Jimmy Dore Just Left TYT. Like With Jimmy Baldwin, A Strong Backbone Is Neccessary When Criticizing The Fear Mongering of Lesser-Of-Two-Evil Voting.
On Friday afternoon I noticed on my YouTube account page that there was a little icon saying that there was a new Jimmy Dore video, and under it said "Live Now." There was also something saying that there were over 8k viewers at that moment. So I clicked on.
I've become a pretty big fan of his show these past almost three years, having been lifted by his fearless and often times extremely hilarious commentary during the 2016 primary, and recognizing that, similar to how I feel about fellow comedian and social/political critic George Carlin, I agree with his views to a large or very large extent (though they're not quite on the same intellectual level, though in all fairness not many come close to Carlin, who stands atop, along with Hicks, to me).
As I listened to the free form live show he was hosting with (his wife, I believe) Stef Zamorano, I noticed, once I could pry my eyes from the entertaining and provocative real-time discussion board that was scrolling by at a clip, that there among the related videos on the sidebar was a similar "LIVE NOW" video for TYT. It had 9k viewers. As someone pointed out in the discussion board, Jimmy was now drawing about as many viewers as Cenk and Ana, the main anchors of TYT, were. That, I thought was pretty impressive. During the time I was watching he indeed did crack 9k viewers. On this broadcast he dropped the bomb that he'd be making a special announcement the next day.
So I'm not surprised at all really that he's left the umbrella there. We've all here at C99 levied legitimate criticism of TYT that still stands: that when the chips were down after Bernie had been cheated they went all in for $hillary. They espoused the LOTE vote, and then dove deep in on the massive Russian Red Herring Hysteria Meltdown, otherwise known as Russiagate. Jimmy didn't pull his punches on where he stood on these issues, as he continued to appear there on the Aggressive Progressives show (though I didn't watch it that often) and then didn't appear on the main show (as far as I know) much at all; while at the same time his own show just kept getting bigger and bigger, in my view as a direct result of the positions he took which were not getting much airing at all on mainstream media channels.
I don't know what any of this departure means in terms of his media associations, only that he certainly deserves all the accolades and success he's earned as a truth-teller and one who refused to tow the company line there. There's potentially a very big audience for him, which is evident in his now over half a million subscribers.
Jimmy spoke loudly and a lot about the fear-mongering farce of LOTE voting. A few weeks ago during the little free time I get I chose to get on my bicycle and meander around the city, which I love to do. But I kind of knew where I was going: to my favorite bookstore (Human Relations, the sister store of the other fave, Book Thug, owned and operated by Occupy Wall St mates). It's difficult to leave either place without a short stack but this time I was lucky enough to find an absolute gem in the first 5 minutes. And as I moved it with me around the store looking for another hour and a half while reading passages of a dozen or so other books, I decided I would put all others aside and plunk down the top dollar they wanted (relatively) for a rare James Baldwin book, more than twice as much as the usual $6-10 range of stuff. When I brought it up the counter, my Occupy mate smiled proudly and simply said, "Fuck yeah...(shaking his head) This book online goes for easily $40 or so."
Anyway, I've read about 50 pages, relishing every single sentence of this extraordinary writer; and every time I pick it up it's uncanny that I hear it in my mind in Baldwin's distinctive, high oratory voice.
This passage, from an essay called "We Can Change The Country" written in 1963, hit me hard (as so much of the book has already). He speaks fiercely (I think this one, like others, was the transcription of a speech) as a clear-eyed, dissident critic of American empire, capitalism, racism and the farce of our democracy, particularly LOTE voting. And when I heard Dore's announcement and thought of his consistent critique of LOTE voting I thought I'd include this (which I couldn't find online and so dictated into the speech-to-text command so that I could share it here):
New York is a segregated city. It is not segregated by accident; it is not an act of God that keeps the Negroes in Harlem. It is the real estate boards and the banks that do it. And when you attack that, that's where the power is. For example, I ask all of you to ask yourselves what would happen if Harlem refused to pay the rent for a month. We've got to bring the cat out of hiding. And where is he? He's hiding in the bank. We've got to flush them out. We have to begin a massive campaign of civil disobedience. I mean nationwide. And this is no stage joke. Some laws should not be obeyed.
Secondly, when I talk about our political institutions, there's no reason for any American to continue to be victimized by what we still refer to as the Republican and Democratic parties. Speaking for myself, I cannot imagine voting for any Republican, because the party contains Goldwater. I cannot imagine voting for any Democrat, because that party contains Eastland. It is important to bear in mind, or to recover the notion, that we are responsible for our government and the government is responsible to us. The government is supposed to represent us. It is time that the government knew that if the government does not represent us, if it insists on representing a handful of nostalgic Southern colonels, the government will be replaced.
For a very long time, we have operated on the theory of the lesser of two evils. For example, I myself was so terrified of that salesman called Nixon that I allowed myself to be stampeded into the Kennedy camp. And I believe that was done, if you remember, by a phone call to Martin Luther King, when he was in jail. That swung the Negro vote. Well, the man has been in power for quite some time. If we care about the country – and not only the area of civil rights – it is time to serve notice on our representatives that they are under obligation to represent us and that they cannot be said to represent us if they continually betray 20 million citizens. It is time to let the government know that we will no longer accept this peculiar, pathetic excuse: “We have no right to act.” If they can invade Cuba, they can act. It is time to say, and unequivocally, that I – speaking now for myself, Jimmy Baldwin, and speaking for myself as though I were white even – I don't see any reason why I shouldn't invade Havana. I would much rather invade Miami.
The moral leaders of the Free World are in great trouble. This is not a free country, and if you doubt me, will you leave here, walk or ride up to 125th street and walk through those streets and ask yourself what you'd feel like if you lived there, why you lived there if you did, and why it looks like a concentration camp. I mean the police walking two by two and three by three. Ask yourself what chances you have, if you lived there, to get theft or fire or life insurance. Now, this, as I said, it's not an act of God. It is an act of the nation, and it began not quite 100 years ago when the North signed a bargain with the South: they would take me out of the cotton fields and lift me over to the factories, where I've been ever since. If you doubt me, check it out with your labor unions. Ask yourself why the Puerto Ricans and the Negroes are pushing carts in the Garment Center and nobody else…
And finally, let me leave you with this: the government pretends it has no right to arrest Governor Wallace, but I know that governors have been impeached. The FBI has not been able to find a single bomber. And Alabama alone, 50 bombings and not one culprit – not yet. The FBI can't find them. Let me tell you why they can't find them. They can't afford to. They stay at the homes of the people who did the bombings. And when they come into town they investigate the students. We are the guilty party when they come into Birmingham and Mississippi, they don't investigate the Ku Klux Klan or the White Citizens' Council or the mayor. They investigate the people in the streets.
Here he is in his own words (joined on the set by Abby Martin):
And a sympathetic view from Jamarl Thomas,
And then Jordan Chariton's take (another ex-TYT guy):
(Edited to correct some of the speech-to-text errors in the Baldwin transcription)