In This Episode
DeRay, De’Ara, Myles and Kaya cover the underreported news of the week— including Biden’s executive order on abortion, Beyoncé’s new abuser-vetting system, the discovery of a 1955 arrest warrant from the Emmett Till case, and the Raiders historic hire of the NFL’s first Black female president.
DeRay Mckesson: Hey, this is DeRay, and welcome to Pod Save the People. In this episode, it’s just us talking about the news. There’s so much going on in the world and we want to make sure that you are up to date, that you’ve heard the latest stuff. No interview this week, just the news. We’ll have more interviews coming, but we wanted to focus on what was going on. Now my news this week is about reproductive health, abortion, and the conversation about Roe v Wade, is that it has been, frankly, hard to follow for a lot of people. Even myself, I’m paying attention and I’m like, am I getting everything, am I missing things? And I wanted to shout out the Biden administration because they put the executive order–we’ll have someone on to talk about the executive order–but today–I’m recording on Monday–the Biden administration put health care providers on notice on Monday that they must perform an abortion at the life of the mother is at risk, even if the procedure is illegal in the state where they practice. So DHHS, the Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance to hospitals and health care providers, reminding them that they have an obligation to provide stabilizing care to patients in emergency situations. And I quote, “Under the law, no matter where you live, women have the right to emergency care, including abortion care.” And the important part of this goes to one of the lessons in organizing that we, that I say all the time, this idea that if you don’t fight, you lose. That it’s not a guarantee that if you fight, you’ll win, but you know that if you don’t fight, you’ll lose. And this is one where the Republicans are, they’re doing everything they can. They’re passing laws. They just passed that law in Arizona that said it’s illegal to videotape the police. We know that’s unconstitutional because of the right to assembly and free speech. But they do it anyway because they are trying to break the system in their favor. And the only way that we win this is by using every tool we have too. So some people have asked, can the Biden administration do this? Is it legal for them to do this? And it’s like, let’s fight out in court. Let’s fight it out state by state. But it is important that HHS has come down and said, No, follow the federal guidance, all hospitals, health care providers, even if your state says it’s illegal, that women have the right in this country to emergency care, including abortion. And in the guidance that was released today, the administration cited the requirements for health care providers under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. And that law requires medical facilities to determine whether a person seeking treatment may be in labor, or whether they face an emergency health situation, or something that could develop into emergency situation, and provide treatment. And that is a good thing. So let me quote again from the, from the guidance. It says, quote, “If a physician believes that a pregnant patient presenting at an emergency department, including certain labor and delivery departments, is experiencing an emergency medical condition as defined by EMTALA, and that abortion is the stabilizing treatment necessary to resolve that condition, the physician must provide that treatment.” That’s good. So here we go. Let’s have the fight begin. But if you don’t fight, you lose. That’s my news.
Kaya Henderson: Hey, Pod Save the People family. This week, my news is about a historic hire in the NFL. We know that we have had some issues with the NFL, but I’m excited to recount, retell that the Las Vegas Raiders made a historic hire in that they’ve hired there the first Black woman to be president of an NFL team–the Las Vegas Raiders named Sandra Douglas Morgan last week. And this is an historic moment. It’s a historic moment, and kudos to the Raiders for continuing to break barriers in the NFL. I’m not sure if people know this, but the Raiders employed the first Hispanic starting quarterback in 1960 in the league. They hired the first Hispanic head coach in 1979. They hired the first, the NFL’s first Black head coach, Art Shell in 1989. And the Raiders hired the first female CEO, Amy Trask, in 1997. And so this is an organization that continues to break barriers. Sandra Douglas Morgan is an exciting and magical Black girl. She was the Vice Chair of the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee. She is the former Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. She was city attorney for Las Vegas, and she was a litigation attorney for MGM International. So we’re excited. I am a firm believer in Black women’s leadership. I think we lead differently than other people. I’m excited about the things that she’s going to do with the Raiders. When she was the head of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, she brought serious reforms to the casino industry. She also helped to manage the opening and closing safely of casinos during the pandemic, the COVID crisis. The one sort of downside is that she’s the third team president in less than a year. She’s going to have to stabilize the Raiders because there are tons of complaints about the owner and his workplace behavior. And, you know, the thing is, you always call Black women–women, but especially black women–to clean up other people’s mess. And I just hope that this sister gets the opportunity to not just clean up somebody else’s mess, but to make her mark on a team, and more importantly, a league that has some significant change that needs to come. So hats off to super magical Black girl Sandra Douglas Morgan, and I’m excited for what she’s going to bring to the NFL.
DeRay Mckesson, narrating: Don’t go anywhere. More Pod Save the People is coming.
Myles Johnson: So today’s news from me is about Beyoncé once again. I love her. I’m obviously obsessed and excited about her new music video coming out, but it’s not really about her music or Break My Soul, but rather how she, how it’s being reported that she vetted for the people she collaborated for this new project. So this Dazed article that I read talks about how Beyoncé has implemented this #MeToo. vetting system essentially makes it so if you have been accused of anything as far as like sexual misconduct, harassment, assault, or anything like that, you can’t collaborate with Beyoncé and she doesn’t want you to be a part of her project. I thought this was really, really, really interesting. Now, of course, there are some–I’ll say this, Beyonce’s been in the music industry for over 20 years, so, of course, there are lots of ways we can point out contradictions and hypocrisies in this, because there, I just, there’s just people who, that she is associated with that people will say, That is a patriarchal abuser and why would you distance yourself from this person and not this person? Or can we even say it’s a vetting system if this person’s still out and this person’s still out? Either way, I think the concept is really interesting. It sparked because the producer details who produced Drunken Love was accused of sexual misconduct and sexual assault, and I think that in the wake of #MeToo, Beyoncé absorbing feminist politics in, not only the music she creates, but also in how she creates it–I think that she understands that, Oh, I can’t actually create this music, can’t actually create, and I can’t actually say that I am a feminist and have these kind of collaborations as a part of my repertoire, I have to figure out a new way of doing it. And I think her doing it this way and it going public is really interesting. The part that I find most interesting is Beyoncé is one of those artists that starts the wave. You know? Now, just like everybody else, she rides in waves, but she also has the capacity to start waves, make something normal. We see it with the marketing of surprise albums, how that’s kind of the standard. We see it as the marketing of the visual and music component, so a lot of music we consume now just comes with the visual, and we kind of forget that Beyoncé really started that like marriage. We’re also seeing how that’s being implemented in how she’s producing projects, how different artists, different producers are now being vetted. And I wonder if this is going to then spread throughout the entire industry or become industry standard or something that bands feel empowered to request of the art their choosing to support. And this is interesting because artists like, let’s say a Doja Cat, is working with getting a lot of fame and making a lot of great music, quite frankly, with somebody who was accused of raping and assaulting Kesha. And I think it’s been such a gray area of what can we expect for Doja Cat to do? Can this Doja Cat in this space to be empowered to do something different. Is Doja Cat in the space to request a change or is it something that is a little bit more murky and gray? And I think what Beyoncé is doing is saying, No, it’s not gray anymore, it’s black and white, and this is how you do it and here’s the blueprint. So if an artist chooses to work with somebody, it is then a choice. It then is, it is not just something grey that we as a culture haven’t decided about. It’s the trend, it’s the choice, and if you’re not doing it, you’re actively choosing to collude and to collaborate with somebody who is abusive in order to expand your own star power and expand your own profit. And I think this is a really, really interesting, and again, it can start in music and production, if this goes on. But I think when it comes to fashion, when it comes to photography, when it comes to other types of mediums, I think that this could be the new standard, and I really like the idea of it. And again, I think if you focus, hyperfocus on any individual who decides desire to do it, you’ll find deep hypocrisy, specifically somebody who’s evolved in a patriarchal, men- driven industries like hip hop. You’re always going to, like, you know, Beyonce’s so married, in marriage to hip hop that I think that she would either have to just light a flame to her whole network and start over or, yeah, But I do think that it’s an interesting new wave that’s being created and I’m interested to see how it happens. That is my news. I’m so curious to see like what my other co-hosts and also just like the audience feels about this. Because I do think that this is something that could be a positive change and make people who have been victimized feel safer and feel empowered. And I also just always feel good when people who are consuming music and people are consuming art feel good about what they’re consuming, you know? But again–and I know I just said this is over, but I was lying–but again, I also think that just like we have green-washing and, you know, Black rights-washing of things, I hope that this doesn’t start a feminist #MeToo-washing where these vetting systems are, that people say they’re doing these vetting systems to make the audience feel better, but then when we look behind the curtains, we see the same cycles of abuse and damnation happening. I hope that’s not the case, but we will see. That’s my news for this weekend, y’all.
DeRay Mckesson, narrating: Don’t go anywhere. More Pod Save the People is coming.
De’Ara Balenger: Y’all, my news today is about Emmett Till. And I don’t know if all have seen this. It’s kind of been percolating the internet, but a warrant was found last month in a box in the basement of a Mississippi courthouse, and it was a warrant dated from 1955, which called for the arrest of a woman who was allegedly involved in the killing of Emmett Till, the lynching of Emmett Till. And so the family of Emmett Till have been urging authorities to move forward with the discovered unserved warrant from 1955. And it, again, charges a white woman involved–allegedly involved–in his murder and kidnaping. So his family’s leading this effort. And his cousin, Emmett Till’s cousin, Priscilla Sterling, is pressing the district attorney, whose name is Dewayne Richardson, to move forward with the prosecution. And the woman’s name is Carolyn Bryant Donham. She’s identified as Mrs. Roy Bryant in the warrant because at the time she was married to one of the white men who was tried and acquitted just weeks after Till was abducted from his relatives”’ home, killed, and dumped into a river. So, again, this woman was married to a man who was tried and acquitted of kidnaping and killing Emmett Till in the most horrific way. So the D.A. has not responded with a comment, and evidently, the county sheriff is saying that he didn’t, you know, he never had heard about the warrant before. You know, but it’s just, this is just, I wanted to share it with you all just because I think this is a family who has been traumatized by the kidnaping and killing of Emmett Till. And so, you know, even his relatives that are a couple of generations later are still, you know, seeking justice for this. I mean, I can only imagine what it has done to their family, what it will continue to do to generations to come. And I just think it’s fascinating that this warrant has been found and that so much has been done to really cover up the evidence that has to do with this case. I’ve listened to podcast, read, you know, articles and books like, on how unjust the prosecute–both the investigation and the prosecution of this case was. So I’m not surprised that this warrant was found. I think what will be interesting to see is, in fact, if the warrant is is acted upon. This woman is in her 80s now. She’s most recently living in North Carolina. She hasn’t commented publicly on the discovery of the warrant. In this article, whoever this reporter was, they couldn’t reach her by phone with the number that was listed for her. But, you know, the lawyer for the Till family is going to continue to bring this effort forward and seek justice. And, you know, this attorney, Malik Shabazz said, you know, Emmett Till never got to make it to 87. He never had a day where he could go to, you know, go to nursing home or whatever, whatever would have happened, because his life was taken. So, you know, we’ll see what happens and we’ll continue to watch, again, just because this family is still reeling from what has happened. So we’ll keep y’all posted and just kind of follow along you know, Ms. Donham, if she does make comment, if the authorities who are involved in this case make comment–but, yeah, I’ll be, I’ll be watching closely.
DeRay Mckesson, narrating: Well, that’s it. Thanks so much for tuning into Pod Save the People this week. Tell your friends to check it out, make sure to rate it wherever you get your podcasts, whether it’s Apple Podcasts or somewhere else. And we will see you next week. Pod Save the People was a production of Crooked Media. It’s produced by A.J. Moultrie and mixed by Veronica Simonetti, and executive produced by me. Special thanks to our weekly contributors Kaya Henderson, De’Ara Balenger, and Myles Johnson.