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Episode 31: (LIVE Taping) Victories from Inside Out: Dismantling the Prison-Industrial Complex
April 17, 2018 08:56 AM PDT
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On today's episode, Tim sits in conversation with two of the nation’s most inspiring criminal justice and prison reform activists, Taina Vargas-Edmond and Dorsey Nunn, during the first-ever recording of the show in front of a live audience.

Vargas-Edmond is the Executive Director and co-Founder of Initiate Justice and Dorsey Nunn is the Executive Director of Legal Services for Prisoners With Children/All of Us or None. In this public dialogue — a fundraiser for their respective groups sponsored by Bay Area SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) — they discuss a number of critical issues, including:

-- The devastating impact of incarceration on families and communities;

-- The importance of seeing the incarcerated as multi-dimensional human beings rather than broken and dangerous individuals incapable of restoration;

-- Why it’s so important to involve the incarcerated and their families directly in advocacy work and to have them actually leading those efforts;

-- The importance of some recent successes in California and elsewhere when it comes to criminal justice reform; and finally, the work that remains to be done to create a more just society for all.

Episode 30: #WeCounterHate - Creating an Innovative Digital Response to Racism on Twitter
April 10, 2018 10:55 AM PDT
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On today’s episode of Speak Out With Tim Wise, Tim speaks with the folks behind the We Counter Hate project: an ingenious and creative new effort to counter hate speech on Twitter. As you’ll hear on the program, the project involves the use of computer technology to identify hate speech, alert those who spread it that it has been deemed hate speech, and then let them know that for every re-tweet of the material, a donation will be made to an organization fighting the very hatred they seek to spread. Ultimately the goal is to get “hatefluencers”to think twice before retweeting bigoted content, by raising the cost of their free speech. Neither censorship nor shaming of racists will suffice to shut them down, but this creative approach is making a difference. Tweets marked by the We Counter Hate system get retweeted up to 70 percent less often than tweets sent out by the same Twitter accounts, but which were not marked.

Also on the program is Sammy Rangel, the Executive Director of Life After Hate — which works to help people leave the white supremacist movement and inoculate others to their poison — and which has worked with the folks at We Counter Hate to develop the model and the approach used in this effort.

Episode 29: Jasmine Tyler (Human Rights Watch) -Criminal Justice Policy in the Age of Trump
April 03, 2018 04:16 PM PDT
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On today’s episode of Speak Out With Tim Wise, Tim speaks with Jasmine Tyler, of Human Rights Watch, about criminal justice policy in the age of Trump and under the watch of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. They’ll explore the administration’s threats to states that have legalized recreational marijuana and their call for the death penalty for drug dealers, and what it could mean to re-invigorate the failed and racially-disparate war on drugs.

Tyler and Wise will also examine the ongoing racial disparities in street-level drug arrests, even in states that have legalized weed dispensaries, and the importance of linking decriminalization efforts to racial justice work. Finally, they’ll discuss the problem with drug courts, as well as using “risk assessment algorithms” to predict future offending—often offered as an alternative to financially oppressive money bail, but which threatens to replicate all the racial and economic inequities of the existing system.

Also on the episode, Tim offers an analysis of the good, the bad, and the ugly in terms of racial (in)equity since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., 50 years ago this Wednesday.

Episode 28: Marc Lamont Hill on Youth-Led Justice Movements, Police Violence, and the Racialization of Terror
March 27, 2018 04:09 AM PDT
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Today’s guest on Speak Out With Tim Wise is Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, one of America’s leading public intellectuals. Hill is a Temple University professor, host of BET News, a regular political contributor for CNN, and the author of the NYT bestseller, Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond.

On this week’s program, Wise and Hill discuss Trumpism, and the inspiring state of youth resistance, both in the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, they explore the relationship between younger and older activists, including how elders can provide helpful insights to youth while at the same time giving them the space to grow, make their own mistakes, and ultimately lead the struggles for equity and justice.

Hill and Wise also examine the ongoing reality of police shootings of unarmed persons of color—as with the killing of Stephon Clark in Sacramento—as well as the differential way media frames violence and terrorism, whether committed by people of color and Muslims on the one hand, or white Christians like the recent bomber in Austin, Texas, on the other.

Finally, Hill discusses why he opened a bookstore in Philadelphia, and why black bookstores are such a vital component of community there and elsewhere.

Episode 27: Bradley Onishi on What Really Motivates White Evangelical Politics (and Why?)
March 20, 2018 11:38 AM PDT
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On today’s episode, Tim speaks with Bradley Onishi, an Assistant Professor of Religion at Skidmore College and author of the forthcoming book, The Sacrality of the Secular, from Columbia University Press.

Onishi’s recent writings, in which he discusses his past as an evangelical Christian, frame the conversation as he and Wise explore the way that white evangelism in particular filters virtually all issues of political morality through the lens of abortion. They’ll discuss why this is, how it explains fundamentalist support for Donald Trump despite his repeated violation of Christian norms of behavior, and how it connects to the religious right’s racial vision for America as well.

Onishi also discusses the privilege of white nostalgia for a fictive religious, racial and national past, as well as the meaning of Billy Graham and his elevation to the role of “America’s Pastor,” following his recent death.

This episode also features Tim’s weekly commentary, in which he discusses recent bombings in Austin, TX as well as the arrest of two white men who were hoarding weapons and bomb-making materials in NY and FL, and what the lack of news coverage — and the president’s silence about these events — says about the way we view terrorism, violence, and danger in America.

Episode 26: Robin DiAngelo/Debby Irving - White Fragility, Obliviousness & White Allyship
March 13, 2018 01:48 PM PDT
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On this episode of Speak Out With Tim Wise, Tim speaks with antiracism educators and authors, Robin DiAngelo and Debby Irving. They’ll discuss the ways in which white obliviousness to the reality of racism, and "white fragility" as DiAngelo calls it—which causes such backlash when matters of race and privilege are raised—both complicate efforts to produce racial equity in American institutions. They’ll explore how white fragility manifests, why it’s so toxic for both people of color and (ironically) white folks, and how even “nice white people” can derail conversations and efforts aimed at rectifying racism unless the phenomenon is understood and confronted.

They also discuss the inherent tensions they all feel as whites doing antiracism work, in which they confront and critique privilege, on the one hand, while most assuredly benefitting from it on the other. How should whites navigate that space? How can we do so in a more accountable way to people of color? And how have they come to see the proper role of whites in the movement for racial justice?

Episode 25: Rashad Robinson (Color of Change) on Race and Representation in Hollywood
March 06, 2018 11:12 AM PST
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Today on Speak Out With Tim Wise, Tim speaks with Rashad Robinson Executive Director of Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. Driven by over one million members, Color Of Change builds power for Black communities, moving decision makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people and all people.

In addition to their work around criminal justice reform, Color of Change is currently spearheading the Hollywood Culture Project, an initiative to change the rules in Hollywood, ensuring accurate, diverse, empathetic and human portrayals of Black people on television and throughout the media landscape.

On this episode, Robinson and Wise discuss the importance of more accurate and representative images in media and entertainment, and how those images connect to the broader struggle for racial equity and justice.

Episode 24: Hugh Vasquez on Understanding and Undoing Subconscious Racial Bias
February 27, 2018 08:41 PM PST
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On this episode Tim speaks with activist and educator Hugh Vasquez of the National Equity Project about the role of subconscious bias in perpetuating racial inequities, and how individuals and institutions can begin to undo the impact of these biases and create policies and practices that minimize the damage they can do.

In their discussion Hugh and Tim explore the research from the field of brain science and how that research can (and must) inform our strategies for addressing racism in our communities.

Episode 23: Guns, Violence and the Cult of the Firearm in America
February 20, 2018 06:52 AM PST
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On today’s episode Tim offers an extended personal commentary on the gun crisis in America, following last week’s horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. With so much attention focused on what the shooting means—about guns and violence in America, about mental health, and about the politics of gun control—it’s important to understand the issues in play, to cut through the arguments against common sense gun regulations made by gun fanatics, and to explore the connections between guns, toxic masculinity, and whiteness in particular.

In this hour, Tim demonstrates not only the sources of the problem—too many easily available guns and a culture that fetishizes them—but also examines some of the ways in which we might begin to wind down the problem of gun violence and minimize the likelihood that such tragedies will continue to occur.

Episode 22: Loretta Ross on Race, Reproductive Justice and Movement Building in an Age of Backlash
February 13, 2018 11:37 AM PST
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On this week’s episode, Tim speaks with Loretta Ross, one of the nation’s leading scholars and activists in the movement for reproductive justice. She was the co-founder and National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective from 2005-2012, a network founded in 1997 by women of color specifically to organize women of color in the reproductive justice movement.

Ms. Ross was the Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Human Rights Education (NCHRE) in Atlanta, Georgia and launched the Women of Color Program for the National Organization for Women (NOW) in the 1980s.

She is the author or co-author of several books including her two latest: Reproductive Justice: An Introduction, which she co-authored with Rickie Solinger, and Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundations, Theory, Practices and Critique.

On the show today, Loretta and Tim will discuss the meaning of reproductive justice and how it seeks to expand the traditional concept of reproductive freedom beyond mere issues of abortion access and typical pro-choice/pro-life divides.

They’ll discuss how reproductive self-determination connects to issues of racial inequity, comprehensive health care access, and education, and how without an intersectional framework linking these things, the entire concept of reproductive freedom and choice mean very little for women, including those women who choose to carry a pregnancy to term.

Ross and Wise also explore the opportunities for cross-racial alliances in the age of Trump, why it’s important to engage whites around issues of white supremacy, and how movements for social justice can ultimately do that.

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