Last week, we had friend of the show, Maya Shaffer, writer for Critical Mass news, came on the show to talk about transparency in media and the OT scandal in Massachusetts. Finally the show is available online to listen. Enjoy a great show.
I guess this would technically be a letter of resignation, but it is definitely an announcement: on April 14, Activate Media will broadcast the final original episode of Theology in Action. We have three original shows airing starting March 31, but after April 14, there will be no more original broadcasts.
There are a few reasons for this, but the biggest one for me is self-care. If you’ve been a regular listener or reader, you know I’ve made no secret of my own problems with mental illness and how that has hampered my own efforts to achieve not only life long goals, but often day-to-day goals as well. Lately my own brain and I have been sabotaging my own efforts to keep the show going smoothly and consistently. Now that I’ve gotten older and more worn down, multitasking has become harder and harder to do and/or manage. When I started doing the show in 2011, I had help from a friend who served as a producer for me to help run the show. When she left, I carried on by myself and did okay. Later it’s been harder to do just okay, and now it’s become too hard to do the show by myself any longer. We are a small volunteer run online station. There are plenty of shows on the roster that have great staff and messages that serve the station well, so I know the station is very well off even as I leave it.
I would love to say Trump didn’t make me run for the hills, but that’s not true. What the current administration has done is increase the burden that activists have to carry. It’s impossible to keep up with his regulatory rollbacks, the executive power grabs, the flagrant and all-encompassing corruption, nepotism and racism, and everything coming out of the cesspool tat is the White House every day. Many activists have manged to stay safe by focusing on their core issues and assisting others when there is an overlap. Maybe my mind doesn’t work that way, but I can’t focus on one issue what I see it intersecting in everything being done. Even the scope of he show includes dealing with a lot of all of this. I tried to hold out as long as I could to still be a voice among the masses speaking up, but I can no longer do so without hurting myself. I’m no good to anyone burned out, and I have remained in that state longer than I should have. So now is the time to back out and take care of myself before I hurt myself any further.
It’s hard to let go of this as I’ve been doing this show on and off for 8 years, but it’s for the best. I’ve always said if I can’t do the show at a decent quality that it would be better to close up shop. Unfortunately that time has come. While the radio show and Facebook page will go dark after the 14th, the blog will remain open. I can still write so every so often I will have something to say that fits the forum. But the show has been on a good run and it is time for things to end. There will be plenty of people to thank on air so I will leave it for then, but I do want to thank everyone who has read this blog and listened in from all over the world. You have made it easy to try to continue and hard to leave the show, and I thank you all for that. Hopefully I’ll hear from most of you in the future.
There is something I wanted to say on my last broadcast talking about the upcoming election. I think I did but I wasn’t blatant enough. Basically this is it: DON’T give into fear. I’m sure I said something like that on Sunday, but it felt a little more like don’t give into cynicism, which is also very important and true but not what I needed to say. Not letting fear get us is essential now because all of the effort to scare people away from the polls, and scare all Americans, has gone into overdrive.
While there are pipe bombs and racist shooters coming from the right, the administration has put the onus of that violence on the media (nee the “Left”) and doubled down on on hatred of immigrants by deploying 15,000 troops to the southern border to “protect” us from a group of 7,000 asylum seekers that are headed towards the US yet are 1,000 miles. Trump has ordered the troops to treat any rock thrown by the “caravan” like a gun–thus firing upon mostly Spanish men, women, and children, whom he says are MS-13 murderers and ISIS members with smallpox, TB, and Ebola. Trump has also insinuated there would be “violence” if the Democrats won the midterms, stoking violence against people who don’t like/follow Trump’s agenda. All of this is to stoke his base and heighten the fear in everyone else.
My words to you: Damn the intimidation! Get out and vote!
For too long, fear and threats of violence have been used to suppress the vote–be it against Blacks, women, Latinos, or any other marginalized community. The way communities handled that fear was simple: stand up to the violence, fight the oppression, and demand the one true American right we have to vote. It is a right, not a privilege; and with the stakes as high as they are right now, you MUST use that right. If you think your vote doesn’t count, answer this: why do the GOP spend so much money, time, and effort gerrymandering districts, creating voter ID laws, and throwing obstacles in the way to keep you from voting?
My advice to all of you is this: ignore the vitriol and noise from the right. As Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth “It is a tale told by an idiot, of sound and fury signifying nothing.” To stop this insanity, vote! To curb the idiocy, vote! To make yourself heard, vote! Do what you need to do: get out to the polls and vote on Tuesday!
On September– 50 days before election day– there was a rally at Copley Square to start the push for the Massachusetts Yes on 3 campaign. The focus is Question 3 on the election ballot; if passed, the result will take the laws for statewide Transgender right/protections off of the books. Yes on 3 is the campaign to keep Transgender rights as law where they should stay.
The photos below are from the rally. Election day is 5 days away and I have been remiss in not getting these up sooner, but if you care about human rights, learn more about Yes on 3 by going to their site freedommassachusetts.org. Earlier in the month, I hosted a talk on the show with Taj Smith, Faith Organizing Director at Yes on 3, and Maya Shaffer, Director of Critical Mass News. To listen to the discussion, click here to download and listen to the show. Check it out and tell your friends in Massachusetts to vote, and vote Yes on 3.
“Theology in Action” will air a new show tomorrow Sunday September 30, at 8:00 AM EST streaming live from the Activate Media website (www.activatemedia.org). It’s our first new show in several months and the first day Activate Radio is back and running on the net! Please tune in at 8am EST on Sunday to hear us on again. Thanks!
On April 24 of this year, cities across the US held sister marches with the March for Our Lives rally organized by the student survivors of the Parkland High School shooting in Florida. Millions across the country marched against the NRA and gun violence, an estimated 800,000 alone in Washington DC. I marched in Boston where I could not tell you the exact numbers. I will say it had the same kind of energy as the counterprotest to the “Free Speech” rally last summer. As usual my daughter was with me taking photos. Our collection on the web is late but timely: there was another school shooting earlier this week in Santa Fe, TX that left 10 dead and 10 others wounded. There seems to be no shortage of mass shootings in this country which is why we marched in April, and we will probably have to march a lot more before sensible gun laws can be enacted and enforced as a nationwide standard. Here are the photos from April’s march:
On Saturday August 19, there was supposed to be a “free speech” rally on the Boston Commons, that was originally supposed to be a white nationalist rally. To most of Boston, it was still a racist, or Nazi, rally. I of course wanted to be there and I wanted Sophia to be with me to stand up against racists and white nationalists. We needed to show they were cowards hiding behind the coattails of a failed president. I was a little worried about violence towards us, how I could protect Sophia if anything happened, stuff like that. I arranged to meet Sophia’s brother and another friend during the march. However when we saw the crowds about 30,000+ waiting to march, I was pretty sure we had nothing to worry about. Sophia kept up her photojournalist end by shooting pics of the protest signs. I broadcast on FB live as best I could. It all came out pretty well. We spent the Saturday marching against Nazis. What did you do this weekend?
I have an important question to ask any lawyers or Constitutional scholars out there: can the president be removed from office for inciting police brutality?
On Thursday, “President” Trump spoke to law enforcement officers at Suffolk County Community College in Long Island in what was touted as a “law and order” speech. Among the problematic things he said was encouraging police to hurt prisoners.
“When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon—you just see them thrown in, rough—I said, “Please don’t be too nice.” Like when you guys put somebody in the car, and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put the hand over? Like, don’t hit their head, and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head. I said, “You can take the hand away, OK?”
The immediate response to that from police in the audience was applause; the response from Police Chiefs was much the opposite. Groups like the International Association of Chiefs of Pollice to the poliece chiefs of Boston, Houston, New Orleans, and New York have criticized the “president” for encouraging police brutality. The Chiefs of Police needed to speak up because as head law enforcement officers, they are required to follow the law—as opposed to Trump who hasn’t seen a law that he hasn’t broken in some way. This is not the first time Trump has spoken to incite violence, especially during the primaries, but this has gone too far.
Our country is going through an epidemic of police shootings, especially of unarmed Black and Latino people. The Blue Wall of Silence that is inherent in police departments and the abuse stemming from overzealous police does not help, but put that aside for a second; having the leader of our country not only advocate but encourage a practice in our police that we are trying to stop is problematic to say the least. This is an ethics violation if there ever was one. He is encouraging police to violate an arrestee’s civil and constitutional rights. One retired police detective called Trumps remarks as “treasonous.” If “President” Trump is actively inciting violence against people, he is working against the Constitution, thus violating the oath of office he took. So isn’t this grounds to justify his removal from office? Please correct me if I’m wrong. But if I’m not, please let us know what we or Congress needs to do to get him out of there.
The show “Theology in Action” has been on the internet on and off since December 2011. It started out as a part of Occupy Boston Radio, which was part of the group that held Dewey Square during the Occupy Wall Street protests. Occupy Boston Radio has become Activate Media Radio and the show has been on it ever since. I try not to forget out roots and what the show means to some listeners, but I do admit it is easy to lose track of where we are, especially in an incredibly unstable political (even historical) environment. However, that is part of the show’s premise: while politics is a constant sea of change, our morals should be an immutable shoreline, the base from which we can wage the fight for what is right. Whether it is because the shoreline is being eroded more and more or because the fight itself has gotten harder, I have lost sight of what this show is doing. By that I mean “Theology In Action” is becoming harder and harder to stay on track, on topic, and on time. It doesn’t help that the Trump Administration—as dangerous as it is—moves at lightning speed on so many fronts in so many horrific and idiotic ways that it’s almost impossible to stay current and/or focus on what is being done while we are distracted.
All of this has led me to the point of burnout. I want to do the show, but I want to do it well; with the way things are and all the things I juggle on a daily basis, I can’t do it well. However, the mission of the show is important enough that I can’t end it. So I have made a compromise with Activate Media. “Theology In Action” will be on official hiatus for a few months (possibly airing repeats). I will spend time tending to other important matters in my life (including getting my daughter ready for high school) as well as trying to retool the show. I hope to air/record three new shows before Memorial day of this year when the hiatus begins, and be ready to come back to the show at the beginning of December. Hopefully we will have refocused our concentration of the show, and include support staff to help the show stay on message and on track. The blog will remain up and active as a way to keep people updated on progress, as well as an occasional rant or two. All of this is needed to make the show a better one and keep our listeners informed and learned.
Many thanks go out to Activate Media for allowing me to have a show in the first place and affording me the opportunity to improve the show—as well as putting up with me all these many years. As always, thank you to anyone who has tuned into the show or read the blog from wherever in the world you are from. There would be no show without my listeners and no reason to come back or even improve standards either, so thank you so much for that. I assure all of you that this isn’t good bye, but until we meet again.
Be good to each other and yourselves for the rest of the year, and keep resisting. Blessed be.
Me and my daughter attended one of the pro-science rallies organized across the country this Earth Day. This time we both snapped photos, though she had a higher 3-to-1 ratio of photos taken. Enjoy. (click on the image if you want to enlarge)
For those interested in peer review, an environmental activist wrote a blog entry about why he didn’t march on Saturday and he makes some excellent ethical points. Read it here.