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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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.

This special Christmas/New Years episode takes a look at the “War on Christmas” – the belief that societal forces are attempting to attack or downplay the Christmas holiday. The “War on Christmas” tends to be a common idea in conservative Christian circles, and exploited by conservative politicians and media. Is there a “War on Christmas,” and what it the concern about Christmas truly about? Jaye also gives a year in review and gives her predictions regarding what we will see in US national politics in 2018 and beyond. One of these predictions is a bit shocking – don’t miss it!

Admin Note: The next episode of Potstirrer Podcast will be released February 4, 2017. During this break, please be sure to catch up on older episodes, check out the PotstirrerPodcast.com website, and join the conversation on social media. We’re not going anywhere! Thank you for listening.

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