Why Bill Cosby’s case has race, gender and celebrity echoes of the O.J. Simpson trial After 52 hours of deliberation, the jury in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case ended in mistrial Saturday , after the jury found itself deadlocked. Cosby could face a new trial as soon as October. His defense team says he is vindicated. But prosecutors are calling for more women to step forward. The high-profile trial has brought up themes of celebrity, race, gender, and media attention.
Should we move away from identity politics or double down? Bernie Sanders urged his supporters Sunday to move away from identity politics, and that progressives need to band together and fight for the working class. However, others say that’s a call to ignore racism, sexism and other forms of bigotry. The question of how much to embrace -- or not -- identity politics will be key to the future of the Democratic party.
A Nation On the Edge President Obama will be in Dallas tomorrow, to memorialize the five police officers gunned down by a sniper last week during a protest against police violence. Today, Police Chief David Brown said protesters deserve protection.
Hillary Clinton, Kendrick Lamar and Race Last night at the Grammy Awards, Kendrick Lamar gave an electrifying performance about being black in America. He came on stage shackled in chains, wearing prison blues, while his band performed behind bars. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is scheduled to deliver a big speech on race in New York today. Both she and Bernie Sanders have had to address issues facing African-Americans and minorities as they compete in more racially diverse states. Mass incarceration, police brutality, inequality, Ferguson … the list looms large in this election. We discuss it all with two guests.
Is the LAPD Over-Reacting to a Hostile Atmosphere? Last Saturday night, two officers of the LAPD shot and killed a man in Van Nuys after the back window of their patrol car was broken out by a beer bottle. The man was unarmed, but has not been identified. The officers’ attorney says they rightfully feared for their lives because of a video they were shown at roll call. Chief Charlie Beck initially said the video represented a possible threat. Now he says that it did not. The editorial board of the LA Times says a lot of questions still need to be answered.
The NAACP Today Civil rights pioneer Julian Bond passed away over the weekend, at the age of 75. He fought for equality and justice throughout his life. He was one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center, and headed the NAACP—the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People—from 1998 through the aughts. How relevant is the NAACP today when it comes to addressing the issues of the black community?
Rachel Dolezal and Racial Identity The parents of Rachel Dolezal appeared on the Today Show this morning to talk about their daughter. Dolezal is a white woman who over the years began presenting herself as African-American. She was a student at the historically black college Howard in Washington, D.C.; she got her M.A. and now teaches in the Africana Studies Program at Eastern Washington University; and she headed the NAACP’s Spokane office until resigning today. She also lied about having black family members. There seem to be no shortage of lies or half-truths Dolezal has claimed about her personal history. At its core it is a story about a woman whose identity, either consciously or unconsciously, was malleable to the point that she completely assumed a new race and disowned her white family. How unusual is her story, and what bigger questions does it point to in terms of how we create racial identities in this country?
Criminal Charges Filed in Freddie Gray Death Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby announced this morning that she’s filed criminal charges against the six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray. The announcement came after days of unrest in Baltimore, and it seemed designed in tone and content to ensure the citizens of the city that justice would be served. What’s likely to happen as these cases move forward?
Secrecy and Police Shootings In South Carolina, a police officer in the city of North Charleston shot an unarmed African American man eight times in the back on Saturday . This occurred after a routine traffic stop. Video of the shooting surfaced yesterday and now the police officer has been charged with murder. The footage, captured by a bystander, changed everything; initially the officer said he had acted in self defense. This ability to see exactly how a police shooting went down is rare. Even when there are full investigations, details of these events are often not made public. That’s certainly the case here in Pasadena, where people continue to call for transparency from the Pasadena Police Department in the shooting death of unarmed 19-year-old Kendrec McDade three years ago. The police have refused to hand over the full internal report of the incident.
A New Civil Rights Movement? Hundreds of people in cities across the country are protesting the Staten Island grand jury decision not to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner. On the heels of another grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, anger in the black community is running high. But what happens next? Have we reached a tipping point?
Rap Lyrics in Court More and more judges are allowing hip-hop lyrics into court proceedings to illustrate a defendant’s violent mindset. We don’t usually allow other kinds of art to be put on trial, so why is it okay with rap?
Racial Stereotyping: How Dangerous Is It for Young Black Men? Local reaction is focused not just on the Rodney King riots 21 years ago, but on a more recent incident. Just a month after the Trayvon Martin killing, Kendrec McDade was shot to death on the streets of Pasadena. He, too, was an unarmed, black teenager, killed because police thought he had a gun.
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?
Farewell LA freeways, Peter Shire is back Angelenos don't want more freeways but we seem not to want mass transit either. Metro has killed the 710 freeway extension, and bus and train ridership is down across the region. What's the future of getting around in LA? And, Peter Shire is having a comeback. What attracts a new generation to his playful ceramics and furniture?
Hua Hsu: A Floating Chinaman Author Hua Hsu stops by to discuss his book A Floating Chinaman, recounting the life of 1930's actor/writer H.T. Tsiang and his struggles entering the American literary world.
Trump says goodbye Paris Accord: What does it mean for U.S. and the planet? President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, the landmark international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Trump was to renegotiate a new deal, but will that happen?