Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hope was the theme for RadioNation with Laura Flanders Saturday

Saturday on RadioNation with Laura Flanders, Flanders explored a wide range of topics and issues. Janice Mathis of the Rainbow-Push Coalition (their general counsel and also director of the Atlanta branch) addressed the issue of voting.

Mathis noted the newly passed legislation in Georgia that will impact the July primary: voters must produce photo i.d. (generally driver's licenses are used). Mathis noted that 33.2 % elderly African-Americans and 20% of Whites over 65 don't have the i.d. They've traditionally voted by producing their voter registration cards. (A poll worker matches their signature at the polls with their signature on the card.) This is a new form of Jim Crowe that's spreading to other states in an effort to supress the voter turnout. (It will also effect some environmentalists who may not have acceptable photo i.d.s if they refuse to drive. Urban areas such as NYC would find many voters ineligable to vote should such guidelines be adopted.)

Mathis noted that Indiana and South Carolina are proposing similar legislation. She advises that people contact Alberto Gonzales since section five of the Voting Rights Act gives Gonzales authority of approval. Flanders asked how often Gonzales had been willing to side with minorities and Mathis noted it was so little that it wasn't worth counting.

Noting that the new legislation is "so outrageous, so over the top, I think people may wake up" and could galvanize a new movement. For more information, she suggested their website:

and also gave out the following phone number:

(404) 525-5663

Author and journalist (columnist for The Nation), William Greider addressed a number of issues including the non-recovering economy (Bully Boy's presided over the lowest job growth following a recession). Saturday's theme seemed to be hope. Mathis noted her hope that this hideous legislation would lead to a new energy being poured into voting rights. Greider noted that he thought what was being provided with our current economy was a very clear view of what was wrong with it placing us on the precipice of transformation (if we choose to act).

Activist, playwright, actress, Eve Ensler spoke of the hope she found in truth telling and in the shared stories of people she encountered who shared how The Vagina Monologues had given the nerve to tell their own stories. (As many, including Gloria Steinem, have noted, if one day every woman told the truth about her own life, the world as we know it would forever change.)
Current V-Day events are being held to raise awareness and to raise funds for women's shelters and to combat the abuse of women. Ensler also spoke of the effect that the abuse could have men, noting several men who were staging events and how one grew up seeing his father beat his mother. How does that effect a person and what kind of toll is the continued violence against women taking on all of us?

It was Saturday so there was time for the arts (actually two spots were reserved for the arts -- Ensler being the first -- there doesn't have to be a line between activism and the arts as Flanders repeatedly demonstrates each weekend) and this Saturday it was Lila Downs discussing her new album La Catina (Entre Copa y Copa). It was a lively mix.

Tonight, get ready for more (swiping from Kat) :

The one and only Dahr Jamail. You've got to listen. (Awarded "Embedded in our hearts" in the 2004 year-in-review and only more so today. Listen!)
Need more reasons? Holly Sklar who always has something worth hearing on the economy and, guess what, talk of the economy includes much more than stock tips. Holly keeps it real.
And a name we've grown familiar with at this site, Sharon Smith -- a woman who's not afraid to ask the questions about the illegal war that need to be asked. Subterranean Fire: A History of Working Class Radicalism in the United States is her latest book. I'm adding it to my reading list and you will add it to yours if you remember some of her strong writing that's appeared in/at CounterPunch.

That's tonight on Air America Radio's RadioNation with Laura Flanders from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm EST.

Not enough for you? Laura Flanders will be filling in this week (from Monday, June 26th to Friday, June 30th) for Mike Malloy on his The Mike Malloy Show. which airs live on Air America Radio from ten p.m. to one a.m. EST. If she's planning on hosting new shows next weekend, that means Flanders is on for nine days straight, three hours a night.
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