize like, Oh, yeah, nah, we're not, we're not. And then that began, then you start questioning your own background like, dude, we're like, well, what did we believe when we was kids? You know what I'm saying? And then looking at this Sunday, looking at this Sunday service, I was like, yo, this is, this is youth group. That's what we did in youth group. You just, you know, you get a good singer and they remix a Jodicy song and just praise in it. You know what I'm saying? I'm like, Oh, this is, you're just singing a pop song and you're just giving it Christian words. This isn't clever. Like, you know, we've, we've been doing this. You know, and, and but then like, like, yeah, like, same thing. Like once you exit that, like, you know, that subculture and you start like breathing the air and you're just like, oh, so you, so you tell me Muslims don't have horns and aren't, you know what I'm saying? Going to immediately going to hell. It's not like that. Oh, it turns out they're just wonderful human beings that believe beautiful things. Then you start looking back, you're going, damn, maybe I was kind of, maybe I did kind of drink that cool eight. You know, but yeah. And we're talking about, you know, when we're talking about how kind of the white suburban church can be sometimes saying the same words, but also be very different. We'll be talking about Joel Osteen in a little bit. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. The smile and press. Like, I'm telling you, dog, like, you just, you just, and then yeah, once you, once, once the veil comes off and you realize like the weighties people are talking to you. And for me, it was like, oh, shit, you use the same, the same words you're using about my experience. You're using about the queer community. Yeah, absolutely. You're using about the trans community. And then you start going, oh, shit. Oh, okay. Oh, it's on now. You know what I'm saying? Now you're like, okay, nah, I'm cool on all this. Let me go. Let me go to Ethiopia. Yeah. Let me see what you all think about this. You know, but yeah, anyway, yeah, that that that aspect and then I mean, I'm I'm I'm rambling because it's such it's so close to home. This Kanye shit is so close to home that like, you're like, because I can see how you'd fall for it. It's what I'm trying to say. Sure. Yeah. See how he'd fall for it. You know, kind of at the height of his Sunday service stuff in 2019 is when Kanye started openly talking about his born again conversion to Christianity. I'm gonna I'm gonna quote a Fox News article quote, yay, it must be born again. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian shared their Christian faith in a big way over this weekend. Adam Tyson, a pastor from Southern California told Fox News recently that he's been leading West in a Bible study for months now and would quote, teach from God's word about how South Asian is only by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Great. Cutting edge to grace them by fox. I also reform Calvinist talk. Yeah. This is always interesting and I guess meaningless because they don't have to be consistent. But I can remember when Kanye said what he said about George Bush after Katrina and the degree to which Fox News treated him like a fucking ghoul. Yeah. Like the incarnation of Satan. Yeah. Yeah. Some of the cruelest and most racist shit I ever saw on Fox News. Yep. Was focused around that. But no, now he's now he's publicly praying. So like he's back on our side. We're all good. You know, that was that clip was this is around the time of like ringtones. It was my ringtone. You can't say George Bush doesn't care about black people. That was my ringtone. Well, one of those things fucking somebody needed to say it. Somebody needed to say it. Somebody needed to say it. Yo, and then when you see out of like out of y'all, remember this, but George George Bush did a post like presidential interview and they asked him like, what was your like lowest point in when you're president? He was like when Kanye said it didn't care about black people. Not the multiple invasions. Wow. Not the two times you invaded foreign countries. Yeah. None of that. None of the war crimes. Yeah. None of that. Oh, cool. When you say you ain't care about black people. That is I got to say though, that's also kind of because I remember when he said that how happy everybody was just because it was nice to see George Bush sad. But it's also kind of another harbinger of well, that's maybe too much cultural power for what one man should have all that exactly. Exactly. We got there. Robert, we got there. Yeah, because I definitely added to it. I knew how to make. Yes. It definitely added to Kanye's cash a because it was like bro, you you did it. You took down a president. Yeah. You know, the last rapper to take down a president. You bet. Yes. The last rapper to take down a president was easy e and iced and iced tea. Like it took a long time for we could get somebody lazy. We'd talk about, you know, the jury curl juice dripping on the White House. Like that's that's eat that's easy. Yeah. I mean, and then you know with body count and cop killer from iced tea. Like that was the last time anybody was able to take out a president. You know, so I'm like you didn't you and the analyst of history now, fam. That's what we thought at least. Yeah. So I think I think stuff like that made him think he's like he transcended blackness the same way like OJ thinks he has. You know what I mean? I think that mentality plays in my opinion a lot into the Messiah complex that he clearly has. Yeah. Yeah. After the Kim Kardashian baptism and the Adam Tyson Bible study groups, Kanye started talking much more openly about the like the evangelical style born again conversion that he had in 2019. Well, at the biggest make a church in the country based on Houston, Texas, Kanye talked about his recent conversion to Christianity to the 16,000 people president at the church's regular Sunday service. Kanye declared that he no longer cares for fame and money, but is only in the service of God. And in conversation with this celebrity pastor, Jolo Steen at the church, Kanye said, quote, the only superstar is Jesus. And I know that God has been calling me for a long time and the devil has been distracting me for the long time. Here's a pro tip. The only time you'll ever hear someone say I no longer care for money. It's because they're rich as God. Yes. Right. Because they have enough of it. Yes. You have more than you could spend in a in a radio interview Kanye went into more detail about his conversion saying that he began reading the Bible during his 2016 hospitalization for mental health issues and started quote, writing and copying out Bible verses, which is not. I listen, y'all, like, I don't want to be just like blatantly anti Bible, but if you're in the hospital for mental issues, they probably should let people, they should not let you access any religious text at all. Like any any religious text. This is, but like, like, this whole the story is it is standard inner city church talk. Like this is par for the course. You're like, look, dude, you know, you go up and you give you testimony and testimony service. You know, I was, listen, I was outside. I was doing all the gangs. I was with all the girls. And then one day I was high, you know, I was in nine gangs and I was and I was at a four day binger. And I just looked up and I said, God, if you could get me out of this, you know, and then over in the corner, I saw a Bible like it's it's standard. Sure. You know, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I, I, it's, it's, there's so much about it that standard also just to evangelical. Again, I brought up the whole, I no longer care about money, but every one of these rich mega church pastors who is making hundreds of millions of dollars a year will have speeches where they're like, I don't care. The money means nothing to me. It's all for God, everything like, where is the only real star up here? Yeah. Like it's, it's, it's, it's all there. Again, if you're, I think this hit people like a brick who aren't familiar, haven't had experience, particularly with like strains of Southern Christianity. Yeah. But the way Kanye has been talking makes a lot of sense. But it's also, I think that chunk of people were all flummoxed by the black is realism stuff, which I'm guessing we're going to talk about. We're going to get to the, we sure is real like that. Sure. Yeah. That's more northeastern. Yeah. Yeah. Yes. That, the Hebrew is realized stuff. Woo. All right. Let's go. So, say there. Lot of thoughts. Yeah. So around this time in 2019 is when Kanye announced he's no longer making secular music, which is a term I heard a lot as a kid. Yeah. Yeah. That's really music. That's the secular music. Absolutely not. No. No way. That's worldly, man. No. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Worldly. When the last time I heard the phrase, worldly. Yes. Yeah. That's worldly. You're up here. I'm in the world. Not of the world. That's right. That's right. It is not of it, baby. So this led to his late 2019 album, Jesus is King. It's objectively it's a good awful. It is. It's also borderline Christian demonenist in some themes. The very first words in the album are God is King. We are the soldiers. And that song ends with the army of God and we are the truth. Yeah. So, you know, that that goes into the entire ideas about like the kingdom of God, where the soldiers in, so in this idea, there's like, there's this battle between the antagonism against the godly community from the forces of spiritual darkness. And, you know, shout out and woo-woo's in there, there's for every Christian rapper of the world who had this guy make one, one record and then cover everybody's charts. So now, no one cares about you. You've been serving at these like, you know, camp can of cooks, you know, rap it to these 12 year old white kids and trying to get your, trying to get your albums out. And in this vulcane just cleans up your whole subgenre. He had the pretty funny song in my opinion closed on Sunday. You might check filet, which I think is funny now. That is that's actually pretty good. But the man is talented. No one's arguing about the one. It's also probably sincere because that song ends with Jesus listen and obey. So like, it's, you know, um, not it's it's a, it's, it's funny. It is. It is funny. There's this like, we're hip hop, you know, as a rapper, there's this like fine line between clever bars and dad jokes. Like it's really, you, you, you got to teeter on that. And I was like, yo, you are dancing on that, on that border with this one, you know. So evangelicals kind of embraced Kanye in this period. Some were obviously skeptical based on him being a black person and his, in his general past. But overall, a lot of, a lot of people were happy to have kind of to use him as a token figure almost. Yep. Um, we love Kanye. In, in a, in a guardian piece titled Kanye West is spreading the gospel of white evangelicals. Malika, uh, uh, Havali writes, quote, like other black conservatives, the rapper and designer down please racism while promoting bootstrap virtue signaling while signifying black cultural and religious traditions, his album is peppered with samples of black church staples like James Cleveland's God is West advances the gospel of white evangelicals. Although he has challenged conventions in nearly every aspect of his artistic life, Kanye West has been born again as a conservative. And that that whole article is a really good piece kind of going into how, how specifically he's the type of thing he's engaging with is distinct from like the black church tradition and is just like Jolostine shit. Um, and then he'll song of it all. Exactly. Exactly. You cover, you cover, are we going to talk about Hillsong at all? I don't have anything of Hillsong in this script. The script is already too long. It might, it might need to be a two-parter at this point. I think we'll probably do Hillsong on BTB at some point. Yeah. Hillsong was a big part of my childhood. Yeah. Hillsong is a big part of the whole fascism thing. It's a, yeah. My child's I really feel like I really feel like just as just secular, just just the idea of just like secular like academia, anybody who studies culture, I feel like the effects of something like a Hillsong is always siloed into this like study of religion. You know what I mean? This is just this day, but like really the cultural societal impact global, like of something like a Hillsong stretches so far past just the theological or religious thing. I think I don't think people really understand like the influence something like a Hillsong would have. And just like any other thing is like, you know, I swore eight in there. I messed some cool people there. You know what I'm saying? Go on. Go on. You know what I mean? There's some stuff that I was just like, all right, yeah, not weirdo's. But you know, but generally it's like, I mean, yeah, like you, I mean DMX went to Hillsong New York. You know what I'm saying? Like so just the the the the type of influence over so much of the even just pop music. It's like, yeah, I understand like like top, you know, number of top 40 pop songs were actually written by their worship band. Like just stuff like that, like the the effects of something like a Hillsong. I feel like is is is grossly under under reported and underrated. Another interesting note, so University of Virginia professor Ashin Crowley wrote for MPR and saying quote, Kanye West has used the concept of salvation to disallow thoughtful engagement with his politics. Just think is it an interesting sidebar to kind of everything we've talked about, especially with his with his more evangelical stuff coming directly after his Trump stuff. Now, obviously, I don't know what's going on inside Kanye's head nor can I judge his sincerity of faith. But I can certainly see the business aspect of rounding yourself as basically the first like extremely mainstream Christian rap artist in 2019. I can totally I can see from a business perspective, what happened in 2018 with his politics. I can I can see how this may have been a gamble that he took. So throughout 2020 after his Sunday service kind of era, Kanye was kind of running for president, but like not really. It mostly seems to be a publicity thing. His campaign obviously did not result in him becoming a new president, but it did result in his wife divorcing him in favor of Pete Davidson. The most notable aspect of his campaign is in July at a rally in North Charleston, South Carolina. Kanye broke down in tears as he as he claimed that him and his wife had discussed aborting their first child. This allegedly left his wife mortified and quote deeply worried over Kanye's mental state, which eventually led to their divorce in 2021. Kanye continued and continues to focus on abortion, but he continued to talk about that throughout his quote unquote campaign and in interviews later that September, he said that God revealed to him quote, the black genocide that is abortion. God revealed that to him. This is the same lie. Yeah. I'll say this. I don't have a lot of nice things or a lot to say at all about Kim Kardashian, but one of the first thing I thought back when he got institutionalized during his mental health outbreak is like, oh, people actually care about him. Like he actually has people in his life who love him and are making him seek help, which a lot of very famous people who have, you know, psychotic episodes and stuff don't don't have that right? No one around them is willing to be critical enough to be like, you need help right now. Yeah. It does seem like she really tried to help. Yeah, it's crazy to think that like on on on our like 2020 bingo card that the adult in the room was going to be Kim Kardashian. Yeah. Like I would have not predicted that, you know. Her actions in the marriage make sense to me. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So with all of that context, this finally leads us to our main topic of discussion. Oh boy. Oh, we haven't got there yet. Conguist recent actions, comments linked to what's the fantasy and anti-semitism. So this most recent circus started at the beginning of October during Paris Fashion Week where Conguay literally hand in hand with far right media personality, kind of soans, debuted his new line of t-shirts while wearing a long sleeve that red white lives matter. Now this this this slogan is obviously in response to BLM. But the more formal like white lives matter movement is is like inexplicitly neo-Nazi group tied to the area in resistance society, the national socialist movement and the loyal white nights as a Ku Klux Kahn. So it's like the actual group is explicitly like Nazis. But obviously the slogan is not it's easy to come up with the slogan white lives matter. Like it's not like that's not it like where did he get that from like. Come on. So Kanye's promotion of the slogan was obviously celebrated by many neo-fascist online celebrities, Nick Fuentes of America first, forwarded the post saying that quote anti white racism and white lives matter are now mainstream. This is an unambiguous win. And then Tucker was very quick to do a segment on his show where he wondered what the t-shirt was really about. Oh my god. Days ago during Fashion Week in Paris, west accompanied by his friend Candice Owens, unveiled a t-shirt that red simply white lives matter. The response from the fashion industry and international media was instantaneous and uniform shock horror rage. There is no excuse for this, thunder the New York Times, west is legitimizing extremism, shrieked Rolling Stone, etc. etc. What was strikingly missing from the coverage, however, was any explanation for why west did this. What was the t-shirt about? No one seemed to think to ask him much less to listen to what he had to say. Instead the enemies of his ideas dismissed west as they have for years as mentally ill. Too crazy to take seriously. Look away, ignore him. He's a mental patient. There's nothing to see here. I don't know who's to say, who's to say really? I'm surprised all the all lives matter people weren't in such an uproar about that. Yeah, I wonder why. I wonder why. The next Monday Kanye wrote on Instagram, quote, everyone knows that black lives matter was a scam. Now it's over your welcome. Unquote. This is direct. This is like direct canvas Owens shit in a way that we'll explain later. But so a few days after Kanye and models for his new Yeezy lineup donned the white lives matter t-shirts at Paris Fashion Week, he himself made an appearance to quote Rolling Stone on the show where white lives matter the most. Tucker Carlson's Fox News. Honestly solid solid turn of phrase. That's dope. Yeah, that's that's a good way to write that yeah, Nailed it. Good trophy. Good. Thank you. Comrade Rolling Stone. So you made reference to the white lives matter t-shirt you brought out at Paris Fashion Week. What why did you do that and what did it mean? You know, I did I do certain things from a feeling. I like I just I just channeled the energy it just feels right. It's using a gut instinct a connection with God and just brilliance. You know like it's if you ask like time you're hurting how she did the the triple flip or the triple spin she was in so much practice that when it was time for her to skate in a in a comp and competitive format it just happened. Like it happened outside of practice that happened in the real format and that's what happened that's what's happened in Scott is like preparing us for the real for the real battles and we are we are in a battle with the media like the majority of the media has a godless agenda. Oh, that's brilliant. So in the cliff he talks about this idea coming to him as like a feeling. This is basically the same explanation that he gave for wearing the mega hat. It's like a spontaneous gut instinct or feeling that the the spontaneous decision to make model and sell over priced printed t-shirts. He also said that about like wearing a kilt. I remember for one of the records. He said he had that feeling over that he was going to do it in Chicago because he wanted to set young black man free. He was going to wear a kilt. He also said when he was going to run for president that it just happened in the shower and he just started laughing and he was like I'm going to run for president. I'm going to be president. I don't like not believe him that these exactly come like come this way like exactly like yeah that probably but it's funny to frame the decision to like do these very planned out things as just a single like gut gut moment of spontaneous instinct because making and producing t-shirts takes like it's like a process and he talked about this as if he decided to do this like right before going on stage at Paris Fashion Week which like yeah no like this was like a decision that you made and you then took steps to execute. So in that section of the interview Kanye did go on to dismiss the assertion that his behavior is the result of any mental health issues. Then in a segment talking about Lizo and body positivity Tucker and Kanye had this exchange referencing body weight being demonic and a part of quote black genocide it's actually clinically unhealthy and for people to to promote that it's demonic you know what can I ask you I've noticed this also yeah why do you think they would want to promote unhealthiness among the population it's a genocide of the black race they want to kill us in any way they can. Kanye then goes on to talk about like abortion also being black genocide which he this has been talking a lot about in the past few weeks. Yeah that Lizo clip like man it's that was like just like I mean like I can only wait I can only think of like vulgar phrases to describe it where it's just like it just just kick me in my balls dude like I'm already on the ground just that's what if it's just felt like a ball stomp or it's just like you don't have to come on man you're you're down bad bro like really I got nothing man like why are you going like it's exhausting yeah that's what I'm trying to say it's exhausting we just like yeah all of all of the Kanye coverage is exhausting yeah and feeding in and like the feeding into it to as media spectacle only encourages this type of like healthy behavior and it does not help like it it doesn't help to be a regular person on social media having like strangers interact with you in a weird way let alone if you're one of the most famous people in the world like it's it's not it's not healthy facts I'm gonna quote from New Republic and this is kind of about his white lives matter shirt and his initial Tucker Carlson appearance quote little more than a troll another tiresome and mediocre provocation to stir attention by using a contrarian slogan that until now was mostly associated with far right white supremacists west has in recent years made more waves with his efforts to trigger the lips than he has with his music right lives matters is Logan associated with hate groups but he got what he sought attention and amplification from Republicans and right wing media west earned a sit down with Fox News on Tucker Carlson tonight to talk about his boy Trump and the response he has received to his overall megaification Carlson was hardly alone in celebrating west for not only rejecting black lives matter but promoting the same sense of white grievance and victimization that he has trumpeted on his Fox News program for years the Republican House judiciary committee Twitter account spent hours slaubring over the interview taking a victory lap of sorts for its new generation of edge lords and the a tweet from the the judiciary GOP account is still up that just reads Kanye period Elon period Trump period which my god if that's the state of the of the Republican party like this your king yeah like ah so at first Kanye appeared to relish in the t-shirt controversy writing on instagram that my one t-shirt took all the attention after the t-shirt incident did us said that they were placing its lucrative sneaker deal under review the previous month Kanye accident his deal with the gap and you know several contemporaries of Kanye did push back on this shit that he was pulling including a rapper Sean diddy combs who can who condemned the design in a video on instagram and said don't worry the shirt don't buy the shirt don't play with the shirt this is not a joke and what happened next took things to a new level of grotesqueness yes west spent the next few days spewing anti-Semitic vitriol online first on on instagram where Kanye posted screenshots from a private message exchange between him and combs where he suggested that combs was being controlled by Jewish people saying I'm a use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me so obviously not great playing while clearly being influenced by by rather thought yes by by like by fossil fuel billionaires essentially but yeah obviously not playing not great playing right into the kind of ideas that Jewish people like control into the entertainment industry and like have direct influence on what people's you know basic anti-Semitism stuff so soon after this his Instagram account was suspended and then after he was locked out of his account Kanye decided to rejewing after a two-year hiatus and was welcomed back by Elon Musk saying welcome back friend minutes minutes later minutes after Elon's welcoming of Elon's of minutes minutes later after after Elon's welcoming of of of Kanye West Kanye tweeted I'm a bit sleepy tonight which is a weird way to open this tweet by the way I'm a bit sleepy tonight okay but what but when I wake up I'm going death con three on Jewish people Jewish Jewish Jewish people in all caps the funny thing is that I can't actually be anti-Semitic because black people are actually Jew also you guys told I know say the whole word. Jewie that was a that was a TV joke that wasn't garrison being yeah whatever you guys have toyed with me and tried to blackball anyone who are whoever opposes your agenda with a follow up tweet saying who do you think created cancel culture which uh it's that's also okay I I do want to stop at that that is a much deeper Nazi reference than you might guess there's a culture of critique there is a deep understanding among the OG Nazis back in the 20s and 30s that literary criticism that like the idea of sort of cultural criticism that these were all Jewish plots in order to like you know it's actually similar to what the rights is today in order to like make white people feel bad and shamed about their culture um Nazis today there's a book called a culture the culture of critique or a culture of critique that's about the same thing it this is actually a really deep idea in what are you saying that the cultural Marxist at the Frankfurt School invented political correctness to undermine Western civilization now I'm I'm saying that yes but I'm also saying in a deeper sense that the Jews invented the concept of feeling bad about bad things in order to make white people feel bad about conquering the world which is the original that's that's that's the OG shit before we water this shit down oh before before it becomes cultural Marxism back when it's good old-fashioned cultural Bolshevism yes cultural Bolshevism is so it's the OS one version yeah yeah exactly that's the that's the I don't know the iPhone one that's the sidekick you know I'm saying you you're on a blackberry racism yeah that's right so this is basically a lot of like textbook anti-semitism um mixed in with some black Hebrew israelite shit I'm about you know being the true chosen people of God kind of a kin to like the if people listen to the show they'll probably they might be familiar with like the Nazi Christian identity idea of white Christians being the real israelites yeah yeah it started so we get the start of black israelism in the northeast into the Midwest I think it's Kansas and New York City or two of the big early cities in the 1890s and it's like it's number one anti-semitic from the start an awful lot of it is based around like a hatred of Jewish people um but it's also this like idea that there's X number 13 lost is tribes of Israel and then the black people are the lost is tribes of Israel and so there would be mixes of like taking actual elements of like Hebrew religious worship and uh mixing them in with kind of weirder stuff anyway it's it has a long history it is concentrated like the part of this like if you have ever spent time in like New York yeah like Philly or whatever you have run in the black israelites on the street like they're it's it's a thing that you will encounter um there's not a ton of them I think most estimates like 20 or 30 thousand yeah but they're they're very vocal yeah the the the phrase now with like most of the Hebrew Israelites it's like the two children of Israel are the black Latino in this so-called Native American or this yeah so it's this this idea and here's where here's where it gets tantalizing and complicated and I'm saying this as a black man you know is you open your Bible and at the back of every Bible got a map and you looking at it and you going what is where to shit take place you right so you're like well how come y'all only teaching us about your opinions you only talk about every painting got these white people everybody you just like nah just don't just said don't make sense this can't be it and then like I'm getting I'm getting deep cuts here it's like you and then you get into the book of Acts where it's supposed to be the Bible like where the gospel spreads and the first time it leave at first time it leave Israel is Stephen meeting an Ethiopian just meeting this Ethiopian unique and the Ethiopian goes to where where was Moses when Moses this others to back in the Exodus story where was Moses where did Moses go when he fled when he fled Egypt he went to Midian he went to Ethiopia so you're like this shit took place in Africa right and at the time we you still believe like the Sinai Peninsula as North Africa you know so you're like these are brown skin people why is your narrative and everything you tell me about white people so if you still believe if you were still sort of like in awe of the story and the person dislike this subversive you know socialist you know anti imperialistic empire anti empire character of Jesus that you know your Arab and Muslim friends still understand as as you know as he says like a person then you're like yo we might be talking about the same man here and he was his brown as us so and if you're like and if you're like the god you're like dude the gospel with south we hit we hit an Ethiopia there's axon the first christian city like at some point you like the shit didn't go north until 400 years later so you you just draw this conclusion that like if you're gonna box me out my only response if you're gonna box me out of all of the clear history that took place among brown skin people then I'm gonna be like I have no choice but to be like well fuck y'all not a true Israel over here and if you read again if you you can't not possibly be black and read the book of Exodus and be like well shit that's us y'all saying you can't pop like how do you not see it you know so so it's so alluring especially again when you go to the when the white pastor talking about like well your poverty is your choice and hey well you know on your reform Calvinist person was like well that was the Lord's divine will you were you know you were divinely ordained you know to be suffering people and at least at least you got the gospel because you were a slave maybe God was solving you like fuck that that can't possibly be the god I'm reading about in this book you know so you're like okay well I guess you know I'm saying and then it's like I'm I'm I'm ranting on this because I feel like like it's especially for this audience to really understand that context you this this street in a lot of ways like it became like this street religion it gives these young men dignity you know I'm saying you're you're offering them a sense of history and importance and dignity and and and order that we you usually just get from the streets you know I'm saying it's not happening in a Sunday school because at church that's just oh black that's just oh women singing these hymns in the big hats it's like I'm not getting that sort of like that that masculine hit if you will you know I'm saying so like this a lot of this faith like it really it attracts young men because it's like it's like we it's like we needed that order we needed somebody to like come and like be a little more military about us but then tie this longer history because if the only history you hear about yourself is your oppression for somebody to be like no you to chosen people to God you're gonna be like well hell yeah you know and then again I can't stress this enough part of this is in reaction to what white evangelical did by trying to erase brown people from the history you know I'm saying is like I'm I can't I'm like that's clear he clearly your picture is Michael Angelo's booting of of jeep that's that's an Italian man like that can't possibly be the dude in these books you know so you like I mean he was Jesus black like I'll like you just that's your only conclusion and you like and these people are saying yeah you're right absolutely is but and you're like well shit I'll rock with you know and it's it's it's it's definitely unclear what the extent of Kanye's belief in stuff around black Hebrew is relate type stuff is he still has a lot of the evangelical type stuff going on and what he's saying so he could have just picked up these types of things from cultural osmosis we'll hear a little bit more about what he has to say about this in the next episode but we're gonna have to I'm gonna gonna have to call it there that's gonna be a day join us after the weekend for a special special part two on on on the feed talking about uh more of the same more of the same thing but getting slightly worse um and turns out when you get kicked out Twitter that doesn't stop you from saying bad things you just start saying them at other places um so anyway yeah that's that I very impressed garrison hey we'll be back Monday with more episodes every week from now until the heat death of the universe it could happen here is a production of cool zone media for more podcast from cool zone media visit our website or check us out on the iHeart Radio app Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts you can find sources for it could happen here updated monthly at slash sources thanks for listening let me guess unknown caller you could reduce the number of unwanted calls and emails with online privacy protection the latest innovation from discover will help regularly 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