This multi-episode series is about the history of relations between the United States and the Middle East, including both US foreign policy and the Middle Eastern immigrant experience. In this episode, Jaye recounts the early history of relations between the United States and the Middle East, focusing on the Barbary Wars, and delves into early immigration to the US from the Middle East. What role did religion play in the acceptance of early Middle Eastern immigrants, and how did people of Middle Eastern descent become “white” in America?
After a strong showing by US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the early contests of the Democratic nomination season, former Vice-President Joe Biden has gained the momentum, starting in South Carolina and thru Super Tuesday. Is this a positive turn of events for the Democrats in terms of moving away from a democratic socialist as their standard-bearer, or is having a centrist candidate as the frontrunner a bad sign for the party’s chances of beating Donald Trump in the general election?
Jaye discusses the 2020 model of election forecaster Rachel Bitecofer, reasons behind Joe Biden’s support among African-Americans, and why it is imperative that – regardless of ideology – the Democratic nominee must give voters, including those ideologically predisposed to vote for Democrats, a reason to vote for them, not simply that they are a superior alternative to Trump.
Potstirrer Podcast is back! In the first regular episode of 2020, Jaye discusses the acquittal of Donald Trump in the US Senate removal trial, after being impeached by the House of Representatives. What does Trump’s acquittal mean for US democracy, the rule of law, and America’s future?
In the second installment of America’s War on Drugs, drug czar Harry Anslinger continues his reign from the 1930s through the early 1960s. During his 32 years as commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, he campaigned against not only about cannabis, but also against narcotics and opiates. Jaye discusses Anslinger’s reach and impact – including on the medical profession and global drug policies, and how he used mainstream society’s fears of racial equality and communism to advance his vision of an anti-drug world.
CONTENT WARNING – The following episode discusses mature themes, including murder, suicide, illicit drug use, child sex abuse and domestic violence. Listener discretion is advised.
The War on Drugs in the United States has cost $1 trillion since 1971, and 20 percent of the prison population is incarcerated for drug offenses. Yet there is little evidence it is responsible for declining drug use. How did the War on Drugs truly begin? Jaye explores US history and explains how Prohibition led to our nation’s drug war.
CONTENT WARNING – The following episode discusses mature themes, including illicit drug use and graphic details of murder. Listener discretion is advised.
In part one of a two-part series about urban renewal, Jaye delves into the history of America’s urban slums. How did these poor, run-down neighborhoods develop in US cities, and how did these areas become associated with people of color, particularly black Americans?
The history of Cincinnati’s West End is discussed as an illustration of how segregated, impoverished neighborhoods developed over time, and how residents became vulnerable to the negative effects of urban renewal policies.
In the aftermath of the US Supreme Court ruling effectively declaring political gerrymandering legal, Jaye discusses the challenges Democrats face in mitigating the damage of an increasingly right-leaning SCOTUS. In this episode, Jaye focuses on the novel Supreme Court plan touted by Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, which is intended to neutralize the ideological and partisan slant of the court. What are the pros and cons of the plan? Jaye makes the case that the challenges this Supreme Court plan would face reflects the issues the Democrats face in general as they attempt to gain ground lost to the Republican Party by taking the Court for granted.
With the proliferation of abortion bans passed into law in several states designed to trigger a US Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade (1973), what are the real dangers of these laws? Jaye reconsiders her earlier position on fetal personhood and outlines her view regarding the tension between the rights of the woman versus the rights of the fetus. She delves into infant and maternal mortality in the US, mass shootings, and discrimination by faith-based charities, making the argument that the anti-abortion movement has no real interest in protecting the sanctity of life.
CONTENT WARNING: Miscarriage, stillbirth, medical procedures, death, child molestation, sexual and physical violence
As several states are passing extremely restrictive anti-abortion laws, and civil rights are increasingly being denied to a number of groups in the United States, Jaye discusses the conservative evangelical Christianity that got us here. Is conservative evangelicalism “real Christianity” and why does the answer to that question matter? How does evangelicalism lead its adherents to support authoritarian, regressive, and cruel politicians and public policies? Jaye shares her personal experience in evangelical Christianity for first-person insight into the methods and teachings that lead evangelical Christians to extreme stances on issues that may have little to no basis in the Bible they claim is inerrant.
The relationship between the American church and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people has all too often been rocky, and conflict is inflamed by opposition by churches and Christian political institutions to equal rights for LGBTQ Americans. Opposition to equal rights for LGBTQ Americans is based on the belief among many Christian traditions, denominations, and sects that homosexuality and transgender identity are morally wrong, based on how they interpret a handful of Bible verses.
In Part II of a two-part series, Jaye focuses on the non-affirming position of many Christian institutions as it relates to gender identity. She makes the argument that while the non-affirming position on homosexuality is not conclusively supported by the Bible, non-affirming stances in regards to gender identity have even *less* biblical support. These positions also tend to conflate sex and gender, as well as sexual orientation and gender identity. Jaye discusses the immense harm done to transgender and non-binary people by non-affirming positions, many of which are grossly misinformed.
CONTENT WARNING: This episode includes discussion of transphobia, anti-LGBTQ bigotry and violence, depression and suicide. Listener discretion is advised.