How to Stop A Civil War

  • The special December issue of The Atlantic focuses on a single theme: “How to Stop a Civil War.” Two contributors to the issue, Harvard professor Danielle Allen and staff writer Adam Serwer, join Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg to discuss their arguments in the magazine.

    Allen’s piece, “The Road From Serfdom,” asserts that unity must be made a priority again and offers prescriptive steps for how it can be achieved. In “Against Reconciliation,” Serwer argues that the nation’s pursuits of compromise have often led it to abandon its promises of freedom and equality for all its citizens—that Americans have been content to sacrifice civil rights for civil discourse.

    The three sat down to discuss where they agree, where they disagree, and how optimistic they are that world’s oldest democracy can survive its bitter divisions.

Tucker Carlson Is Not Your New Best Friend

The Fox News host’s antiwar stance doesn’t erase all that other ugliness.

Suddenly you’re digging him. At least a little bit. I know, I’ve seen the tweets, read the commentary, heard the chatter, detected the barely suppressed cheer: Hurrah for Tucker Carlson. If only we had more brave, principled Republicans like him.

Right out of the gate, he protested President Trump’s decision to kill Qassim Suleimani, the Iranian military commander, noting that it didn’t square with the president’s determination not to get bogged down in the Middle East and warning of the possibility and horror of full-blown war. Your pulse quickened. You perked up.

He sounded that same alarm on his next show and the show after that. Every night at 8 p.m., he worried about the bellicose itch of our leaders. When all around him on Fox News were playing their usual roles (indeed, his usual role) as masseurs for the president’s tender ego, he administered slaps, hard ones, the kind that leave angry red handprints. Ouch — and don’t stop.

You rejoiced. It’s one thing when Democrats challenge what looks like a rush to war by a Republican president. It’s another when typically fawning members of his own party do.

And while Carlson was hardly alone in his rebellion — three House Republicans voted with Democrats to check the president’s war-waging authority and, over in the Senate, Mike Lee and Rand Paul raised a dissident ruckus — no one else had his ardor, his articulateness, his megaphone.

Carlson to the rescue!

Oh, please.

The fascination with him is itself fascinating, for many reasons. Can you recall a modern president before Trump whose moods and movements could be reflected and predicted simply by watching one news organization and, for that matter, just a few of its offerings? In lieu of a normally functioning White House communications department or a press secretary who holds actual press briefings (what a thought!), we have “Fox & Friends” in the morning and Carlson’s and Sean Hannity’s shows in the evening.

They don’t chronicle this presidency. They shape it, not just in terms of the volume of their applause for Trump, who craves the loudest possible clapping, but in terms of actual interactions. Carlson — like Hannity and another Fox fixture, Lou Dobbs — has in fact advised him behind the scenes.

Hence the rapt reaction to Carlson’s antiwar jeremiads. They may well matter.

Also, those of us who regard Trump as a menace can be so eager — too eager — to welcome newcomers to our shores that we overlook the polluted seas they sailed to get there. In a recent moment on the ABC talk show “The View” that was awkward at best, Joy Behar announced excitedly that the prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer had just disavowed Trump because of Iran.

Carlson, mind you, has not disavowed Trump. In fact he performed semantic acrobatics to denounce America’s military maneuvers against Iran without precisely blaming Trump. Those slaps I mentioned landed more forcefully on the administration in general than on the man-child at its apex, who is, in Carlson’s tortured rendition, a gullible marionette, his strings pulled by inveterate, habitual warmongers. If these profiteering elites would just let Trump be Trump and train his wrath on Mexicans instead of Iranians, a great presidency would get its groove back.

During his Tuesday show, Carlson performed political jujitsu and held two of the president’s principal Democratic adversaries responsible for exacerbated tensions with Iran. Referring to the Washington establishment and singling out Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, he said, “These are people who have been basically advocating for a kind of war against Iran for an awfully long time.”

“It’s infuriating,” he added. “It’s because of Schumer and Pelosi and people like them that we got into Iraq in the first place.

Come again? A Republican president, George W. Bush, urged and oversaw the invasion of Iraq, and while Schumer authorized it, Pelosi voted against it, as did many more Democrats than Republicans.

And Carlson’s portrait of Trump as puppet contradicts reporting from The Times and other news organizations that some Pentagon officials were stunned when the president ordered the strike against Suleimani, a measure more extreme than other options presented to him.

Carlson remains true to Carlson: selective with facts, slanted with truths and — this is the most important part — committed to his vision of America as a land imperiled by nefarious Democrats and the dark-skinned invaders they would open the gates to if not for sentries like him and Trump.

As Matt Gertz of Media Matters perceptively noted, Carlson’s antiwar stance “is not a break from his past support for Trump or his channeling of white nationalist tropes, but a direct a result of both.” Gertz explained that in the mind-set of Carlson and many of his fans on the far right, energy spent on missions in another hemisphere is energy not spent on our southern border. It’s no accident that, in regard to the Middle East, he and Spencer are on the same page.

Following Suleimani’s death, Carlson asked his audience, “Why are we continuing to ignore the decline of our own country in favor of jumping into another quagmire?”

Carlson is defined not by a bold willingness to check Trump’s excesses or ugliest impulses but by his indulgence — no, his fervent encouragement — of those impulses as they pertain to racism and immigration. On those fronts, Carlson himself grows ever uglier, as my colleague Farhad Manjoo and others have noted. It’s why many sponsors have defected from Carlson’s show.

Carlson repeatedly uses variations of the word “invasion” to characterize migrants from Central America. He insists that “white supremacy” is a fiction, a hoax. He has used language that buys into and promotes “replacement theory” — a far-right fixation on the idea that declining birthrates among whites will cause a nonwhite takeover — and recently castigated immigrants for litter along the Potomac River.

Just last month he gave precious time on his show to an obscure Republican congressional candidate in North Carolina, Pete D’Abrosca, who has warned white Americans that they’re “being replaced by third world peasants.” D’Abrosca has also bragged of his support from the “groyper army,” a far-right group with more than a whiff of anti-Semitism.

Pete D’Abrosca

@pdabrosca

They’re being replaced by third world peasants who share neither their ethnicity nor their culture. https://twitter.com/amsoufi_/status/1186398407507750912 

Angelina Newsom@amsoufi_
Replying to @pdabrosca

What’s happening to white people in America

See Pete D’Abrosca’s other Tweets

Is Carlson himself abetting hatred of Jews? In a rare point of agreement, some Jews and white nationalists believe so, pointing to an on-air rant last month in which he bashed a Jewish billionaire, Paul Singer, by comparing him unfavorably with Henry Ford, who owned a newspaper that ran a lengthy series alleging a Jewish plot to dominate the world.

“The Fox News host goes full anti-Semite,” wrote Tablet, a Jewish publication, while Mike Enoch, who rallied with the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., said on his podcast, “If you didn’t catch the German shepherd whistles where he praised Henry Ford and then went into a diatribe of a Jewish financier, you know, I don’t know what universe you’re existing in.”

So that’s some of what Carlson was up to just before he turned his attention to Iran.

How warm and fuzzy are you feeling toward him now?

The British press has succeeded in its apparent project of hounding Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, out of Britain. The part it perhaps didn’t bargain for, however, is the loss of Prince Harry — a much loved Royal and a key part of the family’s global brand — along with her. In a statement released this week, the couple said they want to “carve out a progressive new role” within the royal family and will “step back as ‘senior’ members, and work to become financially independent.” The British press reacted with surprise at the “shock move abroad,” described variously as “seismic,” “selfish,” “rogue” and “an atrocious lapse of judgment.” If the media paid more attention to Britain’s communities of color, perhaps it would find the announcement far less surprising. With a new prime minister whose track record includes overtly racist statements, some of which would make even Donald Trump blush, a Brexit project linked to native nationalism and a desire to rid Britain of large numbers of immigrants, and an ever thickening loom of imperial nostalgia, many of us are also thinking about moving. From the very first headline about her being “(almost) straight outta Compton” and having “exotic” DNA, the racist treatment of Meghan has been impossible to ignore. Princess Michael of Kent wore an overtly racist brooch in the duchess’s company. A BBC host compared the couple’s newborn baby to a chimpanzee. Then there was the sublimely ludicrous suggestion that Meghan’s avocado consumption is responsible for mass murder, while her charity cookbook was portrayed as somehow helping terrorists. Those who claim frequent attacks against the duchess have nothing to do with her race have a hard time explaining these attempts to link her with particularly racialized forms of crime — terrorism and gang activity — as well as the fact that she has been most venomously attacked for acts that attracted praise when other royals did them. Her decision to guest-edit British Vogue, for example, was roundly condemned by large parts of the British media, in stark contrast to Prince Charles’s two-time guest editorship of Country Life magazine, Prince Harry’s of a BBC program and Kate Middleton’s at Huffington Post, all of which were quietly praised at the time. Her treatment has proved what many of us have always known: No matter how beautiful you are, whom you marry, what palaces you occupy, charities you support, how faithful you are, how much money you accumulate or what good deeds you perform, in this society racism will still follow you. In Britain’s rigid class society, there is still a deep correlation between privilege and race. The relatively few people of color — and even fewer if you count only those who have African heritage — who rise to prominent success and prosperity in Britain are often told we should be “grateful” or told to leave if we don’t like it here. The legacy of Britain’s history of empire — a global construct based on a doctrine of white supremacy — its pioneering role in the slave trade and ideologies of racism that enabled it, and policies of recruiting people from the Caribbean and Africa into low-paid work and then discriminating against them in education and housing, is with us today: The scandal surrounding the wrongful deportation of black British people in recent years is still reverberating. Editors’ Picks ‘Divorce Month’ Fact or Fiction: Do More Couples Split in January? What Is the Keto Diet and Does It Work? Office Treats Bring Out the Worst of Humanity Meghan’s decision to join the family that is the symbolic heart of the establishment responsible for this troubled history was perplexing to many black British people, as we wondered whether she fully appreciated the institution she had entered. Both she and Harry appear to have gained crystal clear vision as to their reality. It’s no wonder the couple want to leave and — as the coded statement that they want to raise their son Archie “with the space to focus on the next chapter” seems to suggest — protect him from the bile to which they’ve been exposed. The British press, having attacked the couple continuously, now reacts with shock at this move. But the clues have been there for some time for anyone willing to read them. There was the decision not to give Archie a title from birth — something that is expected among royal children of this rank but which Meghan and Harry appear to have chosen to avoid. Then there were the rumors last spring that they might relocate to a country in southern Africa. In recent months, the couple have begun bypassing official royal channels and communicating with the press directly — most notably when the Duchess said in a television documentary that she found adjusting to royal life “hard,” and Harry revealed that the tragic experience of the death of his mother, Princess Diana, made him want to “protect” his wife and family. All were signs that the couple would not abide by royal business as usual, to the extent that even announcing this decision to step down from their roles as senior royals appears to have taken Buckingham Palace by surprise. I am not at all surprised. This was the bitter shadow of their sunny May 2018 wedding. How many of us suspected — hoping but doubting we were wrong — that what would really initiate Meghan into her new role as a Briton with African heritage would be her experience of British racism. And ironically, by taking matters into their own hands, Harry and Meghan’s act of leaving — two fingers up at the racism of the British establishment — might be the most meaningful act of royal leadership I’m ever likely to see.

It’s the racism.

The British press has succeeded in its apparent project of hounding Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, out of Britain. The part it perhaps didn’t bargain for, however, is the loss of Prince Harry — a much loved Royal and a key part of the family’s global brand — along with her.

In a statement released this week, the couple said they want to “carve out a progressive new role” within the royal family and will “step back as ‘senior’ members, and work to become financially independent.”

The British press reacted with surprise at the “shock move abroad,” described variously as “seismic,” “selfish,” “rogue” and “an atrocious lapse of judgment.

If the media paid more attention to Britain’s communities of color, perhaps it would find the announcement far less surprising. With a new prime minister whose track record includes overtly racist statements, some of which would make even Donald Trump blush, a Brexit project linked to native nationalism and a desire to rid Britain of large numbers of immigrants, and an ever thickening loom of imperial nostalgia, many of us are also thinking about moving.

From the very first headline about her being

the racist treatment of Meghan has been impossible to ignore. Princess Michael of Kent wore an overtly racist brooch in the duchess’s company. A BBC host compared the couple’s newborn baby to a chimpanzee. Then there was the sublimely ludicrous suggestion that Meghan’s avocado consumption is responsible for mass murder, while her charity cookbook was portrayed as somehow helping terrorists.

Those who claim frequent attacks against the duchess have nothing to do with her race have a hard time explaining these attempts to link her with particularly racialized forms of crime — terrorism and gang activity — as well as the fact that she has been most venomously attacked for acts that attracted praise when other royals did them. Her decision to guest-edit British Vogue, for example, was roundly condemned by large parts of the British media, in stark contrast to Prince Charles’s two-time guest editorship of Country Life magazine, Prince Harry’s of a BBC program and Kate Middleton’s at Huffington Post, all of which were quietly praised at the time.

Her treatment has proved what many of us have always known: No matter how beautiful you are, whom you marry, what palaces you occupy, charities you support, how faithful you are, how much money you accumulate or what good deeds you perform, in this society racism will still follow you.

In Britain’s rigid class society, there is still a deep correlation between privilege and race. The relatively few people of color — and even fewer if you count only those who have African heritage — who rise to prominent success and prosperity in Britain are often told we should be “grateful” or told to leave if we don’t like it here.

The legacy of Britain’s history of empire — a global construct based on a doctrine of white supremacy — its pioneering role in the slave trade and ideologies of racism that enabled it, and policies of recruiting people from the Caribbean and Africa into low-paid work and then discriminating against them in education and housing, is with us today: The scandal surrounding the wrongful deportation of black British people in recent

Meghan’s decision to join the family that is the symbolic heart of the establishment responsible for this troubled history was perplexing to many black British people, as we wondered whether she fully appreciated the institution she had entered.

Both she and Harry appear to have gained crystal clear vision as to their reality. It’s no wonder the couple want to leave and — as the coded statement that they want to raise their son Archie “with the space to focus on the next chapter” seems to suggest — protect him from the bile to which they’ve been exposed.

The British press, having attacked the couple continuously, now reacts with shock at this move. But the clues have been there for some time for anyone willing to read them.

There was the decision not to give Archie a title from birth — something that is expected among royal children of this rank but which Meghan and Harry appear to have chosen to avoid. Then there were the rumors last spring that they might relocate to a country in southern Africa.

In recent months, the couple have begun bypassing official royal channels and communicating with the press directly — most notably when the Duchess said in a television documentary that she found adjusting to royal life “hard,” and Harry revealed that the tragic experience of the death of his mother, Princess Diana, made him want to “protect” his wife and family.

All were signs that the couple would not abide by royal business as usual, to the extent that even announcing this decision to step down from their roles as senior royals appears to have taken Buckingham Palace by surprise.

I am not at all surprised. This was the bitter shadow of their sunny May 2018 wedding. How many of us suspected — hoping but doubting we were wrong — that what would really initiate Meghan into her new role as a Briton with African heritage would be her experience of British racism. And ironically, by taking matters into their own hands, Harry and Meghan’s act of leaving — two fingers up at the racism of the British establishment — might be the most meaningful act of royal leadership I’m ever likely to see.

How Love Will Defeat Hate | Russell Brand & Deeyah Khan | Under The Skin

Documentary filmmaker Deeyah Khan is determined to confront hate and prejudice by meeting some of the most extremist groups in the world. She has sat down with White Supremicists in the US and interviewed former Jihadists to further understand what drives people to join these groups.
Her film “White Right: Meecomplexting The Enemy” won an Emmy and is available on Netflix. We discuss the role politics, class, feminism and everything in between plays in relation to this issue.

74:08
why do you only care when the
74:11
perpetrator is the other man and
74:14
similarly you see in the Muslim side of
74:16
things as well you’ll see a lot of
74:17
Muslim men who will be saying look at
74:19
white American soldiers who are raping
74:22
our women in Afghanistan who are raping
74:24
our women in Iraq and you sort of go
74:26
when rape happens by a white man you
74:29
suddenly are women’s rights activists
74:32
and suddenly you care I understand so
74:34
it’s sort of like a confirmation bias
74:37
meaning way of validating existing
74:41
prejudice by pointing to truly horriffic
74:45
transgressions and using them to bolster
74:48
a pre-existing ideology of hatred so
74:51
somehow your vile violence is okay
74:54
because the other guy does it too but
74:56
yes all their violence is worth and also
74:59
earth and international level types of
75:01
violence are considered necessary types
75:04
of violence are considered rational
75:06
expedient whereas other types of
75:08
violence that are wacky religious crazy
75:11
hands-on which side of the equation
75:12
you’re on yes do you believe in God yeah
75:16
I believe in love
75:18
hmm yeah so so I use the word love even
75:24
more than I use the word God why because
75:26
to me that’s what it actually means it
75:29
means a kind of a unity of purpose and a
75:31
sort of benevolent oneness yeah how do
75:34
you think that these ideas can be
75:37
popularized and do you think that these
75:39
ideas can be politicized and potent they
75:44
are they already are and and how do you
75:47
popularize it I think the fact that
75:48
somebody like you does this and I think
75:52
that somebody like you I said this to
75:54
you when I walked in as well you know
75:55
you don’t have to do this you can very
75:57
comfortably do whatever it is that you
75:59
do and be you know comfortable deal with
76:03
your own kind of you know spirituality
76:04
and your own practice and and that’s
76:06
fine and your way of accomplishing
76:08
change in the world is just by you
76:09
yourself appearing in the world in in
76:12
the kind of best sort of manifestation
76:15
of yourself as you can and that in
76:17
itself is is changing the world right
76:19
but you’re choosing to go beyond that
76:21
you’re choosing to to speak about issues
76:24
that are difficult to speak about you’re
76:26
choosing to engage with people who are
76:27
difficult to engage with you’re choosing
76:29
to ask questions that are uncomfortable
76:32
and unpleasant but necessary so I think
76:35
how we move the conversation forward is
76:37
everyone doing their version of that if
76:39
they can you know at the same time I
76:41
don’t believe that we should sort of
76:42
pressurize people or make people feel
76:44
guilty or burdened by you know you have
76:47
to do this otherwise we’re all screwed
76:48
you know it’s people contribute in the
76:50
way that they can contribute and if you
76:52
just smile to a person if you don’t
76:56
clutch on to your purse when a young
76:59
Somali boy walks onto the bus and
77:01
instead look at him and actually
77:03
acknowledge him and nod and smile that
77:05
in itself is you’ve changed the dynamic
77:09
in the world a little bit so I think I
77:12
think people underestimate the the
77:15
individual responsibility and the
77:18
individual acts of kindness yeah do you
77:21
not they do well partly out I would say
77:24
that we live in a time that place is so
77:26
much responsibility thanks for those
77:27
lovely things you said about me by the
77:29
way
77:29
that replaces too much responsible
77:32
on the individual that we are told that
77:36
you know that I guess we are given these
77:40
roles in life as consumers we operating
77:44
within quite narrow parameters I think
77:47
what you said about hope is very
77:48
important a lot of people just don’t
77:51
believe that change is possible and when
77:53
I think about why I continue to engage
77:55
in conversation I have a stand what we
77:58
were talking about prior to our recorded
78:00
conversation I have as you clearly do a
78:05
belief in the optimum in in there that
78:09
there is an ulterior reality that’s
78:11
trying to realize itself through the
78:14
purchase nosov human beings that’s
78:16
inviting us to overcome our personal
78:19
darkness and to build systems and
78:22
connections based on the beautiful
78:25
aspects of our nature as opposed to the
78:27
darker aspects of our nature when we are
78:29
culturally encouraged to focus on
78:32
ourselves and our competitiveness and
78:36
our darkness our last and our fear we
78:39
live in a culture that promotes these
78:41
values so you are right in a sense we
78:44
have to discard the way that you did
78:47
when I was asking you about Muslims you
78:49
still really kind of answer I want is
78:51
like or what anywhere a scarf or a job
78:53
all that kind of thing still would have
78:55
liked a bit of a clearer answer about
78:56
that because it’s not necessary that the
79:00
fact that you think that that is
79:01
something that I I should or that that’s
79:04
something that might be an obligation
79:05
you even care about it you care if women
79:08
do it down relevant I mean I run a
79:11
magazine you know where we are
79:13
constantly support I mean it’s set up
79:15
with the purpose of of showing the the
79:18
wide variety of Muslim experiences and
79:21
Muslim women’s experiences that exist in
79:23
the world and in that you know we are
79:25
publishing articles of women who are not
79:27
just you know we’re here jobs but also
79:28
wearing the carbs and you know women who
79:30
write things that I personally disagree
79:32
with but that’s the whole point you have
79:35
to allow people the full expression of
79:37
what it means to be a human being to
79:39
that person and if that means having
79:43
your hair out that means having
79:45
every type of politics it means loving
79:47
whoever that you want to love that means
79:50
all of that doesn’t matter
79:51
our job is to or my job I feel in
79:55
whatever tiny ways that I can is to try
79:57
and support people and facilitate an
79:59
environment where people can flourish
80:02
and be themselves as fully as possible
80:04
regardless of what that means and
80:06
regardless of whether I approve of it or
80:08
not and whether I think it’s right or
80:10
not but I also ask for that same
80:12
courtesy sort of for myself you know
80:15
it’s why I have to qualify myself as a
80:19
Muslim through having to wear a hijab or
80:22
having to look like this or hold this
80:24
belief or that belief is is sort of it’s
80:28
sort of irrelevant it’s it’s it’s I am
80:31
what I am
and similarly there are the it’s complex
people are complicated and we have to
allow for people to be complicated
why
do we have to fit them into these nice
meat boxes just for our own satisfaction
you know these Nazis I had all these
opinions about them very neat little
boxes of you know they’re just this
they’re just that they’re justice and
shouldn’t they just this or and they
don’t people our people have many layers
to them and and to only define them by
their their their visual or their in any
kind of superficial symbols I think is
is reducing somebody’s humanity all the
work that I do is about is actually
about recognizing ourselves in each
other it is to try and locate the
humanity in someone else not so much to
find their humanity but it’s actually in
81:28
an attempt to hold on to my own Wow you
81:31
know and it’s Annie and that’s important
81:33
and and I’ve said this many times and
81:35
people kind of roll their eyes at this
81:36
but you know it’s I refuse as a woman of
81:40
color as a you know the long laundry
81:42
list of you know the things that I
81:43
consider myself to be I know what it
81:45
feels like to be stereotyped I know what
81:47
it feels like to be dehumanized and
81:48
because of because of that I refuse to
81:51
do that to somebody else even if that
81:53
means a Nazi because if I am willing to
81:58
somebody else then there’s no difference
82:02
left mm-hmm and and that’s what I’m kind
82:05
of working against is this kind of
82:07
simplification of people this kind of
82:09
caricature of people for from my
82:13
convenience it’s not supposed to be
82:15
convenient it’s supposed to just be
82:17
messy and wonderful and complicated it’s
82:20
supposed to just be human and that’s the
82:23
battle isn’t it the you know the whole
82:25
challenge the whole thing is about
82:27
recognizing that I can see myself in you
82:32
and vice versa and there’s something in
82:34
that and once we can recognize that it
82:36
becomes harder for me to harm you and to
82:38
hurt you or to exercise violence against
82:41
you and this is why on a bigger level
82:44
why our politicians encourage us to
82:47
dehumanize each other is so that
82:49
violence becomes possible it is so that
82:51
we can strip each other of our rights it
82:54
is so that we can become reduced just to
82:56
a consumer or just to a voter you know
82:59
we’re not just anything we’re not just a
83:02
hijab we’re not just a woman or just you
83:05
know a famous guy who’s trying to do a
83:07
pod car to you than that there’s more to
83:10
me than that there’s more to the Nazis
83:12
than that there’s more to the jihadis
83:14
than that so the more we can get
83:16
underneath all the noise and and the
83:20
kind of static to the real heart to the
83:23
real the heartbeat of it the closer we
83:27
get to solutions and and you know it’s
83:31
we can’t afford we can’t afford to give
83:36
up on each other is how I feel it’s it’s
83:40
it’s we’re all in this together and I
83:45
think if we give up any if we give up on
83:47
each other then we’re also giving up on
83:49
ourselves and I think then we’re handing
83:52
over you speak about power you’re about
83:53
power you’re about power me too if we do
83:57
that then we’re handing over our power
83:59
and I refuse to do that I spoke to I do
84:02
a lot of work with women’s rights
84:04
activists all around the world and in
84:06
particular in in with women from Muslim
84:08
majority countries and again people in
84:11
the West would constantly
84:12
like to cast us as victims and as poor
84:14
pathetic women who are being abused and
84:16
this that and the other but what I have
84:18
found amongst a lot of these women who I
84:21
consider to be my mentors who I
84:23
considered to be my complete inspiration
84:25
is even in the darkest darkest
84:28
environments they’re able to hold on to
84:30
light they’re able to hold on to
84:32
resistance they’re able to smile they’re
84:34
able to love they’re able to laugh and
84:36
they’re able to just do politics times
84:39
10 and I asked one of them Hina Jilani
84:42
is her name and I remember asking her
84:44
you know why why are you hopeful you
84:47
know why why are you such an optimist
84:49
and she said she said because we don’t
84:51
have the luxury of pessimism and I think
84:55
that’s true and to me if women like that
84:58
in circumstances that seem impossible
85:01
and odds that seems completely stacked
85:04
against them are able to hold on to
85:06
their humanity and they’re constantly
85:08
some of the women that I work with are
85:09
working to bring their boys back from
85:13
Isis and from various militias to try
85:16
and and reintegrate them back into life
85:20
and realize that jihad is not about
85:22
spilling blood it’s about giving blood
85:24
at a hospital if women like this exist
85:27
when they’ve got everything against them
85:29
then because I asked you this why do you
85:32
do the things that you do the reason I
85:34
do it is I was lucky enough to be born
85:36
in a in a country like Norway and I’m
85:39
lucky enough to live in a place like the
85:40
UK for all of its faults and all of its
85:42
stuff I could have been born and I could
85:47
have been born a girl in Afghanistan and
85:49
I think with all the privilege that I
85:51
have and all the advantages that I have
85:54
here surely it’s part of my
85:58
responsibility to do something useful
86:00
with that otherwise what good is it if
86:03
it’s just for me if only I get to
86:06
breathe and I get to be free and I get
86:08
to do what I want to do what good is it
86:10
if the woman next to me is bleeding well
86:14
good is it so privileged do you good
86:17
rent is you see as a duty it’s a
86:22
responsibility
86:23
see hmm you have to do something about
86:26
it have you any thoughts about how men
86:31
and women can relate to one another more
86:34
positively in this time that seems to be
86:38
seeing bifurcation and polarity between
86:40
the genders I think my skill energy has
86:44
to be reimagined I think what it means
86:45
to be a man the fact that the
86:48
associations to that has become about
86:50
dominance and violence and power the
86:54
fact that men some men anyway seek their
86:58
sense of self through through those
87:02
things I think we have to reimagine what
87:04
it means to be a man we have to
87:06
reimagine what masculinity means and I
87:08
think we have to liberate men from the
87:11
very very tiny tiny incredibly narrow
87:14
destructive boxes that they get to
87:16
operate within and I think we have to
87:18
make it okay for men to feel things and
87:20
to articulate their feelings and to say
87:25
and this is why I appreciate what you
87:27
again I appreciate what you do because
87:29
again you being in the position that you
87:31
are and you being is open and willing to
87:33
be vulnerable and willing to admit that
87:36
oh my goodness you do have feelings you
87:39
know I think it’s so important for young
87:41
men to see because I think we constantly
87:44
talk about women being at the receiving
87:47
end of toxic masculinity but I think
87:50
toxic masculinity is also killing men so
87:52
I think we need to liberate men from
87:54
that as well so how do we do that is I
87:56
think we have to speak about it as much
87:59
as possible and we have to make young
88:01
men understand that the liberation of
88:03
women is not and feminism is not just
88:06
about women
88:08
it’s actually about equalizing the sort
88:10
of playing field and also liberating men
88:13
from this cage yes liberation for men
88:16
from the narrative roles that they have
88:20
been granted which ultimately I would
88:23
say our roles that are prescribed by the
88:26
powerful directly but oh you know so
88:30
like we meant that I think this has gone
88:31
on for substantially longer than
88:34
was intended you know often and I don’t
88:36
trouble you with this kind of detail
88:38
people would hold up like a things and
88:41
like I really mean it’s 90 minutes now
88:43
and it continues but I think you’ve done
88:45
such an incredible work already I’m
88:47
fascinated to see the work that you will
88:50
continue to do and I hope that I can be
88:52
of some help to you does it make sense
88:54
what I’m saying no I think you may be
88:56
mentally of course it makes sense what
89:00
you’re saying I think but do you believe
89:02
that it’s doable do you believe that
89:04
what I’m saying that on an individual
89:06
level is how we start oh and building
89:09
solidarity between people yes beginning
89:13
has to be non judgement and well-being
89:15
while being personally discerning I also
89:17
believe that we have to have a
89:18
relationship with the transcendent which
89:20
you seem to understand that I think that
89:21
perhaps the primary problem is we define
89:23
ourselves by outward and material ideals
89:27
I think that if we can start to
89:29
challenge them we can start to break
89:31
down identity and reform identity I’m
89:34
not talking about some sort of
89:35
postmodern nightmare where no one knows
89:38
what England is anymore I’m saying is
89:40
that was you suggested in your very
89:42
first controversial insighting interview
89:45
that we have to reimagine states that
89:49
includes all of us the best version of
89:52
all of us and I think it’s this
89:53
obliteration of hope to which you
89:56
continually refer that is an important
89:59
factor that we need to reignite rien Dao
90:02
encourage people once more to believe in
90:05
a new vision one thing I did want to
90:07
pick you up on was when you spoke about
90:09
politicians and their visions you sort
90:11
of spoke of it in the abstract and in
90:12
fact your body language was you placed
90:14
it over there somewhere
90:15
and I think that possibly the
90:17
responsibility lies with us the the time
90:20
for abstract leadership particularly
90:22
within bodies there as we now know sort
90:24
of operate primarily at the behest of
90:25
corporate interests you know with the
90:30
excluding one or two noble I think the
90:34
extremes are actually reacting to
90:36
exactly what you’re saying
90:38
I think the extreme that the the all
90:40
these kind of convulsions that we’re
90:42
seeing on the fringes of our societies
90:44
is an actual reaction to the
90:47
that we’ve been reduced down to
90:48
consumers were being reduced down to all
90:51
these incredibly dehumanizing labels and
90:53
I think their attempts are actually
90:58
Noble in Anna and I kind of it’s a bit
91:01
uncomfortable for me to even say they
91:03
sort of feel this but I think some of
91:05
their intentions are actually no wolf in
91:07
that they’re fighting it mainstream is
91:09
well yeah and in the you know that their
91:11
intentions are actually about love
91:14
believe it or not it’s actually not hate
91:15
that drives them I know we keep talking
91:17
about hate when we’re speaking about
91:18
people like that but it’s actually love
91:20
and loyalty for each other and for a
91:23
future that they believe is it better
91:25
they don’t want to they are kind of the
91:28
collateral damage of global
91:30
globalization of of kind of this
91:32
consumer hyper extreme capitalist system
91:36
as well and so they’re trying to create
91:40
more meaning and and to become powerful
91:43
instead of powerless they want to matter
91:46
because they don’t and also as a culture
91:49
we only you have to you know sort of
91:52
think that the only time we reward these
91:54
guys with our attention is when they do
91:57
horrible things
91:58
so they matter to us when they commit
92:01
crimes sorry they’re telling you that
92:03
was ninety five minutes that we don’t
92:05
even have a sign for that sorry so I’m
92:07
not to make a new side to amalgamate the
92:10
five and the ninety signs never been
92:12
used before in completely new territory
92:13
an imagined realm history itself but no
92:17
less I just wanna do these quick could
92:18
do you mind if I ask you these quick
92:20
questions which we may be able to use
92:22
for clips and stuff because they’re more
92:24
to do with contemporary issues okay so
92:27
we talked about Tommy Robinson and Asian
92:30
grooming gangs and you were extremely
92:32
passionate weren’t ya it’s inspired one
92:34
of your girl greater rants one among
92:36
many in the league table of deer and
92:38
stars in constructing his Donald Trump a
92:42
real threat to Muslims and minorities in
92:45
America yes how
92:52
because he is dehumanizing anyone who
92:55
doesn’t fit into his vision of what it
92:57
means to be an American and what it
92:59
means to be a citizen and I think his
93:02
continuous reduction of people’s
93:06
humanity in this way will ultimately be
93:10
a recipe for violence really good and
93:12
surprisingly sinked he’s wearing a hijab
93:15
or burka anti-feminist
93:18
I think wearing a hijab can absolutely
93:24
be feminist burka I have real real
93:27
issues with personally right but again I
93:32
am a feminist concealing well the worker
93:35
also you meet very often it also
93:37
includes a niqab so it means you know
93:38
only your eyes showing so I have
93:40
problems with that when it comes to
93:43
hijab I completely will support women’s
93:45
rights to to choose that and to wear it
93:48
line then where’s the cutoff it’s like
93:50
it’s a creeping bit of fabric that’s
93:52
gotta be stopped at a certain bit the
93:54
face I think well I think it’s a matter
93:58
of the creeping fabric but I think it’s
94:00
also a matter of the age of the the
94:01
woman I think you know like I don’t
94:03
believe in compulsory veiling for
94:04
children I think that if you are at an
94:06
age where you can make an informed
94:08
decision about you know your politics
94:10
and your your body and how you manifest
94:12
your you know idea we don’t even think
94:14
that the Nazis are making informed
94:16
decisions we think they’re making
94:18
misinformed decisions we think that your
94:20
hat isn’t making misinformed decisions
94:22
that no one’s making informed decisions
94:24
people are responding to stimuli that’s
94:26
bogus distracting and misleading what
94:30
autonomy is there what free will is
94:31
there what is there accept abandoned in
94:33
fact of our individual identity at the
94:37
sack to be sacrificed at the altar of
94:39
some higher ideal called love or God no
94:42
but I I don’t think that it’s as fluid
94:43
as that I think you know it’s it’s all
94:46
really went for it you know but but you
94:48
know you look at Iran you know
94:49
compulsory veiling you know it’s a nanny
94:51
and if a woman just you know lightly
94:52
loose and surveil you know it’s it’s
94:53
it’s a it’s a reason for her getting
94:55
punished
94:56
you know violently or with prison
94:57
sentences or with social ramifications
94:59
same in Saudi Arabia you cannot walk
95:02
you know the the the kind of conduct
95:06
that women are expected to expected to
95:08
participate in is incredibly reductive
95:12
when it comes to their humanity so I
95:14
think it’s not as fluid as that but I do
95:16
think in Western countries you know with
95:18
so many of my Muslim female friends who
95:20
do choose to wear the hijab I absolutely
95:23
support it I choose not to my
95:24
grandmother didn’t use it my mother
95:26
doesn’t use it but a lot of other women
95:28
do they have done in the past and they
95:30
will continue to in the future and I
95:31
support that when it comes to the burka
95:33
for me personally not so much will if a
95:36
woman sits herself down here right now
95:38
and says look here this is my choice I
95:40
really feel more comfortable this way I
95:42
would say great I will fight for your
95:44
right to do so but when it comes to
95:46
three year olds four year olds five year
95:48
olds I’m not a fan of that but can it be
95:52
feminist it can be I don’t particularly
95:54
like I don’t know how many times I’m
95:57
gonna say that I don’t particularly like
95:58
the book as you can imagine about it
96:01
yeah what about auntie fur our Auntie
96:05
fur as bad as the far right how do you
96:07
mean by as bad as you know volatile
96:10
aggressive extremists I do think that
96:14
aspects of the auntie fur are becoming I
96:18
think there’s a Co radicalization going
96:20
on I think the extreme right and the
96:22
extreme left are kind of feeding off
96:23
each other and I do think that in in and
96:26
again I think masculinity comes here
96:28
more than anything else I think in in
96:29
the attempt to outdo the other end of
96:32
the spectrum I think both sides are
96:34
becoming more and more willing to to
96:37
relegate their political views to
96:40
violent expression which I disagree with
96:43
regardless of which side it comes from
96:45
but obviously my political leaning is on
96:48
the left anyway so I mean I’ve been a
96:50
part of kind of the ante for protests in
96:53
my own life and you got that spray the I
96:56
did I used to be a Nazi when I see
96:58
remember that other day yeah remember
97:00
that one are they as bad as each other I
97:04
think it depends on their behavior I
97:07
don’t agree with violence no matter who
97:11
perpetrates it does have some general
97:13
principles like that isn’t it let’s not
97:14
have violence there
97:15
let people express their individuality
97:17
and up to harming others yeah consent
97:22
just basic ideas right there are some
97:25
general principles that we can have the
97:29
label saying no have we surpassed all
97:32
that people are just saying five stuff
97:33
out there now they’ve gone it’s just you
97:36
know people I am recording this we’re
97:38
having this conversation hey this is the
97:43
thing say when I chatted to Jordan
97:45
Peterson and he says that much of the
97:48
rise of the current wave of feminism and
97:51
the anger inhered within it is in
97:54
accordance with us a archetype known as
97:58
the I can’t really the exact sort of the
98:02
exact archetype is saying that it’s in
98:04
accordance with an idea of that sort of
98:05
a negative female energy like the
98:07
devouring mother that what we protest
98:10
against is the sort of like you know
98:11
that there’s the possibility for the
98:13
positive male the you know benevolent
98:15
king they’re cruel King the benevolent
98:18
mother they’re cruel mother that we are
98:21
experiencing not you know people took a
98:23
lot about toxic masculinity what about
98:25
toxic femininity that’s a good more
98:27
succinct way of saying that there is
98:30
such a thing do you think so toxic
98:32
femininity do yeah that’s the my
98:34
question I mean III don’t know how that
98:36
manifests itself I don’t know how was
98:38
right – rage rage against the patriarchy
98:42
commerce but how is that toxic I mean
98:45
it’s it’s if you are on the receiving
98:46
end of persecution abuse violence
98:50
oppression for centuries
98:53
then if women dare to be angry for once
98:58
and not fill that the prescribed boxes
99:01
of be a good thing of government be
99:03
obedient
99:04
be be you know be a good girl don’t
99:07
react to be polite if women for once get
99:11
angry at being cut walking brutalized
99:14
and that’s it yeah yeah but what about
99:19
min ago when you just said with Muslims
99:22
we can’t have one category that is
99:24
Muslim with 1.5 billion people this the
99:27
need
99:29
to verify the the feminism is that there
99:32
is such a thing as a woman and that
99:34
there is such a thing as female
99:35
oppression couldn’t we similarly regard
99:37
oppression as happening at the level of
99:39
economics of under classes that occurs
99:42
regardless of gender well but it happens
99:46
because of agenda it happens but but you
99:49
but there are multiple layers of
99:50
oppression though that there’s not one
99:52
women don’t experience oppression just
99:55
because of their gender women also have
99:57
class women also have race you know all
99:59
these other markers aren’t just the
100:02
luxury of men or just the identifiers of
100:05
men they’re also identified identifiers
100:07
of women so women experience all the
100:10
layers of oppression that for example a
100:12
working-class man a working-class woman
100:14
experienced all the same forms of
100:17
oppression that are working-class mandus
100:18
but she has one added form of oppression
100:22
which also is assigned to her gender so
100:25
a woman can be standing out in in the
100:29
streets of or Tahrir Square in Egypt
100:31
right fighting against the oppressor
100:33
against Mubarak at the time
100:36
the Arab Spring when that was going on
100:38
she can be standing shoulder to shoulder
100:40
with her male you know there they were
100:42
demanding for freedom and and liberty
100:44
and dignity and bread and and you know
100:46
various other things but that woman also
100:50
has the added pressure of being
100:53
oppressed and abused potentially by her
100:55
father brother husband partner but the
100:58
man doesn’t I also work a lot with
101:00
artistic freedom and an artists who are
101:02
persecuted and in prison and tortured
101:04
and censored for various reasons women
101:07
experienced all the same things as their
101:08
male counterparts female journalists
101:10
experienced the same thing as their
101:12
their male counterparts with the added
101:14
layer of abuse that comes with the fact
101:17
that you’re a woman I understand this
101:20
Jordan Peters I think I actually only
101:21
got familiar with him through your work
101:23
actually people kept mentioning his name
101:25
I’m you know I’m still not that familiar
101:27
with him I appreciate the fact that he
101:29
is tracked he trying to speak to
101:30
something in men who are really
101:32
struggling and are really searching for
101:34
something I really appreciate that and I
101:35
think it’s really important that
101:36
somebody speak to that however I don’t
101:39
think that that needs to be at
101:40
expensive women and at the expense of
101:42
women getting to manifest their there
101:45
for Humanity it doesn’t have to be
101:47
either/or that’s what I do but perhaps
101:49
then we shouldn’t be opposing those
101:52
arguments by using its binary opposite
101:55
perhaps we should be continually
101:56
rejecting those terms those labels
102:01
female male you know I’m not suggesting
102:04
that we’ve become some kind of beingness
102:07
but just be human we can I agree with
102:11
you I agree with you but I think I think
102:13
we can try to aspire to the label of
102:16
human but the the reason these labels
102:19
matter in the process of getting to that
102:21
place is until and until oppression and
102:26
violence and an abuse of women stops in
102:30
the name of their gender in the name of
102:33
because you are a woman you are less
102:36
than until that stops we don’t get to
102:40
the category of we are all human
102:42
all women want all feminism is about
102:44
it’s not an T male it’s not we want men
102:48
to have less rights or we want now it’s
102:50
the time of women they want women to
102:52
take men to take a back seat
102:54
it is about liberating us all to just
102:57
yeah but when you speak on behalf of a
103:00
kind of spiritual progressivism you
103:03
speak as an individual when you speak in
103:04
terms of gender you speak as if feminism
103:06
is one you near when I would imagine
103:09
there are possibility many times I feel
103:10
it is different no no no I I don’t speak
103:12
of it as a unit I speak more as the
103:17
general experiences of women across the
103:21
world having done the work that I’ve
103:22
done and of course I can only you know
103:24
be in contact with so many people
103:26
personally but in the contact that I
103:28
have had it is absolutely undeniable
103:33
that women are suffering in so many
103:37
different contexts around the world
103:39
whether it comes to equal pay whether it
103:43
comes to equal protection under the law
103:45
whether it comes to protection from
103:47
violence whether it comes from there
103:50
just basic dignity and human rights when
103:53
something is expand
103:54
even as global as that how can you know
103:56
like I’m a man and but my most important
104:00
relationship in my life are with women
104:02
there all of them like so like I
104:05
obviously have a vested interest in the
104:08
people I love most living in a fair and
104:10
equal society
104:12
yeah I’m not particularly unique among
104:17
men
104:18
you’re not other than the charisma and
104:19
the eyebrows let’s not rule them out I
104:21
like it in loads of ways I’d like my
104:23
priorities would be the people I love
104:25
and the people I love are women and this
104:27
is where I do have I mean I do have
104:29
arguments with my feminist friends who
104:30
basically say you know me some of them
104:33
do say you know men are kind of a lost
104:35
cause all that kind of right there are
104:37
different types of feminism I’m not
104:39
saying that there aren’t I’m not saying
104:40
that there aren’t to me the goal is that
104:45
we all get to a place where we are just
104:47
human that’s got to be the goal that is
104:49
the goal that absolutely is the goal and
104:51
that is also the goal of a lot of
104:53
feminists maybe not all as a woman
104:57
believe that one of the areas that most
104:59
needs to be addressed is gender
105:00
inequality and then I as a man believe
105:02
for some quirky biographical reason
105:05
think iceberg to do with class and
105:07
oppression that have dinner Lille I know
105:09
but it’s I don’t believe that it’s just
105:11
got to do with gender I believe that
105:12
it’s got to do with gender class race
105:15
icon it’s got to do with all of it
105:18
that’s that’s the difference I’m saying
105:21
that gender is one more layer of
105:23
identity or one more layer of the
105:25
experience of being a human being that
105:28
defines what that experience is for for
105:30
an individual for a human in the time
105:33
that we have here so I’m not saying that
105:35
it’s not class not race not all of this
105:38
it absolutely is but one more experience
105:41
is also gender and I also want to say
105:43
that you being a man and like you just
105:45
said you know your closest relationships
105:47
or you know kind of investments in human
105:49
beings are actually with a lot of women
105:51
I think where a lot of feminists are
105:56
struggling or where we need to do better
105:59
if I mean I don’t really like a group
106:01
thing anyway but there you go if we have
106:04
to speak in those terms I I think we’re
106:06
feminists could
106:07
better is to understand that we are only
106:10
going to win these battles shoulder to
106:12
shoulder it has to be man and women
106:14
together
106:15
it cannot be women will win this battle
106:17
and men will win this battle and then
106:19
we’ll somehow figure it out together
106:20
it’s we have to fight together but you
106:22
tell me how do we involve more men you
106:24
know every like when I’ve been to
106:26
conferences and and conversations or
106:28
whatever about violence against women
106:29
the entire room it’s filled with women
106:32
the perpetrator is male so where’s the
106:35
guy I reckon it’s by you know luck when
106:38
we talked about James Baldwin I mean it
106:40
go yeah it’s by reconciling that the
106:44
identity is non-binary of sort of a
106:47
modern gender politics idea within that
106:51
you have to liberate the femaleness that
106:55
is almost like a kind of internal brexit
106:59
well fifty-one percent you know wanna
107:01
leave forty-nine percent want to stay
107:04
any man is almost female that we are
107:08
closer to reject these terms to liberate
107:11
the female within yourself to
107:12
acknowledge that women are the most
107:15
important people probably in your own
107:17
life and not to commodify and objectify
107:21
other human beings and to look at how
107:25
look at your own life and see where you
107:27
do that and see and be willing to change
107:30
a lot of people aren’t willing to change
107:31
I think you can do with anyone who’s
107:33
willing to change you hasn’t ossified
107:34
into a belief system that they use
107:37
instead of an identity yeah but I think
107:39
that that means that both sides of the
107:41
argument have to as you said be willing
107:43
to stand shoulder to shoulder willing to
107:44
reconcile willing to have a shared
107:46
vision is about creating an ideal as
107:49
opposed to venting ray yes and I mean
107:52
ultimately the goal like we said you
107:53
know it is about how do we ensure that’s
107:56
that people’s full humanity and whatever
107:59
their dreams and their hopes and their
108:01
their loves and and and whatever that
108:03
whatever their vision of themselves and
108:06
their future is that that gets to
108:08
manifest its manifest itself in its full
108:11
flourishing positive wonderful glory and
108:14
how do we how do we do that together how
108:17
do we do that without demeaning each
108:20
other
108:20
and to me the answer it’s sort of in my
108:23
kind of personal sort of small life is
108:26
being empathy empathy is kind of one of
108:28
the most important tools and one of the
108:30
most instruments I think that we have
108:32
available to us that we need to deploy
108:34
in that and and there within that is
108:37
it’s about stories how do we tell
108:40
stories in a way that we see ourselves
108:43
in each other where we recognize our
108:45
humanity in each other where we make it
108:47
possible for a disenfranchised man to
108:51
recognize what it might be like to be a
108:54
woman who’s experiencing violence and
108:56
vice versa you know and how do we and
108:58
also for us to recognize that a lot of
109:01
these barriers are sort of barriers and
109:04
divisions these walls I mean Trump keeps
109:06
talking about building a physical so
109:08
what are you for but but you know he’s
109:11
been so successful at building walls
109:13
between us as human beings already that
109:15
wall doesn’t the physical doesn’t exist
109:17
he’s already being successful in that so
109:19
how do we break down those walls how do
109:21
we create some more in plural inclusive
109:24
future you’re an incredible person I
109:27
think that what you are doing by placing
109:32
yourself among the people that you would
109:34
have the most obvious conflict is a
109:37
brilliant way of metabolizing our
109:40
potential to transcend those barriers
109:44
and boundaries and create connections
109:46
and ultimately having the optimistic
109:49
perspective that you clearly have that
109:51
love is more powerful than I that we
109:53
will get there that you will never undo
109:56
hatred with more hatred and that we have
109:58
to continually reach out in love to the
110:00
people that we have opposed it and
110:02
certainly those that oppose us yes dear
110:05
Wow what an incredible conversation that
110:06
is I feel a little bit like I’ve taken
110:08
drugs word drugs likewise thank you
110:14
you know thanks for watching this
110:16
podcast and going all the way to the end
110:18
of it was using kind of to kick the bell
110:19
when I’ve been able over there and
110:21
they’re subscribing so that we can
110:23
infiltrate your serenity and peace of
110:27
mind with jangling bells and buzzers