Follow the Money evoked in me an odd mixture of feelings: fascination, indignation, awe, and rage. I learned a good deal from it and met people, amazing people, who I had never heard of. I’ve got to add another emotion: envy. Why?
Because in Pennsylvania prisons where some 51,000 plus souls reside, Dennis Bernstein’s Flashpoints are not heard. We’re in Pennsylvania, 3000 miles away. Also there’s no internet access in these joints, so the steering, soul-touching, and moving interviews with Dennis and his guests are lost to us.
That is, until Follow the Money. Now that these remarkable interviews are available in print, the vast world of social, ecological, labor, gender, political, national insecurity, legal strategies are open to millions beyond Pacifica’s frequencies.
Here we see that Bernstein has one of the best jobs in the world. He talks to fascinating people from a wide and brilliant array of life. Most are engaged in some of the most challenging struggles of this era against entrenched state and corporate power.
Here we see activists and participants in the battles against state and corporate snooping on the people, against the growing repression machine especially versus black and brown bodies, against gender sexual expression, dangerous order wars, global assaults on the world’s peoples and environments, the horrors of Palestinian existence under the heels of the Zionist apartheid occupation, and much, much more.
Another feeling: anger. Why anger, you wonder? I’ve learned of people’s struggles that have been largely ignored by the complacent corporate media. Here there are hundreds of untold stories that could and should be told by the corporate media. To this date, most of these stories remain untouched and untold.
This is an immense disservice to the American public, proving beyond capital that the nation’s media is primarily the purveyor of infotainment to dazzle, distract, and delude viewers, readers, and listeners—not to inform them. So when you read these interviews and learn of these pivotal events in the life of the nation, how can you not get angry? How can you not feel that corporate news is little more than a basket of emptiness of echoing fog?
Bernstein’s Flashpoints provide a powerful search light through that fog. It is common for people, especially young people, to pine for the good old days of the sixties. They often lament the lack of movements in the U.S. today.
No one can read Follow the Money and come to such a conclusion ever again, for the nation is bursting with movements, for people are fighting with hope, imagination, and deep love against the forces of greed, exploitation, and expropriation by the minions of capitalism, racism, militarism, and unjust state power.
Dennis Bernstein has brought some truly remarkable minds, voices, and hearts to his listening audiences at KPFA’s Flashpoints. Now these beautiful minds can speak to new audiences of readers, not only in prison, where by the way, there are voracious readers, across the country and indeed worldwide, I found these interviews both enlightening and delightful. Thank you, Dennis.
This is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.