Thurs, May 12, 8-10pm–“Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed”; “Who is Hillary Clinton?”; sexism and the Clinton campaign

Joy of Resistance is heard on Thursdays* 9-10 PM on WBAI Radio, 99.5 FM (EST), streaming at wbai.org Follow us on twitter at @joyofresistance Email us at jor@wbai.org Donate to WBAI at give2wbai.org

Before there was Hillary Clinton… before there was Barack Obama… there was Shirley Chisholm…

On Thursday, May 12, 8-10 PM, Joy of Resistance will feature, as part of the WBAI Spring Fund Drive, the award winning DVD: Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed, by Sola Lynch. Well discuss the film with Denise Oliver-Velez, a former member of both the Young Lords and Black Panther Parties , who, now, as a professor at SUNY, has taught and written about Chisholm’s life and times. Also commenting will be Barbara Winslow, founder and director of The Shirley Chisolm Project of Brooklyn Women’s Activism from 1945 to the Present.

Recalling a watershed event in US politics–Chisholm’s historic 1972 run for the U.S. presidency, as the first Black and the first woman to run a serious campaign for the nation’s highest office–this compelling documentary takes an in-depth look at the campaign and reactions to it at the time and now–and documents Chisholm’s life story.

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We see Chisholm announcing her run; giving interviews, the political maneuvering within the Democratic Party and we hear/see commentary of many involved at that time, including Amiri Baraka, Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug, Octavia Butler, Rep. Barbara Lee, Ron Dellums and others.

Though many backed her run with great enthusiasm, she was shunned by the Democratic political establishment, including the all-male Congressional Black Caucus (with the exception of Ron Dellums) as well as the media; she asked for support from people of color, women, gays, and young people newly empowered to vote at age 18. Chisholm’s bid for an equal place on the presidential dais generated strong, racist and sexist opposition. Yet her challenge to the status quo and her message about exercising the right to vote struck many as progressive and positive.

She was born in NYC but spent much of her childhood in Barbados. Her father was a Garveyite and her family was political. She became a professional educator in NYC and in 1968, she became the first African American woman elected to the United States Congress, and represented New York’s 12th Congressional District–the very poor district of Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn– for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. As the first Black woman in the U.S. Congress, she was sometimes treated with disrespect by other Congress members–particularly southern white men.

The men in the Black Congressional Caucus did not support her bid for President and she famously said that she had run into more political obstacles because she was a woman than because she was Black. Some feminists did support her, but did not follow through. Ron Dellums supported her but ultimately gave his support to George McGovern, the eventual Democratic party nominee. Jesse Jackson ignored her. She didn’t play by either Democratic succession or ethnic turf rules.

“Nobody was “ready” for me”, she said. “But somebody has to be the first. After me, they’ll be more “ready”. In an interview at the end of the film that took place late in her life, Chisholm says “I want to be remembered as someone who was a catalyst for change.” And so she was.

In the second part of the show, we’ll offer the book: “Who is Hillary Clinton?” featuring two decades of writing from the Left on the woman who may very well be our next president. Authors include Erica Jong, Barbara Ehrenreich and Doug Henwood, with an introduction by Katha Pollitt of The Nation. 350 pages. For a pledge to WBAI of $75.

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This segment will also feature a discussion with Amanda Marcotte, Peg Rapp and Fran Luck on the sexism directed at Clinton so far in the campaign–sexism that would be directed at any woman getting really close to power. We’ll be asking the questions: where you draw the line between legitimate political criticism and sexism?–and what are the different manifestations of sexism by men on the right and men on the left?

Chisholm ’72 – Unbought and Unbossed

A film by Shola Lynch

Available for a pledge to WBAI for $75.

Chisolm ’72 and “Who is Hillary Clinton?” available, both together, for a pledge of $125.

US, 2004, 77 minutes, Color, DVD,

AWARDS, FESTIVALS, & SCREENINGS

Peabody Award

Sundance Film Festival

International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA)

Los Angeles Film Festival

San Francisco International Film Festival

London Film Festival

South By Southwest Film Festival

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Saratoga Springs Film Festival

Dallas Video Festival

Northern Lights Film Festival

Tallgrass Film Festival

Black Harvest Film Festival

American Black Film Festival

Lake Placid Film Festival

Nantucket Film Festival

Women With Vision Film Festival

 

 

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Thurs, March 12, 9-10 PM, Yanar Mohammed, reknowned Iraqi feminist will be guest on Joy of Resistance

WBAI is heard at 99.5 FM in the tri-state area of the U.S. and streams live here On Twitter, follow JOR at @joyofresistance To contribute to WBAI go to give2wbai.org

Reknowned Iraqi Women’s Rights activist Yanar Mohammed will be a guest on Joy of Resistance on Thursday, March 12 between 9 & 10 pm (EST). The show will also contain excerpts from one of the many forums surrounding the Beijing +20 Commission on the Status of Women, which is meeting at the UN this March.

About Yanar Mohammed: Yanar Mohammed was born in Baghdad. She is a co-founder and the director of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, and serves as the editor of the newspaper Al-Mousawat (Equality). She is one of the most prominent women’s rights campaigners in Iraq, and received the Gruber Foundation Women’s Rights Prize in 2008. Her organization has set up shelters–now five of them–for women in Iraq fleeing honor killings, gay men and women threatened with murder, and, recently, women who are survivors of ISIS.

While not being anti-religion, she is a strong believer in secular government and claims that women’s equality ‘can only be achieved through secular government because an Islamic government would hurt women’s rights.’ She cites the 2008 Human Rights Watch Report states that women have been ‘attacked on the street for what they consider “immoral” or “un-Islamic” behavior including not wearing a headscarf’, and that ‘the threat of these attacks keeps many Iraqi women at home.’

As a result of her work on women’s rights that essentially attacks what could be called ‘hard line’ interpretations of Islam, Yanar has had to receive personal security as a result of having received death threats. Jaish al Sahaba, part of the Iraqi Islamist group the Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation, sent two death threats to Yanar Mohammed in 2004. These were quoted as being directly related to Yanar’s efforts to achieve gender equality in Iraqi law. As a result she has now been provided with armed protection. Yanar has been strongly critical of the US invasion of Iraq, suggesting that the ‘US occupation turned the streets of Iraq into a ‘no-women zone’.

She has also talked of a false choice existing between occupation and ‘political Islam’ (religion taking on State functions, i.e., theocracy) clearly preferring a third way between these two. The ‘choice’ in Iraq is between: ‘..the American occupation that is willing to do genocide, or..political Islam, that will make us live in a completely inhuman and unliberated way of life’. Speaking in an interview in 2007, she outlined her views in the US invasion and the effect it is having on Iraq:

‘..the suggestion is that the US troops should leave immediately, because we, the people of Iraq, do not agree that all the jihadists from around the world are coming to Iraq to fight this so-called US evil, and our cities are turning into an arena of fight, and all our lives are being devastated. The US troops need to leave immediately, with no conditions. And we do not accept the debate that there will be a bloodbath afterwards, because nothing is worse than the sectarian war that we are living right now, that is also a consequence of this war’.

Yanar believes that the US occupation of Iraq is fuelling the insurgency and violence prevalent in post-2003 Iraq, which is having a detrimental effect on women’s rights.

Daniel Holtzclaw and the routine sexual assault of Black women by police

On Wednesday, Dec. 17, 9-10 PM, Joy of Resistance: Multicultural Feminist Radio @ WBAI will look at the case of the Oklahoma police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, accused of assaulting 8 Black women by using using his power as an officer of the law to threaten and coerce women into sexual compliance with his wishes. He chose victims who were vulnerable and who often had police records, threatening legal retaliation if they did not comply and knowing that their word would not be believed over his if they spoke out.  The women knew this also. Holtzclaw faces 32 criminal counts including rape, sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy and indecent exposure.

Those who work closely with poor black communities say that this case only hints at what is a vast underbelly of routine and systemic police sexaul assults on Black women. They are demanding that this issue be included in current demands for justice for Black communities, being made in the wake of the spate of recent murders of black men by police.

The Black Feminist group Black Women’s Blueprint decided to take this case and issue of police violence against Black women to the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva this past November.

Our guests will be: 1) Andrea Ritchie a police misconduct attorney whose legal practice, and advocacy work focuses on the profiling and policing of girls, women, and transgender people of color. She coordinates Streetwise and Safe (SAS) and is on the steering committee of Communities United for Police Reform and 2) Netsanet Tesfay, a human rights attorney at Black Women’s Blueprint, where she provides legal assistance and is also working on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which focuses on black women in the U.S. and their experiences with rape and sexual assault. She recently was part of a delgation to the U. N. Committee Against Torture, in Geneva Switzerland, where she and other members of BWB presented a report entitled: INVISIBLE BETRAYAL: POLICE VIOLENCE AND THE RAPES OF BLACK WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES to the Committee.

We will be discussing the extent and character of police sexualized violence against Black women in the United States, its invisibility and its “routine” nature as well as why Black Women’s Blueprint found it necessary to take their “case” to the U.N. in November. We will start with the Daniel Holtzclaw case and move outward to its significance, its historical precursors and the future of justice for women victims of police violence.

We will be taking listener phone calls at (212) 209-2900 in the latter part of the show. If you have experienced sexual harassment by police, we would be particularly interested in hearing your story.

The show will also include feminist news stories and music. Host: Fran Luck