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.
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.