Gil Scott Heron warned us that “the revolution will not be televised” in the 70s. With an increasingly corporate-controlled mainstream media, that is perhaps truer now than it was even then. However, several progressives in Texas are using their voices to broadcast the political revolution in non-mainstream formats. Egberto Willies, National Sanders Delegate from Houston, is an excellent example.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us today. Let’s start with what led you to the Bernie 2016 campaign in the first place.
I was drawn to his poor and middle-class centric message. He laid out the perfect balance between social welfare and free enterprise that benefits all and mitigates income and wealth inequality. I was willing to defy the status quo to support that.
One of the ways that you supported the campaign was through your online work. Can you tell our readers about that?
As a featured writer/contributing editor at DailyKos, I wrote about Bernie extensively. I also wrote about him at my own blog and I covered his policies on my Pacifica Radio show Politics Done Right with Egberto Willies on KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston, Texas.
Has that work continued since the campaign ended?
Yes. I actually left my own software company to become a full time activist and blogger. I had my own blog for quite a while and started placing blogs on DailyKos. They asked me to contribute which I currently do almost daily, and every Sunday I have a spot on their front page. I use that spot to write articles that encourage people to go out there and do something in the body politic. I try to help people look on the bright side, more glass half full than half empty.
Same thing with my show, Politics Done Right. I’m a very liberal, left wing Democrat but I reach out to everyone. Tea Party, anarchists, whoever. I try to encourage other people to do that too so that we can have more dialogue. I’m also on the board of a group called Coffee Party USA and what we do there is to encourage people from all different walks of life to communicate with each other. What’s happening now is that everybody is going into their silos in order to be right. Sometimes being right isn’t black and white.
What is your opinion of the move toward citizen journalism happening in the world right now?
It is a must. A lot of people want the ABCs and CNNs of the world to be the arbiters of info. Those mainstream outlets have proven that they have failed. They are simply disseminators of info that the powers that be want you to have. If you have journalism that is paid for by corporations, you can’t expect it to have anything but a corporate viewpoint. Citizen journalists bring the point of view not just of regular people in general but also those places that mainstream journalists ignore. We can directly blame this last election on the dereliction of duty of journalists. They had no idea what was going on in Ohio, Wisconsin, or Pennsylvania. They were spreading the false prose that somehow nobody knew about Bernie so he couldn’t win. They also said there was no way in hell that Trump could win. It showed their detachment from people.
What role do you think independent media is, should and will play in the political revolution?
We can play a big role in the dissemination of information right now. However, we are up against two things. One is the way that “fake media” or “fake news” is being conflated with citizen journalism. It’s a set up. The people doing that want to continue being the arbiters of information.
Also net neutrality is a big issue. Right now we have a voice because of the internet. I do my show on air and on Facebook Live and on Blog Talk radio. Right now I can cheaply get 10,000 people listening but if they could find a way to do it, they would eliminate net neutrality. Right now we have internet at prices that just about anyone can afford. But we could face corporations taking over internet in ways that could become discriminatory. That is the biggest danger of Trump. If he wanted to, he could have the FCC change the rules and immediately we’d have internet figuratively shut down to the citizen journalists. Regular people wouldn’t even know because they’d still see their Facebook or what have you.
Most people are not paying attention and not seeing the big picture. Even us on the left.
Are there any ways that our readers can help you with your work for the political revolution?
What else would you like to share with our readers?
Anybody that wants to come on the show, Facebook message me and if you have something to add to the body politic, I will be in contact for sure.