This week on CounterSpin: Corporate media often indulge in feel-goodism around Independence Day, presuming a shared, uncontested meaning attached to the day’s symbols, when for many the holiday in fact evokes the excoriating words of Frederick Douglass, who asked in 1852: “What to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license.” The distance between the democracy media talk about and the system we have is wrenching—and a recent Supreme Court ruling highlights right-wing efforts to increase that gap and set it in stone. We’ll talk about what the Court’s recent gerrymandering decision means for the whole idea of “one person/one vote” with Steven Rosenfeld, editor and chief correspondent at the Independent Media Institute’s Voting Booth project, and author of, most recently, Democracy Betrayed: How Superdelegates, Redistricting, Party Insiders and the Electoral College Rigged the 2016 Election.
Also on the show: As ugly as much of US history is, it isn’t just one story. What we choose to remember or forget shapes our present possibilities. The financial crisis, for instance, is remembered as banks deemed “too big to fail” inflicting great harm on families and the economy; but there was another story, too—about some financial institutions, namely credit unions, that behaved differently. Last fall, CounterSpin talked about that, as part of a kind of hidden economic history with journalist Nathan Schneider, author of Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy. We revisit that forward-looking conversation this week.