We just heard today that we won’t be getting mail on Saturdays anymore, a move the US Postal Service says could save up to $2 billion a year. But why does the financially struggling agency need to save $2 billion a year in the first place? The answer may surprise you. Tune in as we talk to famed economist, Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
2. Who do politicians hurt when they fail to re-pass the Violence Again Women Act (VAWA)?
This week, again, the House of Representatives failed to re-authorize one of the least controversial pieces of legislation (traditionally), the Violence Against Women Act. Who is hurt by the failure to re-authorize VAWA? Tune in as we ask Michelle Ortiz, Director of Americans for Immigrant Justice LUCHA or “The Struggle”: A Women’s Legal Program.
3. The President’s Kill/Jail list problem.
The White House has had a really bad week trying to convince people that its anti-terrorism policies aren’t going to shred the Constitution. Tune in as we talk to the Bill of Rights Defense Committee‘s Michael Figura about the White House’s continued attempts to be able to jail indefinitely and kill US citizens whether the Courts, Congress or the public like it or not.
4. Remembering Trayvon and asking why George Zimmerman is not in jail
Trayvon Martin would have turned 18 this week.While we remember the Miami native’s birthday, we should be asking why his killer, George Zimmerman isn’t in jail. No, we aren’t just talking about his murder trial, we are talking about the time he may have committed the Federal money laundering-esque crime of “structuring.” Don’t miss the conversation you won’t hear anywhere else.
1. Do we have the audacity to stop hoping and start changing?
Prez Obama was sworn in on MLK day this year, forcing all sorts of talking heads to make connections that may or may not be true between the two. But it got us at LTAI thinking. What are people on the ground thinking about hope and change, and changing more than hoping? If that didn’t just confuse you, tune in as we talk to Phil Agnew (Dream Defenders), Desmond Meade (Florida Rights Restoration Coalition), Caitlin Breedlove (Southerners on New Ground) and Erika Andiola (Dream Action Coalition). Plus, our own Shannan Reaze will give us a report back of the festivities at the inauguration. Don’t miss this.
2. “…through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall…”
Of all the things said during Obama’s inauguration speech, that statement is considered among the most profound, especially for folks in the LGBT and Gay Rights Movement. Tonight, we check in with our friends at Get Equal-Florida (Jarrod Scarbrough) about what actions will spring from these words.
1. Was Obama’s debate “gaffe” on Social Security how he really feels?
Much has been made of Obama’s debate performance last week. A bunch of Obama fans were particularly miffed about his “mistaken” remarks on Social Security. But was he actually being honest. In a rare, honest but perhaps controversial interview, former staffer for Rep. Alan Grayson and political analyst Matt Stoller tells us he definitely believes so. Tune in to a regular segment we will have until the election on how close and far apart our Presidential candidates really are.
2. Walmart Workers on Strike?
Walmart is the country’s biggest employer with 1.4 million workers on its payroll. In 12 cities, some Walmart workers decided to go on strike. Find out why this just might shape up to be a turning point for the Walmart economy.
plus…tune in as we talk about the Country’s controversial unemployment numbers and some local updates about our very own “Political Gangster.”3. The Unemployment Numbers
Time Magazine’s Michael Grunwald talks about the recent unemployment numbers and what they really mean.
So fam, I meant to write something about last week’s show (if you missed it, check it HERE). But then word came of Obama’s new Immigration policy moves. So I couldn’t resist, and Organizing Upgrade published a piece I wrote. Check it out, and enjoy.
Thursday felt like time for a toast for America’s largest social movement, the folks fighting for immigrant rights. With the news that the Obama administration would review many of its pending 300,000 deportation cases and allow some of those with no “criminal” record to stay, you could literally hear the cries of joy jumping out of Facebook updates, twitter feeds, cafecito spots (I live in Miami), college campuses, and even a detention center or two.
After over two years of pressuring the Obama administration to use its executive power to stop tearing apart immigrant families and communities; after hunger strikes, 1000 mile walks, and mass arrests, after multiple insistences from the Administration that it didn’t have that authority, after multiple cover-ups by the administration of how many people they were deporting that had done nothing wrong, it seems like the Administration is finally listening. And while there are tears of joy, and sighs of relief, there is also plenty of healthy skepticism. After all, we have an Administration that has cried (falsely), “we only deport dangerous criminals!” more than that boy who cried wolf.
And when the administration says that they will focus on “criminals”, what do they mean? Isn’t immigration policy the same set of laws that famously calls people “aggravated felons” for things that are neither aggravated nor felonies? Isn’t ICE the same agency that deported thousands of suspected “terrorists” after 9/11 that were never really terrorists? And don’t ICE’s “worst of the worst” categories include a Baptist pastor with a 16 year old conviction from when he was homeless, a Gulf War Veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder who was arrested for marijuana possession after his wife died, and a 36-year-old youth community worker who helps young people stay away from the mistakes he made as a 16 year old? If the Administration is really turning over a new leaf, does that mean ICE is turning over a new leaf?
And then there is what the Obama Administration still refuses to do. It still refuses to create enforceable standards for how it treats immigrants in detention so that they don’t die in custody. The administration still refuses to reign in the deputized powers it gives to bad sheriffs with long lists of civil rights complaints like the real-life Boss-Hog, Joe Arpaio. The Administration still refuses to call off its “creepy” Secure Communities program, which is looking more and more like the first step of a science fiction-like national database that may one day include everyone.
But the Administration is also failing to take the lead in pushing common sense legislation that will begin to fix the broken immigration system while everyone waits for the mythical grand compromise. For one, the best way to ensure the case-by-case reviews o f immigration cases is done right is to give immigration judges back the discretion they need (and lost in 1996) instead of pushing ICE employees to exercise the discretion many of them seem to not want (that they gained over a decade ago).
But lets not rain on the parade. This is no doubt a victory. Afterall, it seems like there are only a few constituencies of non-millionaires that have gotten any significant demand from the administration: the LGBT movement, the Tea Party, and the immigrant rights movement to name a few. And the tie that binds these movements together (for better or worse) is that they fought like hell and refused to just “let the President do his job.”
So let there be a toast. A toast to democracy-in-action and the thousands of squeaky wheels that provided the vehicle to demand more oil. A toast that remembers those families that new policies may never help, the ones that have already been separated and torn apart. And a toast to the hope that regular people are pushing the Administration to finally have enough courage to make real change.
Yep, its time for a toast…but don’t drink the juice yet.
Last week, Pro football players and team owners ended a lockout that began in March and ensured the season would smoothly again. In the middle of the longest lockout in Football history, alot of fans and former fans alike reiterated the same gripe about the lockout.
“WHAT ARE MILLIONAIRE ATHLETES COMPLAINING ABOUT?”
During a recession, that question seems even more significant. But join as as we speak with sports commentator Dave Zirin and former pro player Bill Romanowski as we talk about the stuff pro players should complain about and what the end of the lockout means for the rest of us looking for new work better work or just regular work.
The Latino vote was a crucial factor in Obama’s 2008 victory. However, even though the majority of Latino voters still approve of his job as President, his approval ratings keep dropping. Just last week, Obama’s speech in front of the influential members of the National Council of La Raza was interrupted by frustrated chants of “Yes You Can.” The reason for the chants, and the frustration, is tied in part to the Federal governments inability to fix an immigration system that all sides say is broken. We’ll talk with one of the frustrated chanters and friend of the show Felipe Matos and Antonio Gonzalez, President of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project and the William C. Velasquez Institute. Will Latinos bail on Obama in 2012 or is Obama bailing on Latinos now? Well, let’s talk about it!
Remember, tune in, call in, and…
Let’s Talk About It!
On Monday, Chicago-based Hip Hop artist Lupe Fiasco went toe-to-toe with Bill O’Reilly in a debate about President Obama (you can see the whole clip here or below). This time, Bill O’Reilly played the unusual role of the President’s defender against a no-liquor-drinking, skateboarding, devout Muslim, son of a Green Beret who many have called the second coming of Tribe Called Quest (sorry I got carried away thinking about Midnight Marauders). O’Reilly tried to take Lupe to task for his characterization of Obama as a terrorist in the song “Words I Never Said.”
For starters, Lupe’s song was about a lot of things, not just Obama. For example, Lupe chastised those that claim to be Muslims but misuse the word Jihad (a term that means “struggle” in Arabic). He also went after people that complain about this country’s problems but don’t do anything about them. But predictably, the statements he made about Obama have caused the most controversy.
One obvious question is: Why should anyone give a damn what any celebrity says? And I only sometimes give a damn about what Lupe says. But even the things he says that I don’t give a damn about are worth hearing out.
Considering that many of O’Reilly’s right-wing talking-head colleagues have called Obama everything from a Marxist (despite his economic team representing the Dream Team of corporate capitalism), a radical Muslim (despite criticizing him for attending Reverend Wright’s church), to just not being American, O’Reilly’s defense of Obama is ironic.
But if you actually listen to the debate, Lupe asks a question the media repeatedly fails to ask and our government fails to answer: “Is the war on terror addressing the root causes of terrorism?”
It’s a point that O’Reilly dismisses as stupid. And media outlets from left to right ignore it too much to consider dismissing it. I mean what is so freaking important about getting to the bottom of what will keep a bunch of people alive and safe without having to fight three freaking wars, right? RIGHT?
The problem is that question is bigger than O’Reilly and Lupe, and it needs an answer. And while Lupe calling Obama a terrorist invokes that question in a way that makes it easy to evade, it also invokes a truism in contemporary U.S. foreign policy that folks keep wanting to ignore as well: the U.S. Government has been the biggest single supporter of individuals and institutions that it would eventually call terrorists.
Every time this truism gets brought to light, people do what O’Reilly did in the debate with Lupe, start waving the flag and saying we have to support the troops and love our country. Leave the troops out of it. They didn’t make the foreign policy decisions that would create Al Qaeda and the Taliban. In fact, leave everyday Americans out of this, they didn’t ask Bush’s Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to lie about the reasons to attack Iraq two decades after he shook Saddam’s hand. Even Obama himself was only 22 years old when Reagan called Afghan freedom fighters “patriots.”
But alas there is this verse in the Bible (John 9:41) that says, “If you were blind you would have no sin, but since you claim “we see” your sin remains.” Personally, I voted for the dude and I find a lot to admire about him and a lot to…eh. But as I said before, considering all of the potential he came into office with, he is blowing that potential faster than Earl “the Goat” Manigault blew his basketball career on…blow.
During the Presidential debates, Obama decried support for Pakistan’s old presidentMusharraf saying the US government shouldn’t support a dictator just because he is “our dictator.” To me this means that the President understands the truism that feeds bad foreign policy. But the wisdom and desire to change that truism seems to have long faded…and we continue to pour billions of dollars into buying guns in regions where sooner or later they will be pointed at innocents and Americans. It is an open question whether or not Lupe calling Obama a terrorist was productive in getting to the “root cause of terrorism.” But the truth is, we won’t know for sure if Obama’s administration is supporting people that our sons and daughters will be forced to fight against until they grow old. Whether you like Lupe Fiasco or not, he asks a couple questions we should all be demanding answers to.
Don’t forget to check Let’s Talk About It! radio when we start our our second season on July 6th. If you are in Miami, check out our fundraiser on July 3rd. Remember, if you like this article you will really like the second season of our radio show. If you don’t like this article, you’ll still like our show! In the meantime, check out the Lupe vs. O’ Reilly debate and Lupe’s video that started it all.
Watch the latest video at &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=”http://video.foxnews.com”&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;video.foxnews.com&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
On Wednesday night’s edition of Let’s talk About It! We reflected on the era of Hope and Change and if it’s just been more of the same. Our guests included: Aidil Oscariz (Worked on Obama’s campaign in Miami), Niaz Kazravi (NAACP), Daniella Levine (Catalyst Miami), Joseph Phelan (Florida New Majority), Carlos Roa (Trail of DREAMs), Michelle Fowler (Health Care Worker U-M), and Desmond Meade (Florida Rights Restoration Coalition). You can download it here or just press play below
“A New America Is Ours To Envision, Build, and Defend!”
For those that don’t know, January 20, 2011 marked the 2-year anniversary of Barack Obama becoming this nation’s President. Regardless of how you feel about Obama, it is important to reflect on what the election meant then and what it means now.
Whether you think Obama is a fire-breathing socialist, a pawn of US imperialism, or the second coming of — (insert Christ, Elijah, Moses, the Mahdi, whoever), you belong in a cold dark cave if you don’t acknowledge that the 2008 election and the 2009 inauguration were transformational moments for millions of people. I have probably mentioned it before, but both days were among the most memorable in my life.
I know that there are plenty of people that weren’t happy on January, 20, 2009. But for those that were, there was this incredible elation, and this real feeling of hope and real understanding that change was possible.
Michelle Obama caught a lot of heat when she said “For the first time in my life, I am proud of this country.” While a lot of people weren’t really feeling that statement…what did ring true about the ’08 election and the inauguration is that you got a real sense that for the first time in a lot of peoples lives, they finally felt like a full part of this country.
I was born in this country, in Cleveland, Ohio. I was raised in this country, in Saginaw, Michigan. I have lived all my life in this country, in Brooklyn, NY and now Miami. But growing up, it was really hard to fully feel American. I am saying this as a person that loved each and every community I lived in and the people there. But for some reason, the idea that many people put out about who was American didn’t always include folks that looked like me, had my beliefs, or even had my name.
Even as I got older and wiser, I knew that I loved the communities I lived in and the people in them. But the “mainstream” discourse would often make it seem like to be American you had to love NASCAR, look at people like President Andrew Jackson and Christopher Columbus as heroes, and you had to fully support every stupid war that put the lives of people I knew at risk. And you had to do that all by wrapping yourself around an American flag.
Well let’s just say, that wasn’t me growing up. That wasn’t a lot of my friends or family. And as I got older, some of those same people that wrapped themselves around the American flag didn’t love this country enough to stop our cities in Michigan from being gutted economically, stop people from being kicked out of their homes in Miami, stop Brooklyn families from losing their loved ones in Iraq, or prevent immigrants that called Orlando their lifelong home from being sent back to a country they didn’t know. But yet it was me that felt I wasn’t American enough.
Stepping onto the Mall on inauguration day, I felt the vibe, and I swear I am not making this up. It felt like millions of people finally felt like they were owning the term American.
There are a lot of ways to understand the disappointment those millions have had with Obama in the past two years. The most obvious is that Obama was not meant to be the second coming of Christ (maybe the second coming of Kennedy). On the other hand, if people wanted the second coming of Clinton, they would have just voted for the second (and smarter) Clinton. A lot of people didn’t just vote for Obama to get bills passed. They voted for him because they fundamentally thought that that he would change the way the political process related to regular people. And much of that didn’t happen.
But as I said on the show, there is a huge piece missing to this whole puzzle of Hope and Change. Obama was a symptom and not a cure. Obama is a symptom of a New America and a New American coming into its own. His election was a symptom that whole groups of people that have traditionally been left out of the mainstream notion of American, now had a chance to redefine it. That New America is our Hope and Change.
But that New American is ours to envision, build, and defend. Obama is too surrounded by the Old America (Congress, his cabinet, etc.) to be the primary builder of a New America. And believe me that Old America is willing to fight tooth and nail to keep things the way they are (and I am NOT just talking Tea Party).
In a democracy, we should never entrust just one person to be that Hope and Change in building a New America. But also in becoming a New America, we have to understand what it means to become New Americans. In the coming year, Let’s Talk About It! Radio hopes to really explore what building a New America and a New American looks like and we hope you can join us in that process.
I am going to leave you with two songs that helped guide the thought process of the show. Enjoy “Wake up” by the Roots, John Legend, and Melanie Fiona. The original song is by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. The second is “Change” by Joy Denalane and Lupe Fiasco. See y’all next week and Let’s Talk About It!
Let’s Talk About It!!!
Wed. Jan. 19 at 7pm on 880thebiz.com or 880 am (S. Florida) or just click here
This week marks 2 years since Barack Obama became president. For many people, January 20, 2009 was a transformational moment that was supposed to bring in a new era of hope and change. But have we seen real Hope and Change in the past two years? If not, what happened? What can we do to bring real Hope and Change?
Join us as we talk to folks that bring Hope and fight for Change every day as they reflect on the last two years and where we go from here.
If there is any show that we want you, our listeners to call into, this is it! Don’t miss it!
Tune in! Tell a Friend! Call in! and…
LETS TALK ABOUT IT!!!