115 episodes

We tell stories from the fault lines that separate Americans. Peabody Award-winning public radio producer Trey Kay listens to people on both sides of the divide.

Us & Them Trey Kay and WVPB

    • Philosophy

We tell stories from the fault lines that separate Americans. Peabody Award-winning public radio producer Trey Kay listens to people on both sides of the divide.

    Diversity Divide

    Diversity Divide

    There are now more students of color at some universities and colleges in the U.S. In the past decade at Western Illinois University, the non-white student population nearly tripled to one-third of the enrollment. The change helped fill classrooms and satisfy the school’s mission. But it’s part of what pushed the school’s first African-American president out of his job.


    For this episode, we look at how campus diversity can divide a community and Trey has a conversation with Jack Stripling, Senior Writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education about his article, “Fear of a Black Campus: How an ugly campaign to force out an African American president exposed racial fault lines in a mostly white town.”

    • 26 min
    Should History Be Set In Stone?

    Should History Be Set In Stone?

    When we learn our history, we see things that reflect our past. Paintings of famous battles and statues of men who were heroes to some. But how we interpret our legacy changes. Time can warp our notion of a once righteous cause. There are examples around the world of ways we have edited our past. In the U.S., recent decisions to move Confederate monuments and take down Confederate flags. But the effort to cleanse the past is global. And in places with a much longer history, the disagreements can be
    more contentious and complex.

    For this episode, Trey travels to Skopje, North Macedonia to speak with locals about controversial statues honoring Alexander the Great. He also visits a cemetery in Corinth, Mississippi to visit the graves of soldiers decorated with the Confederate battle flag. Trey also examines the origins and evolution of the song Dixie.

    • 52 min
    Indian Country Relocation: A One-way Ticket to Poverty

    Indian Country Relocation: A One-way Ticket to Poverty

    North America’s early experiences with Us & Them come from our history with indigineous people. In the 19th century, a nascent U.S. government used treaties with Native tribes and nations to take land and resources. Those treaties relocated Native people to reservations. More than a century later, from 1950 - 1970, U.S. programs were still moving people around. Approximately 100,000 Native Americans were part of what one U.S. official called a “one way ticket from rural to urban poverty.” 

    For this episode, Trey speaks with reporter Max Nesterak about his American Public Media documentary, “Uprooted: The 1950s Plan To Erase Indian Country.”

    • 28 min
    Music with a Message

    Music with a Message

    Music can entertain and inspire, and it can be a path into another person’s world. On this episode, two different musicians with roots in Appalachia make music that spans the globe. Some of it carries a political message. One man takes his music to places where people struggle with war and disasters, as an offer of healing. The other uses his string band heritage to write songs that sound familiar but carry a message of change.

    • 51 min
    We The Purple

    We The Purple

    Democracy may need a reboot, or a kickstart. Pick your favorite term, but the fact is, our system of government requires our participation. When we lose trust, it suffers. “We the Purple” is a campaign designed to encourage engagement. Its partners will help tell the American story in a way that rewards active individuals who want to restore democracy’s foundations. What’s at stake if we don’t get it right? Very little, except political freedom, social and economic justice and our entire way of life. Trey speaks with “On The Media” host Bob Garfield about The Purple Project for Democracy.

    • 31 min
    Us & Them: Abortion Divides

    Us & Them: Abortion Divides

    Do you disagree with any of your close friends or family members about abortion? When’s the last time you actually talked about it? For many of us, the abortion debate defines Us & Them. Sometimes, it’s better to avoid the conflicts. State laws now include abortion restrictions. Next year, the U.S. Supreme Court hears a case that could change the right to legal abortion. We’ll hear from the protest lines and learn how some people who disagree, choose to talk across the divide.

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

juliebwood ,

Binge-worthy!

I can’t eat just one Lay’s potato chip, nor can I listen to just one Us & Them. Us & Them is thought-provoking, educational, and entertaining. The series is a must-add to your podcast listening. Episodes are worth listening to once, twice, and more. Like a seven-layer cookie, you’ll always find some tasty morsel you missed the first time around.

Pepds ,

Cave Man, Patriarchy & Fairytales you brought it home!

Long time listener of Us and Them and big fan of Trey Kay. Personal disclaimer he is my dear friend. What I particularly loved about this episode was how it went from a family conversation filled with good humor and curiosity to a high level conversation connecting caveman fallacies to race to feminism. Fascinating discourse with all the different voices. I listened on my commute and felt like I was gifted with a car full of intelligent people having a rousing discussion about changing the world for the better! Thank you Trey and the Us And Them Team!

Et c'est parti. ,

One of my Favorite Podcasts

For many reasons: great reporting, untold stories, fabulous host...I could go on.

Top Podcasts In Philosophy

Listeners Also Subscribed To