In the runup to the 2020 US general election, several events have occurred on local, state and federal levels that point to an authoritarian slide for the United States. Jaye discusses some of these events, including the presidential and vice-presidential debates, the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Kentucky grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case, Donald Trump’s ban on the teaching of “critical race theory” in public schools, and the rushed efforts to confirm staunch conservative Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court in advance of the election. Focusing on the example set by the Christian Right, Jaye makes the case for progressives voting for Joe Biden in this election, and warns that there is more at stake in this election than policy goals.

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Christian fiction author Allison K. Garcia returns to Potstirrer Podcast to share with us about her upcoming novel, Finding Seguridad, the second in the Buscando Home series. The conversation includes discussion of themes in the book, as well as a range of topics, including the experiences of Latino immigrants and other marginalized groups in the current political and social environment, domestic violence, deconstruction and reconstruction of Christian faith, coming out as LGBTQ+ as a Christian, Black Lives Matter, and more.

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In this commentary episode, Jaye shares her reaction to the events during the week of the 2020 Republican National Convention, including the shooting of Jacob Blake Jr. by police, and the shooting at the resulting Kenosha, WI protests, allegedly perpetrated by Kyle Rittenhouse. How did the police approach each of these incidents, and what do the differences say about the nature of police brutality and the police state in America? Jaye makes the case that the way the police, the Republican Party, and many right-wing voices discuss the terrorist attack committed at the Kenosha protests should give every American, regardless of race or ideology, pause.

CONTENT WARNING: The following episode involves discussion of crime, police brutality and bigotry, including physical violence, murder, and racism. Listener discretion is advised.

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In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police, and the resulting Black Lives Matter uprisings and protests, there has been an ongoing national conversation regarding police brutality and race. In the final part of a two-episode series, Jaye discusses developments in policing that have increased the danger police pose to society, including the infiltration of police departments by white supremacists and police militarization. She also outlines some possible solutions that are intended to make all communities safer, from police reforms such as increased accountability and demilitarization, to police restructuring such as defunding the police and abolishing police. Why is even incremental change so difficult, and what does it truly mean to “defund” and “abolish” police?

CONTENT WARNING: The following episode involves discussion of crime, police brutality and bigotry, including physical violence, sexual assault, murder, racism, Islamophobia, homophobia and transphobia. Listener discretion is advised.

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In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police, and the resulting Black Lives Matter uprisings and protests, there has been an ongoing national conversation regarding police brutality and race. In Part 1 of a two-episode series, Jaye contends that to discuss police brutality in an honest way, we must discuss policing in America. What are some common hurdles to discussing the issue, and what are some important facts in regards to policing and race? Jaye also delves into the history of US policing, including why modern police departments were developed. Is the system truly broken, or working as intended?

CONTENT WARNING: The following episode involves discussion of crime and police brutality, including violence, injury & death. Listener discretion is advised.

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In the public release of the February 2019 Patreon bonus episode, Jaye discusses the news story from January 2019 about the confrontation in Washington DC, between Catholic high school students from Northern Kentucky and a Native American elder. How does a seemingly straightforward news story, complete with video, morph into a controversy dividing society along the familiar lines of partisanship and race?

Jaye happens to live in the same metropolitan area the school is located, and she gives her unique insight on the events and underlying issues, as well as the symbolism of the Make America Great Again hats worn by the students. For the public release, Jaye also gives an update of the incident, and reframes it in light of Black Lives Matter and America’s current reckoning with its treatment of black and indigenous people of color (BIPOC).

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Against the backdrop of a deadly pandemic, the fabric of the United States is coming undone. Jaye discusses the impact of the novel coronavirus on communities of color, including Black, Latino, and Native Americans. Also, were the anti-quarantine protests truly “peaceful,” and who was truly behind those protests? In addition, Jaye reflects on the George Floyd murder by Minneapolis police officers, the resulting anti-police brutality protests, and the aggressive police response. What do the events of 2020 say about our country’s leadership and the future of America?

CONTENT WARNING: The following episode involves discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic, police brutality, and historical events related to racial, ethnic, disability and class discrimination, including discussion of violence, illness, injury & death. Listener discretion is advised.

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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?

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Several regions around the globe have been battling the scourge of a novel coronavirus, a highly contagious virus that leads to an illness the World Health Organization has named COVID-19. The virus leads to mild symptoms, or even no symptoms, in most people, but can lead to serious complications in a small but significant percentage of people, in some cases leading to death. COVID-19 has arrived in an real way in the United States, with tens of thousands officially confirmed positive for coronavirus, and hundreds of deaths.

Jaye reviews a brief timeline of the pandemic and the response of Donald Trump to the coronavirus threat in the US. Also, Jaye argues that the COVID-19 pandemic will significantly change America, and discusses a few possible futures, including reason for hope among the current wave of fear, uncertainty, darkness and despair.

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CONTENT WARNING: The following episode includes discussion of terrorism, hate crimes, disasters, & public health crises that have involved illness, injury & death. Listener discretion is advised. None of the content of this episode is a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions regarding a medical condition.

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.

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