We take a look at mass incarceration and racism in America today through Michelle Alexander's book "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness."
We begin with a speech given by Michelle Alexander in New York in February of 2010, and then will hear from various community members who participated in a Book Group at the Talking Drum Bookstore, located in Reflections coffee shop on NE Killingsworth. This group is going through the book in six weeks, chapter by chapter, to study how and why a majority of young Black men in major American cities are locked behind bars and how the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness.
Host Grace E Reed discusses with Michelle Fabian the issue of sexual assualt in corrections facilities. This all-too-common phenomenon -- inmates sexually assaulted by guards and by other inmates, predatory behavior within the confines of a prison -- spurred Congress to pass the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003. At the time, it was estimated that 10 percent to 20 percent of all inmates incarcerated suffer a sexual attack.
Kilong Ung, a Portlander who's the survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime, shares emotional stories from his past. He touches upon how the conflict changed him, how he adapted in America, and what he did for revenge. Kilong is now a role model in the community, and giving back through the Golden Leaf Education Foundation. His memoir is entitled "Golden Leaf: A Khmer Rouge Genocide Survior".
The Oakland Police Department is investigating the murder of a transgender woman who was shot in a possible hate crime on Sunday morning. Thirty-seven-year old Brandy Martell was an outreach worker at the Tri-City Health Center in Fremont. She was sitting in the driver's seat of her car with three other transgender women at 3 AM when two men approached the car and started a conversation.
Kristian Williams on the Extent of Torture in Democratic Societies
Host Jay Thiemeyer speaks with local activist Kristian Williams about his new short book Hurt, published by Microcosm Publishing. a not-for-profit, collectively-run publisher and distributor of books and zines which is now based in Leavenworth, KS and Portland, OR.
Hosts Celeste Carey and Cecil Prescod speak with human rights and social justice activist Kelvin Hazangwi about linkages between the global south and countries such as Greece, Spain and Ireland around the economic justice issues of debt, banks and who is impacted by our current financial systems. Who has global power and why? What can we do about these injustices?
Norm underscores how May Day is about the recognition of class-structure in society. Abigail offers her perspective as a worker with the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee. They talk about the meaning of the song bread and roses and social justice organizing, the work of the Portland Liberation Organizing Council. Abigail summarizes what PCASC is up to now (a campaign to get Wells Fargo to divest private prisons, a know your rights workshop for the immigrant community, and other local organizing), climate justice work they've done, and a film about privatizing water in Boliva ("Even The Rain").
Bill Resnick has Terran Connally of the Portland Liberation Organizing Council, which has grown out of the Occupy movement, to talk about events and expectations for May Day 2012 in Portland. They consider the potential for this May Day to be the single greatest concerted activity in human history because of not only the Occupy movement agitating Americans, but the increasing unrest in Europe over neoliberal social domination. They talk about the shift from economic growth to a different model of development, which PLOC advocates and organizes in terms of "community-led solutions".