Monday, January 21, 2013

  • NAACP’s Ben Jealous at Obama Inauguration: "Never Elect Someone to Make Change Happen For You"

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    Four years after making history by becoming the first African-American U.S. president, Barack Obama is kicking off his second term on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In an Inauguration Day special, we air voices of hope and resistance from the Peace Ball Sunday night in Washington, D.C., beginning with NAACP President Benjamin Jealous. "The challenge to us is to remember what we learned when we first entered this movement: that you never elect somebody to make change happen for you," Jealous says. "You elect somebody to make it a little easier for your movement to keep on making change happen." [includes rush transcript]

  • Angela Davis: Now That Obama Has a Second Term, No More "Subordination to Presidential Agendas"

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    Addressing the Peace Ball in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, the renowned author, educator and political activist Angela Davis urges those content with President Obama’s re-election to continue pushing him for social change. "This time around we cannot subordinate our aspirations and our hopes to presidential agendas," Davis says. "Our passionate support for President Barack Obama ... should also be expressed in our determination to raise issues that have been largely ignored or not appropriately addressed by the administration." [includes rush transcript]

  • Fmr. NAACP Leader Ben Chavis Attends Obama Inauguration After Historic Pardon in Wilmington Ten Case

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    Civil rights leader Benjamin Chavis joins us at President Obama’s inauguration just weeks after winning a pardon of innocence by North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, along with the other members of the Wilmington Ten. The group of mostly African-American activists were falsely convicted and imprisoned for the firebombing of a white-owned North Carolina store in the 1970s. Their pardons followed a campaign to vindicate unequivocally the Wilmington Ten after their convictions were overturned by a federal court decades ago. Newly surfaced documents revealed the prosecutor in the case made racially biased notes next to potential jurors, writing comments like "KKK good" and "Uncle Tom type." Chavis, a former assistant to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and former executive director of the NAACP, discusses what it feels like to be attending President Obama’s inauguration on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day after finally receiving a pardon. [includes rush transcript]

  • Poet & Activist Sonia Sanchez at Peace Ball: "Morning Song and Evening Walk for Martin Luther King"

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    The poet and activist Sonia Sanchez reads from her poem, "Morning Song and Evening Walk for Martin Luther King." Sanchez, a leading figure in the Black Arts movement, performed at the Peace Ball in Washington, D.C., honoring voices of hope and resistance. [includes rush transcript]

  • CODEPINK’s Medea Benjamin Brings Voices of Pakistani Drone Victims to Obama’s Inauguration

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    Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of the activist group CODEPINK, recently returned from Pakistan, where she traveled with families of the victims of U.S. drone strikes. Speaking at Sunday night’s Peace Ball in Washington, D.C., Benjamin urged progressives to remember the plight of U.S. victims abroad. "Let’s make sure that we force our congress and our president to represent the policies of kindness and compassion that we, as Americans, hold dear," Benjamin said. [includes rush transcript]

  • The Big Money Inauguration: Obama Kicks Off Second Term with Help of Unlimited Corporate Donations

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    At his inauguration four years ago, President Obama refused to accept corporate donations, but this year ExxonMobil, AT&T and Microsoft are among the biggest backers of the festivities. With Obama now accepting unlimited corporate funding, donors have been offered a number of sponsorship options, including the top tier of $1 million for institutions and $250,000 for individuals. In contrast, corporate, lobbyist and political action committee donors were banned in 2009, and individual contributions were capped at $50,000. Today’s ceremony happens to fall on the third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, allowing unlimited outside spending on political campaigns. We’re joined by Liz Bartolomeo of the Sunlight Foundation, which is tracking money and influence at the inauguration. [includes rush transcript]

  • Civil Rights Leader Julian Bond: Obama Won with a New Electorate: "The Coalition of the Concerned"

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    Julian Bond, the leading civil rights activist and former chair of the board of the NAACP, speaks to the Peace Ball about how changing demographics in the United States helped propel President Obama to re-election. Bond helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. "The depth of Republican dependence on white voters explains a lot about recent election — not least about its outcome," Bond says. "Republican efforts to suppress minority voters backfired, big time." [includes rush transcript]

  • Dr. Martin Luther King in 1967: "We as a Nation Must Undergo a Radical Revolution of Values"

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    President Obama’s inauguration comes on the federal holiday in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech 50 years ago. We end our broadcast show with an excerpt from Dr. King’s "Beyond Vietnam" address, given at New York City’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, a year to the day before he was assassinated. "I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values," Dr. King said. [includes rush transcript]

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