The Sunday Edition for June 7, 2020
Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright:
Michael's Essay — America's reckoning with racism and police brutality: "To be honest a lot has changed in 52 years. Mississippi has elected Black mayors and county commissioners. There has been a two-term Black president, something unthinkable in 1968. But the poison remains in the system. It has to be expelled, perhaps in angry demonstrations and broken shop windows, and the wound cauterized. White populations have to stop the reckless and hysterical flight from the inevitable."
The Fire This Time — A one-hour special on racism and police brutality in America: As the United States reels from the violent aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, we look at how the echoes of the rage, riots and burning cities of the 1960s and the legacies of slavery, lynching, segregation and police brutality targeting Black Americans are manifest today. Michael speaks with Elinor Tatum, the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Amsterdam News — the oldest and largest African-American newspaper in New York. And the renowned legal scholar and author Patricia Williams talks about what has changed, and what hasn't, since the days of James Baldwin, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
How the spectacle of U.S. racism allows Canada to overlook its own: Canadians have been outraged by the litany of racist violence and police brutality against Black Americans, the explosion of protest, and the inflammatory rhetoric issued from the White House. But Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey, who teaches history at McGill University, argues that focusing on the scale of racism and violence in the U.S. allows Canadians to feel morally superior and ignore or deny racism and police brutality against Black Canadians.
Are humans really a kinder, gentler species? 2020 seems like a strange — and strangely apt — time to argue that humans are defined by goodness and kindness. The biggest news stories of the year — and centuries of philosophical thought — suggest otherwise. But the Dutch author and historian, Rutger Bregman, takes the long view in one of the buzziest books of 2020: Humankind: A Hopeful History. He argues that humans' natural impulse is to avoid conflict and to cooperate with one another.
Where's the money coming from? The economic shutdown in March quickly turned people of all political stripes into big believers in big government. Even deficit hawks were clamouring for more government spending to support the millions of people and thousands of businesses that suddenly found themselves in financial distress. That's left Ira Basen pondering some questions: Where, exactly, is the government getting those boatloads of billions? How and when is it — or are we — going to pay it back? And has the pandemic put an end to the idea that deficit spending is a fiscal no-no? Here is Basen's documentary, "On The Money."
Sourdough Sabbath: At some point in the past three months, half the world started a bread-baking frenzy — either as something to do that's good for the body and soul, or to fill the long hours stuck at home, or just because everyone else on Instagram was doing it. Not so for Renée Bondy. Preparing dough and baking bread have long been a contemplative and nearly monastic weekend ritual for her. Her essay is called "Sourdough Sabbath."
Sunday School — The dark art of the two-fingered whistle (reprise): The Sunday Edition has run a lot of series over our 20 years and one of the most popular was, appropriately enough, Sunday School. This week, we replay a classic: Daniel Enright teaching his dad, Michael, how to whistle with two fingers.
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