[Howard Zinn raw #4: The importance of media, veterans, and racial equality]

Howard Zinn joins students from the Audubon Expedition Institute for a conversation about environmental justice, the Civil Rights movement, the anti-war movement, alternate media, and how to create social change.

0:04Copy video clip URL Howard Zinn talks about the opportunities and limitations to furthering social justice through mass media. He talks about his friend who edited the radical, pacifist magazine Liberation through the 50s and 60s and later became a producer for 60 Minutes. Zinn says that he’s been able to put good things on the air, so there are opportunities to promote social justice through mass media.

2:27Copy video clip URL Zinn talks about the importance of building up alternative media and the opportunity presented through alternative media to have a big impact on a small audience. He talks about an op-ed he wrote on the origins of Veteran’s Day that he sent to several papers across the country that was published by the Boston Globe. He warns them not to decieve themselves that the mass media is always the way to go.

9:04Copy video clip URL Zinn talks about the failure of the major media to cover the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War.

12:26Copy video clip URL Zinn tells about Dispatch News Service, an alternate news agency created by anti-war journalists in the late 60s to cover events in Vietnam being ignored by other news agencies. “There are times when alternate media, in their little ways, can hold on to pieces of history that are then picked up by the major media.”

13:27Copy video clip URL A student recounts being in DC on Veteran’s Day and the division she observed between remorseful veterans and self-satisfied veterans. Zinn says its difficult for veterans to accept the fact that they didn’t fight for a good cause and that all these sacrifices were really for nothing. He talks about Vietnam Veterans Against the War and the role of veterans in organizing the anti-war movement. The cameraman talks about VVAW and the documentary he made about the organization. Zinn leaves the room for a moment.

20:05Copy video clip URL Zinn returns. A student asks for Zinn’s thoughts on the claim that the environmental movement is a largely white movement. Zinn says it’s true and that it’s a problem that crops up in almost any movement working on issues other than racial equality and economic justice, which typically include a lot of people of color. Zinn sees a potential to build a more multiracial environmental justice movement through fighting against environmental racism and pollution in poor neighborhoods.

24:13Copy video clip URL Zinn wraps up the discussion as somebody takes pictures of the group. Denis Mueller says he has a picture from the Peekskill riots with Zinn, but Zinn says he was in the crowd, not out on the perimeter.

26:38Copy video clip URL Zinn tells the students gathered that when he asked a group of a hundred history students who had heard of the My Lai Massacre not a single hand was raised. Mueller tells about a documentary about the soldiers involved with the My Lai Massacre. A student tells about the emotional meeting in America between Phan Thi Kim Phuc, the naked child in the famous photograph from the Vietnam War taken by Nick Ut, and the soldier who dropped the napalm on her. Zinn talks about the B-52 pilots who refused to fly missions at the end of the Vietnam War.

32:28Copy video clip URL A student tells Zinn about their upcoming project talking with shoppers on Black Friday about their power as consumers.



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