Democracy Now! January 9, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! January 9, 2002
Series Title:
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Examples of the New McCarthyism: Radical, African-American cartoonist Aaron McGruder sees his comic strip pulled from newspapers across the country : An educator at the U.S. Institute for Peace suggests that the US should do some soul-searching and not retaliate with military force. She is forced to resign. A guide at a small museum in Texas gives the FBI a special tour of an exhibit on Americas covert wars. The secret service pays a visit to a college freshman for having an anti-Bush poster in her room.

9:07-9:20: THE NEW MCCARTHYISM: RADICAL AFRICAN-AMERICAN CARTOONIST AARON MCGRUDERS BOONDOCKS COMIC STRIP IS PULLED FROM NEWSPAPERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY Im looking at a cartoon. It shows a young African-American named Huey calling the FBIs anonymous terrorism tip line. He says, "Im very serious. I know of several Americans who have helped train and finance Osama bin Laden.The voice on the other end says, And how did you come by this information? A little investigating. It wasnt that hard, actually. Okay, give me some names. All right. Lets see the first one is REAGAN. Thats R-E-A-G Hello? Hello? In the next days strip, Huey says into the telephone, Why do you keep hanging up on me? Im telling the truth! The CIA trained Osama bin Laden in using terrorism against the Soviets during the Reagan-Bush administration. They gave the Afghanistan rebels countless amounts of covert funding! The voice on the phone replies, Dont you have better things to be doing? Better than fighting terrorism? Heck no! Were at war! This is just a sample of the work well-known radical cartoonist Aaron McGruder has been putting out since September 11 in his strip, The Boondocks. The Boondocks runs in some 250 publications across the country. But in the new climate of intolerance for dissent or even debate, many newspapers have dropped the strip. The New York Daily News dropped it for about a month and a half. Right now, the editor makes day-to-day decisions on whether to run the strip, depending on its content. Newsday in Long Island chose not to run the Sept. 11-inspired strips the first week they appeared. The Dallas Morning News has moved The Boondocks to a separate section altogether from other comics. McGruder responded to the censorship on October 17, when he ran a strip that began with an official looking Editors Note. It reads: Due to the inappropriate political content of this feature in recent weeks, it is being replaced by The Adventures of Flagee and Ribbon, which we hope will help children understand the complexities of current events. United We Stand. For the next few days, the patriotic characters explained that terrorism is caused by people who hate our freedom of speech. They railed against radical-hippie-communists who dare to raise the issue of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. And they urged people to fight terrorism by spending money. For the next two segments were going to talk to a number of people who have experienced The New McCarthyism, but right now were joined by Aaron McGruder. GUEST: AARON MCGRUDER, syndicated cartoonist of The Boondocks CONTACT: 9:21-9:40: THE NEW MCCARTHYISM, PART II: AN EDUCATOR AT THE U.S. INSTITUTE FOR PEACE SUGGESTS THAT THE US SHOULD RECONSIDER ITS FOREIGN POLICY AND NOT RETALIATE WITH MILITARY FORCE, AND SHE IS FORCED TO RESIGN; A GUIDE AT A SMALL MUSEUM IN TEXAS GIVES THE FBI A SPECIAL TOUR OF AN EXHIBIT ON AMERICAS COVERT WARS; THE SECRET SERVICE PAYS A VISIT TO A COLLEGE FRESHMAN FOR HAVING AN ANTI-BUSH POSTER IN HER ROOM The New McCarthyism, the cover story of the current issue of The Progressive magazine, begins: Donna Huanca works as a docent at the Art car Museum, an avant-garde gallery in Houston. Around 10:30 on the morning of November 7, before she opened the museum, two men wearing suits and carrying leather portfolios came to her door. I told them to wait until we opened at 11:00, she recalls. Then they pulled their badges out. The two men were Terrence Donahue of the FBI and Steven Mith of the Secret Service. They said they had several reports of anti-American activity going on here and wanted to see the exhibit, she says. The museum was running a show called Secret Wars, which contains many anti-war statements that were commissioned before September 11. GUEST: DONNA HUANCA, a guide at the Art Car Museum in Houston, Texas. She gave federal agents a detailed tour of Secret Wars, an exhibit on Americas covert wars GUEST: MATT ROTHSCHILD, editor of the Progressive Magazine CONTACT: GUEST: A.J. BROWN, freshman at Durham Technical School Community College who was visited by the secret service because she had an anti-Bush poster hanging in her room. TAPE: KATIE SIERRA, high school student who was suspended for wearing a t-shirt on which she had written, "When I saw the dead and dying Afghani children on TV, I felt a newly recovered sense of national security. God Bless America." She and her mother are suing the school. Democracy Now! in Exile interviewed her on December 11, 2001.CONTACT: GUEST: BARBARA WIEN longtime peace educator and activist who resigned from the US Institute for Peace under severe pressure, after stating publicly that she hoped that the US didnt retaliate quickly without thinking. TAPE: BARRY REINGOLD, retired PG&E worker who was visited by the FBI for criticizing U.S. foreign policy at his local gym in San Francisco. Democracy Now! in Exile interviewed him on December 24, 2001.

Date Recorded on: 
January 9, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
January 9, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. January 9, 2002
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