American anxieties about the rise of rock ‘n’ roll nation were exploited by the far right, relating the music’s lyrics, sounds, dances, and subcultures to ubiquitous worries about communism and the developing civil rights movement.
Hays Code era Lady for a Night links black American characters with upstart so-called “white trash” to expose corruption and “zombie” hypocrisy from the so-called “quality class”.
As with the Nazis and Goebbels and the Ku Klux Klan, the alt-right’s desire to co-opt pop music for their purposes requires ideological and ethical gymnastics.
While their motives were more mercenary than musical, American small record label impresarios could hear the barriers falling between the races right before their ears.
James Baldwin’s writing about music illuminates the significance of racial slavery for all American music. Black American music can help America to move forward if used properly.
Like political populism, punk’s traits and tenets are sufficiently vague, contradictory, and unmoored to be vulnerable to co-option by all political opportunists—including the fascist alt-right.
The Disney Theme Parks are dismantling the decades-long ride Splash Mountain. It will be resurrected as Tiana’s Bijour Adventure. Why has the Song of the South-inspired ride finally gone South?
Talking with Land of Gold director Nardeep Khurmi at Tribeca, he explains how his road trip drama serves as a badly needed “empathy machine” for divided America.
The piercing documentary ‘Who Killed Vincent Chin?’, airing on PBS on 20 June, shows how economic anxiety and racial demagoguery make a toxic brew.