A weekly discussion about politics, hosted by The New Yorker's executive editor, Dorothy Wickenden.
A Rift over Racism Divides the Southern Baptist Convention
Next week, the Southern Baptist Convention will hold its annual meeting. It’s the largest Protestant denomination in the country, and, as the group gathers to elect a new president, it is facing a crisis of identity. At issue is critical-race theory, which the presidential candidate Pastor Mike Stone and many other conservatives have called an extra-Biblical and even demonic source of division and strife. Eliza Griswold has been reporting on a moral crisis within the S.B.C. and emerging fissures between American evangelicals. In 2017, the Reverend Dwight McKissic put forward a resolution condemning alt-right white supremacy, which failed twice before being passed. “It was a feeling of shock. I was stunned, actually,” he told Griswold. “Black pastors were coming to me saying, ‘We’re out. We feel like the Other here.’ ”
Naomi Osaka and the Rights of Professional Athletes
Last month, Naomi Osaka, the second-ranked women’s tennis player in the world, announced that she would not speak to the press during the French Open. The referee fined her fifteen thousand dollars, and the leaders of the four Grand Slam tournaments threatened her with harsher penalties. In response, Osaka dropped out. Her withdrawal has brought further attention to the power dynamics of professional sports, where wealthy league bosses, the media, and fans exert tremendous pressure on players. Louisa Thomas joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss how athletes are using their fame and visibility to reshape professional sports.
The Early Days of ACT-UP, and Its Lessons for Today’s Activists
Sarah Schulman is a novelist and playwright as well as a well-known activist and documentarian. She was an early member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, and, for twenty years, she and the filmmaker Jim Hubbard have run the ACT UP Oral History Project, interviewing surviving members of the group. Out of that work comes a new history of ACT UP in its early days, “Let the Record Show: A Political History of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, New York, 1987-93.” Schulman talks with David Remnick about the group’s successes, its lessons for young activists, and also its greatest failing. “We were able to defeat H.I.V.,” she said. “But we couldn’t defeat capitalism. And we still don’t have a workable health-care system in this country.”
Biden’s Plan to Reshape the American Economy
A semblance of pre-pandemic life has resumed across the country, but the economic signs are mixed, even after the strong jobs report for May. Supply chains are bottlenecked, unemployment is just under six per cent, and fiscal conservatives warn about inflation. President Biden has stated to Congress, in defense of his stimulus plans and of his six-trillion-dollar budget, that “trickle-down economics has never worked,” and that the best way to strengthen the economy is from the bottom up, not the top down. John Cassidy joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the political perils and promise of Bidenomics.
How Will the Biden Administration Deliver on Racial Justice?
Joe Biden has spoken clearly about the reality of systemic racism in America, and he’s said that racial justice would be a defining element of his Presidency. Such a statement would have been unlikely before the movement that followed the death of George Floyd, or before the overt white supremacy that was on display during the 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally, which Biden has said convinced him to run in 2020.
Vanita Gupta will be one of the key people guiding the Administration’s response. She was confirmed in April as Associate Attorney General, the No. 3 position at the Department of Justice, overseeing the Civil Rights Division. David Remnick spoke with Gupta about how Biden intends to make good on his promises, and whether criminal-justice reform is still possible in bitterly divided Washington.
The Democratic Party, Reimagined by Young Progressives
Over the past four years, progressive insurgents have defeated moderate incumbents in Democratic primaries across the country. These politicians have aggressively pursued policies such as the Green New Deal and have been credited with pushing the Biden Administration’s policy priorities to the left. Much of this work is fuelled by grassroots youth movements such as Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement. Some worry that the shift will alienate moderate Democrats, and put the Party’s electoral fortunes at risk. Andrew Marantz, a New Yorker staff writer, joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the progressive movement within the Democratic Party, and the groups that have helped it gain traction.
Super disturbing ep.
The New Yorker Political Hour
Always, eye opening and educational. Excellent selection of guests and always good, provocative questions
Often when I am at a loss for an understanding of happenings in the political world, I turn to T N Y P H. No matter the topic or the guest, I always gain a depth to my understanding of the subject.
The guest this week is the host
What a treat. Dorothy is so smart and forward thinking. I love her questions and how she guides the show. I don’t read the New Yorker but this has to b the closest best thing. She gives me super New Yorker vibes. David Remnick is also my guy. Love his show too.