At Liberty is a weekly podcast from the ACLU that explores the biggest civil rights and civil liberties issues of the day. A production of ACLU, Inc.
Organizer LaTosha Brown on Building the New South
This country watched as the people of Georgia helped deliver both the presidency and the Senate to the Democrats this past election cycle, defying the perception that the state was a Republican stronghold. After Stacey Abrams’ contentious loss in the 2018 race for governor, the effort to thwart voter suppression in the state and mobilize Black voters ramped up. As a result, Black Georgians showed up to the polls in droves and turned the state Blue.
One of the activists responsible for this turn is LaTosha Brown, a political strategist who has been working at the intersection of social justice and political empowerment for decades. LaTosha is the co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund and BVM Capacity Building Institute, a movement to expand voter access and build political power for Black Americans, particularly in the South.
She joins us to discuss the impact of expanding the right to vote and building a more diverse and inclusive future for the South.
Google This: Algorithmic Oppression
Imagine you’ve forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla.” But instead of finding images of adorable banana-obsessed animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.
Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that’s replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?
Our guest today, UCLA professor and best-selling author of “Algorithms of Oppression,” Dr. Safiya Noble answers these questions.
How To Build Systemic Equality Post Trump
The riot on the Capitol building in the last days of Trump’s presidency was a powerful inflection point in an era of racial reckoning. In its wake, many pundits and politicians declared that “This is not America.” Our guest, ACLU deputy legal director, Jeff Robinson would disagree. The image of a Confederate flag paraded through the halls of the Capitol or cries to disavow an election with high Black voter turnout is America; it’s just not the one we like to talk about.
In this episode, we speak with Jeff about how building a more equal nation must be rooted in dealing with the racist policies, practices and attitudes that were calculated to keep people of color at a disadvantage. We’ll also talk about the ACLU’s multi-year plan to tackle some of those racist policies.
Filmmaker Garrett Bradley on Time in the Criminal Justice System
This month, in honor of Black History Month, we’ll be featuring a slew of incredible Black leaders who are tackling issues that impact their communities. This week, we’re speaking with Garrett Bradley, a filmmaker passionate about criminal justice reform.
The documentary film called Time, streaming on Amazon Prime right now, is at its core a story of enduring love – both romantic and familial. It’s also a film about mass incarceration. The film follows Sibil “Fox” Richardson as she raises her six children, works as the owner of a car dealership, and relentlessly fights for her husband’s release from a Louisiana prison. The film’s original footage is interspersed with home videos that Fox made for her husband during his 21 years in prison.
We’re joined by the director of Time, Garrett Bradley. The film, her first nonfiction feature, won Garrett the 2020 Sundance Film Festival’s best director award for U.S. documentary.
What Does Free Speech Mean Online?
Weeks ago, President Trump was banned from nearly every social media platform because of his role in the events at the Capitol Building on January 6th. Just before Congress was set to certify Joe Biden as the next president of the United States, Trump instructed his supporters to, quote, “fight much harder” against “bad people” and “show strength” at the Capitol. The social media bans on Trump and his supporters ignited a debate about whether these social media companies have too much power over the speech of their users. Should they have banned Trump sooner? Are these bans legal? What kind of precedent does banning Trump and others set for the speech of marginalized communities? And should the government rein in the private sector power of these companies?
Joining us to address some of these questions is Kate Ruane. She's senior legislative counsel for the First Amendment of the ACLU.
An End to the Muslim Ban Is Just the Beginning
Yesterday, Joe Biden was inaugurated as President of the United States. And today, as part of his day one agenda, he has rescinded one of the Trump administration’s most incendiary orders: the Muslim Ban. The Muslim ban, enacted within Trump’s first days in office, virtually blocked immigration from countries with substantial Muslim populations such as Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen.
With no warning, the order sent people across the world scrambling to avoid permanent separation from their families, their jobs, and their education. Amidst a national outcry and protests in airports and on the streets across the country, the ACLU was able to secure an early victory in the courts.
But, over the years, fighting the Muslim ban became like a game of whac-a-mole. The administration would come up with superficial tweaks of language to dodge judicial scrutiny, and the ACLU and others would fight anew. In the end, we were left with a ban, rubber-stamped by the Supreme Court, that blocked entry to people from 13 countries around the world, mostly in Africa and the Middle East.
In this episode, we share stories that highlight the impact the ban has had and discuss what ending it will and won’t do for the future of Muslims in America.
A listener note: the conversations that follow were recorded prior to the Biden administration’s move to end the ban.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Molly is a star interviewer
The Dec 3, 3020 interview by Molly Kaplan was excellent. The speaker was very articulate and Molly managed that part well. But what Molly did was show great insight to the issues covered and proposed thoughtful and provocative questions that added greatly to the conversation.
So glad to have just found this podcast and have now listened to several episodes. Very Impressive!
Telling Loved One’s Hard Things
Kendall and Glennon, your chat is inspirational. I learned new things to think about and new ways to think.