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Into America

This is a show about the power that politics and policy have in shaping our lives. Host Trymaine Lee digs into the systems and institutions that perpetuate inequality in this country and shares the stories of Americans who are trying to create change. He’s joined by everyday people and the nation’s biggest thinkers, policy makers, artists and activists to make sense of this moment in American life. This is how America sounds. This is Into America.

Tous les épisodes

  • 23.10.2020
    22 MB
    23:37
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    Into Getting Black Men to the Polls

    In the last days of the 2020 election, both campaigns are targeting a crucial demographic: Black men. While Black men do vote overwhelmingly Democratic, some polling shows President Trump has made inroads with young Black men and Republicans are hoping to capitalize on that momentum. The Biden team is making a push to get the Black men who may have sat out in 2016, and bringing out former President Barack Obama to campaign in Pennsylvania. To understand why this is a key group in 2020, and game out some scenarios, Trymaine Lee talks with Cornell Belcher, Democratic pollster, NBC News and MSNBC political analyst, and president of the polling firm brilliant corners Research & Strategy. Belcher, who worked on both Obama campaigns, brings his insights on how 2020 is different from 2016, and why the surge in early voting makes predicting this election difficult. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further Reading Trymaine Lee: Democrats would rather mock Ice Cube then grapple with what he represents What's driving people to vote for the first time in 2020? With days left, Black voters face orchestrated efforts to discourage voting

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  • 20.10.2020
    22 MB
    23:09
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    Into Amy Coney Barrett's Record on Race

    Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett faced tough questions from Democrats last week over her positions on abortion, religion, and how she interprets the Constitution. But Judge Barrett’s stances on race deserve attention too. Beyond acknowledging that racism exists, Judge Barrett refused to elaborate on the state of race in the country today, saying giving broader diagnoses about racism is “kind of beyond what I'm capable of doing as a judge.” Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF), doesn’t agree. After analyzing Judge Barrett’s decisions, writings, and speeches, Nelson and the LDF, the nation’s premier racial justice legal organization, are deeply troubled by Judge Barrett’s record on race. As the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to vote on her confirmation this week, Nelson tells Trymaine Lee why she is concerned about Judge Barrett’s nomination and what a Justice Amy Coney Barrett could mean for future Supreme Court rulings involving race. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further reading: Democrats hint at consequences as GOP moves to confirm Amy Coney Barrett Trump's words haunt Amy Coney Barrett as she vows not to be a 'pawn' on Supreme Court Opinion: A Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett would erase the Constitution's history

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  • 16.10.2020
    29 MB
    30:56
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    Into Intimidation at the Polls

    For months, the Republican party and the Trump campaign have been warning, without evidence, that voter fraud could be a deciding factor in the election. They say they are amassing an army of poll watchers to make sure that doesn’t happen. But election officials and advocates worry these tactics could intimidate Democratic voters, especially in Black and brown communities. Poll watching is legal. Voter intimidation is not. In this episode, host Trymaine Lee explores a time in the not-so-distance past when voter intimidation played a big role in an important election. Mark Krasovic, a history professor at Rutgers University, tells the story of the 1981 gubernatorial election in New Jersey, when the Republican National Committee organized groups of men, some of them armed, to patrol precincts in minority neighborhoods in the name of ballot security. Could the same thing happen in 2020? Jane Timm, NBC News political reporter, joins Trymaine to discuss what we know about the GOP’s ballot security efforts in this election and for a better understanding of what poll watchers can and can’t do. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further Reading: For Trump's 'rigged' election claims, an online megaphone awaits Echoing Trump, Barr misleads on voter fraud to attack expanded vote-by-mail Pro Publica’s Electionland Resource for reporting voting issues

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  • 13.10.2020
    23 MB
    24:38
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    Into the Black Creeks Pushing for Tribal Citizenship

    Rhonda Grayson is the great-granddaughter of America Cohee Webster, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. Rhonda can say America’s roll number by heart: 4661. Rhonda grew up aware and proud of her Creek ancestry, but has not been able to enroll as a member of the tribe herself. In 1979, the Creek Nation re-wrote its constitution to change the citizenship parameters so that only people who could trace their lineage by blood could be members. That meant Black people who were the descendants of the Creek’s enslaved population were removed from the rolls. These people were called Creek Freedmen, and until 1979, they were considered members of the tribe. Rhonda is now a founding member of the Muscogee Creek Indian Freedmen Band, a group of Black people working to preserve their families’ connection to the Creek Nation. On Into America, Rhonda tells Trymaine Lee about her fight to be legally recognized as part of the Muscogee Creek Nation. And they talk about her family’s legacy: including her great-grandmother, America Cohee, whose picture you can find as the tile art for this episode. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further Reading and Listening: Information about the Muscogee Creek Indian Freedman Band Coronavirus takes more than Native Americans' lives. Killing our elderly erases our culture.

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  • 09.10.2020
    33 MB
    35:23
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    Into a High-Stakes VP Debate

    There was a little policy and a lot of politicking. There was at least a veneer of civility. There was a fly. In perhaps the most high-stakes VP debate in history, Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris made their cases to the American public for their running mate. Last night’s debate was the second most watched VP debate in history. Given that both Joe Biden and Donald Trump would the oldest presidents ever inaugurated, and that the President Trump currently has the virus, it’s no surprise that Americans tuned in to see the would-be second in commands on Wednesday night. One of the people watching was Sonja Nichols. Sonja is an outlier in a lot of ways. She’s a Republican businessowner running for State Senate in Charlotte, North Carolina. She’s Black, and she’s a supporter of Senator Harris as a Black woman. But she voted for President Trump in 2016, and Sonja says at the time, she was paying more attention to Mike Pence than she was to Donald Trump. Trymaine Lee sits down with her to talk about how the candidates performed and what shapes her political beliefs. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further reading: Who won the Pence-Harris debate? Experts give their verdict Vice presidential debate 2020: Fact-checking Harris and Pence

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  • 08.10.2020
    19 MB
    20:37
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    Into Trump, Coronavirus and Conspiracy Theories

    President Trump announced that he and the First Lady tested positive for COVID-19 on Twitter, in the middle of the night last week. Brandy Zadrozny spends her days sorting through the chaos of the internet for NBC News, trying to track conspiracy theories and misinformation campaigns. As soon as she heard President Trump had tested positive, she knew the internet would explode. And she was right. QAnon claimed Trump was pretending to have COVID-19 as part of some sort of plan to arrest Hillary Clinton. Other people said he was just trying to get out of the next debate, or maybe even delay the election. On this episode of Into America, Brandy sits down with Trymaine Lee to break down what she’s been seeing online, where she’s seeing it, and why this spread of misinformation matters. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further Reading and Listening: Facebook bans QAnon across its platforms Facebook removes Trump post that compared Covid-19 to flu Into America: Into the Rise of QAnon During the Pandemic

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  • 06.10.2020
    32 MB
    33:35
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    Into the President's Health and the Public Trust

    Over the past five days, President Donald Trump has been diagnosed with coronavirus, hospitalized at Walter Reed Military Medical Center, and discharged back to the White House. White House doctors and officials gave conflicting report on the president’s health all weekend, and there is still uncertainty about the president’s condition and how infectious he may be. Donald Trump is not the first president to become ill while in the Oval Office, so how can history help us understand what happens, and what’s supposed to happen, when the president gets sick? NBC News Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss can recall a number of presidencies that were shaped by illness and the president’s relationship with the public trust. But this time, he tells Trymaine Lee, “We have never been in a period even remotely like this before." For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further Reading and Viewing: We need to be reassured President Trump is able to lead: Historian Michael Beschloss 'A big red flag': Trump receives steroid treatment for Covid-19 Trump is leaving the hospital. GOP candidates are still stuck in a box.

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  • 05.10.2020
    5 MB
    05:34
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    Introducing Kamala: Next in Line

    As a bonus for Into America listeners, we’re sharing a special preview of Kamala: Next in Line, a six-part podcast from MSNBC and Wondery that goes inside the cross-cultural journey that led Senator Kamala Harris from her humble roots to become the first African-American woman to be the Vice Presidential nominee for a major party. From Oakland to Howard University, and California to Washington DC, experience her story as it has never been told before. Hosted by MSNBC's Joy Reid, the show features exclusive interviews with those who know her best, painting a picture of a woman who has fought her way to the top at every turn. Listen to the first episode, and subscribe to the series now: https://link.chtbl.com/description-kamala

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  • 02.10.2020
    24 MB
    25:08
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    Into the Black Doctors Vetting the Vaccine

    For six months, people across the country have been waiting for the same lifeline: a vaccine for the coronavirus. The U.S. government has pledged $10 billion to help drug makers develop and distribute a vaccine in record time through “Operation Warp Speed.” But the emphasis on swiftness has left some people worried about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. California and New York have said they will assemble their own independent task forces to vet the vaccine, and recently, the National Medical Association, the oldest and largest organization for Black physicians, has said they will do the same. The NMA’s longstanding role as trusted messengers in the Black community could prove crucial, because polling shows Black Americans are less likely than other groups to say they will get a coronavirus vaccine. Host Trymaine Lee talks with Dr. Rodney Hood, an internal medicine physician and health equity advocate in San Diego who came up with the idea for the NMA’s task force. Dr. Hood describes why the task force is necessary, and how centuries of structural racism in medicine has led to generational health issues and heightened mistrust. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further Reading and Viewing: ‘We are the trusted messengers in our community’: Watch NMA president on MSNBC A COVID-19 vaccine will work only if trials include Black participants, experts say 2 HBCU presidents join COVID-19 vaccine trial — and recommend students do the same

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  • 01.10.2020
    24 MB
    25:16
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    Into the Presidential Debate: Race, Protests and Police

    Tuesday night, Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Trump met in Cleveland, Ohio for the first Presidential Debate of 2020. For 90 minutes, the candidates debated topics ranging from the Supreme Court to COVID-19, as well as one segment on race and policing. It was during that section that President Trump made the biggest news of the night in refusing to denounce white supremacists. He told the Proud Boys, a violent hate group, to “stand back and stand by.” Trump’s spokespeople have since claimed the president meant to tell them to “stand down,” but that’s not how social media and many Americans heard those words. From a podium six feet away, Joe Biden, who has said he got into the race because of Trump’s Charlottesville comments, had his own past to answer for. He's one of the authors of the harsh 1994 Crime Bill. Biden has since championed policing reform, but he still hasn’t gone as far as many on his left would like and pushed for police defunding. In the debate, he walked a political tightrope with progressives on one side and moderate voters on the other. Political analyst Tiffany Cross is a frequent contributor to MSNBC and the author of Say It Louder: Black Voters, White Narratives, and Saving Our Democracy. She joined Trymaine Lee to unpack the debate. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further Reading and Viewing: Proud Boys celebrate after Trump's debate callout 4 debate takeaways from last night's Trump-Biden face-off 'Will you shut up, man?': Debate devolves to name-calling as Trump derails with interruptions

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  • 29.09.2020
    23 MB
    24:54
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    Into Expanding the Supreme Court

    President Donald Trump has nominated conservative favorite Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the Supreme Court. Democrats are calling on Republicans to follow the precedent they set in 2016, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold confirmation hearings for President Obama’s pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia when he died eight months before the election. But Republicans likely have the votes to confirm Barrett, and if they succeed, they will have a 6-3 advantage on the Supreme Court. In response, momentum is growing among Democrats around the idea of expanding the Supreme Court. Host Trymaine Lee talks with Aaron Belkin, a political scientist at San Francisco State University, and founder of the advocacy group Take Back the Court, who has spent the last few years trying to change minds on this issue. He argues court expansion is the only way to overcome the court’s conservative majority to better reflect the will of the American people. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further Reading and Viewing: Trump Court pick Amy Coney Barrett's past critiques on Obamacare face scrutiny Democrats lament Amy Coney Barrett pick but say 'we can't stop the outcome' Progressives pledge to keep pushing Biden to expand Supreme Court

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  • 25.09.2020
    29 MB
    31:12
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    Into Injustice for Breonna Taylor

    Louisville activist Hannah Drake has been fighting for Breonna Taylor since the 26-year-old’s death in March. As a speaker and author, Hannah helped elevate Breonna’s story on social media, and was part of an effort to push the city council to pass Breonna’s Law – a ban on “no-knock” warrants. The Louisville Metro Police Department had received court approval for this type of warrant in the botched drug raid at Breonna’s apartment on the night of March 13th, meaning they could enter without warning. The orders were later changed for police to identify themselves, but according to her boyfriend, they didn’t. So he fired a shot, and when officers returned fire, they struck Taylor multiple times. For Hannah Drake, the last six months of her life have been focused on holding individuals accountable for Taylor’s death. But this week, a grand jury announced that none of the officers involved would be charged for Breonna’s death. One officer is facing a charge of wanton endangerment for firing into neighboring apartments. Without legal justice, where does that leave activists like Hannah today? On Into America, Hannah sits down with Trymaine Lee to talk about Breonna’s life, and how she plans to honor Breonna’s memory going forward. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further reading and viewing: Ex-Louisville police Officer Brett Hankison charged with wanton endangerment in Breonna Taylor case Breonna Taylor family lawyer blasts grand jury decision as 'sham proceeding' 2 police officers shot during Louisville protests over charges in Breonna Taylor case

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  • 24.09.2020
    15 MB
    16:34
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    Into Restoring Voting Rights for Former Felons

    With 41 days until Election Day, voters across the country are already casting their ballots. But in Florida, thousands of former felons can’t even register to vote. The problem? They’ve served their time, but they haven’t paid the court fees, fines and restitution – and that’s considered part of their sentence. In 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 4, a ballot measure that would allow those with felony convictions to register to vote, so long as the crime committed was not murder or sexual abuse. The new law made as many as 1.4 million Floridians with felony records eligible to register. But in 2019, the Governor of Florida signed a bill limiting those rights until felons have completed all the terms of their sentences, including the payment of court debts. Many are simply too poor to pay those debts or, because there is no central database of court fines and fees, it is impossible to know exactly what they owe. A federal appeals court has upheld the law, and now, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is leading the rush to raise money to pay off as many debts as possible before October 5, the voter registration deadline in Florida. For more than a decade, Desmond Meade cycled in and out of the criminal justice system, mostly on felony drug charges. Now, Meade is the president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. In this episode, he discusses the personal struggles that led him to fight for voting rights, the work it took to get Amendment 4 passed, and the current fight to help people pay their fines so they can finally vote. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further Reading and Viewing:Court struggles with felon vote in Fla., case could determine participation in November Ex-felons vote in Florida after overcoming prison — and the GOP ‘You need your voting power’: Florida’s ex-felons fight for their voting rights

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  • 22.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:54
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    Into Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the ACLU Years

    When Ruth Bader Ginsburg accepted President Bill Clinton’s nomination to be the 107th justice on the US Supreme Court in 1993, she dedicated the moment to her mother. She said: “I pray that I may be all that she would have been had she lived in an age when women could aspire and achieve; and daughters are cherished as much as sons.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life facing discrimination because she was a woman: struggling to find work at a law firm despite being at the top of her law school class, and hiding her second pregnancy under lose clothes so she wouldn’t risk her job as a professor. Then, in 1972, she took on a role that would help lay the groundwork to end discrimination for herself and millions of other women. She joined the ACLU as the founding director of the Women’s Rights Project. In 1973 she was named General Counsel of the ACLU, and argued over 300 gender discrimination cases, 6 of which went before the Supreme Court. On this episode of Into America, Justice Ginsburg’s former colleague Kathleen Peratis sits down with Trymaine Lee to discuss Ginsburg’s legal strategy over the years: challenging the law step by step, drawing lessons from the movement for racial justice, and taking on cases featuring men to make the point that gender bias hurts everyone. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further reading and viewing: Morning Joe: 'She worked so hard': Remembering the life of RBG Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87 In Miami, buzz over Cuban American judge Barbara Lagoa as potential Trump Supreme Court pick

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  • 18.09.2020
    25 MB
    27:00
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    Into Reclaiming Fire to Save the Forest

    It’s hard to comprehend the scale of the wildfires burning across the west. Millions of acres have burned, thousands of homes and structures have been destroyed. Dozens of people are dead and more are missing. Hazardous air quality and apocalyptic skies have forced millions to stay inside. Climate change is a major reason why these fires continue to get bigger, more frequent, and more destructive. But years of fire suppression means the forests are full of overgrown brush, which acts as fuel for these massive wildfires. Native tribes like the Yuroks in far northern California used to regularly burn the land to clear the brush, until the government banned the practice for decades. But indigenous people are reclaiming their traditions of burning the land, and helping the environment in the process. On the latest episode of Into America, host Trymaine Lee talks with Margo Robbins, a Yurok tribal member and president of the Cultural Fire Management Council, about her work in resurrecting the practice of burning to help the land. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further reading and watching: Satellite images show Western fires producing massive clouds of smoke, pollutants Scientists warn climate change is worsening California’s wildfires

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  • 17.09.2020
    29 MB
    30:27
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    Into Reimagining Mental Health & Policing

    People with mental illnesses are 16-times more likely to be killed by police compared to the general population. As deaths like those of Daniel Prude in Rochester, New York gain national attention, cities are looking for alternatives to using police officers to respond to mental health emergencies. And many cities are turning to a model called CAHOOTS run out of White Bird Clinic in Eugene, Oregon. CAHOOTS stands for “Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets.” The community-based program trains, equips, and deploys mental health providers as first-responders. The name is a nod to the fact that the workers are in “cahoots” with the police, sometimes responding to 911 calls with officers, but often going out on their own, too. The program launched 31 years ago, and they’re increasingly serving as a national model for a better approach to public safety. But they’re also looking critically at their work, and asking how, in the predominately white city of Eugene, CAHOOTS can do a better job reaching communities of color. Trymaine Lee talks to Ebony Morgan, a crisis intervention worker and communications director for CAHOOTS. Ebony walks us through how the program operates, ways they’re trying to improve, and why this work is so personal for her. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further Reading & Listening: Black man died after being restrained by police in Rochester, New York Op-ed: The Rochester police chief resigns after Daniel Prude's death. But that's not the solution. Into America: Into Defunding the LAPD

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  • 15.09.2020
    19 MB
    20:12
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    Into New Rules for School

    When the coronavirus pushed school online, discipline went with it. Educators have been handing out Zoom suspensions and other remote consequences to keep the virtual class a safe and respectful learning environment. And for those kids who are back in the actual classroom, there are new rules about masks, even about coughing and sneezing. Some experts worry these types of disciplines will have a disproportionate impact on students of color. Before the pandemic, Black students were three times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white students. Overall, Black, Hispanic, and Native children are punished more harshly than white children for similar school infractions. Host Trymaine Lee talks about these concerns with Adaku Onyeka-Crawford, the Director of Educational Equity at the National Women’s Law Center, where she studies discipline in schools and works with educators to come up with better solutions. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further Readings ‘And They Cared,’ a report co-written by Adaku Onyeka-Crawford on creating safe learning environments for girls of color ‘Dress Coded,’ a report co-written by Adaku Onyeka-Crawford on how dress codes unfairly target Black girls

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  • 11.09.2020
    23 MB
    24:12
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    Into a Game Changer

    College football is a multi-billion-dollar industry. So even as coronavirus spread, most schools pushed forward with the 2020 season. But as the pandemic and the racial justice movement exposed inequalities across the country, college football athletes, who aren’t paid for their work and the risks they take on the field, started to speak up. Treyjohn Butler, a senior cornerback at Stanford University, was one of those students. He and other football players from his NCAA conference, the Pac-12, came together under a group called #WeAreUnited and wrote a list of demands that included better health care, racial justice, and compensation for student athletes. On this episode of Into America, Treyjohn tells Trymaine why he thinks it’s the right time to change the way colleges treat their football players. Further Reading: #WeAreUnited statement in the Players’ Tribune 5 ways college football is going to be different in 2020

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  • 10.09.2020
    19 MB
    20:10
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    Into a Pivotal Election in a Wild Year

    So far this year, we’ve heard the President of the United States say the only way he’ll lose his bid for re-election is if the vote is rigged. He's said he may not accept the results of the election. He’s even suggested that people vote twice. (That’s illegal, by the way...) We’re 55 days out from the election, and this year is shaping up to be a wild ride. President Trump is sowing the seeds of distrust and more people will be voting by mail due to fears of coronavirus. It’s possible we may not know the results of the election by the time we go to bed on November 3rd. Jonathan Allen is a senior political analyst for NBC News. He sat down with Trymaine Lee for Into America to talk about all the ways this election could play out in the days leading up to, and after, November 3rd. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Further Reading & Analysis from Jonathan Allen: There's no vaccine yet. But there's a political fight over it. Trump often sees an American landscape of 'losers' and 'suckers' The quiet part Trump won't dare say out loud

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  • 08.09.2020
    25 MB
    26:04
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    Into Gettin' Fonky with Wynton Marsalis

    Wynton Marsalis was born into a musical tradition. He grew up in New Orleans, home of the best jazz musicians around – including his father, jazz-great Ellis Marsalis. But Wynton Marsalis is a master in his own right. Back in 1984, when he was just 22 years old, he won two Grammy awards for his performances in jazz and classical music. In 1997, Marsalis became the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his record Blood on the Fields. Then in 2007, he released From the Plantation to the Penitentiary and it hit number two on the Billboard charts. Marsalis now works as the artistic director at Jazz at Lincoln Center. That’s where, in 2018, he debuted the work that would lay the foundation of his newest album: “The Ever Fonky Lowdown.” The album is deeply political, narrated by actor Wendall Pierce – a high school friend of Marsalis. And it’s dedicated to his father, who passed away from coronavirus complications this spring. On Into America, Marsalis talks with host Trymaine Lee about his writing process, how politics influences his music, and the magic of New Orleans. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading and Listening: Listen to The Ever Fonky Lowdown here. Wynton Marsalis on racism in the Trump era Wynton Marsalis tells how he's encouraging his students to join the conversation on civil rights Ellis Marsalis, jazz patriarch, dies at 85 after coronavirus diagnosis

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  • 04.09.2020
    39 MB
    41:06
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    Into Bun B is Standing Up

    Hip hop legend Bun B has been involved in activism in the city of Houston for a long time. So when George Floyd, a longtime Houston resident, was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, Bun stepped up. He organized a march for Floyd that drew 60,000 people, and he hasn’t let up since, attending the March on Washington and recording a new single about this moment. On the latest episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee talks with Bun B about politics, how his small hometown of Port Arthur influenced his activism, how he's approaching his art in this time. This episode was recorded live in partnership with The Texas Tribune Festival, a streaming virtual event happening all September long. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading and Viewing: Trymaine Lee in Conversation with Bun B for The Texas Tribune Festival March on Washington: Civil rights leaders, families of Black victims rally against police violence ‘I woke up today very proud to be a Houstonian’: rapper Bun B reflects on city’s march for George Floyd

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  • 03.09.2020
    23 MB
    24:49
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    Into More Than a Coach: John Thompson

    Men’s basketball coach John Thompson, Jr was one of the greats. In his 27 seasons as the coach of the Georgetown Hoyas, he built a weak team into a powerhouse. Under his leadership, Georgetown won seven Big East titles and made it to the Final Four three times, even bringing home a national championship in 1984. He was the first Black coach to win the title. During his tenure, Thompson coached Hall of Famers Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, and Allen Iverson. But he’s most remembered for the man he was off the court. Thompson was widely known as a mentor, a father figure, and an activist -- fighting to make sure his players, especially his Black players, felt supported and had a shot at a quality education. On this episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee looks at the legacy of Coach Thompson. He’s joined by Jesse Washington, senior writer at The Undefeated. Washington also helped Thompson write his autobiography: “I Came As a Shadow,” set for release early next year. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading & Viewing: Read Jesse Washington's article on Thompson in The Undefeated: Georgetown’s John Thompson Jr. didn’t want to be boxed in Michael Jordan issues statement on Georgetown giant John Thompson’s passing One of the most celebrated and polarizing figures in his sport, Thompson took over a struggling Georgetown The Into America team wants to hear from you about what’s happening in your community. Send feedback, questions, and story ideas to [email protected] host Trymaine Lee on Twitter @trymainelee.

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  • 01.09.2020
    29 MB
    30:21
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    Into Black America's Call to Arms

    The panic of COVID-19 and high-profile Black deaths like those of Breonna Taylor and Geroge Floyd have led to a rise in Black gun ownership around the country. A survey from the National Shooting Sports Foundation found that gun dealers reported a 58-percent increase in Black customers in 2020, the most rapid growth of any ethnic group. Twenty-four-year-old Jeneisha Harris is worried she could be another Breonna Taylor. Harris is a student and activist in Nashville, Tennessee. She grew up anti-gun, but feels vulnerable and wonders if she should arm herself. On this episode of Into America, Jeneisha Harris tells Trymaine Lee about the pros and cons she’s weighing as she decides whether to get a gun. And Lee speaks with Philip Smith, the head of the National African American Gun Association about the long tradition of Black gun ownership, and why he thinks all Black people should be armed. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading: Pandemic pushes U.S. gun sales to all-time high The Age of Trump Is Producing More Black Gun Owners

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  • 28.08.2020
    24 MB
    25:27
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    Into "I Have a Dream"

    On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C. More than 250,000 people gathered to hear Dr. King speak from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that day, for the original March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Fifty-seven years later, organizers are taking to the nation’s capitol again. This time, they are calling the gathering the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” March on Washington, an urgent reflection on the national uprising against police brutality. In commemoration of that first march, host Trymaine Lee talks with Dr. Clarence Jones, a legal advisor, speech writer, and personal friend to Dr. King. Back in 1963, Dr. Jones wrote the first seven and a half paragraphs of the original speech, and is the only surviving member of the 1963 March on Washington planning committee. Dr. Jones reflects on the racial progress made since that day, and the urgency of the current movement for Black lives. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading: March on Washington reconfigured to comply with virus rules What to Know About Friday's Commitment March in DC Rev. Al Sharpton announces march on Washington on 57th anniversary of original event

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  • 27.08.2020
    21 MB
    21:52
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    Into Being a Black Trump Supporter

    With 68 days until the presidential election, the Republican National Convention is underway. This year, amid national protests against police violence and racism, the convention appeared to make a pointed effort to reach one unexpected audience: Black voters. While many Americans are frustrated with the system, the Trump campaign has outlined a strategy to reach this crucial voting bloc. Black voters are typically seen as one “base” of the Democratic Party. But that doesn’t tell the full story. In 2016, Trump got just six percent of Black votes, according to NBC News exit polls. But he was more popular with Black men, 13% of whom voted for Trump in 2016. Could Republicans expect to do better in 2020? One Black male voter thinks so. Sean Shewmake is a real estate agent and spoken word artist living in Lawrenceville, Georgia, a suburb northeast of Atlanta. He's also a Black man who voted for Trump in 2016 and plans to again in 2020. Shewmake talks with host Trymaine Lee about his experience growing up as a Black man in Indiana, his perspectives on white supremacy in politics, and why he will vote for Trump in November. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading: In Detroit, signs of increased interest among Black voters, but concerns remain 'The black man's country club': To understand black voters, look to their barbershops Black male voters need education, representation

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  • 25.08.2020
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    Into the NAACP vs the Postal Service

    If you’re not getting your mail on time, you may not be alone. Cost-cutting measures from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy have created substantial delays in delivering mail in many parts of the US. And with many voters opting to vote-by-mail due to the pandemic, lawmakers are worried these cuts could threaten the integrity of the upcoming election. The House interrupted its summer recess to call DeJoy to testify. DeJoy insisted the USPS is fully capable of pulling off vote-by-mail this election. But many states and organizations remain unconvinced. In a lawsuit filed last week, the NAACP claims the USPS is violating people’s civil rights in a “blatant attempt to disenfranchise voters of color.” And the debate over these changes isn’t just about getting through November. Some measures, like cutting overtime, could also hurt workers. The Post Office has historically been an important ladder into the middle class for Black Americans, and today, its workforce is more than 20% Black. In this episode of Into America, we talk to Jay Thurmond, a veteran Black postal worker about what it is like doing his job in this moment. Trymaine Lee sits down with NAACP President Derrick Johnson to understand what his organization is fighting for in its suit against the USPS. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading: Postmaster General DeJoy suspends changes to Postal Service to avoid any impact on election mail House passes bill to reverse Postal Service changes, infuse $25B in emergency funds Concerned postal workers lay blame for delays squarely on recent overhauls

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  • 21.08.2020
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    Into the DNC and Black Lives

    The Democratic National Convention—the first “virtual” one, due to COVID-19—has come to a close. Joe Biden has had his moment in the spotlight to accept the nomination for President, and Kamala Harris has made history as the first woman of color on a major party ticket. Over four nights, the DNC convention featured harsh attacks on President Trump and dire warnings about the future of American democracy; a focus on issues like gun violence, climate change, child care, immigration and the power of women in politics; the voices of everyday Americans; and, featured speeches by many of the party’s “old guard.” But did the Democrats do enough to address the issue of racial justice, and to inspire younger Black voters who want rapid change? On the latest Into America, Trymaine Lee talks to Jamira Burley, one of America’s high-profile Black millennial activists, who was featured in a conversation with Joe Biden at the convention. She supports the Biden/Harris ticket, but she hopes the party will seize on opportunities to inspire many younger voters of color, especially Black voters. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading:Read the full speech: Joe Biden's remarks to the 2020 Democratic National ConventionRead the full speech: Kamala Harris' remarks to the 2020 Democratic National ConventionDemocratic convention's focus on racial justice omits policy demands of BLM protestersThe story of Black women in politics: How we got to Kamala Harris' ascent

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  • 20.08.2020
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    Into the Rise of QAnon During the Pandemic

    The vast internet conspiracy theory known as QAnon began in 2017 with a single post to the online message board site 4chan. The beliefs associated with QAnon range from the merely strange to the downright dangerous. Followers believe a ring of devil-worshipping pedophiles run the country and are plotting against President Trump, who they say is here to save the world. They say this Satanic ring includes top Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as Hollywood celebrities. QAnon’s beliefs are false, but they’ve seeped into the mainstream; a QAnon supporter from Georgia is likely to be elected to Congress in November. QAnon aggressively pursues potential followers via social media, relying heavily on Facebook’s algorithms, which have often recommended increasingly extreme groups to users who have demonstrated an interest in things like alternative medicine and “energy shifts.” During the coronavirus pandemic, these baseless conspiracy theories are catching on with many people who are stuck at home and feeling lonely and vulnerable. This has serious consequences for the safety of the country; QAnon has pushed anti-mask and anti-vaccination rhetoric during the pandemic.On the latest Into America, Trymaine Lee talks to Ben Collins, a reporter for NBC News who covers disinformation, extremism and the internet. He's been reporting on QAnon for years, and he says we should all be paying attention. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading: QAnon groups hit by Facebook crack downHow QAnon rode the pandemic to new heights — and fueled the viral anti-mask phenomenon QAnon groups have millions of members on Facebook, documents show Inside the rise of QAnon-affiliated candidates for Congress

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  • 18.08.2020
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    Into Black Women and the 19th Amendment

    The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified 100 years ago, on August 18, 1920, giving women the right to vote. But like many of the promises in the US Constitution, this was a victory primarily for white people. The suffrage movement was notoriously rife with anti-Blackness. So Black leaders like Ida B. Wells and Mary Church Terrell paved their own way, aiming to undo racism and win voting rights for Black women. As the United States celebrates a century milestone for 19th Amendment, we’re taking a moment to understand the role Black women played in the suffrage movement, and how that political participation has provided important lessons for today. Martha Jones is a legal and cultural historian who studies Black women’s political participation. She’s a professor at Johns Hopkins University, and the author of a new book entitled “Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.” Jones joined Into America host Trymaine Lee to talk about the generations-long fight of Black women for full voting rights. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading:Martha Jones’s book “Vanguard” Women's suffrage myths and the lesser known women suffragists The story of Black women in politics: How we got to Kamala Harris' ascent With Harris VP pick, Black women say Biden has 'decided to write us into history'

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  • 14.08.2020
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    Into Coronavirus and the Classroom: The Biggest Online Learning Experiment Ever

    This fall, millions of American students and teachers will head back to school. In California, for most kids that will mean continuation of remote learning. Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond believes that, if done right, this giant online learning experiment we’ve all been thrust into could revolutionize the future of education. Dr. Darling-Hammond is the President of the California’s State Board of Education and the first Black woman to hold this role. In our final episode of our week-long series Coronavirus and the Classroom, Trymaine Lee talks with Dr. Darling-Hammond about the depth and severity of the digital divide and learning loss, along with the opportunities to close those gaps. According to Dr. Darling-Hammond, the next few months will force California schools to test out new learning models, teachers to innovate, and kids to think and learn outside the box. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading: California school districts brace for an online back-to-school season Where online learning goes next A New “New Deal” For Education: Top 10 Policy Moves For States In The Covid 2.0 Era

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  • 13.08.2020
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    Into Coronavirus and the Classroom: Teachers Swap Chalkboards for Apps

    The debate over whether to re-open schools doesn’t just affect kids. This summer, teachers have found themselves ensnared in a nation-wide fight over school reopenings. In Florida, the largest teacher’s union sued the state over its plans to re-open. In Michigan, teachers organized a protest to stop school buses from leaving lots, raising their voices and signs, pleading summer camps to stay closed. Teachers are crafting mock gravestones. Some teachers have even started drafting their wills. For Adeline Baltazar, a middle-school teacher in San Diego, June was a scary month. But soon after, her district decided to stay fully remote in the fall. In the latest episode in our series, Coronavirus and the Classroom, we look at this unfolding debate through a teacher’s eyes. Host Trymaine Lee talks to Adeline, or as her students like to call her, Ms. A, about the challenges she endured going online in the spring, her relief when school stayed online, and why she is surprisingly optimistic about the fall. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading:Educators join National Day of Resistance to fight for safe and equitable schools Some Teachers Head to Virtual Summer School to Learn How to Teach Remotely Schools seeking alternative to remote learning try an experiment: Outdoor classrooms

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  • 12.08.2020
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    Into the V.P. Pick: Kamala Harris

    Joe Biden finally has a running mate: Senator Kamala Harris. The Senator from California is the first Black woman on a presidential ticket in U.S. history. Biden promised to pick a woman back in March, and over the past few months, calls for him to choose a Black woman grew louder. Harris is a moderate choice by Biden, a moderate Democratic candidate. She was District Attorney in San Francisco and Attorney General of California before being elected to the Senate in 2017. Last year, Senator Harris was part of the most diverse group ever to run for president. But despite being an early frontrunner, Harris lost momentum and dropped out before the Iowa caucuses. But not before creating one of the most viral moments of the Democratic primary debates, when Harris criticized Biden for opposing integration efforts in the 1970s. Now Biden-Harris is the 2020 Democratic ticket. Yamiche Alcindor is a White House correspondent for PBS Newshour and contributor for NBC News and MSNBC and she joins Trymaine Lee to discuss the strategy and significance in Biden choosing Harris, and what it means for November. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading:With Harris VP pick, say Black women, Biden has 'decided to write us into history' Harris VP pick creates dilemma for Trump campaign, which lobs conflicting attacks Trump says Kamala Harris 'nasty' and 'disrespectful' to Joe Biden, surprised by VP pick

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  • 11.08.2020
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    Into Coronavirus and the Classroom: Parents Get Ready for School, At Home

    All over the country, policymakers, parents, and teachers are hotly debating whether to bring kids back to school. President Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy Devos have insisted that schools must reopen, while major teacher unions are threatening to strike if schools reopen without adequate safety measures. But for more than 4 million American students, their back-to-school plans are sealed. At least 17 of the 20 largest school districts across the country have decided to go fully remote this coming fall. That includes the San Diego Unified District, which serves more than 100,000 students. This week, we’re heading to San Diego as part of a week-long series, Coronavirus and the Classroom, to understand how the decision to stay online is affecting the local community. Trymaine Lee sits down with Kirsten Reckman, a frustrated working mom who is trying to figure out how to juggle work and childcare, all while making sure her 2nd grade son stays engaged and doesn’t fall behind this fall. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading:As coronavirus closes schools, teachers and families brace for massive experiment in online educationLos Angeles and San Diego Schools to Go Online-Only in the FallReopening schools: Will in-person classes, online learning or a mix be the solution?Many parents want it; few can afford it. Amid school uncertainty, private tutoring ramps up.

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  • 07.08.2020
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    Into the End of the $600 Unemployment Check

    Last week, many Americans got their last $600 unemployment check from the federal government. In Washington, Congress is at odds over whether to extend those benefits.Meanwhile, unemployed Americans are now struggling to make do with less. According to an early study from the University of Chicago, two out of every three people qualified to receive the $600 extra would make more money unemployed than at their regular jobs. In Stockton, California, a chef named Selena Pollack was one of those people. While collecting unemployment, she was able to provide for her family and pay off debt. But COVID-19 cases in that county, San Joaquin, are currently some of the highest in the country, and without federal assistance, she doesn’t have enough money to pay her bills.Michael Tubbs, the Mayor of Stockton, argues this reveals how little we value work in this country. And he wants to change that. In January 2019, Tubbs started a pilot program guaranteeing a basic income to some Stockton residents. 125 people started receiving $500 a month, no strings attached. In the pandemic, that support has been more critical than ever. He thinks other cities could follow suit. Trymaine Lee talks with Selena Pollack about what it’s like to be jobless during this pandemic. And we hear from Mayor Tubbs who says now is the time to rethink what it means to make a living wage in America. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading and Viewing: Contours of coronavirus aid deal between Democrats, White House take shape $600-a-week unemployment benefits expire, posing fresh danger to Trump's re-election What would you do with $500 a month? Stockton pilots universal basic income program Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs calls for addressing 'the violence of poverty' Is this California city the blueprint for Universal Basic Income?

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  • 06.08.2020
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    Into Joy Reid’s Primetime Moment

    Growing up, Joy Reid loved to watch the news with her mother – and even remembers staying up late to watch coverage of the Iran Hostage Crisis as a middle schooler. Along the course of her career, Joy’s worked in local news, as a press secretary for the 2008 Obama campaign, and written books on American politics.And she recently became the host of a new primetime show on MSNBC: The ReidOut, which premiered on July 20th with big-name guests such as Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. More than 2.5 million people tuned in.This is Joy’s third show for MSNBC. She previously hosted an afternoon show called The Reid Report and AM Joy, which aired on weekends. With The ReidOut, Joy is now the first Black woman to host a national primetime news show since PBS NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill died in 2016, and the first Black woman to anchor a primetime network show in the history of cable TV.On Into America, Reid tells Trymaine Lee what led to this moment, and how she plans to make the most of it. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading & Viewing: The Reid Out airs weekdays at 7pm ET Joy Reid to host 'The ReidOut ' weeknights on MSNBCChris Matthews announces retirement, mutually parts ways with MSNBC

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  • 04.08.2020
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    Into the Future of HBCUs

    For more than 150 years, Howard University in Washington, D.C., has graduated high-profile alumni like former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, authors Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, and rapper Sean Combs. Like many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in recent years, Howard has faced dwindling enrollment and financial uncertainty. But renewed calls for social justice might be shifting that.Last week, Mackenzie Scott, a philanthropist and ex-wife to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, announced she was donating $1.7 billion dollars to charitable causes, with tens of millions of dollars going to six prominent HBCUs. Howard University is one of them. It received $40 million. It is the largest gift from a single donor in the school’s entire 153 history.Dr. Wayne Frederick, President of Howard University and an alum himself, believes that HBCUs, founded before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to serve primarily Black students, are in a unique position to respond to this historic moment. Host Trymaine Lee talks with Frederick about the financial uncertainty of running an HBCU and how the Scott gift will have an impact, how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting life on campus, and what the future may hold for all HBCUs, including Howard. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading:Pandemic ushers in 'new normal' for historically underfunded HBCUs Howard University receives largest gift in its history for STEM scholars programEnrollment declines threaten future of HBCUs, disheartening alumni

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  • 31.07.2020
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    Morgan Freeman Reads the Last Words of John Lewis

    The late Civil Rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis was laid to rest on Thursday. But he had one final thing to say. John Lewis’ last words appeared in The New York Times on Thursday in an essay titled “Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation.” John Lewis wrote the essay shortly before his death and requested that it be published on the day of his funeral. In this bonus episode of Into America, Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman reads the final words of his friend John Lewis. This reading was recorded for MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading:Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation Watch: Morgan Freeman Reads John Lewis’ Last Words Into America: Into Remembering John Lewis

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  • 31.07.2020
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    Into a New Voting Rights Act

    Congressman John Lewis was laid to rest this week at the age of 80, after a lifetime of fighting for civil rights and human dignity. As a young man, his life was almost cut short as he led a protest for voting rights in Selma, Alabama. That day — March 7, 1965 — became known as Bloody Sunday, as state troopers attacked the protesters with horses and billy clubs. Lewis was badly beaten, and his skull was fractured.Broadcast images of Bloody Sunday put pressure on Congress and then-President Lyndon Johnson to pass the Voting Rights Act. The 1965 VRA eliminated racist voting practices such as poll taxes and literacy tests. It also put states and districts with especially discriminatory histories under federal oversight. But in 2013, the Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the VRA, undercutting its effectiveness.Activists and political organizers have been working to ensure that this rollback of the VRA does not keep Black Americans from being able to cast their ballots, but voter suppression has still been a major concern throughout the country. Now, the passing of John Lewis is bringing renewed energy to the fight for the franchise.On this episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee talks to political strategist LaTosha Brown, co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund, about the ongoing struggle for full voting rights. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading & Viewing: Into America: Into Remembering John Lewis Mitch McConnell's complicated history on the Voting Rights Act Bloody Sunday: A flashback of the landmark Selma to Montgomery marches

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  • 30.07.2020
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    Into Facing the Pandemic with a Disability

    From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many officials warned it was crucial to slow the spread of the virus to protect what they called the most vulnerable people: the elderly and those with underlying conditions. The people who have been mentioned far less often are those with disabilities. Having a disability isn’t a risk factor for COVID-19 on its own, but according to the CDC, people with disabilities often do have other health conditions that put them at risk. It can also be harder for some people to socially distance if they have caretakers or are in a group home setting. It’s hard to know the full scope of the risk because there’s no comprehensive data on COVID rates among people with disabilities, but around the country, some group homes for disabled people have been coping with serious outbreaks. On this episode of Into America, 30 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Trymaine Lee talks with disability rights advocate and writer Andrew Pulrang about how people with disabilities are weathering the pandemic and navigating the future. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading:“Americans Want To Be ‘Over’ Covid-19 — But Disabled People Still Have Questions” by Andrew Pulrang in Forbes “Covid-19 Deaths Higher in Those with Disabilities” “’I Hate Covid-19': Kids with Disabilities Struggle to Adjust as Schools Close”

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  • 28.07.2020
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    Into the Trayvon Generation with Elizabeth Alexander

    Dr. Elizabeth Alexander is an author, a teacher, a philanthropist and a scholar. But most people know her as a poet. In 2009, she performed her poem “Praise Song for the Day,” at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, reminding us of the ancestors who’ve led us to the progress we see today. She urged us: “Say it plain: that many have died for this day.”Alexander is now the President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the country’s largest funder of arts and culture. This year, they’re working with a grantmaking budget of $500 million. Every dollar of that will go towards social justice projects, including the newly launched “Million Book Project” to bring literature to prisons across the U.S.Recently, Alexander published an intense and beautiful essay in the New Yorker magazine called “The Trayvon Generation,” about her sons, and all the other young Black Americans who’ve grown up knowing the trauma of Black death — often captured on video, reposted over and over again on social media.On Into America, host Trymaine Lee talks to Elizabeth Alexander about pain, about philanthropy, and, of course, about poetry. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading:Elizabeth Alexander’s New Yorker Essay “The Trayvon Generation” The Million Book Project

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  • 24.07.2020
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    Into the Federal Response to Chicago’s Violence

    When the federal government sent officers from the Department of Homeland Security to Portland, Oregon earlier this month to help guard city buildings, the city erupted in chaos. So officials in Chicago were skeptical when President Trump announced on Wednesday he would also be sending federal law enforcement agents to their city.Nearly 200 agents from the FBI, DEA, ATF and other agencies are being sent to the city to help address a recent uptick in violence. The President’s announcement came just one day after a mass shooting in Chicago that left 15 people wounded. Crime rates in Chicago have been down overall during the pandemic, but shootings and killings have been on the rise. Despite the progress made in recent years to stop crime, homicides are now up 51% compared to this time last year. City residents and leaders are grieving and looking for solutions. But are federal agents the answer?Kimberly Foxx, the Cook County State’s Attorney in Chicago, is the county's top prosecutor and one of the officials preparing to work with the federal agents on their way. Trymaine Lee talks with Foxx about her office’s plans ensure that the new federal efforts do not result in further violence in the city. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further ReadingTrump says he is sending 'hundreds' of federal law enforcement officers to Chicago Chicago activists worried as federal officers head their way Federal agents coming to Chicago

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  • 23.07.2020
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    Into the Conservatives Against Trump

    There has been a slew of anti-Trump attack ads that have gone viral in the last few months. One ad shows the President as weak, sickly, and feeble. Another ad is a mock endorsement from Putin. These splashy, viral ads aren’t coming from the left, but from The Lincoln Project -- a political action committee run by long-time Republicans and Independents determined to defeat President Trump. This group includes conservatives like George Conway, husband to White House advisor Kellyanne Conway. They say the goal of these ads isn’t just to troll the president, but to “litigate the case against Donald Trump.”And they are seeing some signs of success. The Lincoln Project raised $16.8 million last quarter. And a new NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll shows that 50% of voters say they strongly disapprove of the President and 50% say they won’t vote for him come November. But can this group of conservatives convince long-time Republicans to vote for a Democrat?On this episode of Into America, host Trymaine Lee sits down with Lincoln Project co-founder Reed Galen. Galen has worked as a strategist for President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain. And he explains the conservative strategy to persuade voters and unseat Donald Trump in 2020. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading:Trump's growing re-election threat: Republican skepticsRepublicans who back an impeachment inquiry can save the country — and the GOPTrump has a 50 percent problem in the new NBC News/WSJ poll

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  • 21.07.2020
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    Into Remembering John Lewis

    Bernard Lafayette first met John Lewis in 1958 when the two men were roommates at American Baptist College in Nashville, Tennessee. They were both from the South, resented segregation, and wanted to do something about it.They began organizing in Nashville and participated in sit-its and the Freedom Rides across the south. Over the years, Lafayette watched Lewis grow into a national figure, from leading the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and being the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington, to becoming the ‘conscience of Congress’ as a Representative from Georgia.Lafayette worked for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and was the National Coordinator for the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign. He later became a scholar. Lafayette and Lewis remained close until Lewis's death on July 17, 2020. He was 80 years old.On this episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee talks with Dr. Bernard Lafayette about his friendship with John Lewis, the protests of the 1960s, and what his passing means for the nation. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading: Rep. John Lewis, lion of the civil rights movement, dies at 80 Obama on his 'hero' Rep. John Lewis: 'I was only there because of the sacrifices he made' Watch Rep. John Lewis' last interview with Al Roker on 3rd hour of TODAY

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  • 17.07.2020
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    Into Please Stop Talking to Me About Race

    When it comes to race relations, 2020 has caught a lot of us off guard. When protests broke out in response to the killing of Geroge Floyd, we saw diverse crowds out in the streets. More and more white people began asking what they could do to uproot the racism that plagues America. These conversations on race are crucial. But as writer Damon Young points out, they can also be really strange.Damon Young is Black, a senior editor at The Root, and founder of the blog Very Smart Brothas. He’s also the author of “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker.” Young noticed an uncomfortable pattern: more and more white people want to start conversations about race. He says there’s a time and a place to talk about things like police violence, lynching, and slavery. That time is not while he’s taking a walk around his neighborhood or standing in line for ice cream.Young wrote about his experience in a New York Times op-ed entitled, “Yeah, Let’s Not Talk About Race––Unless you pay me.” On this episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee talks with Young about how he finds humor in these moments and how it shapes his work as a Black writer.For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading and Listening:Yeah, Let’s Not Talk About Race. Unless you pay me.The first time I realized what my Blackness meantInto an American Uprising: White Accountability

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  • 16.07.2020
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    Into the Philadelphia D.A.’s Office

    In 2017, Larry Krasner, a public defender and civil rights lawyer who had sued the Philadelphia police department multiple times during his career, made an unusual decision. He decided to run for Philadelphia District Attorney, the city’s top prosecutor. His goal was to reform that system from the inside. Krasner was part of a national wave of progressive prosecutors responding to calls for police reform.Since taking office, Krasner has made efforts to stop the cycle of mass incarceration for low-level crimes while contending with a powerful police union and judges resistant to change. But Krasner says the city is still in the shadow of Frank Rizzo, Philadelphia’s former Police Commissioner and Mayor who was notorious for being “tough on crime.”Now Philadelphia, along with several other major U.S. cities, is facing a spike in shootings and homicides, as well as a growing opioid crisis, on top of the pandemic. Some Philadelphians say Krasner should be doing more to keep the streets safe, others say his office is not doing enough to change the system. Trymaine Lee talks to District Attorney Larry Krasner about whether his reform agenda can survive.For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading and Listening: Progressive DAs are shaking up the criminal justice system. Pro-police groups aren't happy.Why Is This Happening? How prosecutors can help end mass incarceration, with Larry Krasner: podcast & transcript

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  • 14.07.2020
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    Into Jamaal Bowman’s Insurgent Run

    The votes are still being tallied, but progressive Democrat and political newcomer Jamaal Bowman is poised to beat out sixteen-term Congressman Eliot Engel in the primary race to represent New York’s 16th Congressional district. The district is the second most unequal in the state; it’s majority Black and Hispanic, but also stretches into some very wealthy, mostly white neighborhoods. Eliot Engel is white, in his 70s, and chair of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. And Bowman - who is Black, in his 40s, and a former middle school principal - is part of a new wave of candidates taking on the establishment of the Democratic party. Bowman’s gotten the backing of progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, and the Working Families Party, which recently teamed up with the Movement for Black Lives to form a Political Action Committee. On this episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee speaks with Jamaal Bowman about why he decided to enter politics and take on one of the most entrenched Democrats in Congress. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading and Listening:The New York police under Michael Bloomberg scarred me and my familyAmid U.S. reckoning on race, Black candidates harness voters' fervor for change Into America: Into a New Generation of Black Candidates

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  • 10.07.2020
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    Into Police Chokeholds

    As he lay on the ground under the knee of a Minneapolis Police Officer, George Floyd called out “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times. In 2014, Eric Garner struggled to say the same words 11 times while being choked by an officer in New York. These high-profile deaths have been at the center of protests across the country. But in addition to the names we know, there are plenty that we don’t. According to a 2013 Department of Justice survey, of the police departments nationwide that serve more than 1 million people, 43 percent allow a neck restraint of some kind. There are no national statistics telling us how often these holds—sanctioned or not—end in death. This summer we’ve seen conversations at the local and national levels about the use of police neck restraints. States like California and New York have moved to put an end to the controversial restraints; but why are they used in the first place? And is reform even possible? Trymaine Lee speaks with Paul Butler, law professor and author of the book Chokehold, and Ed Obayashi, a Deputy Sheriff and a use-of-force training expert, about the history of chokeholds and the potential for reform. He also talks to Robert Branch, a Black man placed in a neck restraint by an officer in San Diego back in May of 2015. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading:House passes Democrat-led bill for sweeping police reform in wake of George Floyd's deathMinneapolis police rendered 44 people unconscious with neck restraints in five years Nation's police widely condemn move used to restrain George Floyd

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  • 09.07.2020
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    Into the WNBA Bubble

    Professional sports teams are getting back into the game, against the backdrop of two national crises: the relentless spread of coronavirus, and the national demands for racial justice. For the WNBA, the game plan is two-fold: practicing and playing in “the bubble,” and dedicating the 2020 season to social justice.The league’s 137 players will spend the next few months living and playing on a sports compound in Florida, with extraordinary medical protocols and protections. Teams are arriving this week at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where they are scheduled to tip off their season at some point in July, without fans in the stands. And a handful of players have not yet been cleared to join them, after testing positive for the virus.The league is also responding to the national calls for racial justice in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and to the growing number of players who want to raise their voices and use their visibility to work for change. The league has announced that the 2020 season will be dedicated to social justice initiatives, with a special focus on women like Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor and Vanessa Guillen, who "have been the forgotten victims of police brutality and racial violence.”Host Trymaine Lee talks with Gabby Williams, power forward for the Chicago Sky. Williams reflects on what it’s like to be isolated at the WNBA compound in Florida and what it means to use her position in the current political moment.For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading:7 WNBA players test positive for coronavirus, Indiana Fever's travel delayedJonathan Irons, whose conviction was overturned with help of WNBA's Maya Moore, is released from prisonWNBA Announces A 2020 Season Dedicated To Social Justice

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  • 07.07.2020
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    24:28
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    Into Resuming Federal Executions

    On July 13th, Daniel Lewis Lee is set to be the first prisoner executed by the federal government in 17 years. Executions have decreased on the federal and state level since their height in the 1990s, and for the first time in decades, a majority of Americans support life imprisonment over the death penalty. But Attorney General Bill Barr announced last month that four inmates would be scheduled for execution in rapid succession starting next week.Host Trymaine Lee speaks with Yale Law professor Miriam Gohara, who spent years representing clients on death row for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, on the long complicated history of the death penalty in America and how the demands of the movement for Black lives is connected to the fight against capital punishment. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further reading:NBC News: Supreme Court won’t stop scheduled federal executionsGallup: Americans now support life in prison over death penalty

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  • 03.07.2020
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    25:47
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    Into Black Trans Liberation

    Black trans women have been central to the movement for gay rights and the fight for racial justice since their inceptions. But they have always been sidelined by the very movements they helped create. Black Trans women continue to face high rates of violence, poverty and suicide and are often the victims of misogyny and white supremacy. Raquel Willis, a Black transgender activist and the director of communications for the Ms. Foundation, a nonprofit fighting for women’s rights, is trying to change that. This month, in the middle of Pride, she stood before a crowd of thousands and said, “Let today be the last day you ever doubt Black trans power.” Host Trymaine Lee sits down with Raquel to discuss her efforts to prioritize her Black trans women in both the LGBTQ community and the movement for Black lives, and why we all need to do the work of rethinking gender. For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica.Further Reading:Rally for Black trans lives draws enormous crowd in Brooklyn Making Gay History podcast episode ft. interview of Marsha P. Johnson

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