100 episodes

The United States of Anxiety is a show about the unfinished business of our history, and its grip on our future. Each week, host Kai Wright invites listeners to gather for intimate conversations and deeply reported stories about the choices we’ve made as a society -- and the new choices we can imagine now. We’re learning from our past, meeting our neighbors, and sharing the joy (and the work!) of living in a plural society.
Our inbox is also open for your voice memos—send them to anxiety@wnyc.org. And you can keep up with Kai on Twitter @kai_wright.
WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other great podcasts including Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, and On the Media.

The United States of Anxiety WNYC

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.1 • 44 Ratings

The United States of Anxiety is a show about the unfinished business of our history, and its grip on our future. Each week, host Kai Wright invites listeners to gather for intimate conversations and deeply reported stories about the choices we’ve made as a society -- and the new choices we can imagine now. We’re learning from our past, meeting our neighbors, and sharing the joy (and the work!) of living in a plural society.
Our inbox is also open for your voice memos—send them to anxiety@wnyc.org. And you can keep up with Kai on Twitter @kai_wright.
WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other great podcasts including Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, and On the Media.

    What’s Wrong With the NFL?

    What’s Wrong With the NFL?

    Jon Gruden, a star coach in the NFL, recently resigned from the Las Vegas Raiders. A sexual harassment investigation within a separate part of the league surfaced old emails in which Gruden used homophobic, racist, and misogynistic language. Scandals like these – driven by men in positions of power – have plagued the sport and the league for decades. But what does this mean for fans who just want to enjoy the game? When a sport is a crucial part of a person’s community and culture, should bigotry like this change the way they watch?

    • 43 min
    The True Story of Critical Race Theory

    The True Story of Critical Race Theory

    Is racism a permanent fixture of society? Host Kai Wright is joined by Jelani Cobb, staff writer for The New Yorker, to unravel the history of Derrick Bell’s quest to answer that question and how it led to our present debate over critical race theory. 

    Companion listening for this episode:

    The Method to Tucker Carlson’s Madness (5/3/2021)

    History suggests we shouldn’t laugh off what’s happening in right wing media right now. Plus, profiting off of racism is a business model as old as the news.

    “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC. 

    We want to hear from you! Connect with us on Twitter @WNYC using the hashtag #USofAnxiety or email us at anxiety@wnyc.org.

    • 51 min
    Hear No Evil: Asylum Policy in America

    Hear No Evil: Asylum Policy in America

    Displaced Haitians are still seeking safe harbor. But the U.S. long ago abandoned the ideal that all migrants should at least be allowed to tell their stories. Host Kai Wright is joined by globally recognized immigrant rights advocate and professor at Columbia Law School, Elora Mukherjee, to break down asylum. When refugees arrive, how do we respond, and how are we all implicated in that choice?

    Companion listening for this episode:

    Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Haiti and International Aid (8/23/2021)

    Haiti’s recent tragedies revives a conversation about disaster, aid, and how people recover. Then, a discussion about perspective on the 30th anniversary of the Crown Heights riots.

     “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC. 

     

    We want to hear from you! Connect with us on Twitter @WNYC using the hashtag #USofAnxiety or email us at anxiety@wnyc.org.

    • 49 min
    Art That Matters

    Art That Matters

    The fall season is here. A season of new shows on television, art in museums, and musicals on Broadway. Can the creative work that’s been made during the pandemic, and that’s going to be made now, help us move forward together? Host Kai Wright takes calls from listeners with bestselling author and senior culture editor at ESPN's The Undefeated, Morgan Jerkins. Then, we revisit a conversation with Ashley C. Ford about a piece of art that we’re still thinking about, the HBO series Lovecraft Country. 

    Companion listening for this episode:

    Can America Be Redeemed? (7/5/2021)

    Eddie Glaude and Imani Perry consider the question through the work of James Baldwin and Richard Wright. Plus: How our country could enter a period of “post-traumatic growth.”

    “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC. 

     

    We want to hear from you! Connect with us on Twitter @WNYC using the hashtag #USofAnxiety or email us at anxiety@wnyc.org.

    • 50 min
    Nothing You Do Alone Will Save the Climate

    Nothing You Do Alone Will Save the Climate

    New science finds we’ve got less than a decade to avoid climate catastrophe. Activist and author Bill McKibben says the only solutions that can beat that deadline are collective. Host Kai Wright invites listeners to ask McKibben their own climate questions, on the heels of a United Nations report that declared the damage from carbon and methane emissions at our current rate will be irreversible by 2030. What can we do that will make enough change, quickly enough? 

    Companion listening for this episode:

    The Birth of Climate Denial (5/11/2017)

    How a movement to create doubt about the reality of climate change began — and how scientific consensus has been perpetually undermined. 

     

    “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC. 

     

    We want to hear from you! Connect with us on Twitter @WNYC using the hashtag #USofAnxiety or email us at anxiety@wnyc.org.

    • 49 min
    A 9/12 Story: ‘I Forgot I Was a Muslim Kid’

    A 9/12 Story: ‘I Forgot I Was a Muslim Kid’

    How did September 11, 2001, and its aftermath, affect the way anyone perceived as Muslim, and those around them, fit inside the American experiment? Host Kai Wright is joined by award winning journalist Aymann Ismail, who talks about his post-9/11 childhood in northern New Jersey -- and what he learned about his identity as an adult. Then, a conversation about diversity, healing, and growth, with Irene Sankoff and David Hein, the co-creators of the Tony Award-winning show Come From Away. A filmed version of the show debuted on Apple TV Plus on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

    Companion Listening:The Counter-Jihad Movement & the Making of a President (9/11/2017)David Yerushalmi sees the threat of radical Islam everywhere. And thanks to him and his allies, the president now does, too.

    “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC. 

    We want to hear from you! Connect with us on Twitter @WNYC using the hashtag #USofAnxiety or email us at anxiety@wnyc.org.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
44 Ratings

44 Ratings

kaycanvan ,

Fantastic

This is a great podcast and I love the focus on the guests and the wide ranging topics. Kai is smart, thoughtful and really knows how to listen and let his guests share their stories. Keep up the great work!

Captain Moderate ,

Unflinching Exploration of Important Issues

Intelligent look at issues some (hence some negative reviews?) would rather not be discussed. The show has a progressive lens, but provides a well-balanced presentation of the facts.

HLNScanada ,

Really good

I wish they would release more shows, but I can understand the time it takes to do quality investigations on each stories! Good stuff please continue! Don’t know why you would even get negative comments?

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