Weekly Digest (04/5/21 – 04/11/21): Red Nation, “A Useless Black President” & Gook

Here’s what I watched, read and listened to this past week that I think might be of interest to you!

PODCASTS

The Red Nation Podcast amplifies the voices of indigenous peoples across the world who are engaged in the inter-generational fight against imperialism. In this episode organizers from Guam detail the atrocious social, psychological and environmental impacts U.S. imperialism has caused on their ancestral home. This episode, and podcast catalog for that matter, is a great entry point for those looking to learn more about past and current global indigenous resistance. It’s also just an extension of a larger digital movement uniting indigenous struggles around the planet. Explore their website and instagram for further details about how to get involved and support in this struggle.

YOUTUBE

My goal here with these digests is to democratise popular media spaces like YouTube. The vloggers, the top 15s, and the dominant tastes of casual spectators dictate the algorithm pushing down any niche and less popular content. There’s also a wide belief amongst YouTube watchers that lower viewership equals lower quality thereby rendering all low subscriber and viewer content invisible.

Afrikan Esquire TV, a channel with just around 20k subs and an average of 1k per video, represents that sect of YouTube I’m trying to uplift. Afrikan also embodies the Black voice our media and corporate spaces are afraid to amplify, one hat is antiestablishment and seeks to negate American hegemony. Above, she dissects Obama beyond his haloed veil he liberal class loves to enclose him behind. I’d highly suggest to explore her channel and click on whatever sounds immediately interesting. Her catalog is accessible, succinct and quality investigative journalism.

FILM

Gook (Justin Chon, 2017)

Justin Chon’s Gook, set during the L.A. riots of 1992, is a tremendous departure from American films, particularly those which attempt to dissect race and struggle. It isn’t so one-sided and narrow with is portrayal of good and bad; there are no heroes or identifiable villains. Chon investigates the conditions of a Black and a Korean family, whose histories are intertwined in the most devastating way, and erects a grey moral area around both parties. Absent is a very cliché and lazy finger pointing of White-male racist antagonisms (à la Get Out). In fact, there are no major white characters in the film at all. Instead the antagonist , which is much more covert than liberal films analysis of racists and racism, is the oppressive force of poverty and all the downwards spiraling effects it brings. Be warned, this is a devastating film. I recommend not to traumatize viewers in already unnecessarily trauma fetishised age, but to perhaps introduce a hidden sector of race, racism and cultural identity discourse unfamiliar to the lens of the mainstream.

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