Just Some Thoughts.. Media Power?

I came across this article when researching some ideas to support my argument for my last reaction paper. I thought it might be an interesting read for some of you. I want to suggest that we all take a step back and think about the role that the media plays in our knowledge of issues such as riots and police brutality that we have discussed in class. The media tells us countless stories and shows us images of violence by law enforcement, but do we ever stop to think about how much POWER the media truly has? The majority of us get all of our information from the news or social media, but with media often comes clear bias which not all members of the public are able to account for. These are just some thoughts I have been wrestling with as we have discussed these topics over the past few weeks. (:



(migrating older info from CP playlist)

Ben Harper – Better Way

Michael Franti and Spearhead: Hey World

For some reason, this song runs through my head when we talk about machines, and the somewhat self-righteous reaction against them: (the lyric “some will rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen.”) Woody Guthrie – Pretty Boy Floyd

On graffiti and urban policing: Michelle Shocked, Graffiti Limbo. About the actual killing of a graffiti artist in NYC in the 1980s.

From Lorna:

Imagine – John Lennon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRhq-yO1KN8
Marvin Gaye – Inner City Blues https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57Ykv1D0qEE

From Dominique:

In class, we spoke about growth machines that produce wealth for those in power by encouraging real estate development at the taxpayers’ expense. Similarly, the machine in this song is the music industry, producing wealth for the already affluent mainstream sellouts, at the expense of the creativity and originality of growth for the musicians they sponsor. I immediately thought about this song when we started reading Ferman’s book and each time we spoke about growth machines. Hope you enjoy 🙂

“Welcome to the Machine”–Pink Floyd

my reply: Dominique – that reminded me of THIS song, referencing the same sort of machine, but in a Smiths-y sort of way:

From Michael:

Seeing that we’re on the subject of “non-routine” collective action, I wanted to share a song that fits with the theme of this section of the course.


It’s called “I’m Against the Government” by a band called Defiance, Ohio. idk how you guys embedded links in text on this section so I’m not going to fool with it

From Rachael S:

Big Yellow Taxi- Counting Crows

From Julia:

Common, John Legend – <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUZOKvYcx_o” title=”Glory” rel=”nofollow”>
Pete Seeger – <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJUkOLGLgwg” title=”We Shall Overcome” rel=”nofollow”>
The Specials – <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgcTvoWjZJU” title=”Nelson Mandela” rel=”nofollow”>
Arabian Knightz ft. Lauryn Hill – <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z696QHAbMIA” title=”Rebel” rel=”nofollow”>
Madeline Davis – <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR8BK56mHOw” title=”Stonewall Nation” rel=”nofollow”>


And then lots and lots of songs.

So this is the post I put on facebook last night:

It’s been pretty unrelentingly rough in my community power class for a couple of weeks. (That’s what happens when studying riots, police brutality, other forms of structural and interpersonal violence), soooo I need to play them some good songs of fighting the good fight and social justice and winning. I’ll surely include “all you fascists” by billy bragg, but what else???

Here are the many responses:

“I fought the Law” by the Clash and the Dead Kennedys

Public Enemy “Fight the Power” (many votes, including this “Spike Lee version” which uses some civil rights movement footage as a counterpoint) And “911 is a Joke

–also Fight the Power by Isley brothers

Patti Smith “People Have the Power

Elvis Costello “(Whats so Funny About) Peace Love and Understanding

Bob Dylan “The Times They are a Changing

Gil Scott-Heron “The Revolution will Not Be Televised

Nina Simone – “Mississippi Goddam

Sweet Honey in the Rock: “Our Side Won,” and  “Ella’s Song

Rage Against the Machine: “Killing in the Name

CSNY: “Carry on” and “Ohio

La Santa Cecilia – “ICE El Hielo

Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – “Hypocrisy of the Greatest Luxury” and “Television, Drug of the Nation

Revolution by Arrested Development, or the Beatles

Michael Franti – “Yell Fire!

We Shall Not be Moved – here by Mavis Staples

Lupe Fiasco – “The End of the World” (Occupy)

Red Leo & the Pharmacists – “CIA

Stereolab – “With Friends Like These

Sam Cooke – “Change is Gonna Come

Curtis Mayfield – “People Get Ready” — or by Eva Cassidy

John Lennon – “Imagine

Wu-Tang Clan – “A Better Tomorrow

“Redemption Song” by Bob Marley, ably covered by Joe Strummer

Free Nelson Mandela” by the Specials (Julia posted this early in the semester, too)

Jacob George “Soldier’s Heart




















Podcasts, police

Hey y’all, I mentioned this yesterday, so –

Here’s a two-part podcast from This American Life on policing & Black communities.


*the prologue of this one is one of the stories I was thinking of when we talked about police responses to calls for assistance from Black communities.



*Act 2 (An Inconvenient Store) tells an incredible story about police harassment of one person, repeatedly, as part of a policy, and the impacts on his life.

There’s another one I’m looking for – I’ll add it if I find it.


Interesting Article about the Clean Power Plan

Link Here

So I do not know how I stumbled upon this article but I found it very interesting in relation to community power. It talks about the Environmental Protection Agency’s, Clean Power Plan. It stated that, “Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC) called for equity and inclusion for low-income communities of color as states develop and implement CPP-mandate carbon reduction plans”. They want to ensure that every community is apart of this plan and benefits from it. We can tell that most of the time, low income communities have less power and are not able to fight back to have a say in what goes on in their neighborhoods. The EPA stated that it requires states to say how they engaged in the low income communities of color while developing CPP’s in order for states to receive early investment rewards. In the middle of the article is says that communities near power plants, which are usually low income communities like we learned in class, are subject to higher rates of pollution. One main point in the article stated that, ” high rates of pollution-related illness such as cancer, asthma and other respiratory diseases in communities of color to the reality that 68 percent of African-Americans and 40 percent of Latinos live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant and more than half of Asian Pacific Islanders in the United States live in counties with unhealthy air quality”. I think that just shows how bad this problem really is! However, the ending was very positive saying that, “CEIP (Clean Energy Incentive Program) gives vulnerable communities the opportunity to generate wealth by turning property owners and communities into energy producers through community ownership of energy resources, as well as to create clean-energy jobs for local residents”. Hopefully this will actually happen and these communities will get cleaner and better. Not only would it help the environment in which they live in, but it will also help their economy. I do not know a lot of details on any of this but I am going to look into this more! Hope everyone like this, sorry it was so long!


things I think about while reading Abu-Lughod talking about Chicago

  1. Reminder of the concentric zone model:https://www.flickr.com/photos/rllayman/6605934195/


  2. Much reference in ch 3 of rioters wanting to “disrupt the normal routine” – in the 1990s I was a member of ACT UP in San Francisco & then in Philly. (The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power – we were bad ass. Look us up if you’ve not heard of us.) One common chant as we pressured pharmaceutical companies was: No more business as usual, AIDS won’t wait. It was not about “boredom” — one way to interpret the need for disruption, for a world outside of normalcy. Instead, it is a sense that life/death matters are at stake – that we/society should not keep operating as though nothing were wrong. That’s what I feel when reading Abu-Lughod talk about these high school students not wanting schools and businesses to carry on as normal – nothing normal after King was murdered.      (See this interview for some ACT UP context: http://https://www.linktv.org/shows/link-voices/aids-activist-reflects-on-his-life-changing-act-up-experience