FEATURING SOPHIA MCCLENNEN - GOP frontrunner Donald Trump continued his winning streak in this week's primary races. The Republican Party establishment also continued to worry about how to tackle a character who so openly espouses the party's extremist positions. But now, some are questioning the candidate's mental health. Literally. In an article in Salon, my guest Sophia McClennen asks, "What if the GOP frontrunner isn’t crazy, but simply not well?" Read McClennen’s article HERE and read Donald Trump’s physician’s report HERE. Sophia McClennen, Associate Director of Penn State School of international Affairs, Director of the Center for Global Studies, and a scholar of culture, politics, and society who writes regularly for Salon.
FEATURING CHAÉDRIA LABOUVIER - The pop megastar Beyoncé surprised her fans last week by releasing an album called Lemonade. She spearheaded a massive collaboration of artists that includes the award winning Kenyan-Somali poet Warsan Shire, the unabashedly political hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar, the tennis superstar and role model Serena Williams, Jack White from The White Stripes, and Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant. But, continuing her trajectory toward embracing a more socially conscious approach to music and artistry, Queen Bey also sampled a Malcolm X speech and showcased the mothers of black men killed by police. Central to the critical acclaim her work is garnering is the sense that Lemonade is "unapologetically black." The overwhelming majority of people featured in the visual one-hour version of the album are black women. Follow Chaédria on Twitter @chaedria. Chaédria LaBouvier, writer for Elle Magazine.
FEATURING IBRAM X. KENDI - When Barack Obama was elected President, we were told we lived in a post-racial world. It was a similar logic that the Supreme Court used to gut the voting rights act: now that voting rights were being respected, it was time to remove the protections preserving voters of color. We have time and again pronounced the death of racism. Yet, those clear cut indicators of racism in terms of income inequality, disproportionate police killings and imprisonment, health disparities, etc, continue unabated. Ibram X Kendi makes the case the racist ideas were built into the very DNA of this nation. Ibram X Kendi, Assistant Professor of African American history at the University of Florida and the author of the award winning book, The Black Campus: Black Students and the Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education 1965-1972. His new book is called Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History
FEATURING CHAÉDRIA LABOUVIER - The pop megastar Beyoncé surprised her fans last week by releasing an album called Lemonade. She spearheaded a massive collaboration of artists that includes the award winning Kenyan-Somali poet Warsan Shire, the unabashedly political hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar, the tennis superstar and role model Serena Williams, Jack White from The White Stripes, and Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant. But, continuing her trajectory toward embracing a more socially conscious approach to music and artistry, Queen Bey also sampled a Malcolm X speech and showcased the mothers of black men killed by police. Central to the critical acclaim her work is garnering is the sense that Lemonade is "unapologetically black." The overwhelming majority of people featured in the visual one-hour version of the album are black women. NOTE: Watch the Extended version of this interview, available only to our subscribers, or to rent or buy. Chaédria LaBouvier, writer for Elle
On April 23, 2016, former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis made his only Southern California appearance during his book tour as part of the Rising Up Speaker Series. About 250 people gathered at the Neighborhood Unitarian Church in Pasadena to hear Varoufakis relate the inside story about his 5 months fighting austerity policies imposed by the European Union. Several dozen people attended the pre-event reception which included a copy of Varoufakis' new book, And The Weak Suffer What They Must. They enjoyed wine and hors d'oeuvres, and had reserved seating at the talk. Sonali Kolhatkar, host of Rising Up With Sonali, introduced Varoufakis. The talk and question-and-answer session lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes. Audience members were able to buy copies of his book get them signed after the event. You can buy or rent the talk here, or subscribe to our Premium Content channel to access it: Watch highlights
FEATURING MARA KEISLING - Dozens of people were arrested earlier this week in Raleigh, North Carolina when they confronted state lawmakers returning from recess. The protesters were demanding that elected representatives repeal the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, an anti-transgender bill that was signed into law recently. Find out more at www.transequality.org. Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
FEATURING LANCE SELFA - Tuesday night's Presidential primary races in 5 states dealt a blow to the upstart campaign of Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination. The Vermont Senator lost 4 out of 5 races leading the press to pronounce his candidacy virtually dead. Sanders has had to contend with a persistently pro-Clinton press corps and the internal opposition of the establishment Democratic Party in getting as far as he has. Still, a new poll by George Washington University found that Sanders remains the most popular candidate nationwide. There are still more than a dozen primary races to go including the large prize of California in June. Today we turn to history to examine lessons from another time that a progressive candidate attempted to push the Democratic Party to the left and had to deal with the party's unenthusiastic response: the 1934 California gubernatorial race of Upton Sinclair. Read Lance's article
FEATURING MEG JACOBS - Politicians often like to bring up the US's "dependency on foreign oil" as a popular talking point. The phrase originated in the 1970s when the Arab oil producing countries launched an embargo on the US and provoked an energy crisis. Americans who remember that time period recall long lines of cars waiting to get gas, and gas stations running out. It was a moment of national vulnerability for a country that was intent on building up its global dominance. Meg Jacobs teaches history and public affairs at Princeton University. Her earlier book was called Pocketbook Politics: Economic Citizenship in Twentieth Century America. Her latest book is Panic At the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s.
FEATURING MATT WOOD - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Department of Justice have both indicated approval of a mega corporate media merger: Charter Communication's massive $71 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and a company called Bright House Productions. But the media reform organization Free Press has called it a "disastrous deal." Sign the petition to stop the Charter-Warner Time Cable merger HERE. Matt Wood, Policy Director at Free Press.
FEATURING SCOT SPENCER - A new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation examines how mass incarceration impacts the whole family of an inmate. According to researchers, there are 5 million children in the US who have had a parent incarcerated at some point in their lives. Given how the prison system of both states and the federal government is inadequate in so many ways, it is no surprise that few resources, if any, exist to support the families of inmates. The report is called A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration on Kids, Families and Communities. Find the study HERE. Scot Spencer, associate director for influence and advocacy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.