In The Thick
In The Thick
Futuro Media and PRX
Journalists tell you what you’re missing from the mainstream news. Co-hosted by award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, IN THE THICK has the conversations about race, identity and politics few people are discussing or want to discuss.
The Political Court
Maria and guest co-host Fernanda Santos talk about the ongoing labor strikes and how record heat levels are affecting workers. In our roundtable, Maria and Julio are joined by Elie Mystal, The Nation’s justice correspondent and the host of its new legal podcast, Contempt of Court, to break down some of the recent Supreme Court decisions. They discuss affirmative action, LGBTQ+ rights, and the push for court expansion.    ITT Staff Picks:  “Hollywood’s CEOs are suffering. Not primarily from labor disputes or industry disruption or public-relations issues, but from vincible ignorance, which seems to be endemic in C-suites of all industries. Under pressure to deliver to Wall Street, too many CEOs have lost the plot of their own movie,” writes Xochitl Gonzales, in this article for The Atlantic.  Kwaneta Harris talks about her horrific experiences being incarcerated and in solitary confinement during a record heat wave in Texas, in this article for Prism Reports. Steven Colón debunks common myths about affirmative action and talks about why meritocracy is a myth, in this article for The Hechinger Report.  Photo credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Jul 19, 2023
35 min
Native Rights Upheld
Maria and Julio discuss the record levels of heat in the world and the disappointing dismissal of reparations for survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre. In our roundtable, Julio is joined by Rebecca Nagle, a Cherokee writer and host of the award-winning podcast This Land, and Joseph M. Pierce, associate professor in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University, to talk about Indigenous rights in light of the Supreme Court ruling on ICWA. ITT Staff Picks:  Joseph Winters writes about how climate change is driving more frequent and more severe heat waves, in this article for Grist.  “The survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre were not trying to punish the people of Tulsa, nor were they asking for a handout. They paid taxes to be protected by a law enforcement and justice system that instead robbed them of their homes, loved ones and livelihoods. The descendants of the enslaved are simply seeking a return on the investment their ancestors contributed to America’s wealth fund,” writes Michael Harriot, in this article for The Grio.  In her podcast This Land, Rebecca Nagle discusses the sinister reasons that the far-right wants to use Native children. Listen to the series on Crooked Media.  Photo credit: AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File
Jul 12, 2023
41 min
American Whitelash
Maria and Julio are joined by Wesley Lowery, journalist and author, to discuss his new book “American Whitelash: A Changing Nation and the Cost of Progress.” They get into how the election of Barack Obama in 2008 led to an increase in anti-immigrant, white supremacist and racially-motivated violence in America.   ITT Staff Picks:  In this interview for Politico, Erin Aubry Kaplan talks to Wesley Lowery about how racial violence has been embedded in our culture since our nation’s founding.  “And while it is true that sweeping change and deeply felt reckoning remain elusive, it is equally true that sustained activism has brought significant change to municipalities across the country,” writes Wesley Lowery, in this article for The Washington Post.  Odette Yousef talks about the concern over political repression as domestic terrorism charges in Georgia rise, in this article for NPR.   Photo credit: Wesley Lowery
Jul 5, 2023
32 min
Equity, Justice, Love
Julio and guest co-host Fernanda Santos discuss the latest Supreme Court decisions and the Wagner Group in Russia. In our roundtable, Karlton Laster, Director of Policy and Organizing at Outfront Minnesota, and Marshall Martinez, Executive Director of Equality New Mexico, join Julio to unpack how Minnesota and New Mexico became sanctuary states for the trans community.  ITT Staff Picks:  Adam Serwer uses Moore v. Harper to identify the line that even the conservative Supreme Court is unwilling to cross, in this piece for The Atlantic.  “From the start of the invasion to Prigozhin’s dramatic insurrection, the fight against corruption has greatly influenced the course of events. And Ukraine will need to defeat corruption if it has any hope of winning the conflict and securing a meaningful peace,” write Norman Eisen and Josh Rudolph in this opinion piece for MSNBC.  Karlton Laster writes about how allyship is conditional and explains why the LGBTQ+ movement needs more co-conspirators, in this article for An Injustice! Photo credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes
Jun 28, 2023
40 min
Roots of Cultural Expression
Maria and Julio discuss the latest with former President Donald Trump’s indictment, and Hunter Biden’s plea deal on tax-related crimes. In our roundtable, we’re sharing an episode from 2021, where Maria and Julio talk with fiber artist Bisa Butler about her quilted portraits that celebrate Black life. They also get into the history of Juneteenth and the push by Republican lawmakers to take critical race theory out of classrooms. ITT Staff Picks: Solomon Jones analyzes how Trump’s indictment has widened disparities within the justice system and equates Trump’s desire to live by a different set of rights to that of a tyrant, in this piece for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Ayanna Dozier likens Bisa Butler’s quilted portraits to the art created by a DJ, sampling culture to create their own unique work of art and celebrate Black life, in this article for Artsy. “It is impossible to celebrate a national holiday that marks the emancipation of Black people in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, without confronting the history of slavery and the role of education in freedom,” writes Kellie Carter Jackson in this piece for the Los Angeles Times. Photo credit: Courtesy of Bisa Butler
Jun 21, 2023
34 min
“They Used Us”
Julio and guest co-host Fernanda Santos talk about the indictment of former President Donald Trump. In our roundtable, Daniel Parra, Spanish-language editor and reporter for City Limits, and Claudia Tristán, immigration campaign director with MomsRising, join Julio to discuss challenges for migrants in NYC, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ anti-immigrant political stunt and the dangers of the asylum process. ITT Staff Picks:  “In Albany, where more than 230 migrants were relocated in recent weeks, community-based organizations say they are already stretched thin,” Daniel Parra reports for City Limits. A childcare program for low-income immigrants who lack permanent legal status in NYC is set to expire at the end of the month, reports Arya Sundaram in this article for Gothamist. Rommel H. Ojeda explains what happens if asylum seekers don’t file an asylum application within one year of entering the country, for Documented. Photo credit: AP Photo/Christian Chavez, File
Jun 14, 2023
34 min
Buckling up for 2024
Julio and guest co-host Fernanda Santos discuss Mike Pence launching his 2024 bid and the latest with Cop City in Atlanta. In our roundtable, Astead Herndon, national political reporter for The New York Times and host of The Run-Up podcast, and Sabrina Rodríguez, national political reporter for The Washington Post, join Julio to delve deeper into the growing number of Republican presidential candidates. They also unpack the likelihood of a Biden/Trump rematch in 2024 and the already growing apathy among voters. ITT Staff Picks:  “This is a global struggle against fascism, it’s a global struggle against the militarization of the police and state violence against folks whose dissent is being oppressed,” says Atlanta organizer Jasmine in an interview about Cop City on the Movement Memos podcast from Truthout.  David A. Graham unpacks Mike Pence’s presidential campaign, in this piece for The Atlantic.  Michael Barajas talks about two Republican-backed bills that are threatening election administration in Texas’ largest county, in this article for Bolts magazine. Photo credit: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, Meg Kinnard
Jun 7, 2023
34 min
Tension in the American Dream
Maria and Julio talk about Uvalde, the fight for gun legislation and what to expect from the Republican presidential race. Then in our roundtable, they’re joined by Imara Jones, founder and CEO of TransLash Media and host of its investigative podcast, The Anti-Trans Hate Machine: The Plot Against Equality, to discuss the wave of anti-trans legislation across the country. ITT Staff Picks: Don’t miss Futuro’s new documentary with FRONTLINE about Uvalde. You can watch it here, and let us know your thoughts! Legislators have introduced more than 400 anti-trans bills this year so far, more than the previous four years combined, according to this Washington Post analysis. “Three states want to stipulate how, and whether, autistic transgender youth and those with mental health conditions are able to access gender-affirming care — a new tactic aimed at the intersection of two marginalized groups,” write Orion Rummler and Sara Luterman in this piece for The 19th News. Photo credit: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File
May 31, 2023
36 min
Healing in Uvalde
Maria and Julio reflect on the one-year anniversary of the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas and the lasting impacts on the community. We go deeper in our roundtable to look at how families of victims– especially mothers, both past and present, bring about change. Maria leads the discussion with Keith Beauchamp, award-winning filmmaker and producer on the film “Till,” and Monica Muñoz Martinez, historian and associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin. ITT Staff Picks: A new FRONTLINE documentary with Futuro Investigates and The Texas Tribune seeks to answer the lingering questions after the tragedy. You can watch the trailer here. “Parents have been fighting for a full accounting, but a promised city investigation hasn’t happened and a lot of information is bottled up in the district attorney's own investigation,” writes Suzanne Gamboa about the families fighting for justice in Uvalde one year later, in this piece for NBC News. Following the Uvalde school massacre last year, Loyola Professor Elliott Gorn wrote “Publishing grim photographs of mass killings might do some good in reforming America’s insane gun regime. But it won’t be because gun rights fundamentalists see the light,” for The Chicago Sun-Times. Photo credit: AP Photo/Eric Gay, File
May 24, 2023
46 min
A Culture of Fear
Julio and guest co-host Fernanda Santos discuss the latest with immigration and the abortion ban in North Carolina. Then in our roundtable, Maria is joined by Josie Duffy Rice, journalist and writer, and Adam Serwer, staff writer at The Atlantic, to unpack what’s happening at the border, violence against unhoused people, and the growing issue of gun violence in this country. ITT Staff Picks: Adam Serwer talks about the fantasy of violence that drives right-wing Republicans, in this piece for The Atlantic. Karla Cornejo Villavicencio writes about the unreciprocated love immigrants have for the American dream, and how they are the secret weapon in the fight against authoritarianism, in this article for The New York Times. Dylan Scott writes about the GOP’s empty promises to support women and families after Roe, in this piece for Vox. Photo credit: AP Photo/Michael Conroy
May 17, 2023
29 min
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