The Tight Rope
Office Hours on ICE: This Is What Fascism Looks Like

Office Hours on ICE: This Is What Fascism Looks Like

September 18, 2020

Professors Cornel West and Tricia Rose are open for Office Hours and this week, they examine the troubling past and present of America's bodily control of POC. A whistleblowing nurse alleges that an OB/GYN performed "questionable" hysterectomies on undocumented women inside a private ICE detention center in Georgia - and now Democrats in Congress hoping to defeat the President in November are investigating.

Learn more at https://www.thetightropepodcast.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetightropepod

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thetightropepod

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/thetightropepod

Creator/EP: Jeremy Berry
EP/Host: Cornel West
EP/Host: Tricia Rose
Producer: Allie Hembrough
Producer: James Artis
Beats x Butter (IG: @Butter_Records)

#TheTightRope #CornelWest #TriciaRose #AbolishICE #TuskegeeExperiments #Election2020

Noam Chomsky: Will the Human Experiment Continue?

Noam Chomsky: Will the Human Experiment Continue?

September 17, 2020

Episode Summary

On this episode of The Tight Rope, Professor Noam Chomsky shares with our hosts, Dr. Cornel West and Professor Tricia Rose, the wisdom that only comes with 91 years of experience. Linguist, social critic, and political activist, Professor Chomsky confronts issues of survival as he speaks on the impacts of the COVID pandemic and the decisions of the Trump administration locally and globally as well as the feasibility and necessity of a New Green Deal and the heroics of everyday, unknown people that truly make the difference. Join us for a reframing of what really matters during this time on this episode of The Tight Rope.  

 

Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University. A prominent democratic intellectual, social critic, and political activist, West also serves as Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. West has authored 20 books and edited 13. Most known for Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, West appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, CNN, C-Span, and Democracy Now. West has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films, including Examined Life, and is the creator of three spoken word albums including Never Forget. West brings his focus on the role of race, gender, and class in American society to The Tight Rope podcast. 

 

Tricia Rose

Professor Tricia Rose is Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. She also holds the Chancellor’s Professorship of Africana Studies and serves as the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives. A graduate of Yale (B.A.) and Brown University (Ph.D), Rose authored Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (1994), Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk about Sexuality and Intimacy (2003), and The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop and Why It Matters (2008). She also sits on the Boards of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Color of Change, and Black Girls Rock, Inc. Focusing on issues relating to race in America, mass media, structural inequality, popular culture, gender and sexuality and art and social justice, Rose engages widely in scholarly and popular audience settings, and now also on The Tight Rope podcast.  

 

Noam Chomsky

Considered the founder of modern linguistics, Professor Noam Chomsky is one of the most influential and critically engaged public intellectuals in the world. He has written more than 100 books, including Syntactic Structures, Language and Mind, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, and most recently Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal. He is Laureate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona and Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Professor Chomsky’s immense contributions go beyond linguistics into analytic philosophy and cognitive science.

 

Insight from this episode:

  • Strategies for sustaining our commitment to intellectual thought during this multilayer catastrophe. 
  • The two biggest questions that human beings are currently facing and why no one is talking about them. 
  • Critiques of the internal battles of the DNC and what we need to do if Biden is elected. 
  • Insights into how capitalistic logic worsened the pandemic.
  • Connections between religion and justice along with Professor Chomsky’s thoughts on the “self-hating Jew,” “flatterers of the court,” and liberation theology. 

 

Quotes from the show:

  • “If you look at history, we’ve been through very hard times, but a lot has been accomplished. In many ways, it’s a much better country, much better world, than it was 60 years ago, a 100 years ago-- not in all respects, but in many respects. And many battles that were fought hard, and won, we can just take for granted and move on.” –Noam Chomsky The Tight Rope Episode #17
  • “We don’t have any choice. You can either say everything’s hopeless, I give up-- help ensure the worst will happen. Or you can grasp the opportunities that exist, and they do exist, and maybe you can make it a better world. It’s not much of a choice.” –Noam Chomsky The Tight Rope Episode #17
  • On Trump: “If this malignancy is not removed, we may not survive another four years of this. We may get to irreversible tipping points.” –Noam Chomsky The Tight Rope Episode #17
  • “This decision [to eliminate regulations on polluting industries] is saying, “I want to kill you.” That’s what it says. “I don’t care about you. I’ll increase the pollution that’s killing you.” And doing it in the midst of a respiratory pandemic, which pollution radically increases the already sharply disparate race, class effect of the pandemic. Right in the middle of this, I’ll make it worse for you. Nobody comments on it.” –Noam Chomsky The Tight Rope Episode #17
  • “[Trump’s] carrying out a desperate effort to try to cover up the vicious crimes he’s committed against the American people.” –Noam Chomsky The Tight Rope Episode #17
  • “You can’t read the prophets and not be inspired by the eloquent calls for justice, for mercy, and the sharp critiques of the crimes of the powerful, the geopolitical critiques, moral critiques.” –Noam Chomsky The Tight Rope Episode #17
  • “The ones who bring the message of honesty, integrity, support for people who need it, preferential option for the poor, working for the suffering and the needy, changing our societies so that they are directed to people’s just rights and needs instead of for maximizing wealth and profit for a tiny sector, those are the people who are bitterly attacked.” –Noam Chomsky The Tight Rope Episode #17
  • “You get caught up trying to decide which one of those [political ideologies] is right, and you find out that every group has done both [right and wrong].” –Tricia Rose The Tight Rope Episode #17
  • “You wonder if all of this effort to keep us at each other’s throats is just to distract us from the fact that everything is being looted while the whole world ends.” –Tricia Rose The Tight Rope Episode #17
  • “Greed wouldn’t be able to run amuck if they weren’t able to manipulate the racist sensibilities of folk to turn away from what really matters and to be preoccupied with these matters that allow the powerful to be the gangsters that too often they are.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #17
  • “They’re promising to make America great again, while there’s not going to be any America left-- not that if was ever great in the first place.” –Tricia Rose The Tight Rope Episode #17

 

Stay Connected:

Cornel West

Website: www.cornelwest.com

Twitter: @CornelWest

Facebook: Dr. Cornel West

Instagram: @BrotherCornelWest 

Linktree: Cornel West 

 

Tricia Rose

Website: www.triciarose.com

LinkedIn: Tricia Rose

Twitter: @ProfTriciaRose

Facebook: Tricia Rose

Instagram: @ProfTriciaRose

Youtube: Professor Tricia Rose 

 

Noam Chomsky

Website: https://chomsky.info 

Facebook: Noam Chomsky

 

The Tight Rope

Website: www.thetightropepodcast.com 

Instagram: @thetightropepod

Twitter: @thetightropepod

Facebook: The Tight Rope Pod

 

This episode was produced and managed by Spkerbox Media in collaboration with Podcast Laundry

Gangster in the White House attacks Nikole Hannah-Jones and her controversial 1619 Project

Gangster in the White House attacks Nikole Hannah-Jones and her controversial 1619 Project

September 11, 2020

Nikole Hannah-Jones, winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize, shares her upbringing in Iowa, the influence of Ida B. Wells, and the roots and reaction to her seminal 1619 Project.

Learn more at https://www.thetightropepodcast.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetightropepod
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thetightropepod
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/thetightropepod

Creator/EP: Jeremy Berry
EP/Host: Cornel West
EP/Host: Tricia Rose
Producer: Allie Hembrough
Producer: James Artis
Beats x Butter (IG: @Butter_Records)

#TheTightRope #CornelWest #TriciaRose #1619 #Reparations

Tight Rope Funk Edition: Bootsy Collins and the Power of the One

Tight Rope Funk Edition: Bootsy Collins and the Power of the One

September 10, 2020

Episode Summary

Bootsy Collins transforms The Tight Rope on this Special Funk Edition. Bootsy, Dr. Cornel West, and Professor Tricia Rose talk all things funk in the context of the perils of following trends, the process of self-acceptance and self-discovery, confronting fear, and the “manipulation of the funk.” Bootsy shares details about his upcoming album The Power of the One. Hear what funk means to Bootsy Collins and how we must be funky in our own lives on this episode of The Tight Rope.  

 

Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University. A prominent democratic intellectual, social critic, and political activist, West also serves as Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. West has authored 20 books and edited 13. Most known for Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, West appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, CNN, C-Span, and Democracy Now. West has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films, including Examined Life, and is the creator of three spoken word albums including Never Forget. West brings his focus on the role of race, gender, and class in American society to The Tight Rope podcast. 

 

Tricia Rose

Professor Tricia Rose is Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. She also holds the Chancellor’s Professorship of Africana Studies and serves as the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives. A graduate of Yale (B.A.) and Brown University (Ph.D), Rose authored Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (1994), Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk about Sexuality and Intimacy (2003), and The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop and Why It Matters (2008). She also sits on the Boards of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Color of Change, and Black Girls Rock, Inc. Focusing on issues relating to race in America, mass media, structural inequality, popular culture, gender and sexuality and art and social justice, Rose engages widely in scholarly and popular audience settings, and now also on The Tight Rope podcast.  

 

Boosty Collins

Bootsy Collins, a great “Funkmaster,” has been making music since 1968. He played bass with the Pacesetters, James Brown, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, and the Parliament-Funkadelic collective. He also wrote songs and arranged rhythm. Black music “artistic nobility” from Cincinnati, Bootsy was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Bass Play magazine, and he is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. No one says it better than Dr. West when he describes Bootsy as an “exemplar of the greatest modern tradition in the world which is Black music wrestling with suffering and transfiguring and transforming it into such a way that the sonic effects on souls, soul to soul, [are] mediated with genius, mediated with talent, mediated with discipline, mediated with vision.” Check out Bootsy’s new album The Power of the One, which includes a collaboration with Dr. West. All proceeds from the streams and downloads of his new song, “Stars,” will go to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund

 

Insight from this episode:

  • Secrets behind the key to the funk and how to make something out of nothing. 
  • Insights into the past, present, and future of funk music. 
  • The story behind the bassline of “Flash Light” and Bootsy’s artistic self-discovery.  
  • Bootsy Collins’s take on Black Lives Matter and the current moment.
  • Behind-the-scenes details on past and present collaborations between Boosty Collins and Dr. West. 

 

Quotes from the show:

  • “I don’t never want to lose that kid inside me because when I lose him, I lose a part of myself.” –Bootsy Collins The Tight Rope Episode #14

  • “One of the things about funk, and one of the great gifts that we Black people have brought to the world in terms of the depths of funk… is to acknowledge that in the world in which we find ourselves, which is white supremist America, they want to deodorize everything, they want to sanitize and sterilize everything, keep it on the surface. We say, no, we want to do some deep sea diving, and by going all the way deep into the funk, we’re going to get all the tears, blood, the sorrow, the sadness, and the pleasure, and the joy is there and then give it.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #14
  • “The whole thing is, do you accept being funky? Are you alright with being called funky? Are you alright with being called Black? Are you alright with it? I’m cool with it! I’m always going to be cool with being funky. But a lot of people just can’t embrace the fact of being funky.” –Bootsy Collins The Tight Rope Episode #14
  • “The funk predates the book learning.” –Tricia Rose The Tight Rope Episode #14
  • “The funk is making something out of nothing.” –Bootsy Collins The Tight Rope Episode #14
  • “We all become less afraid. We all become more willing to engage with the world. We all become less apologetic about whatever truths are inside us cause everyone got their distinctive voices and their distinctive truths. You can’t be funky by imitating someone else. You’re going to start faking the funk.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #14
  • “That funk, funk vibe that you got, you got to trust it. It’s just like God. It’s God.” –Bootsy Collins The Tight Rope Episode #14

  • “African peoples have musically and sonically transformed all of the deodorized lies into certain truths of self-confidence and self-respect. We might not have no land or territory, might not have no rights or any kind of liberty, but we were still free enough in our language, in our music, to pass it on to the younger generation where they can get some kind of self-confidence, self-respect where the love can be found.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #14

  • “Who really stands for the funk now? This is the time you have to stand for something. And we got something real. We’re talking about the funk.” –Bootsy Collins The Tight Rope Episode #14
  • “The funk is not about success but about process.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #14
  • “We don’t want no brand. We want a cause. We want a cause we can die for. We don’t want a brand to superficially shine. We want the shining in the life that we live, in the funk we embody, in the smiles we produce, in the love that we generate.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #14

 

Resources Mentioned

MusiCares Donation Website

 

Stay Connected:

Cornel West

Website: www.cornelwest.com

Twitter: @CornelWest

Facebook: Dr. Cornel West

Instagram: @BrotherCornelWest 

Linktree: Cornel West 

 

Tricia Rose

Website: www.triciarose.com

LinkedIn: Tricia Rose

Twitter: @ProfTriciaRose

Facebook: Tricia Rose

Instagram: @ProfTriciaRose

Youtube: Professor Tricia Rose 

 

Bootsy Collins

Website: www.thebootcave.com/

Bootsy Collins Foundation: www.bootsycollinsfoundation.org 

Twitter: @Bootsy_Collins

Facebook: @BootsyCollins

 

The Tight Rope

Website: www.thetightropepodcast.com 

Instagram: @thetightropepod

Twitter: @thetightropepod

Facebook: The Tight Rope Pod

 

This episode was produced and managed by Spkerbox Media in collaboration with Podcast Laundry

Saxophone Colossus Sonny Rollins celebrates his 90th birthday on The Tight Rope

Saxophone Colossus Sonny Rollins celebrates his 90th birthday on The Tight Rope

September 6, 2020

Jazz elder and survivor Sonny Rollins shares his incredible stories from the past nine decades as one of the preeminent tenor saxophone players. He also delivers some existential wisdom for these challenging times and tells us why “It’s all good.”

 

Watch the full episode here: https://youtu.be/PCLOfeA7mX8

 

Check out “Rollins in Holland”, a brand new archival release from Resonance Records in partnership with the Nederlands Jazz Archief, coming out later this year. The deluxe 2-CD and limited-edition 180g 3-LP set is officially sanctioned by Rollins and features three previously unissued performances with bassist Ruud Jacobs and drummer Han Bennink in May of 1967 at Vara Studio in Hilversum, the Arnhem Academy of Visual Arts, and a televised performance at the Go-Go Club in Loosdrecht. The new box set also includes an extensive booklet with never-before-published photos from each venue; essays by Rollins biographer Aidan Levy and Dutch jazz journalist/producer Frank Jochemsen; and interviews with Rollins and Bennink. You can pre-order at https://resonancerecords.org/product/sonny-rollins-rollins-in-holland/.

Learn more at https://www.thetightropepodcast.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetightropepod

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thetightropepod

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/thetightropepod

Creator/EP: Jeremy Berry

EP/Host: Cornel West

EP/Host: Tricia Rose

Producer: Allie Hembrough

Producer: James Artis

Beats x Butter (IG: @Butter_Records)

#TheTightRope #CornelWest #TriciaRose #SonnyRollins #HarlemPride #Jazz

Former FBI Agent Erroll Southers Says Police Should be Guardians, Not Gladiators

Former FBI Agent Erroll Southers Says Police Should be Guardians, Not Gladiators

September 3, 2020

Episode Summary

Former police officer and F.B.I. agent Dr. Erroll Southers, director of Homegrown Violent Extremism Studies at the University of Southern California, reveals how to transform racist police departments from within, his motivations to join law enforcement, and the “ticking clock” which domestic white terrorists use to countdown to the year 2045, when America's population is expected to become majority P.O.C.

Plus, in Office Hours, hosts Dr. Cornel West and Professor Tricia Rose explore the structural limits and spiritual thresholds of America and ponder the existential question: Is America even capable of treating the masses of Black people with decency and dignity?  

 

Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University. A prominent democratic intellectual, social critic, and political activist, West also serves as Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. West has authored 20 books and edited 13. Most known for Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, West appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, CNN, C-Span, and Democracy Now. West has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films, including Examined Life, and is the creator of three spoken word albums including Never Forget. West brings his focus on the role of race, gender, and class in American society to The Tight Rope podcast. 

 

Tricia Rose

Professor Tricia Rose is Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. She also holds the Chancellor’s Professorship of Africana Studies and serves as the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives. A graduate of Yale (B.A.) and Brown University (Ph.D), Rose authored Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (1994), Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk about Sexuality and Intimacy (2003), and The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop and Why It Matters (2008). She also sits on the Boards of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Color of Change, and Black Girls Rock, Inc. Focusing on issues relating to race in America, mass media, structural inequality, popular culture, gender and sexuality and art and social justice, Rose engages widely in scholarly and popular audience settings, and now also on The Tight Rope podcast.  

 

Errol Southers

Dr. Erroll Southers is an internationally recognized expert on counterterrorism, public safety, infrastructure protection, and homeland security. He serves as Director of the Safe Communities Institute and of Homegrown Violent Extremism Studies at the University of Southern California and Professor of the Practice in National & Homeland Security

 

Insight from this episode:

  • Explorations of the possibilities of the 2020 election in the context of the apparent helplessness of the current moment. 
  • Surprising statistics about America and its homegrown violent extremism. 
  • Strategies for activists looking to change law enforcement policy and create systems of accountability. 
  • Information on the power of police unions and other barriers to true accountability in law enforcement. 
  • Insights into the hope and patriotism that music and its boundarylessness produces.

 

Quotes from the show:

  • “Spirit [and] solidarity pushes back despair and despondency, so we have some sense of possibility.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #13 
  • Quoting his father on why he joined law enforcement: “You can’t change the castle from outside the moat.” –Erroll Southers The Tight Rope Episode #13
  • “When you train people and dress people for war, they go into a neighborhood to do battle… They’re in a warrior culture, when they need to be in a guardian culture.” –Erroll Southers The Tight Rope Episode #13
  • “Police unions and police officers are afforded more protections than the people they arrest. And I can tell you, having been an assistant chief, it almost takes an act of Congress to fire a police officer. And when you do, about a third of them come back with retroactive backpay.” –Erroll Southers The Tight Rope Episode #13
  • On community review boards: “Why is that such a horrible thing to say to a police department? Why can’t it be that the very people that you’re policing have some say in their reception of your services?” –Tricia Rose The Tight Rope Episode #13
  • “In the last ten years, we’ve had more domestic attacks here in this country by white supremacists and white nationalists than any other group. White nationalist groups, last year, increased for the second straight year 55% since 2017. The FBI finally had to label that threat a national threat priority. They were in denial.” –Erroll Southers The Tight Rope Episode #13
  • “COVID has been the perfect environment for these extremist organizations to recruit and radicalize and share their message. They’re doing it under the guise of pushing back against the government overreach to make you wear a mask, make you stay at home.” –Erroll Southers The Tight Rope Episode #13
  • “Start talking to the mayor. Start talking to the council. What’s the money being spent on? Are there any metrics that are being looked at with regards to how successful they are?” –Erroll Southers The Tight Rope Episode #13
  • “What do you do when everywhere you look up you run into a different pharaoh? Well, at that point, you just say to yourself, I refuse to be a spectator. I’m going to be a participant. Therefore, I’m going to learn how to love, fight, laugh more adequately, effectively to pass on a tradition to a younger generation.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #13  
  • “There’s potential for transforming what it means to treat Black people with dignity and decency if we can cultivate and somehow separate whiteness from the national consciousness.” –Tricia Rose The Tight Rope Episode #13
  • “The problem is in order to reach that kind of policy we got to have multiracial coalitions, and if those racial coalitions are weak because of white supremacy and they associate dealing with poverty with dealing with Black people, then the racism makes it difficult to ever deal with their own poverty too. And that’s the catch-22 that we see over and over again in our society. And that’s the definition of insanity as well as a certain spiritual sickness.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #13
  • “I don’t mind being profoundly patriotic about Aretha Franklin.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #13

 

Resources Mentioned

ProsecuteKillerCops.org 

 

Stay Connected:
Cornel West

Website: www.cornelwest.com

Twitter: @CornelWest

Facebook: Dr. Cornel West

Instagram: @BrotherCornelWest 

Linktree: Cornel West 

 

Tricia Rose

Website: www.triciarose.com

LinkedIn: Tricia Rose

Twitter: @ProfTriciaRose

Facebook: Tricia Rose

Instagram: @ProfTriciaRose

Youtube: Professor Tricia Rose 

 

Erroll Southers

Website: errollsouthers.com

Twitter: @esouthersHVE

LinkedIn: Erroll Southers 

 

The Tight Rope

Website: thetightropepodcast.com 

Instagram: @thetightropepod

Twitter: @thetightropepod

Facebook: The Tight Rope Pod

 

This episode was produced and managed by Spkerbox Media in collaboration with Podcast Laundry

Office Hours: Marvelous Resistance in Wisconsin

Office Hours: Marvelous Resistance in Wisconsin

August 28, 2020

Cornel West and Tricia Rose reflect on the good, bad, and ugly coming out of Wisconsin following the shooting of Jacob Blake and deadly attack on #BlackLivesMatter protesters by child soldier Kyle Rittenhouse.

"Thank God we've got this marvelous resistance taking place. Across the board. Beginning with the Milwaukee Bucks and with brother LeBron James. We salute them." -Cornel West

"Seeing so many Black men speak from sadness, fear. It was less about a anger and more about a smoldering sadness bordering on despair." -Tricia Rose

"We would be numb if we weren't wrestling with despair." -Cornel West

 

Learn more at thetightropepodcast.com

Facebook: facebook.com/thetightropepod

Instagram: instagram.com/thetightropepod

Twitter: twitter.com/thetightropepod

Creator/EP: Jeremy Berry

EP/Host: Cornel West

EP/Host: Tricia Rose

Producer: Allie Hembrough

Producer: James Artis

Beats x Butter (IG: @Butter_Records)

#TheTightRope #CornelWest #TriciaRose #BlackLivesMatter

NFL veteran Michael Bennett: Uncomfortable Conversations

NFL veteran Michael Bennett: Uncomfortable Conversations

August 27, 2020

Episode Summary

Join Dr. Cornel West and Professor Tricia Rose on this episode of The Tight Rope in their compelling conversation with NFL superstar and author of Things That Make White People Uncomfortable Michael Bennett. From the strong women in his life and the path to embracing his intellect, to the exploitation of celebrity and “ownership” in the NFL, Bennett engages on all levels with our hosts. Office Hours focuses on “COVID in the Classroom,” both its impact on the learning environment and its economic realities. Hear about Bennet’s thoughts on discernment, retirement, and Colin Kaepernick on The Tight Rope.  

 

Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University. A prominent democratic intellectual, social critic, and political activist, West also serves as Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. West has authored 20 books and edited 13. Most known for Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, West appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, CNN, C-Span, and Democracy Now. West has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films, including Examined Life, and is the creator of three spoken word albums including Never Forget. West brings his focus on the role of race, gender, and class in American society to The Tight Rope podcast. 

 

Tricia Rose

Professor Tricia Rose is Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. She also holds the Chancellor’s Professorship of Africana Studies and serves as the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives. A graduate of Yale (B.A.) and Brown University (Ph.D), Rose authored Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (1994), Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk about Sexuality and Intimacy (2003), and The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop and Why It Matters (2008). She also sits on the Boards of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Color of Change, and Black Girls Rock, Inc. Focusing on issues relating to race in America, mass media, structural inequality, popular culture, gender and sexuality and art and social justice, Rose engages widely in scholarly and popular audience settings, and now also on The Tight Rope podcast.  

 

Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett is a recently retired 11-year NFL veteran with three Pro Bowl victories and a Super Bowl title. He was a pivotal defensive end for multiple teams including the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys. Bennett, an outspoken proponent for social justice and vocal anti-racist in the NFL, has a podcast called “Mouthpeace” with his wife Pele Bennett and a book titled Things That Make White People Uncomfortable, which he is developing into a scripted TV series. Bennett also works with Athletes for Impact, an organization focusing on athlete activism, and he and his wife established The Bennett Foundation with their three daughters. 

 

 Insight from this episode:

  • Details on Bennett’s recent retirement from the NFL and his new path forward.  
  • Secrets to having a spine and making it shine. 
  • Personal reflections from Bennett and his wife Pele on going “back to Africa” and his work with iamtheCODE in Senegal. 
  • Strategies on cultivating leadership not driven by ego. 
  • Words of encouragement from our hosts on fulfilling your purpose while also being sensitive to what is happening in the world. 

 

Quotes from the show:

  • “You don’t pity people who you are fundamentally tethered to.”  –Tricia Rose The Tight Rope Episode #12
  • “I worry that while we’re trying to survive COVID, somebody’s engineering a world after COVID that is not the world that we want.” –Tricia Rose The Tight Rope Episode #12
  • “You can’t segregate me from my Blackness, you can’t segregate me from my culture, you can’t segregate me from my community because I am that.” –Michael Bennett The Tight Rope Episode #12
  • “It’s important to be vulnerable because our children need to see us love. Our children need to see us cry. Our children need to see us say I love you. They need to see us love our women. They need to see all of it as being a full human being.” –Michael Bennett The Tight Rope Episode #12
  • “I’m an extension of someone who never gave up.” –Michael Bennett The Tight Rope Episode #12
  • On visiting Gorée Island, Senegal and his grandmother: “It was bigger than the Super Bowl to me. It was bigger than a lot of the things that I had accomplished because I had made it back to Africa. There’s a lot of people that accomplished a lot of things, but they never made it back to the motherland to rest their ancestors’ soul. And I felt at that moment a big release. I felt like she was back. She had made it back.” –Michael Bennett The Tight Rope Episode #12
  • On his role in the NFL: “We’re really playing the game of liberation.” –Michael Bennett The Tight Rope Episode #12
  • On Pema Chödrön: “There’s power within healing yourself and being able to be ready for the world. And also, when I read her books, it just makes my consciousness have a sense of peace and a sense of being happy in the moment.” –Michael Bennett The Tight Rope Episode #12
  • “What you do has got to be as essential to you as oxygen. It’s the skin on your body. It’s the love of your parents.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #12
  • “The need is everywhere. We settled that. There ain’t no place where we don’t have a need. So you go where you need to go.” –Tricia Rose The Tight Rope Episode #12
  • On COVID in the classroom: “The main thing I’m worried about is the loss of the kind of human connection when ideas click in that way that it’s so interpersonal even in a big lecture hall. You can feel people thinking.” –Tricia Rose The Tight Rope Episode #12

 

Stay Connected:
Cornel West

Website: www.cornelwest.com

Twitter: @CornelWest

Facebook: Dr. Cornel West

Instagram: @BrotherCornelWest 

Linktree: Cornel West 

 

Tricia Rose

Website: www.triciarose.com

LinkedIn: Tricia Rose

Twitter: @ProfTriciaRose

Facebook: Tricia Rose

Instagram: @ProfTriciaRose

Youtube: Professor Tricia Rose 

 

Michael Bennet

Twitter: @MosesBread72

Instagram: @MosesBread72

Podcast: Mouthpeace with Michael Bennett & Pele Bennett

The Bennett Foundation Twitter: @TMBFoundation

 

The Tight Rope

Website: www.thetightropepodcast.com 

Instagram: @thetightropepod

Twitter: @thetightropepod

Facebook: The Tight Rope Pod

 

This episode was produced and managed by Spkerbox Media in collaboration with Podcast Laundry

 

#DemConvention Watch Party with Ro Khanna, Zephyr Teachout, Howie Hawkins, and Angela Walker

#DemConvention Watch Party with Ro Khanna, Zephyr Teachout, Howie Hawkins, and Angela Walker

August 21, 2020

Cornel West and Tricia Rose bring you live coverage and commentary of the final night of the 2020 #DemConvention featuring Joe Biden's speech from Wilmington, Delaware and special guests Congressman Ro Khanna, Zephyr Teachout, Howie Hawkins, and Angela Walker.

https://www.thetightropepodcast.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetightropepod

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thetightropepod

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/thetightropepod

Host: Cornel West

Host: Tricia Rose

Creator/EP: Jeremy Berry

EP: Seo McPolin

Coordinating Producer: Allie Hembrough

Producer: James Artis

Beats x Butter (IG: @Butter_Records)

#TheTightRope #CornelWest #TriciaRose

George Lipsitz: The Eminem of Black Studies

George Lipsitz: The Eminem of Black Studies

August 20, 2020

Episode Summary

In this episode, Dr. Cornel West and Professor Tricia Rose nail down issues of white allyship, undoing invisible racist ideologies, and the hallmarks of possessive investment in whiteness with their beloved guest Professor George Lipsitz. They provide commentary on the leadership of the Black freedom movement of the past and present as well as the “slow violence” of racism rooted in power, interest, and property. Dr. Cornel West and Professor Tricia Rose hold office hours to offer their takes on the removal of racist monuments and its role in the larger work of dismantling systemic racism. This is an episode of The Tight Rope you will want to return to again and again.  

 

Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University. A prominent democratic intellectual, social critic, and political activist, West also serves as Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. West has authored 20 books and edited 13. Most known for Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, West appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, CNN, C-Span, and Democracy Now. West has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films, including Examined Life, and is the creator of three spoken word albums including Never Forget. West brings his focus on the role of race, gender, and class in American society to The Tight Rope podcast. 

 

Tricia Rose

Professor Tricia Rose is Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. She also holds the Chancellor’s Professorship of Africana Studies and serves as the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives. A graduate of Yale (B.A.) and Brown University (Ph.D), Rose authored Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (1994), Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk about Sexuality and Intimacy (2003), and The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop and Why It Matters (2008). She also sits on the Boards of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Color of Change, and Black Girls Rock, Inc. Focusing on issues relating to race in America, mass media, structural inequality, popular culture, gender and sexuality and art and social justice, Rose engages widely in scholarly and popular audience settings, and now also on The Tight Rope podcast.  

 

George Lipsitz

Professor George Lipsitz is an American Studies scholar and Professor Emeritus of Black Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D in History at the University of Wisconsin, and his current studies focus on social movements, urban culture, African American music, inequality, the politics of popular culture, and Whiteness Studies. Lipsitz has authored numerous books including The Possessive Investment in Whiteness, How Racism Takes Place, Midnight at the Barrelhouse, Footsteps in the Dark, A Life in the Struggle, and Time Passages. Lipsitz also co-authored The Fierce Urgency of Now: Improvisation, Rights and the Ethics of Co-Creation. He serves as a Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African American Policy Forum and is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Fair Housing Alliance. Lipsitz is an intellectual pioneer and respected figure of the Black freedom movement. 

 

Insight from this episode:

  • Questions we must ask ourselves about self definition as the Black freedom struggle and crisis of the current movement passes to another stage. 
  • A reframing of “white allyship” and “white fragility” in the context of George Lipsitz’s scholarship on the possessive investment in whiteness. 
  • Details on the coordinated crimes of the Pentagon, Wall Street, and the police, specifically the connection between violence abroad and violence “at home.”
  • A call to move beyond symbolic victories when structural changes are needed. 
  • Reflections from George Lipsitz on teaching in the prisons and the deeply cynical but astute critics he met there. 
  • A behind-the-scenes look at the origins of both Dr. West’s Race Matters and Professor Rose’s Black Noise

 

Quotes from the show:

  • “There’s a lot of spinelessness that goes with the polarization and gangsterization of our society. We need people to stand up. Not because they can do it alone, but rather because by doing it, they can inspire others to do it. And so we get enough folk [...] to create countervailing structures, countervailing institutions, along with the countervailing voices and the countervailing examples of the kind of decay and decadence we’re dealing with in the U.S. environment.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #11
  • “It’s important for us to make sure we develop the courage and the clarity and the conviction to move the struggle along. This is a hard time for lovers of freedom. This is a hard time for lovers of social justice. This is a hard time for lovers of decency and dignity of humans. But the table is shaking, and the boat is rocking. We have meaningful work to do.” –George Lipsitz The Tight Rope Episode #11
  • “It’s too easy to think about saving white souls or soothing white psyches and neglecting saving Black lives.” –George Lipsitz The Tight Rope Episode #11
  • “You can’t have decent relations when the structure in which you’re operating is already a rigged game, is already meant that one party to this relationship has the power of denying, condescension, pity, and sympathy and the other person is scrambling for rights, recognition, and resources. So first of all it has to be about power and not just about prejudice.” –George Lipsitz The Tight Rope Episode #11
  • On the leadership of the current Black freedom movement: “What we have today are people who are proud to be themselves. These queer, transgender, non-normative young people on the streets of Ferguson and elsewhere are resisting ruinous form of classification and insisting on an expansive and democratic notion of affection, sexuality, romance but also social membership. We have to applaud that. On the other hand, good intentions and spontaneity is not going to be enough in the face of a relentlessly oppressive and powerful, well financed, military, economic, and political system.” –George Lipsitz The Tight Rope Episode #11
  • “Many will be seduced and bribed into thinking that if they’re visual their politics are viable.” –George Lipsitz The Tight Rope Episode #11
  • On institution building and making bridges for people: “This happens because people choose to take their time and put that kind of energy into each other.” –Tricia Rose The Tight Rope Episode #11
  • “If we get too preoccupied with these symbolic gestures, they do become distractions. And the status quo says, you know what, you all change the monuments you want, but the class hierarchy, the gender-based hierarchy, the imperial hierarchy is just going to stay right in place.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #11
  • “It’s hard to think of any human being who really deserves a monument.” –Dr. Cornel West The Tight Rope Episode #11
  • “The monuments become monuments to ideas, and monuments to power relationships, to celebration of domination.” –Tricia Rose The Tight Rope Episode #11

 

Stay Connected:
Cornel West

Website: www.cornelwest.com

Twitter: @CornelWest

Facebook: Dr. Cornel West - Home

Instagram: @BrotherCornelWest 

Linktree: Cornel West 

 

Tricia Rose

Website: www.triciarose.com

LinkedIn: Tricia Rose

Twitter: @ProfTriciaRose

Facebook: Tricia Rose

Instagram: @ProfTriciaRose

Youtube: Professor Tricia Rose 

 

George Lipsitz

UCSB Webpage: George Lipsitz

Books on Amazon: George Lipsitz

 

The Tight Rope

Website: www.thetightropepodcast.com

Instagram: @thetightropepod

Twitter: @thetightropepod

Facebook: The Tight Rope Pod

 

This episode was produced and managed by Spkerbox Media in collaboration with Podcast Laundry.

 

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