Pandemics and gun violence are real life, not ‘theater’

Perhaps Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky needs a refresher course on the meaning of the word “theater.” His GOP colleague Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas could listen in.

The former recently initiated a verbal brawl with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease specialist who has been providing information and advice to guide Americans dealing, along with the rest of the world, with a deadly pandemic. The latter accused anyone proposing the consideration of gun restrictions, in light of two horrific mass shootings in the space of a week, of “ridiculous theater.”

Now, I realize the term “theatrical” can be used as an insult hurled at someone accused of exaggeration, but what is happening in America is a fact. So let me offer my own definition: “Theater” is the thrill of escaping from it all in a darkened hall with a group of strangers, to see and hear professionals act or sing or dance, and to be uplifted by the experience, if only for an hour or two.

And it’s something we’ve been deprived of during this past, very long year amid the pain of COVID-19, with deadly gun violence that has not abated as a backdrop, and so much more.

 

Back to the Future: The ERA

The Equal Rights Amendment known as ERA — yes that ERA — is back.

The House passed a bill last week that would extend the deadline to ratify the amendment to the Constitution prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex.

But is this five-decade-old amendment up to this moment? A moment that includes #MeToo, rising hate crimes against women of color and a pandemic that has battered women more than men? We turn to professor Julie Suk, who published “We the Women: The Unstoppable Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment,” to discuss.

Mary C. Curtis: Mass Shootings Revive Debate on Gun Control

CHARLOTTE, NC – In a week, mass shootings in Atlanta and in Boulder, Colorado have shaken the nation. While rates for many crimes fell during the pandemic year, gun violence worsened.

Is there an explanation or solution to mass violence in the country?

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses more.

You can catch Mary C. Curtis on Sunday nights at 6:30 PM on WCCB Charlotte’s CW discussing the biggest issues in local and national politics and also giving us a look at what’s ahead for the week.

POLITICAL WRAP: Crisis at Border after Surge in Migrants and Unaccompanied Children

A crisis at the border as a major surge in migrants strains resources.

Nearly 9,300 unaccompanied children were detained last month.

Our political contributor, Mary C. Curtis, gives us her take in the video above.

Local News Roundup: Vaccine Eligibility Increases But Finding Appointments A Challenge; Atlanta Killings Reaction; Arrests In Capitol Riot

This week, more people are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and more appointments are being made available throughout the county to help people get their first dose of the vaccine. We’ll talk about who is eligible.

Once you’re eligible for the vaccine, some finesse and persistence may still be required to find a place to get vaccinated. We’ll talk about some mass vaccination events and where to look for appointments.

This week’s killing of six Asian American women in Atlanta brings the rise in violence against Asian Americans to the forefront in the Southeast. We’ll hear local reaction.

GOP lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly are working to put a limit on the governor’s emergency power during long-term emergency events. We’ll talk about what they’re trying to do and how that will affect Gov. Roy Cooper’s ability to manage the pandemic in the state.

And two York County, South Carolina, men are arrested for their alleged role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. We discuss how they were identified and their role in the violence.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into the week’s top news on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

GUESTS:

Nick OchsnerWBTV’s Executive Producer for Investigations & Chief Investigative Reporter

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time” and contributor at WCCB-TV

Katie Peralta Soloff, reporter for Axios Charlotte

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE

Mary C. Curtis: Biden Hits Road to Promote COVID Relief Plan

CHARLOTTE, NC — This week President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are touring the country to highlight their $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan as $1,400  dollar direct payments begin hitting bank accounts.

Some Republicans approve of parts of the bill that will benefit constituents, though they voted against it because they say it is too big and not targeted enough.

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses how the bill with benefit small businesses, schools and families.

You can catch Mary C. Curtis on Sunday nights at 6:30 PM on WCCB Charlotte’s CW discussing the biggest issues in local and national politics and also giving us a look at what’s ahead for the week.

You can also check out Mary’s podcast ‘Equal Time.’

POLITICAL WRAP: NY Governor Cuomo Under Fire Over Sexual Harassment Allegations; Nursing Home Deaths

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment and unwanted advances.

Cuomo says he isn’t going anywhere, even as New York’s two Senators and a majority of the state’s democratic congressional delegation call on him to resign.

The Governor is also in hot water for allegedly under reporting  COVID 19 deaths in nursing homes.

Reform Redo, Evolving Elections & the Voice of Black Women

Mary C. Curtis (columnist for “Roll Call” & host of the “Equal Time” podcast), attorney and political analyst Jessica Holmes, and writer Courtney Napier break down some of the week’s headlines through the eyes of Black women. Marcella Howard (In Our Own Voice) and Omisade Burney-Scott (“Black Girls’ Guide to Surviving Menopause”) also break down the growing reproductive justice movement.

What the pandemic taught America about racial injustice

It’s been one year since the global pandemic hit. Most Americans had no idea what was in store. The number of those impacted by COVID-19 is staggering. More than half a million American lives have been lost to the virus. And for people of color, the negative impact on their lives has been disproportionate — lost jobs, homes, health and lives.

Looking back, the pandemic has shined a light on just how deep the incisions are from structural and racial inequities. We turn to Shawn Fremstad of the Center for Economic and Policy Research to discuss the whys, the whats and how Biden administration policies are an attempt to right some of the wrongs and level the field.

For Black women, it’s always been political and personal

Whether Sojourner Truth actually spoke the famous phrase attributed to her is a question. But the message of her 1851 speech at a women’s rights convention was clear: “Ain’t I a woman?” The formerly enslaved abolitionist and civil and women’s rights activist would not be dismissed when she demanded the time and commanded the stage, something that is not in dispute.

During Women’s History Month, in the week of International Women’s Day, my thoughts turn to Sojourner Truth. She was enslaved, cruelly abused, separated from her true love by a slave master determined that any children she had would be “owned” by him. Yet she escaped and sued to win back a son illegally sold into slavery.

While her battles, lost and won, benefited everyone, that reality did not always break through. She was repeatedly forced to prove so much, including that she was, indeed, a woman, one who loved, was loved and deserved love, who would crash a system designed to hold her down to get her child back in her arms.

Where do Black women fit in this time of celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women? At turns ignored and praised, vilified and valorized — and, sometimes, called on to save the world — we still have to stand up to declare our own truth, and our fullness as human beings.