Wednesday, August 29, 2012

All about BAIN + New Orleans on our mind

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1.  Is Bain Capital bad for business?

The Republican National Convention is in Florida, and few folks rooting for Romney (including on our show last week) keep bringing up his business credentials.  The thing is, at least some workers that are employed in stores owned by Bain Capital, the company Romney founded have other things to say.  Tonight, we let them speak.

2.  New Orleans on our mind

Just as another anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is upon us, our friends in New Orleans are being hit by Hurricane Isaac.  We will check in with friend of the show, author and journalist Jordan Flaherty on how the Big Easy is taking it when times haven't been so easy.

We will also check in with friend of the show, Carlos Miller (Photography is Not a Crime) about the RNC in Tampa.

You know what to do...tune in...Let's Talk About It!  

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Panther or ex-snitch?+Police Brutality on Tape+An RNC Preview

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1.  Ex-Informant or Ex-Panther or BOTH: The bombshell revelations on Richard Aoki

The late Richard Aoki has been called many things:long time California-based community activist, victim of Japanese internment, former member of the original Black Panther Party.  But one thing no one ever expected him to be called was an FBI informant.  Investigative journalist and author Seth Rosenfeld released the proverbial cracken in his new book Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals and Reagan's Rise to Power claiming that the now deceased but still respected Aoki was working with the FBI while he was a member of the Black Panther Party (and apparently the one that first supplied them with guns).  In an exclusive segment, we will air our interview with Seth Rosenfeld and talk to long time community activist Bob Wing (former co-editor of Colorlines and War Times magazines) about the allegations, whether they are true and what it all means. To listen to the segment in its entirety, download it here or press play below...
Plus check the clips of the interview with Seth Rosenfeld you didn't hear on the show.
1.  Explanation of FBI Report:
2.  Seth Rosenfeld explaining why his research is coming out now and how much more he feels the FBI is hiding:
3.  Explanation of "Subversive's" big picture
4.  A right wing informant mention in the "Church Commission" Report

Plus check out the "Church Commission" report on the Black Panther Party.  And look below for the Center for Investigative Reporting's youtube clip.

2.  A preview of the RNC National Convention in Tampa

The Republican national convention is coming to Tampa and the world is watching how this swing state is going to respond: with open arms, closed fists or scratching heads.  We will talk with friend of the show and head of Miami Young Republicans, Bradley Gerber (yes our show has Republican friends, deal with it) about what we can expect when the big elephant comes to the I-4 corridor.  


3.  Another case of police brutality on tape in Miami

Ariel Marantes was all over the spanish-speaking press last week, but you wouldn't know it if you watched "mainstream Miami press."  What was he is the news for, getting beaten senseless and kicked repeatedly by plain clothes officers of the Miami Dade police department.  Hear his story, another exclusive.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ocho Cinco & Evelyn, Ex-Traffickers & Romney, the C-section & Miami's election


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1.  Evelyn & Ocho Cinco:  How do we respond to violence at home when it hits the airwaves?

We began this week’s show with one of the stories that pops up every so often, the famous athlete being accused of domestic violence against his also famous wife. In this case it was Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson who accused of assaulting his wife, reality TV star Evelyn Rivera. Whenever one of these incidents happensm we at LTAI! relive the same frustration with the media’s discussion who provoked who and the inevitable taking of sides. We worked to get past the "who did what" as we talked with Marica Olivo of Sisterhood of Survivors, Quentin Walcott of CONNECT and Aparna Battarcharya of Raksha Inc. Marcia expressed her displeasure that the primary issue, that of domestic violence, was being lost in all of the reality TV-style drama. Quentin added that we lose the opportunity to hold men accountable for their actions when stories get sensationalized. Aparna wondered aloud whether or not anyone would care about this story if it didn’t involve professional sports or reality television. She also added that “…we should respond by creating a space for compassionate accountability to help all parties in the incident.”

2.  Romney, Miami and his "ex-drug trafficker host":  Hit-job or appropriate stigma?

The theme of being frustrated with the media’s manufactured outrage machine continued as we address the fallout from Mitt Romney’s recent visit to Palacio De Los Jugos which turns out is owned by a man who was convicted of  drug dealing over 10 years ago. We discuss the meaning of the incident in the context of the move toward voter suppression in Florida and in other states with Desmond Meade of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. Meade explained his view that this business owner should not be vilified for his past mistakes and that the attacks from many liberals amount to nothing more than hit pieces. He also pointed out the irony of Florida’s Attorney General and leader of the disenfranchisement crusade in the state, Pam Bondi, sharing the stage with Romney atthe Palacio de los Jugos.    

3.  Are Miami elections a forecast of what's to come in November?

Next we discussed the recent primaries in Florida and were joined by the head of the South Florida AFL-CIO, Andy Matis, who himself was out door knocking just the day before. We discussed the results, what they may mean for the November general election and the role of Miami billionaire Norman Braman in the elections.

4.  V-BACs, C-sections and live births.

Finally we were joined by the organizer of the Vaginal Birth After Cesarean National Summit (VBAC), Tamara Taitt, to discuss the event and what could easily be described as a cesarean birth epidemic in Miami. Taitt explained that the average rate for cesarean births in the U.S. is around 10-15% while in Miami it exceeds 50%. She also talked about new research that has been suggesting that going through vaginal birth after previously having had a cesarean is not as dangerous as it was once thought and that there may be some downsides to cesarean birth that many mothers may not know about. are the tracks we listened to on the air...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When someone shoots our uncles & aunties, a talk with Jill Stein and Veterans for Peace on Latin America


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1.  The Wisconsin Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) terrorist attack

Last Sunday, a gunman with ties to White supremacist groups entered a Gurdwara and killed six people before being killed.  The media lit up (for like a day) with reports of the tragedy and its implications.  We even wrote about it here. We began the show by addressing the tragic shooting with activist, writer and vocalist/trumpet player of the Brooklyn based band Red Baraat (check out his article here) who discussed the significance of the shooting and how it relates to things like white supremacy in America. He describes how he felt when he heard about the event and the uncomforable lessons he hopes we learn about racial hatred.  We were also joined by the author of “Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire”, Deepa Kumar who discussed the notion that Page mistakenly believed he was attacking Muslims and how not the point it is.  She also talks about how American foreign policy abroad and hate crimes here relate to each other.  To listen to this segment click here or press play below.

2.  An talk with the Green Party's Jill Stein

Most people with a pulse feel frustrated by both the Democrats and the Republicans.  If it were up to Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein, most people would do something about it. Jill Stein is in Miami this weekend to speak at the Veterans for Peace National Convention. She discusses third parties in American Politics, the fallout from the 2000 presidential election and the things that she believes need to be done in America. On the idea of voting for the lesser evil in national elections she said that “voting for the lesser evil has delivered the evil that we feared” and that “…establishment politics silences alternative voices through the use of fear.”To listen to this segment click here or press play below.
3.  Veterans for Peace speak on War in Latin America When most people talk about the fight to end war and military violence, they forget to mention that Veterans are often at the forefront of that fight.  This week, Veterans For Peace is in Miami to talk about the "Lessons from Latin America" and the Caribbean.  Join us as we talk to friend of the show, Camilo Mejia and we hear from Father Roy Bourgeois as they talk about the School of the Americas, the War on Drugs in Latin America and more. Father Roy tell us about his experience as a veteran and how the Vietnam War was a major turning point in his life and how he viewed the military. He also talked about the School of the Americas, a military training school in Fort Benning, Georgia that has been described as a “school for assassins” and it’s role in conflicts throughout Latin America. Mejia also explained that Veterans for Peace formed in response to the aggression of the Reagan administration toward Latin America in the 80’s. He also explained that the theme, "Liberating the Americas: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," was a way to connect all of the dots of American wars and militarism. To listen click here or press play below.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Our Uncles and Aunties in this Culture of Violence

The Khanda: the symbol of Sikhism

by Subhash Kateel

Being South Asian American (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, etc.) means understanding unity and disunity in times of crisis.  Our shared and fragmented history has been a product of both. Our families descend from one of the most diverse and divided regions in the world.  Conversations within our American-based communities can sometimes degenerate along the same ethnic, religious and even caste lines.  But extreme crisis, from colonialism through partition, from 9/11 to its aftermath and even a terrorist attack at a Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) that kills seven can exacerbate those lines or destroy them all together. 

Like every kid raised in a South Asian household, I learned about the ties that bind and the lines that divide.  But one of the things I care to remember this week is the lesson my folks taught me when addressing the people I love. Growing up, our parents taught us to call our elders and their friends “uncle” and “auntie.” No matter what their blood ties and ethnic or religious affiliation meant to us or what part of the sub-continent and its diaspora they called home, that was who they were to us.  Depending on the parent, that title would even extend to our Black, Latino and White elders. It was always meant to be a term of endearment and respect.  It was also a cause for confusion when trying to figure out who we were actually related to.  But I would like to think that it was our parents’ way of telling us that our families are bigger than biology.  That didn’t mean that our parents were free from the “isms” that defined being a South Asian, American or human.  It did mean that our parents, like all of us, are capable of transcending those differences.

This week, as I see the press weaving through the difference between Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus; and clarifying that Sikhs are “peace-loving” and not deserving of massacre, I would rather remember the lessons I learned from family and friends.  I could care less if my uncles, aunties, brothers and sisters were Muslim, Sikh, Hindu or Catholic.  Shoot, I could care less if they were Westboro Baptists.  Someone shot at our uncles and aunties…while they were praying…with their families.

While some experts and talking heads are quick and careful to point out what separates the traditions of Sikhs, Muslims and whoever else, I would rather remember the lessons of Udham Singh, a Sikh freedom fighter who at the height of the Indian independence struggle with England voluntarily changed his name to Mohammed Ram Singh Azad to reflect a universal fight for justice.  I want to remember the lessons of the Stockton Gurdwara in California during the early 1900’s, which opened its doors to Punjabi Americans and Indian Americans of all religions at a time when they couldn’t own land or become citizens.

I want to remember the lessons I learned as immigrant rights organizer at Families For Freedom, when I received a joint letter from hunger striking detainees in a Deep South detention center signed by Muslim, Rastafari, Sikh and Christian detainees of all races who were more un-affectionately known as “boy” by their detention center guards.  Their petitions where a protest by most of the detainees against, among other things, attempts by guards to forcibly shave some of their heads and faces in violent violation of their religious practices.

But I am not just a romantic (in fact my wife doesn’t think I am very romantic at all) and so there are other lessons I want to remember as well.  While the media is making a mockery of a white supremacist’s fatal case of mistaken identity, I would like to remind them that as a former Army-man (where people are often far more educated about the world than most average Americans), he probably knew very well what country and religion his victims were from and probably didn’t give a damn.  I would like to remind them that his alleged case of mistaken identity was no smarter or dumber than the actions taken by former Attorney General Jon Ashcroft’s Justice Department right after 9/11, when dozens of Sikhs and Hindus joined Pakistani Americans, Egyptian Americans and Yemeni Americans in the county jails-turned-detention centers that littered the landscape of New Jersey during the “special interest” round-ups that weren’t that special but were (according to an FBI whistleblower) “mostly for PR purposes.” 

The man who shot families while they prayed is also no smarter or dumber than our former President and Vice President who sold a war to the public which we were told was to destroy Al Qaeda by attacking a country and its people led by a dictator who sucked but who had a long track record of hating groups like Al Qaeda.  Nor is Wade Page’s (the name of the shooter at the Gurdwara) ability to identify his victims any more or less “mistaken” than our current President’s reclassification of civilians as “insurgents” during drone strikes for the purpose of lowering civilian body counts. In each case, a turn of phrase and a change of perception can easily turn one’s “uncle” into another’s “enemy” and destroy a life.

But beyond politics, in the weeklong public crash course on Sikh religion, philosophy and culture, there are lessons my friends and their parents, my “uncles” and “aunties” taught me that I also want to hold close.  Those lessons made me, as a non-Sikh, love the core of Sikhism.

In college I wondered out loud to one of my closest friends how so many Sikhs (men and women) could handle the taunts, stares and violence that wearing a turban can bring in America.  He explained to me that in the first century of the faith, wearing a turban was a privilege reserved for chiefs, kings and rulers.   The Gurus' (first ten Sikh holy leaders/teachers) instruction to every baptized Sikh to wear a turban signified self-respect, courage and faithfulness.  But it was also a symbol of equality and a pronouncement that we are all kings (and queens).  It is either pathetic or ironic that the man, whose racist punk band screeched laments of the loss of freedom in America, targeted men and women at a place of worship where the most visible symbols represent concepts like "equality" and "defense of the oppressed." 

In the week that we can remember and reflect before the news media goes back to criticizing Serena William’s Olympic Crip walk, I hope we can think about the language we use to describe tragedy.  For one, I hope that the respect, thoughts and attention that the Sikh community deserves doesn’t mean an over-emphasis on the peace loving, "not deserving of murder-ness" of a community.  The culture of violence that is mainstreamed in our collective heads has told us to create lines between those who deserve and don’t deserve violence and death.  The people that deserve are often somebody else that we don’t know, understand, or care about: the country whose children deserve a pre-emptive strike, the boy who deserved to be lynched, the woman who asked to be hit, the innocent victim who didn’t deserve to be cut down by a white supremacist. The more our words and thoughts (including mine) create those categories of who does or doesn’t deserve to die, the more we ensure no amount of hate crime legislation, "jail all-racists" bills, mental health counseling or anti-gun/anti-drone/anti-box-cutter ordinance is going to stop the root causes of violence.

While some have said that on Sunday, we all became Sikhs, I can’t claim to wear my aspirations for equality and courage on my head everyday.  But I can say that the men and women who are burying their loved ones and searching for answers are my uncles and aunties…my brothers and sisters.

Note:  There are a lot of things that others wrote that far better describe the moment we are in.  While I may not agree with all of their points, I suggest that you check out this, this, this, this and this (I am probably missing a few).  Here are profiles of those that were murdered last Sunday.  Hopefully we will get a chance to have a deeper discussion on our show Wednesday night too.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Undercover in Detention, the Olympics in London and our economy on Walmart

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It has been a long time.  We took a break for a month and the news didn't stop!  Tonight we come back on the air bringing more of the real issues that affect the lives of real people.  Seriously, you don't want to miss this show.

1.  Undercover in Detention
You may have already heard how Viridiana Martinez (National Immigrant Youth Alliance-NIYA) and a half dozen other immigrant rights activists went undercover and got themselves detained by the Border Patrol and sent to the Broward Transitional Center (a privately run detention center in Pompano/Deerfield Beach, Florida) all in order to highlight the treatment of immigrants detained there and around the country.  Tonight we talk to Viridiana and DREAMActivist organizer Mohammad Abdollahi about their dramatic action, Obama's famed announcement two months ago and the reality vs. the rhetoric for immigrants being detained.  

2. The Olympics in London
The games have begun.  With the Olympics, we always have our share of controversy along with a share of milestones.  Tonight we talk to Professor C.A. Tuggle about the TV coverage of the Olympic games, especially of women's sports.  We also talk to Nadia Mohammad of Altmuslimah about the attention being brought to Muslim women Olympians. Finally, we will talk to Julian Cheyne, a Londoner who was forced to relocate because of the Olympic Games.

3.  The Walmart Economy: Part I
When people talk about "big box" retailers, the box doesn't get much bigger than Walmart.  In the first show of a series, we will talk about what a Walmart economy looks like and what it means for its workers.

It is good to be back.  You don't want to miss this show.

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