Feb 19, 2022 • 1HR 12M

Twenty Dollars and Change

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Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.
Episode details

Ralph welcomes retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson to discuss the ongoing dispute over Ukraine. Plus, Professor Clarence Lusane joins the program to enlighten us about the legacy of Harriett Tubman and the campaign to replace Andrew Jackson with her image on our most common paper currency, the twenty-dollar bill.

Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired U.S. Army colonel and former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. He is the distinguished Adjunct Professor of Government and Public Policy at the college of William and Mary in Virginia. During the course of his military service, Colonel Wilkerson was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Bronze Star among other awards and decorations. At the Department of State, he earned the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award, as well as two Superior Honor Awards.

Not for nothing did the New York Times report on some of the CEOs actually talking in meetings about how their shareholders and potential stock buyers ought to pay attention to Ukraine. Because Lockheed, and Raytheon, and all the rest of these guys– their stocks are just going to skyrocket because of what was happening in Ukraine. This is a war industry. And what happened in 1994 and the years following was the war industry got a hold of the process of NATO expansion.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson

Put yourself in [the Russians’] shoes: wait until you see a Chinese battle fleet, steaming in the Gulf of Mexico, 12 miles and one inch off Corpus Christi, Texas. Wait until you see that. It is China’s every right under international law to do that. They could do that 24/7 all year long. What do you think Washington would say about that?

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson

“An attack on one is an attack on all.” That’s the distinguishing feature of NATO. We have adulterated that, we’ve murdered it, we’re putting NATO all over the world in order to try and give it relevance and to save it. We should let it go.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson

Clarence Lusane is a professor and former Chairman of Howard University’s Department of Political Science. He is an activist, scholar, journalist, and author. His book The Black History of the White House has been presented on two occasions at the White House. His other books include Hitler’s Black Victims: The Experiences of Afro-Germans, Africans, Afro-Europeans and African Americans During the Nazi Era; Race in the Global Era: African Americans at the Millennium; and Pipe Dream Blues: Racism and the War on Drugs among others. His latest book is coming out in November from City Lights Books–  Twenty Dollars and Change: Harriet Tubman vs. Andrew Jackson, and the Future of American Democracy.

[Harriet Tubman’s] last words before she died in 1913… was to send encouragement to black women who were participating in some of the suffrage efforts. So, her entire life was one where she was dedicated to inclusion, and (what I argue in the book) democracy – with a small “d”. And to me it has always been important to link the struggle for racial justice with the struggle for expanding democracy. And Harriet Tubman embodied that nonstop.

Professor Clarence Lusane, author of Twenty Dollars and Change: Harriet Tubman vs. Andrew Jackson, and the Future of American Democracy

There’s a reason why Donald Trump admires Andrew Jackson– because he was a precursor of violating and challenging the laws of the land, and destroying thousands of Cherokee natives, and other bigoted actions during his era of power.

Ralph Nader

In every single way [Harriet Tubman] could, she saw herself serving the community and doing what she could. And again– someone who never had any formal education, but she knew more about the world than many people who had plenty of education.

Professor Clarence Lusane, author of Twenty Dollars and Change: Harriet Tubman vs. Andrew Jackson, and the Future of American Democracy

I would draw somewhat of a distinction with Andrew Jackson…Not only what he committed in terms of genocide and massacres relative to Native American people and setting the stage for the Trail of Tears. Jackson was also a slave holder and a slave trader, and a brutal one at that. So, when you look at his record, to me, it stands out far more so than some of the others. But 12 out of the first 16 Presidents were slaveholders. Not something we necessarily taught, when we taught American history. But those are the facts… Clearly, all of these individuals are not going to be removed, but some I believe are more egregious and deserve a more critical lens.

Professor Clarence Lusane, author of Twenty Dollars and Change: Harriet Tubman vs. Andrew Jackson, and the Future of American Democracy

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 415 Transcript
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