FROM Hector Tobar
What Hector Tobar's students taught him about white despair One voter group Donald Trump consistently polls better with than Hillary Clinton are working-class whites. Trump’s message is resonating with those voters in key states like Ohio. One reason is that the loss of manufacturing and mining jobs there has left many struggling; and that sense of downward mobility is fueling anger. In an op-ed for the New York Times, author and journalist Hector Tobar writes about white despair among his students at the University of Oregon. It’s titled, “My Lesson From White America.”
Where is the Latino Outrage? In this election year, anger has taken center-stage. The Black Lives Matter movement went viral even before the battle for the White House ramped up. Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has tapped into blue collar frustration with the status quo. And Donald Trump has seized on the deep-seated outrage of many disenfranchised voters, attacking immigrants in particular. When Donald Trump proposes building a wall on the border and refers to Mexican immigrants as ‘rapists’, Hector Tobar wonders were the Latino outrage is.
Hector Tobar on the Trapped Chilean Miners Four years ago today, the entire world was watching as 33 Chilean miners emerged unharmed from a stone prison that had held them captive for 69 days. A massive piece of rock had trapped them more than 2,000 feet underground. Each of the miners shared their version of events for the first time with writer and LA Times reporter Hector Tobar, who chronicles it all in his latest book.
“Deep Down Dark” Four years ago today, the entire world was watching as 33 Chilean miners emerged unharmed from a stone prison that had held them captive for 69 days. A massive piece of rock had trapped them more than 2,000 feet underground. Each of the miners shared their version of events for the first time with writer and LA Times reporter Hector Tobar, who chronicles it all in a new book .
Librarians Get the Third Degree On most days, LA Unified's school librarians are "fielding student queries about American history and Greek mythology and retrieving copies of vampire novels." But these days, they are on the witness stand in an improvised courtroom, facing interrogation from school attorneys, while "armed police officers hover nearby." That's according to Hector Tobar, columnist for the Los Angeles Times .
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Ethnic Studies in Arizona Dr. Rudy Acuña founded the Chicano Studies Department at California State University Northridge. At 78, he still teaches in what's become the largest program of its kind in the nation. In 1972, he wrote Occupied America : A History of Chicanos. The book has now been cited as an example of what's wrong with Mexican-American studies in Tucson, Arizona, which have been declared illegal by the state's newly-elected Attorney General, former Superintendent of Schools Tom Horne. We talk with Professor Acuña and others.
The Mexican Border and California's Economy The recent crack down on border security has reduced the number of crossings at San Ysidro and Otay Mesa, 99% of which are perfectly legal. Today's San Diego Union-Tribune reports a 21% drop in the past three years at San Ysidro and 24% at Otay Mesa. That’s bad for business, not just in the border towns but all of Southern California, including LA and Orange Counties. Delays at the border are costing the region billions of dollars. How bad is it? What will it take to restore business as usual on both sides of the border?
Mexico’s War on Drugs Leads to War on Streets In December, President Felipe Calderon called up the Army to cope with feuding drug cartels that have corrupted local police. Since then, there’s been an increase of violence migrating from rural states to Mexico City. Some fear the Army itself is at risk from the same drug lords who’ve corrupted local police; others blame soldiers for abuses of human rights. One of the drug cartels has its own military operation—formed in part by Army deserters. Is Calderon making things better or worse? Does he have any choice? What is the responsibility of the US, where the drug dealers find their market? Hector Tobar, Mexico City Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times, joins us with the latest news.
Mexico City Legalizes Abortion Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guyana were the only places in Latin American to allow abortion on demand until yesterday, when Mexico City legalized the procedure during the first twelve week's of pregnancy. In introducing the bill, Mexico City Deputy Daniel Ordoñez said, "Women have self determination over their bodies" and the "exclusive" right to decide whether to enter into motherhood. Supporters call it a landmark for women's rights in Latin America. Héctor Tobar covered the story for the Los Angeles Times .
Mexico's Lawmakers Stage 'Lucha Libre' on the Congressional Dais Felipe Calderón took the oath of office as President of Mexico today amid jeers and whistles from opposing factions in Congress. For three days, his elected friends and enemies have assaulted one another with soft-drink cans, pizza boxes--and punches--in the Congressional chamber.
Anti-Americanism on the Left in Latin America Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is more critical of the US than Osama bin Laden. Now Ronald Reagan's old nemesis has been re-elected President of Nicaragua . In the 1980's the Reagan administration helped finance the Nicaraguan Contras in their bloody civil war against Daniel Ortega , the radical leftist Sandinista who had ousted American-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza. In 1990, Ortega was voted out, and he's been trying to win re-election ever since. This year, Iran-Contra figure Oliver North campaigned against Ortega and the Bush Administration backed his opponent, but Ortega won. Does he represent the growth of leftist anti-Americanism? Should the US re-engage with its Latin America neighbors south of the border?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.