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On this episode, Kumars starts the episode talking to frequent friend-of-the-show Nora Barrows-Friedman (@norabf on twitter) about everything from new Jay-Z to New Jersey. Did Kumars sign up for Tidal to listen to the album? You'll have to listen to the episode to find out!
For the interview, Kumars and Mariame Kaba (@prisonculture on twitter) talk to Kay Whitlock, an activist, organizer and writer who has been involved in movements for social justice for over 50 years. She's co-written books including Queer (In)justice, which addresses the criminalization of LGBT people in the US, and Considering Hate, which argues for abandoning the hate crime framework as a means to address vigilante violence. Kay joins us from her home in Missoula, Montana.
Kay talks about growing up conservative in Southern Colorado before changing her views, becoming immersed in labor, anti-war, and black and brown power movements in the late 1960's and early 1970's. She gives her thoughts on the organizing successes and failures of that time, praising the imagination of activists while cautioning against romanticizing them. We also talk to Kay about her work on hate crime policy, including writing and organizing she did with the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker justice organization. Through multiple reports for the AFSC and her book, Considering Hate, Kay argues that hate crime legislation harms the same groups it purports to help by distracting from the structural roots of vigilante violence. Hate crime legislation places blame on individual vigilantes even though vigilantes just take supremacist structures to their logical conclusions. Kay also discusses the disappointing limitations of Occupy Wall Street and the great potential of the Movement for Black Lives. Finally, Kay gives us some advice on how to deal with the rise of the right wing, drawing on her vast personal experience.
You can follow Kay on twitter at @KayJWhitlock.