3301 – Reclaiming ‘Open Borders’; Colonial Wounds In Congo w/ John Washington, Christoph Vogel

It’s another EmMajority Report Thursday! Emma speaks with John Washington, staff writer at Arizona Luminaria and contributor for The Intercept, to discuss his recent book The Case For Open Borders. Then, she’s joined by Christoph N. Vogel, research director of the Insecure Livelihoods Project at Ghent University and author of the book Conflict Minerals, Inc.: War, Profit and White Saviourism in Eastern Congo, to discuss recent developments in the conflict involving the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. First, Emma runs through updates on the US recent tiptoe toward calling for a ceasefire, Israel’s ongoing siege on Gaza, the major wins for the right in the upcoming government funding bill, Bernie and AOC’s new Green New Deal for housing, Trump’s financial woes, Julian Assange, the GOP’s Biden inquiry, the DOJ v. Apple, Bolsonaro’s falsified documents, and AMLO’s response to Texas, before parsing a little deeper through the makeup of Congress’ recent funding bill. John Washington then joins, parsing through the Democrats’ recent complete capitulation to Donald Trump’s far-right border militancy agenda, the common thread of this tactic by Democrats, and the absurdity of their rhetorical posturing alongside policy acquiescence, with a clear parallel in the politics of Mexico’s AMLO. Expanding on this, Washington and Emma tackle the political class’ commitment to the status quo on immigration, despite the relative recency (and ineffectiveness) of the shift toward closed, militarized borders, and how an argument for more humane and responsive immigration policy is still grounded in modern-day examples and is much more aligned with the rhetoric that much of the “progressive” west employs. John then dives into the economics of border militancy, with the increased precarity for migrants pushing them into more and more exploitative conditions and driving down wage and condition standards for citizens as well, with the globalization of exploitation alongside the restriction of the movement of people becoming cemented with the Free Trade Agreements of the neoliberal era. Wrapping up, Washington and Emma walk through the brutal ineffectiveness of border militancy, and what alternative visions to immigration could look like. Christoph Vogel then dives into the major problems with Western coverage of conflict in the Congo, largely employing a depoliticized, resource– and narrative-driven form of storytelling about issues with deeply political roots. After briefly touching on the role of Mobutu Sese Seko in Congolese relations to the West, Vogel walks through the three major periods of conflict in the recent history of the DRC, beginning with the rule and eventual overthrow of Mobutu in the ‘90s, the return of the DRC name under Laurent and then Joseph Kabila in the early 2000s (including the first democratic elections in 2006) during the Second Congo War, and finally the ongoing period of unstable and fracturing political and security environment, with countless militia and belligerent groups revolting and driving record displacement in the country. Expanding on the ongoing period of crisis, Vogel walks through the constant speculation and polemics around the data of the displacement and devastation by the main parties involved, and the relatively minor role resource extraction, particularly mining, has played in generating and maintaining these conflicts. Lastly, Chris Albright joins to discuss the devastating impact of last year’s environmental disaster in East Palestine, walking through the major impacts on the health of him and his community, and the lackluster response from Joe Biden and Ohio representatives, also touching on their ongoing attempt to hold the President and representatives accountable, and what those of us outside of East Palestine can do to support their cause.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Matt Binder and Brandon Sutton as they watch Karine Jean-Pierre’s callous response to a question about whether Biden will reach out to the Arab-American community, go full Freudo-Marxist on the right’s insane reaction to Kristen Stewart’s recent Rolling Stone cover, and talk with Spencer from Minnesota about the shows coverage of tort law and Johnson and Johnson’s crimes. They also parse through the abuse and exploitation of reality stars, with some help from Love is Blind’s Nick Thompson, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out John’s book here: https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/2199-the-case-for-open-borders

Follow Christoph on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ethuin?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Check out this event in East Palestine, OH this coming Saturday, calling on elected officials to issue an emergency declaration in the area!: https://www.unionprogress.com/2024/03/19/coalition-of-residents-unionists-and-activists-coming-together-in-east-palestine-to-demand-health-care/


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