Transcript, Web links and Credits below.
Hey Everybody! If you have not yet heard Episode #59, I’d love for you to hear that first before you dig in here. Today’s episode goes hand in hand with it. Start there, and listen to today’s episode after you learn the four points I made yesterday on how we make change.
If you learned those points, then I am assuming you are ready to make change with me. Over 20,000 of you have now signed up, and we’re ready.
And hear my heart. It’s time to roll. What Trump and his supporters pulled last night at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina wasn’t just gross, it wasn’t just politically incorrect — what they pulled last night — in front of an arena of 20,000 people that ended up looking like a KKK rally — what they pulled last night was dangerous, despicable, and I think ended up being one of the most racist public moments in modern political history. Not just from a President, but from any modern political figure since I’ve been born.
And we’re going to fight back. Today I’ll tell you how.
Let’s dig in. This is Shaun King and you are listening to… (The Breakdown Music Begins)
I don’t have any respect for Donald Trump. Today is the 60th episode of The Breakdown and I think we avoided mentioning him altogether on 52 of those episodes. We have a lot of work to do that doesn’t involve him. And what I know about him is that he wants to be at the center of our world. He wants to be the focus of our conversations. And for him, for the past 40 years, he has always believed that all press — that all attention — is good attention. So we’ve worked hard not to let him be the focus of this podcast.
But I find myself again needing to address the bigotry, the racism, the xenophobia, and the problematic and dangerous nature of Donald Trump. Listen — the man always has been problematic, but when he was a problematic reality TV show host, it was easy to ignore. But now the man is President of the United States. He has power. He has control of the military. He has control of hundreds of billions of dollars in our national budget. He has control of domestic security forces like ICE. He controls the Justice Department.
And he also has real sway, hardcore sway and influence with tens of millions of people. 62 million people voted for this man. We can say over and over again that he lost the vote, but 62 million people voted for him, knowing full well who he was, and he won 30 states in the Electoral College. And his base is as devoted as they’ve ever been.
Polls show it. His rallies show it. And I believe it. In case you missed it, and even if you didn’t, I need to enter into the record what Trump and thousands of his racist supporters did last night.
Speaking at the rally, after going on a 4 minute tirade about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, full of nothing but lies, the crowd there, and I mean thousands of people, starting loudly chanting, “Send her back! Send her back!”
And it was so loud, and so gross, that Trump just paused to bask in the glory of it. He didn’t correct them. He didn’t stop them. He didn’t rebuke them. He loved it. Of course he loved it — because they were literally just taking his attacks against her this past week and taking them to another level.
Let me play it for us.
Whereas Trump publicly tweeted that he wished that Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ayanna Pressley would all just go back to where they came from, yesterday, this chant of “Send her back!” was much more dangerous and nefarious. It’s the natural progression of public racism from the President of the United States. His followers are running with it.
And in 72 hours, we’ve all learned that Trump — and his base — are going full blown public racist on us. They are putting immigrants in danger, Muslims in danger, and they are putting Black folk and all people of color in danger.
I’m deeply concerned. I’ve said this on the podcast many times, but it’s hard to know a moment in history when you are in it — but I am sure that we’ve just crossed over into a despicable point in American history. I’ve seen Jewish men and women, over the past 24 hours, say that they’ve never compared Trump and his supporters to Hitler and Nazis before, but that nothing reminded them more of Hitler — and of Nazis — than what Trump and his followers pulled last night.
Listen to me — I’m dead serious. This is a dangerous, dangerous progression of public bigotry. And we’re going to have to fight back.
In 1847, my heroes, Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany, at the height of slavery in this nation, launched an abolitionist newspaper called The North Star, and earlier this year, we were proud to relaunch it. And this podcast is a part of The North Star – and we wouldn’t be here without the generous support of our members.
But today, we are launching the political organizing arm of our work. And we need all hands on deck. Here are you ACTION STEPS for today!
(ACTION STEPS MUSIC)
I am so incredibly excited to share this announcement with you all.
In my faith tradition we have a saying that you may have heard before, “God laughs at our plans.” And all it really means is that we all make plans, but that life has so many twists and turns that you sometimes have to make a hard pivot to go with the flow — and that’s where we are today.
We hoped to be launching this in about a month, but we’re in one of those moments in human history, where we can’t wait a month. We have to act right here, right now.
In his “I Have a Dream Speech,” Dr. King had a brilliant line that I memorized over 20 years ago: “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.”
Over 20,000 of you have signed up to be a part of our Action Team that we call The Breakdown Crew. Over 50,000 people have taken our Action Steps since we launched the podcast in April. And we’ve already had victory after victory together — passing laws, ousting corrupt politicians, electing brilliant new ones, holding violent police accountable, and so much more.
But now, we’re about to make our work official.
Today we are announcing the creation of The Action PAC — a fully registered political organization that will allow us to directly support courageous people running for office. The Action PAC will allow us to directly challenge racist and corrupt politicians and their policies. The Action PAC will allow us to craft and propose new laws and ballot initiatives and new pieces of legislation that radically transform this country from the inside out.
The team behind The Action PAC includes almost every skilled leader and organizer that has made The Real Justice PAC possible.
Three years ago when we launched The Real Justice PAC to oust horrible district attorneys and replace them with compassionate change agents — people thought we were crazy. Nothing like it existed, but, in three years, we’ve won races all over the country, from Philadelphia and Boston to San Antonio and St. Louis. We’re going to keep doing that work. We’re helping to lead races all over the country right now, but The Action PAC is something altogether different.
Because we have you.
We have 20,000 people registered to be a part of this team, and we’re gonna make change happen from the ground up. We’ll be nimble enough to support local leaders who want to transform cities through city councils and Mayoral races, nimble enough to support leaders who want to transform school systems on school boards, but serious enough to help flip the Senate, serious enough to endorse and support courageous candidates for Congress from coast to coast — and smart enough to know that we have to be flip state legislatures, that we have to recruit, endorse, and support brilliant people running for Secretary of State all over the country, for Attorney General all over the country. We will be crafting new laws together — for the environment, for justice reform, for workers — and we’ll be supporting and campaigning for candidates who support brilliant new laws and ideas that are already on the table.
But if you listened to Episode #59, you heard me say that we need 4 things to make change.
We need energized people, we need organized people, we need sophisticated plans that match the seriousness of the problems we’re up against, and we need to be well-funded.
One of those things is not enough. Two is not enough. Three will get some change happening. But when we get all four of those things moving in the same direction at the same time, damnit, we’re gonna make change.
And that’s what we’re about to do. That’s what this moment needs. And that’s what I’m about to ask you to support.
If you are not already a part of this team, sign up right now @ TheActionPAC.com – that’s TheActionPAC.com.
If you are already a part of this team, if you already signed up, we need you to go right now to TheActionPAC.com and do 4 things.
We’d like you to sign up to become a monthly donor to TheActionPAC.com today. With these funds we will hire our first organizers, build out phone banking and mass texting technologies, and we will begin organizing our group in serious ways so that we can utilize your skills and experience, so that we can harness our human resources, and so that we can work with you locally to do the work that we need to do all over the country.
Whether you are able to give $5 a month, or $25 or $50 a month, or maybe you can give $500 or $5,000 a month — whatever you are able to give, we are grateful for your support. And we need it to be able to build The Action PAC quickly so that we can jump right in headfirst.
And then, after you do those things, we are preparing a detailed census of our entire team so that we can begin understanding who you are and how you can best support The Action PAC, ok? We have a whole lot of work to do, and that census will be going out in just a few days.
I’ve gotta run, but I love and appreciate each of you.
Let’s get to you work. Take care everybody.
Produced by Willis Polk II
Additional Production by: Christian “Idrys” Shannon
Additional Instrumentation by: Christian “Idrys” Shannon, Lance “Lance Fury” Powlis. Markeith Black & Smok Tageous
Additional Engineering by Amond “AJ” Jackson for Salem Psalms Library
Additional Vocals by Garnett “Natti” Bush, Jason Coffey & Miranda pka 1stLady
Scratches by Kenny “DJ FlipFlop” Vanderberg