Archives for January 2022

Younger Progressive Dems May Replace Outgoing CBC Members

Two Friday night appearances on Prime with Charles M. Blow on the Black News Channel, to talk about what next on voting rights, and how a new generation of young, progressive members of the Congressional Black Caucus could change politics:

What do the census, voting rights and democracy have in common?

Emails made public by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School recently showed that officials under President Donald Trump tried whatever they could to rig the system for redistricting purposes. It and other government documents detailed clashes between the administration and the bureau’s experts in areas that had the potential of affecting the count and who gets elected. Mary C. Curtis sits down with Kelly Percival, with the Brennan Center’s Democracy to discuss what this all means.

‘Beat them in court, beat them in Congress and beat them at the polls’

On the one year anniversary of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the administration woke up to it’s fifth defeat in six months in passing legislation to ensure voting rights for all. Biden had promised to put voting rights at the top of his agenda, but the path appears more fraught than ever. Mary C. Curtis speaks with White House Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond on what comes next.

You don’t notice climate change, until you do

Though you’d hardly call me a skier, a skiing fan or a more than casual follower of the sport, even I have heard of American champion and Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn. So, I paused to listen when she plugged her new memoir on NPR. What kept my attention were her reflections on how climate change has shifted her sport in — when you think about it — predictable ways.

“It’s been so difficult the last few years to hold the entire World Cup schedule. A lot of the races that we have are a bit lower in altitude, and those races have been canceled more often than not,” she said. “The glaciers that I grew up skiing on in Austria and places like that are essentially gone. It’s incredibly sad, and global warming is something that’s very real for the world. And I feel like in the grand scheme of things, our sport doesn’t really matter in that way, but we see it firsthand.”

From fires out West that destroy cities in the blink of an eye to a record number of deadly tornadoes in the last month of last year, few areas of the globe have been spared. According to research released last year in the journal Nature Climate Change, at least 85 percent of the global population has experienced weather events made worse by climate change. And climate effects in other places can reach America’s shores.

However, as with most issues, including those based on science, there is a partisan divide when it comes to belief in the seriousness of the problem and what, if anything, needs to be done about it.

Americans who excuse violence need to see the world through Maxine McNair’s eyes — and soul

It looked like an ordinary room when I visited it years ago, a place you’d pause for a chat in the middle of a work day or to enjoy that lunch packed from home. But it was so much more, a room where memories and emotions overwhelm in the space of a few seconds.

When a business trip took me to Birmingham, Ala., I knew I had to visit, to witness at the 16th Street Baptist Church, where cowards placed a bomb that injured many and murdered four little girls getting ready for a church program on Sept. 15, 1963.

While the church itself is a beautiful sanctuary, the basement space is no less sacred.

That is what violence looks like, violence spurred by hate, violence that ended the lives of Addie Mae Collins, 14; Cynthia Wesley, 14; Carole Robertson, 14, and Carol Denise McNair, just 11 years old. It wasn’t just Ku Klux Klan members whose fingerprints stained that evil and bloody act. Among the guilty were the “good” white citizens of Alabama, the leaders and politicians, who feared any change in the social, economic and political order that solidified their status, their place at the top. Whether silent or vocal, they supported the folks who did the dirty work.

Maxine McNair, the last living parent of any of the girls killed in the 1963 church bombing, died on Jan. 2 at the age of 93. Any mother, any person, could and should feel a piece of that pain in their bones; they should try to imagine how it might have felt to live nearly 60 years after burying a child, all those years to remember what was and to think of what might have been.

Short-term memories

Instead, a lot of Americans have apparently forgotten that important historical event from not that long ago. It’s not that surprising if you paid any attention to how divided Americans were in their commemoration of an insurrection, a violent attempt to overturn the results of an election judged fair by officials of every political party.

And that was just one year ago, on Jan. 6, 2021.

recent Washington Post-University of Maryland poll found that about 1 in 3 Americans believed violence against the government could at times be justified. Though that third included all Americans, who listed a range of said justifications, from vaccine requirements to “protection,” there was a distinct partisan divide — with 40 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats indicating approval.

Local News Roundup: New COVID-19 records; a redistricting trial; remembering Jan. 6, 2021

The United States hit a new record high early this week for COVID-19 infections in a single day with 1 million Americans diagnosed.

How did the holidays and the omicron variant affect us here in North Carolina? Gov. Roy Cooper urges boosters and plans an extension to the state vaccination mandate as infections in North Carolina surge to record-breaking numbers.

North Carolina’s trial on gerrymandering started this week in Raleigh, with some witnesses citing that maps were drawn using racial and political motivations. Others said that was not the case. We’ll talk about what happened in court.

This week, people here and across the country remembered the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters. We’ll talk about the observance.

Guests:

Seema Iyer, chief legal correspondent WJZY Fox 46

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time”

Claire Donnelly, WFAE health reporter

Hunter Saenz, WCNC reporter

The state of democracy one year after January 6

Talked about the state of democracy one year after January 6 with Charles Blow and Ohio State professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries on BNC’s ‘Prime.’

The fight for Black and brown children

There is a double standard when it comes to the treatment of children of color. They are punished in schools more frequently. They are arrested more frequently. Why is this happening and why are so many Black and brown children robbed of their childhoods? Kristin Henning, author of “The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth,” uses her experiences, data and research to paint an alarming picture. Henning sits down with Mary C. Curtis to discuss the problem and potential policy solutions.