DOES RACISM STILL EXIST?,204,203,200_QL40_.jpgHave you ever caught your self telling a joke with racial overtones? There is a culture of denial within America’s white community about the existence of racism. In a poll a few years back, only 22 percent of white people believed that racism is a major societal problem. Paul Kivel is not one of them. That’s why his book ‘Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice’ is in its 4th printing. He provokes us all to re-consider the notion that America, because of the election of Barack Obama as President, is now, somehow, a ‘post-racial’ society. He suggests some provocative ways to test our notions about class and race, hoping the discomfort associated with the answers might lead to greater awareness of our own feelings. Prepare for a jolt of reality with this episode.

BABY BOOMERS ON THE ROAD AGAIN in the 60’s many young people got in vans and VW wagons and toured the country following their new found rock legends.  Today, many of the same people are back on the road again this time to escape financial hardship and to find work.  The term now is ‘wheel estate’ as a whole sub-culture in our country pursue fleeting, often part-time and seasonal, opportunities to make a living.  Through her immersion journalism, Jessica Bruder captured this lifestyle and documented it in the book, ‘Nomadland’. She joins us on this episode,204,203,200_.jpg

THE NEW SOUTH: HOW MANY SHADES OF GRAY?,204,203,200_.jpgDidn’t you have the feeling that the old South had given way to a region that had turned the corner of its regrettable past?  As blacks have gained political power and immigrants have moved into the region, the winds of change seemed strong.  Yet, now in the wake of Charlottesville, the debate over Confederate monuments and the nomination of Judge Roy Moore for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, is their a pull to romanticize the Old South?  We discuss this subject with Tony Horwitz, author of ‘Confederates in the Attic’ and piece about the South today recently published in the ‘Wall Street Journal’.

COULD YOU PASS THE GREAT AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP QUIZ? SHOULD YOU HAVE TO? well do you know the history of the United States or how the government really works? And do you think you would be capable of passing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization test? We will put a few average Americans to the test along with author, Solomon Skolnick, on this episode. One aspect to this episode is exploring whether what we require of immigrants might not be a good thing to require of citizens born here given our roles in a self-governing democracy. This should be fun and enlightening–and revealing.

Today, many young people, women and others are feeling the need to get busy trying to achieve change in the political and social realm in America. On this special edition of America Trends, we explore a remarkable effort to make dramatic social change in Boston back in the 1980’s when two men, Curtis Davis and Andrew Jones, spearheaded an effort to re-incorporate Greater Roxbury into its own municipality, to be named Mandela, Massachusetts.  Brazen. Bold. Unheard of.  Ultimately, it was taken very seriously by the Boston power structure and resisted aggressively.  By their ingenuity and determination, the proposition made it to the ballot twice, failing both times.  However, the lessons learned can certainly be applied today.  Curtis Davis recently gave a presentation in Boston which you must hear.  Most recently, Mr. Davis, an architect and urban planner, was a Project Executive for the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Planning and Project Management in Washington, D.C.  He was responsible for planning for the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

RUN FOR SOMETHING Litman headed up the e-mail operation(not that one)for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign in 2016. She was devastated by the loss but quickly re-grouped to found an organization and write a book encouraging millennials to ‘run for something’ on the state or local level. Thousands have come forward to seek practical advice from her on how a campaign needs to be organized and conducted. We talk to Amanda about the ways millennial’s look at public service and the unique contributions they can make the political offices they seek.

IF WOMEN RULED THE WORLD,204,203,200_.jpgIn truth, there is no country on earth that is gender- blind. Men dominate the politics and power around the globe. (Iceland comes closest in being gender- equal.) Catherine Mayer, founder of the Women’s Equality Party in the United Kingdom, imagines what it would be like if women were on the same footing as men so she designs Equalia and takes us there in her book, ‘Attack of the 50 ft. Women’, a title based on a B movie years back. We discuss with her whether the women she writes about could assume positions of power and make changes that undo some of the ‘man-made’ messes of today.

ARE WE SCREWED? Dembicki writes about millennials who think ‘gee, we’re going to be around long enough to suffer the dire consequences many climate scientists believe await mankind if we don’t wean ourselves off fossil fuels’. So, he explores what his generation is doing politically to become more active in this arena. And he finds that their impact is already being felt in many ways. You will be surprised at their activism and its effect already in the U.S., Canada and Britain.



That’s according to Peter Kalmus, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in California. Alarmed by drastic changes in the Earth’s climate systems, Kalmus, embarked on a journey to change his life and the world in the process. He cut his carbon footprint by 90 percent. How did he do it, what insights can he share as we attempt to live less consumptive lives and can he(or we) really be happy with a simpler lifestyle? Doesn’t it involve tremendous sacrifices? He offers a great roadmap to ‘being the change’.

SEABLINDNESS, that’s not the horse who won America’s heart back in the day.  It’s an old term to sescribe a maritime nation’s forgetfulness of the oceans’ role in its prosperity and security.

And it’s the name of Seth Crospey’s new book.  He served as deputy Undersecretary of the U.S. Navy under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.  He feels that political neglect is choking American seapower at a very inopportune time as others powers are aggressively building their naval capability, particularly China, Russia and Iran. Is America taking on water when it comes to our naval supremacy?  We’ll discuss that important topic in this episode.