Is there a real problem in Hollywood with casting agents hiring white actors for roles for which the source material rather seems to necessitate a non-white actor? On this bonus edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan and special guest Jared Miracle, who holds a PhD. in anthropology from Texas A&M University, revisit a subject from a previous episode – episode 27, ‘Project Extra: Whitewashing’ – and explore the latest controversy surrounding Hollywood’s casting culture. Furthermore, delving into yesteryear, Jared explains the prejudicial challenges faced by Bruce Lee, and also gives his take on the precarious nature of silver screen gender politics. You can follow Jared on Facebook (facebook.com/jaredmiraclewriter) and Twitter (@DocKungFu).
The Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal is arguably the worst child safeguarding failure in British history. In August 2014 an inquiry led by Professor Alexis Jay concluded that at least 1,400 children, the majority of whom were white girls aged 11–15, had been sexually abused in the English town of Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. This abuse had been committed predominantly by British-Pakistani men. As shocking as the scale of the abuse was, what made the events even more unbelievable was the sheer incompetence of the authorities and their subsequent attempts to suppress the truth of what had been really happening. The abuse was an open secret in the town and further afield. What was not known was that the authorities were failing to produce a meaningful, transparent response of any kind. In this edition of the podcast, Aidan talks to solicitor, David Greenwood, also Chairman of Stop Church Child Abuse, to discuss this real-life horror story. David and his team of solicitors represented – and continue to represent – several of the young girls who were subjected to sexual abuse by gangs of men in Rotherham over an astonishing 16 year period. This is not a classic far-right conspiracy yarn nor is it a grisly fiction novel, though it appears as far-fetched as anything you could ever read about. Sadly it is a true story of what happens when a society and its institutions abrogate their moral responsibilities. Aidan previously spoke to David for episode 37, ‘Dogmatic Silence: Abuse in the Church’, which examined the failures of the Catholic and Anglican Churches in dealing with child sex abuse.
Additional notes regarding items discussed on this episode:
In the United Kingdom, you can report criminal offences to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.
For listeners in the United States, see the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. Visit https://www.rainn.org/ for more information.
Sarah Wilson’s book is called ‘Violated: A Shocking and Harrowing Survival Story from the Notorious Rotherham Abuse Scandal’ and is widely available, including via Amazon.
There is a quote, often attributed to Winston Churchill, which predicts, “The fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists.” Churchill probably did not say this, but the idea certainly has prowess. We all too often see well-meaning organizations come to represent the very behaviours they had set out to destroy. Is Antifa an example of this? There is evident confusion on the left surrounding the name, ‘Antifa’. Antifa is an abbreviation of ‘anti-fascist’ or ‘anti-fascist action’. Unfortunately, there is a branch of leftists who are using the explanation of the name as the only required justification for all the organisation does. In this edition of the podcast, Aidan looks at Antifa and asks, “What’s in a name?” You can tweet the show @TheAidanProject. For further information on other groups discussed on this show, see www.sourcewatch.org.
The faithful are playing with reference to a different set of rules when arguing for the merits of religion based on faith alone. Faith, by definition, requires no tangible evidence. But claims from the faithful about human history can be countered by the inquisitive atheist. We all have access to a plethora of terrestrial historical accounts which were not gleaned from divine revelation. In this edition of the podcast, Aidan explores the classic argument of the faithful against atheism when discussing human history. This argument – especially prevalent whenever the issue of violence or hatred is discussed – is that Adolf Hitler was an atheist. The inferred claim is that this godlessness demonstrates the danger of turning away from the moral teachings of the church. Another aspect of the argument which is often thrown in as an addendum is a charge that the Third Reich was a secular movement. How much merit is there in these claims? Did Hitler reject God, and if he did, did this make a difference to human history? And how secular was Hitler’s Nazi regime? Aidan delves into the argument to provide grounded insight and analysis. Indeed, as with the claims of the holy books, the introduction of earthly evidence is crucial when one desires to separate fact from fiction. Selected bibliography: J. Cornwell, Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII A. Hitler (ed. N. Baynes), The Speeches of Adolf Hitler A. Hitler, Mein Kampf C. Hitchens, God Is Not Great G. Orwell, Literature and Totalitarianism
Additional Aidan Project content on related persons:
On this bonus edition of the Aidan Project, Christopher Hale, freelance executive producer, producer/director and writer, explains the curious 19th century reimagining of the story of Atlantis. This revival of the idea of a lost advanced civilization owed less to an interest in folklore or the works of Plato, but was instead inspired by something altogether less innocent, as Christopher explains. For Aidan’s full-length episode with Christopher, check out episode 46, ‘The Emergency: Empire, Massacre, Duterte’. For more information on Christopher and to check out his work, visit http://www.christopherhalemedia.org/. You can find Christopher on Twitter at https://twitter.com/chalemedia.
In this edition of the podcast, Aidan is back with everything you need to know about the ominous stand-off between the United States and North Korea. This potentially-catastrophic conflict focuses around Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities, such as they are. In these ‘Notes on North Korea’, Aidan explains how this crisis has evolved, and addresses the potential outcomes of this long-running narrative, including a look at the unpredictable ‘Trump factor’.
The British Empire, and other European powers, began to leave South East Asia in the aftermath of World War 2. The region has changed dramatically since this era; a period when British troops were fighting communists in Malaya, several years before the US attempted its own communist supression in Vietnam. It was during the British Empire’s response to Chin Peng’s insurgency that the colonial rulers committed an atrocity that could be called ‘Britain’s My Lai’. On this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is talking to Christopher Hale, a distinguished freelance executive producer, producer/director and writer, to discuss British rule in Malaya, post-colonial South East Asia, press constraints in Malaysia and Singapore, Donald Trump’s tenuous grasp of history, and the incomparable Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte, a man who has claimed to have personally killed criminals, among other controversies. Christopher has numerous documentary credits to his name, for the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, and National Geographic, amongst other broadcasters. His programs include ‘Why Reading Matters’ for BBC4, ‘The Year the Earth Went Wild’ for Channel 4, ‘Naked Science: Universe’ for National Geographic, ‘Oasis of the Golden Mummies’ for Discovery, ‘Accidents in Space’ for BBC/Travel Channel, and many more. Christopher’s 2013 book, ‘Massacre in Malaya: Exposing Britain’s My Lai’, covers the Malayan Emergency of 1948–1960, which was the longest war waged by British and Commonwealth forces in the twentieth century. Christopher has also written a number of books on wartime Nazi Germany, including ‘Hitler’s Foreign Executioners: Europe’s Dirty Secret’. For more information on Christopher and to check out his voluminous work, visit http://www.christopherhalemedia.org/. You can find Christopher on Twitter at https://twitter.com/chalemedia.