Resistance and Communication 101

Last week I watched the first live stream in a series of discussions about how “The Resistance” can effectively organize against Trump.  Resistance School was started up at Harvard’s Kennedy School as a response to Trump’s election.  This discussion was about political advocacy through useful communication, which is very important for everyone.

I thought it was really interesting and educational.  The lecturer, Tim McCarthy, did an excellent job explaining the basic principles of effective communication for social change.  I discuss this topic ad nauseam in this blog, ranging from AIDS activism to civil rights.  So, it was good to hear Professor McCarthy’s perspective.

Why Is Bill O’Reilly Still On TV?

Why is Bill O’Reilly still on television?

The latest revelations about Faux News settling lawsuits with the many women who have accused the network’s “Head Bro In Charge” of sexual harassment brings up some basic ethical issues.  This is not the first time around for O’Reilly.  Last week he made a sexist and racist joke about Maxine Waters’ hair.  As a matter of fact, he was also accused of beating up his ex-wife in front of his children. That assault in itself should be a reason this guy should have been fired a long time ago.

But I guess in the new age of Trump, where the new president can go around saying grab them by the p*ssy, money talks, buys influence and puts a clamp on victims.  In this case, O’Reilly’s show has generated over $446 million for the network in just the last two years alone.  Luckily, advertisers are changing their minds.

Seriously, why is he still on TV.  He has some deep-seated anger management issues.

This is the reason other powerful misogynists get to climb the ladder of success and hurt other women that don’t agree to their sexual advances, whether we are talking about Roger Ailes or Bill Cosby.

Again, why is Bill O’Reilly still on television?

Support News and Information for Refugees

President Trump’s executive order banning immigrants and refugees from Muslim-majority countries has been disturbing to many, including myself.  I work with two videographers from Somalia who regularly travel back Mogadishu and Nairobi to see family, and this may now be up in jeopardy.  This also touched me personally because my whole family immigrated to the United States from Jamaica in the 1970s so I could have better opportunities.  Many of them also have green cards.  I worry about how Trump will expand the order in the new future.

I have been lucky to meet with many immigrants and refugees throughout the years through my work at Global Wire Associates, where we provide basic computer literacy and media development training to those who support making communication accessible to all.

Many immigrants and refugees depend on clear and concise news and information to stay abreast of issues directly affecting them.  Internews in South Sudan has developed an innovative recorded audio program to provide life-saving and life-enhancing information to people displaced at four of the UNMISS Protection of Civilians sites across South Sudan following the conflict in that broke out in that country in mid-December 2013. The service utilizes a quad bike that moves around the site playing the programs in dedicated public spaces, at “Listening Stops”, through speakers that are bolted to the bike. A USB flash drive with the twice weekly professionally produced program is plugged into speakers.

Internews is a leader in humanitarian communication.  If you can, please consider making a donation to the organization to help them to continue their good work!

Racism in the Entertainment World: Nothing New

yellowfaceThis past weekend I saw David Henry Hwang’s thoughtful play, Yellow Face, which is a semi-autobiographical sketch of his professional and personal life dealing with race in the media and entertainment world.  Although, it was written over a decade ago, it is unfortunate that many of the play’s themes are still alive and well today.  People of color are still relegated to some really bad stereotypes in the media.  If you haven’t seen the play, you can check out this “Made for YouTube” version.