FROM Farai Chideya
Race in America: the Issue that Won’t Go Away President Obama is in Dallas today to memorialize the deaths of five policemen, gunned down by a black sniper last week during an otherwise peaceful rally. He’s called the act “a hate crime”—and at the same time he’s supporting the goals of Black Lives Matter. We’ll hear from a black journalist who’s been to “The Heart of Whiteness,” and talk about police reform with a white cop who has three decades of service. What are the prospects for that “post-racial America” that’s been so much discussed—even though it’s never actually happened?
Is Ferguson a Microcosm of the USA? Ferguson, Missouri erupted last night after a grand jury held that white Officer Darren Wilson’s killing of black teenager Michael Brown was not a crime. Asked if refusing to take the matter to trial was passing the buck, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch released all the trove of evidence the grand jury looked at in making its decision. “No one can just file charges and go to a jury trial… We’re gathering evidence, presenting it to the grand jury. We do this every day, day in and day out. It’s certainly not passing the buck” Benjamin Crump, attorney for Brown’s family, vigorously disagreed, “The process is broken, the process should be indicted.” After months of media coverage, the nation was ready for the decision, violence in Ferguson and protests in other cities. We get an update on reaction to last night’s decision, look at the process, the mountain of evidence and what the incident could mean for the country.
Writing the Rails It all started with a musing from novelist, Alexander Chee. “I wish Amtrak had residencies for writers,” he told an interviewer. A few tweets and nine months later, Amtrak has announced its first group of writers for its train residency. Madeleine talks to one of the winners: author and radio host, Farai Chideya.
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?
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.