Jon Nelson hosts this episode of the Old Mole, which includes the following segments:
Attack on Educators: Bill Resnick talks to Jesse Hagopian, the second part of an interview examining the right wing effort across the country, led by Florida, to sanitize school curriculums – from pre-K through higher ed – of anything that offends them, particularly examinations of Black History or U.S. racism. In part 1 Jesse discusses the work of the great majority of Black leaders and writers (they encourage resistance to white racists and celebrate white opposition to slavery and Jim Crow) to the evil white-hating caricature served up by the right. In part 2 he discusses the multiple motivations of today’s right wing censors and book banners, one of which is to prevent white students from knowing about and joining Black struggles. Jesse Hagopian is a Black teacher in Seattle (Garfield High), scholar, and activist, led the challenge to high stakes testing and teaching to the test. His books include More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing and Teaching for Black Lives published by the organization Rethinking Schools. It’s not yet banned on the book shelves of Florida schools, but surely will be soon. Part one can be streamed or downloaded here.
In Memoriam Darcelle XV: On March 23rd, Portland's beloved Darcelle XV, the world's oldest working drag performer, died at 92 years of age. Darcelle was an activist, author, playwright, actor, costume designer, and owner and headliner of the Darcelle XV Showplace. Jan Haaken pays tribute to Darcelle who she got to know twenty years ago when she directed "Queens of Heart: Community Therapists in Drag"--a film about Darcelle and the social psychology of drag performance. The documentary can be streamed at https://www.jhaaken.com/queens-of-heart-documentary.
Demon Copperhead: In his review of Barbara Kingsolver’s 2022 novel, Demon Copperhead, Book Mole Larry Bowlden notes that Kingsolver displays her genius once again. You need not reread Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield to understand how Kingsolver adapts that tale to modern times, writing masterfully through the eyes of a teen-age boy.
Eviction Representation for All: Economist Mary King speaks with Colleen Carroll, spokesperson for the Eviction Representation for All ballot measure campaign coalition, about how destructive evictions are for families and the community and how the proposed ballot measure could reduce evictions by providing a range of supports including legal representation. The supports would more than pay for themselves through reduced spending on shelters, health care, foster care and other services. They also discuss why the capital gains tax is a good way to fund the program and how to get involved in the campaign for Measure 26-238, which will be on the ballot in May.