Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Jon Stewart & A Ridiculous Glenn Beck

Nice to know that you can be off the grid for a month, and things remain relatively the same.

Take the ridiculousness of Glenn Beck, for example.

In the clip below, Jon Stewart skewers the bombastic, offensive, and completely inappropriate plans of conservative nitwit Glenn Beck to deliver a “Restoring Honor” speech on the same date and the same place as Dr. Martin Luther King. Beck, of course, claims that any echoes of King’s historic speech were pure coincidence.

Stewart ain’t buying it, and neither should anyone with common sense. The entire idea of Beck delivering a speech about equality, civil rights, or social justice is laughable. And the audacity to appropriate King’s moment? Can you say “bad idea”?

“Glenn Beck does have a dream,” Stewart says. “Unfortunately, it’s the kind of dream you have when you eat four pepperoni Hot Pockets right before bed.”

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Filed under: black history, comedy, race, republican, social justice, united states of america, , , ,

Remembering the Sad Story of Emmett Till

A middle-aged African American woman steps up to a microphone in Mississippi in 1955. She says, “The whole trial was a farce.” The reporters gather around her, outside the Mississippi courthouse, crowding her, seeking more of her opinion. Was the brave woman and mother of Emmett Till surprised?

“I heard the sentence that I expected.”

The woman was Mamie Till Mobley. Her sad, utterly resigned comments came moments after the trial of two men found innocent in the murder of her 14 year-old son, Emmett Till. Why did Emmett matter?

An African American teen from Chicago is visiting relatives in Mississippi when he makes a fatal mistake. By whistling at a white woman in a grocery store, Emmett Till breaks the unwritten laws of the Jim Crow South. Three days later, two white men drag him from his bed and brutally murder him.

I’m watching PBS tonight; the documentary is “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement.” (The excerpt above is from the documentary’s website.) Eyes on the Prize‘ historical footage, often black-and-white, often grainy, with antiquated recordings, remains as relevant and timely in 2010 as it was only decades ago. I’m riveted by these long-forgotten interviews and b-roll of legendary civil rights leaders like Mose Wright and, of course, Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the 50’s and 60’s, there were more than 500 lynchings in Missisippi alone. Emmett Till was only one of the innocent men lynched. It’s important to remember Till–not only because of his horrific death and the ugly racism it symbolized, but because his death was the catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement.

Like me, you may recognize the name of Emmett Till. But how many of us remember the unjust circumstances of his death?

Filed under: black history, racism, united states of america, , , , , , , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
August 2019
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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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