Thursday, March 05, 2015
Friday, February 27, 2015
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
By Beth Fertig
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
As Ferguson, Missouri remains on edge surrounding the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old killed by a police officer over the weekend, one professor provides a look at St. Louis's long dark history with race relations.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Race relations are still fraught in South Africa today, 20 years after apartheid ended. Margie Orford, South African novelist and journalist, and Lisa Bloom, legal analyst for Avvo.com, discuss the Pistorius trial through this lens and explain why the runner is using his fear of the "unknown black intruder" as his defense against the charges that he murdered his girlfriend. Bloom is also the author of Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It,
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
How hard are interracial friendships in 2013? How important is having friends from across the color divide to solving racial issues? Baratunde Thurston, CEO of Cultivated Wit and author of How to Be Black; and Tanner Colby, author of Some of My Best Friends are Black preview their event this week with Soledad O'Brien, discussing race, identity, and the persistent color line.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement (Simon & Schuster), joins us to look back on the 50 years of civil rights history since the March on Washington.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
By Adam Dawson : It's A Free Country blogger
Let me preface this by saying that if the Baltimore Ravens stadium were on fire, and I had just finished drinking a six pack of beer, as a Redskins fan I would do nothing to help put the fire out.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Mitt Romney told the NAACP Wednesday morning, "If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him." The response was mixed.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Beth Richie, author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America's Prison Nation, explores the question of crime and victimhood for poor black women in abusive relationships.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Governor Scott Walker’s triumph in the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election seems to vindicate yet again his anti-rail campaign strategy. Supporters of the Millwaukee streetcar, his latest punching bag, must be worried now that Walker will make their pet project the next piece of trophy taxidermy on his office wall, right beside the high speed “boondoggle train to Madison.”
If we’ve learned anything these last few years it’s that an empowered Governor can do a lot to frustrate local wishes, be they for a commuter rail tunnel, a potentially profitable high speed train line, or a cherished lack of interstate highway. But there’s reason to think Walker might be powerless to stop the streetcar plan, even if he wanted to do so.
A year ago, before the recall campaigning, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran a thorough piece elucidating one possible reason the Republican Governor wasn’t making a big deal of the streetcar at the time:
A 10-year-old civil rights settlement could explain the governor's reticence.
That deal prohibits the state from blocking the streetcar project, according to a top federal transportation official and an attorney involved in the settlement.
Faced with allegations that it was discriminating against urban minorities by favoring freeways over light rail, the state agreed in November 2000 to cooperate with the Milwaukee Connector study and to incorporate its recommendations into the state's long-term transportation plans. That study eventually spawned the streetcar.
(For more in-depth reporting and context on the historical confluence of race and transit, listen to Transportation Nation’s Back of the Bus documentary)
We reached John Norquist, the President of the Congress for the New Urbanism, who was mayor of Milwaukee at the time of the agreement. He agreed that it wouldn’t be possible for the streetcar funding to be re-purposed without the consent of the mayor, which seems unlikely since Mayor Tom Barrett was Walker’s recall opponent. “Walker can’t take the money. It’s a joint agreement,” Norquist said. “If Barrett doesn’t agree to move the money, then the money stays where it is.”
But keeping the funding safe for one project shouldn’t be the end of the story, Norquist said. “I think the transit advocates in Milwaukee need to attack the wasteful road projects that Walker’s engaged in, the boondoggle of widening Interstate 94 to eight lanes between Milwaukee and the Illinois state boundary. That’s something like 4 billion dollars. Just to go from six to eight lanes.”
(Repeated calls and e-mails to Walker's Office were not returned.)
Agreeing with certain regretful comments made by Wisconsin State Representative Brett Hulsey to Transportation Nation last week, Norquist said that the Democrats and pro-train advocates were too timid and passive in the face of Walker’s barrage of criticism. “They need to have an intellectual theory behind what they’re doing. We did this back in the ‘70s and ‘80s. We threw out a bunch of pro-highway legislators in Milwaukee, and a bunch of us got elected on an anti-freeway campaign. We killed all three pending freeways in Milwaukee.” The streetcar money originally came from funds returned for the unbuilt Stadium North Freeway. “Originally it was $500 million. And the state DOT has been trying to steal it ever since.”
Since those anti-freeway heyday that brought him into power, the pendulum has swung the other way, he says, largely because of racial fears tied to transit in Wisconsin. “This last election Walker ran against the city, tried to wrap the fear about the big city around Barrett’s neck,” Norquist observed. “It’s all very hardcore. They treat transit like it’s a welfare queen sashaying down a welfare promenade.”
But he also thinks that attitude might soon run its course. “I think Walker’s attitude still works because the a lot of those post-war generation are still voting their fears about the city and there’s still a lot of them around,” he said. “But it’s about to change. Young people—the Millenials—like urban place, and they don’t have a negative attitude toward transit.” In 1970, there were nine cities in the nation with rail transit systems, he pointed out, while today, some forty cities have it, including many in sun belt. “I think Walker will be one of the last of the people that are able to use transit as a wedge issue.”
Friday, May 18, 2012
Celeste Headlee, co-host of The Takeaway, speaks at the National Race Amity Conference in Boston today. Richard Thomas, professor emeritus of history at Michigan State University is also talking at the conference. He’s the creator of the race relations concept, "The Other Tradition," which focuses on the efforts of those who, during times of racial conflict, have worked across racial lines to promote friendship and peace. William Smith is the founding executive director of the National Center for Race Amity, based at Wheelock College in Boston, and is the organizer of the annual National Race Amity Conference.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Among Florida cities, Sanford has a remarkable amount of green space. As WMFE reporter Matthew Peddie noted for WNYC’s Transportation Nation blog, Sanford has spent more than $20 million in the last two decades creating more than 30 parks and green spaces. However, Sanford is also notable for being home to numerous gated communities — like The Retreat at Twin Lakes, the neighborhood where 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed as he walked back from 7-Eleven.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
(Minnesota Public Radio, Laura Yuen, May 5) The final two installments in Minnesota Public Radio's in-depth look at the new light rail line examine the politics and the racial ramifications of building the new line. View a slide show, and listen here.