He was born on Jan. 15, 1929, so Leid Stories honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today. The Nobel laureate delivers a timeless and prophetic speech, calling all people of conscience to be fearless agents of change. In the United States, he says, it means battling "the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation."
This speech was delivered at Riverside Church in New York City exactly a year before his assassination on April 4, 1968. King, by no means a dreamer, by then had exponentially ratcheted up his activism, from mobilizing to organizing the masses.
Now is the time. Americans are fed up with a political system that has run out of just about everything -- integrity, credibility, accountability, even good ideas. Republicans, chastened by defeat, are attempting a makeover; their brand has lost its luster. Democrats, too, realize they've lost ground; they'll be facing off in future contests against a recalibrated GOP. Trouble is, there's little sign of activity in the other-political-party world, even though the time is right. If they don't get to work soon, visibly organizing their political bases, agendas and strategies, then they deserve to be dismissed as irrelevant.
Anything strike you as strange about media coverage of the raging gun-violence/gun-control debate in the United States? Here's a clue: It's a shutout. Leid Stories explains how and why mainstream media outlets -- and many alternative media outlets, too -- propagate and reinforce racist narratives that ultimately affect not only Americans, but the world view of America.
Leid Stories debuts a regularly occurring feature of the program, "On Point." Listeners are randomly paired with each other in lively debate about major issue or event; Utrice serves as moderator. In this edition's cross hairs: Gun control.
No, it's not a new reality show, just a new reality that seems to have taken hold of Washington, D.C. On Capitol Hill, folks are behaving badly, up to their old tricks and showing in-your-face contempt for the rule of law and violating the trust of voters. The president, too, is behaving badly, backpedaling on high-minded principles, cutting corners and calling them "compromises," and, lately, showing a Clintonian penchant for not quite telling the truth. Bureaucrats are behaving badly, doing what's expedient, not what's right. And the Republicans are at war with the Democrats, even though ideologically there's very little difference between them. Is this what we'll be stuck with for the next four years?
The Obama administration and top Democrats in Congress were pleased with the Jan. 4 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing an upward tick in employment and a slight dip in the national unemployment rate, at 7.8%. It's yet another sign that Obama's economic strategies are working, they said -- a boon for the middle class. Leid Stories deciphers Obama's middle-class muddle: (a) The classification certainly does not include the vast majority of people of color, and (b), Obama's staunchest supporters are the hardest hit by unemployment.