Episode 12: Original Sin

Image: Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, of the Black Panther Party (1968), Oakland, California-based leaders of a nationwide revolt against police brutality.


Josh and Chris once again devote the episode to the history unfolding all around us, and why moral clarity and truth are better agents for justice than mere objectivity. The guys also discuss why racism is now at a moment of historical reckoning. Taking on the ‘original sin’ of slavery in world history, Josh considers how racism became the illegitimate offspring of emergent global capitalism in the age of the Atlantic Slave Trade, while Chris follows its destructive path through America’s past and the violent policing of the black body, and reminds us of the courageous efforts to combat it.

Elizabeth I, Queen of England. The portrait captured England and its monarch in regal pose, on the verge of its imperial conquest of Ireland and North America. The scene was meant to convey the ideal of England’s ‘dominion.’ on the occasion of its defeat of Spain’s “invincible armada.” (see ships in background frame). Note also, bedecked in pearls and silk, with fiery red hair, Elizabeth’s hand rests on a globe, showing America, where England would soon establish the twin pillars of empire: colonies and slavery, Thus, the painting serves as a preview of dominion over the land and its laborers alike.

To hear Episode 12 Original Sin click on the following link:


Sources referenced and Other items of Interest

“The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes,” Interactive Map of the Atlantic Slave Trade (Slate Magazine)


Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racial ideas in America (2016)


Joshua Bloom & Waldo E. Martin, Jr., Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party (2nd. ed., 2016)


Solomon Northrup, Twelve Years A Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northrup (1853)


Ben Smith, “Inside the Revolts Erupting in America’s Big Newsrooms,” (New York Times, June 7, 2020)

Frank Snowdon, Jr., Before Color Prejudice: The Ancient View of Blacks (1991)


Aimé Césaire: Discourse on Colonialism (1950)


Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (1961)


Bal Gangadhar Tilak, “Address to the Indian National Congress” (1907)


William Fox, “An address to the people of Great Britain on the utility of refraining from the use of West India sugar and rum,” (1791)


James Wright, “Address…Petitioning Parliament for an abolition of the Slave Trade” (1792)


“In the colonial countries…the policeman and the soldiers, by their immediate presence and their frequent and direct action maintain contact with the native and advise him by means of rifle butts and napalm not to budge.”

Frantz Fanon

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