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.
Finding Trans Joy Through Sports
More than 100 anti-trans bills have been levied in states across the country this year. These bills range from blocking trans youth from seeking healthcare to banning trans students from participating in school sports. In Texas, lawmakers are getting ready to move forward House Bill 25, the law that will change the landscape of sports for trans people in the state. For Schuyler Bailar, former division one NCAA swimmer, these threats and discrimination are familiar. As the first openly transgender man to compete at his level in college athletics, he’s had to break boundaries both within institutions and within public opinion to be allowed to compete and be seen as a competitor.
Those trying to ban trans students from school sports often center the debate on trans women with claims rooted in transphobia — and refuted by scientific experts — that trans women have an unfair advantage. One of the additional consequences of the focus on this argument is that we hear less from athletes who are trans men. This gap in perspective is one of many reasons we are excited to have Schuyler with us.
Glitch in the Code: Black Girls and Algorithmic Justice
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 show 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, MacArthur Fellow, and best-selling author of “Algorithms of Oppression,” Dr. Safiya Noble answers some of these questions. This week's episode comes from the At Liberty archive.
This Fall's Fight Against Forced Pregnancy
2021 is shaping up to be one of the most devastating years for abortion access in decades. State legislatures have enacted a blitz of new anti-abortion legislation. As of September 1st, when Texas’s six-week abortion ban went into effect, abortion has become functionally illegal in the state. The law, which deputizes citizens to sue anyone involved in abortion care, has emboldened other states to introduce copy cat bills, threatening to make it near-impossible to access an abortion in parts of the country.
The Supreme Court is gearing up to hear challenges to some of these state laws including a case from Mississippi that directly challenges the 1973 precedent set in Roe v. Wade. Given the court’s conservative super majority, many legal experts are warning that access to abortion may hang on Congressional action. The Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that could legally enshrine the right to abortion care, passed the House on September 24th but faces a battle in the Senate.
To discuss the state of abortion rights and to preview what’s to come this fall, we’re joined by 3 experts leading the legal dialogue: Melissa Murray, constitutional and family law professor at NYU Law and co-host of Strict Scrutiny, Imani Gandy, senior editor at the Rewire News Group and co-host of the podcast Boom! Lawyered, and our very own Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project.
Climate Change Is a Racial Justice Issue
Over the last couple of months, climate disasters have erupted around the world. In the US alone, we’ve seen wildfires in the west, tornadoes in the midwest, and hurricanes pummeling the Gulf and East Coasts. The environments we live in have become hostile to our health, our livelihood, and our community. Many have been forced to leave their homes and some will never be able to return. Globally, nearly 24 million people have been displaced due to climate effects since 2008. But this issue, both in the U.S. and around the world, isn’t impacting everyone equally. Black, Brown, and Indigenous people are disproportionately impacted by climate change. This is a racial justice issue, an immigration issue, and an indigenous rights issue. Shamyra Lavigne and Devi Lockwood talk to us to better understand how climate change intersects with other forms of injustice.
Blues Musician Takes On White Supremacy One KKK Member at a Time
As the political divide deepens through disinformation campaigns about the election results, vaccines, 9/11, and more, it can feel like unity and consensus are shrinking on the horizon. And yet, the only way to address the pandemic or the fault lines in our democracy is if we can bridge the divide and find an enclave of common ground.
Our guest today has decades of experience finding common ground and, in some cases, persuading people to change their minds about deeply held beliefs. Daryl Davis is a Blues musician by profession, but has devoted a lifetime to reaching out to KKK members and starting a dialogue. Since he began the work, he has persuaded over 200 KKK members to leave the organization.
He joins us to discuss how he manages to persuade people to abandon long-held beliefs and how these tactics might help the national crisis of polarization.
Bans on School Mask Mandates Discriminate Against Disabled Kids
As millions of children head back to school, some states have banned mask mandates on school grounds. As of this recording, school districts in eight states cannot require students to wear a mask in school; if they do, many risk losing crucial state funding.
This ban ignores national recommendations by the CDC to wear a mask indoors for those who are unvaccinated or in an area of high COVID transmission. For children with disabilities or families with high-risk medical conditions, the ban makes in-person learning perilous. Many children are forced back into remote learning even though studies have shown students -- particularly students of color and those with disabilities -- fall behind when they can’t attend school in person.
Excluding these children from in-person learning violates federal law which is why the ACLU’s Disability Rights Project is suing on behalf of groups of parents with vulnerable children in both South Carolina and Iowa. Joining us to talk about the case is Samantha Boevers, one of the parents in the case, and Susan Mizner, the director of the ACLU's Disability Rights Project.
So happy I discovered this podcast! And so grateful for all the amazing work the ACLU does to help protect our civil liberties! 💕
This podcast sounds like an extended npr segment. Completely low-t. The word liberty needs to be struck from the title. These people are absolute statist, murder-cult worshipers and should be embarrassed to use the word liberty.
ACLU has lost their mind
The aclu is totally dead. Their last episode on the second amendment was absolutely disgusting. There was a day they believed in the constitution and individual rights.