What if the religious extremism Americans should be most concerned about comes from Christianity? In this episode, Jaye explores the authoritarian, extremist elements of American evangelicalism and the overwhelming support of Donald Trump by white evangelical Christians. Jaye also discusses the Quiverfull movement, the increasing emphasis on authoritarianism and control within evangelical Christian colleges, dominionism, racial reconciliation, evangelical support for Donald Trump’s inhumane policies, and parallels between right-wing evangelicalism and ultra-conservative Islam.

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When you hear the word “demagogue” – what comes to mind? Many of us think of demagogues as charismatic leaders who hold an extreme degree of power over their supporters, who will follow them no matter what the leader does. But why do people fall for demagogues?

In this episode, Jaye takes a deep dive into the subject of demagoguery – exploring the ways we debate political and social issues, and how that may lead to the rise of demagogues. What does a country run by demagoguery truly mean for democracy?

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Several US Supreme Court rulings in June that have emboldened Donald Trump and the GOP, and have left Democrats reeling. In addition, US Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring, which means the Trump administration has another opening they can fill on the court. Jaye discusses these and related developments, and seeks to place them into their proper perspective. In the wake of these events, she aims to provide messages of admonishment, motivation, and hope. Resisters – be encouraged!

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CONTENT WARNING: This episode includes discussion of physical and sexual violence, and descriptions of oppressive behavior.

In today’s episode, Jaye discusses recent news stories related to undocumented immigration and refugees from Latin America. Where are the 1500 missing migrant children that were being tracked by the federal government? How are children in the custody of US Customs being treated? And is there any moral or ethical issue with calling MS-13 gang members “animals?” Jaye delves into past events as she makes the case that when we dehumanize other people, it becomes all too easy to treat them inhumanely – or watch and do nothing.

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Do we have a “free press” in the United States? Jaye makes the case that even though the news media are not owned by the government, elite monopolistic ownership of media outlets and lack of federal regulations lead to outcomes not much different than state-run news media. What does the lack of free press mean for our democracy?

Also – we debut a new segment called “Editorial by Jaye.” In the first “editorial,” Jaye gives her reaction to the Alfie Evans case. While the case is extremely tragic – is it also an example of nationalized health care gone horribly wrong?

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In the concluding episode of a two-part series, Jaye continues her discussion on the decline of the United States within the framework of her hometown, Detroit, Michigan. She discusses the conditions in Detroit prior to the 1967 Detroit riots that led to the riots and the decline of the city, including workplace discrimination, housing segregation, the destruction of tight-knit black communities by urban renewal, racial strife between white and black Detroiters, and tensions between police and the community. As Detroit is making its comeback, what lessons can Americans learn from Detroit that will help the US survive its “fifth quarter?”

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When I taught political science courses, one of my favorite lessons would be on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That would usually come up in the civil rights chapter of the American government intro courses, or I would include it in my courses on race, gender and politics. The reason why it was my favorite was because it gave me an opportunity to share with my students the real Dr. King, and see them wrestle with it.

Each year in the United States, we take a day in January to observe Dr. King’s birthday. He is lauded as a great, non-violent civil rights leader who gave the “I Have a Dream” speech.

And he was. But understanding Dr. King, and why his message was so controversial and challenging to white America despite his philosophy of non-violence, we have to go beyond the Dream.

Much of what Dr. King said was not only controversial in his time, but also in this time.

The speech I would have my students read was this one. You should read it too.

Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution

In it, Dr. King speaks to issues and solutions that are still difficult for many Americans to process, such as systematic discrimination, white guilt, the responsibility of the white church, affirmative action, and reparations.

For many of us who are only familiar with a sanitized Dr. King, it’s hard to reconcile the Dream with King’s views on these issues. But the history of race and race relations in the United States, like Dr. King’s views on racism and racial progress, are complex. And we should treat these issues with the seriousness and nuance they deserve.

In the age of Trump, Dr. King’s words – all of them – are just as important and timely as ever. Going beyond the Dream and understanding the hard things can help us to grow as a society and nation.