About this podcast
Future Hindsight is a weekly interview podcast seeking to spark civic engagement, inspire hope, and reinvigorate our social contract.
About this podcast
Future Hindsight is a weekly interview podcast seeking to spark civic engagement, inspire hope, and reinvigorate our social contract.
- Season 14
Our Unjust SCOTUS: Adam Cohen
Campaign Finance Laws The Supreme Court often operates like a conservative activist group to help the GOP. One of the most egregious ways they've tipped the scales is in campaign finance. Starting with their infamous Buckley ruling in 1976, SCOTUS categorized corporate political donations as free speech. Their 2011 follow-up, Citizens United, removed almost all limitations on political spending, creating a vast increase in campaign spending. Rich Americans and corporations are now free to give as much as they want to whoever they want. This has greatly benefitted Republicans at the cost of electoral fairness. Poverty The liberal, pro-New Deal, Warren Court was replaced in 1969 by the conservative Burger Court. The contrast was stark. One of the Warren Court's last cases provided significant due process protections to poor Americans whose welfare benefits were in danger. As soon as the Nixon-appointed Burger stepped in, decisions changed. The Burger Court immediately heard a case involving family caps on welfare and ruled in the opposite direction. Families with more than four children could only receive benefits for the maximum cap of four children, exacerbating poverty for large families. With that ruling, a new tone was struck and SCOTUS has ruled against the poor ever since. Education The conservative Burger Court also devastated public education. It reversed a Texas decision, which had ruled that the state must fund rich and poor school districts equally. This SCOTUS decision essentially created a tiered school system with affluent neighborhoods on the top and poor ones on the bottom. Next, it ruled that desegregation efforts in schools could not cross urban/suburban lines. This transformative ruling undercut desegregation efforts and exacerbated schooling inequities. Today, many schools are segregated by both race and class because of these rulings. Find out more: Adam Cohen, a former member of the New York Times editorial board and senior writer for Time magazine, is the author of Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court's Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America. He is also the author of Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck and Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he was president of volume 100 of the Harvard Law Review. You can follow Adam on Twitter @adamscohen.
- Season 13
Raising White Kids: Jennifer Harvey
Race-Conscious Parenting Race-conscious parenting affirms that we should notice race, and to recognize racism and racial injustice. It rejects colorblindness, which is essentially white silence. Race-conscious parenting embraces multicultural, multiracial communities and encourages children to be active participants in anti-racist engagement. Race-conscious parenting is a commitment to teach about racism and activate for racial justice. Smog of Racism Racism is like smog: it exists whether we notice it or not. It’s worse when we don’t realize it exists because then we do not counter it. It doesn’t take an adult to actively teach racism to children. White families often don’t realize or talk about the smog of racism, which creates a space for children to interpret the world themselves. They will draw their own conclusions when systems of injustice remain invisible to them. Health White Identity Healthy white identity in the US is anti-racist. It acknowledges the full history of the nation, both good and bad, from enslavement and genocide to the abolition and civil rights movements. It also rejects white guilt, minimizing vulnerability to white nationalist recruitment. Whites have agency to choose what kind of white person they want to be, reject racist legacies, and to work across racial lines to create a more just society for everyone. Find out more: The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey is an award-winning author, educator and public speaker. Her work focuses on ethics and race, gender, sexuality, activism, spirituality and politics—with particular attention to how religion shows up in these dimensions of our shared social life. Her greatest passion and longtime work, however, persistently and pointedly return to racial justice and white anti-racism. Her most recent books, Raising White Kids and Dear White Christians, take a decidedly practical turn. They bring her experience as an anti-racist activist and educator to bear on conversations about how white communities can more deeply support racial justice work being led by communities of color. She is also the author of Whiteness and Morality: Pursuing Racial Justice through Reparations and Sovereignty and a co-editor of Disrupting White Supremacy: White People on What We Need To Do. As our nation grapples with how to challenge and change white socialization to support anti-racist development in children and youth, she draws on her experience as both a seasoned activist and a parent to offer concrete and accessible models for doing so. Her work is rooted in evidence-based developmental theory, but also a relentless vision of a more just future in which all of us can flourish. You can follow her on Twitter @DrJenHarvey.
Equity in Healthcare: Georges Benjamin, MD
Expanding Access Health insurance is essential to accessing healthcare. The uninsured do not get routine preventive care and, therefore, experience lower health outcomes. We must have a system that includes everyone, whether through private or public sector options. The Affordable Care Act, which was just bolstered by the newly passed American Rescue Plan, goes a long way, but many states still need to expand Medicaid in order to close the insurance gap. COVID in Minority Communities COVID hit minority communities hardest. African-Americans were three times more likely to get COVID, and twice as likely to die from it, as their white counterparts. Structural discrimination means more minorities are in public-facing jobs, working in grocery stores or driving buses, increasing their exposure to the virus. Minorities also traditionally suffer from being in jobs that don’t offer health insurance, living in neighborhoods with no doctors, and facing discrimination within the healthcare system. Representation in the Medical Profession Diversity at all levels of our medical system, from the top down, is critical to building more equitable health infrastructure. Increasing diversity in healthcare professionals, such as doctors, would be a good place to start. Currently, the rate of African-American men going to medical school is lower than when Dr. Benjamin attended school. In addition, diverse health professionals should be groomed and trained, and given the opportunity to become leaders. Find out more: Dr. Georges Benjamin is known as one of the nation's most influential physician leaders because he speaks passionately and eloquently about the health issues having the most impact on our nation today. From his firsthand experience as a physician, he knows what happens when preventive care is not available and when the healthy choice is not the easy choice. As Executive Director of the American Public Health Association (APHA) since 2002, he is leading the Association's push to make America the healthiest nation in one generation. Prior to APHA, Benjamin served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He became Secretary of Health in Maryland in April 1999, following four years as its deputy secretary for public health services. As Secretary, Benjamin oversaw the expansion and improvement of the state's Medicaid program. Benjamin, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a fellow emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians and an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health. You can follow the American Public Health Association @PublicHealth.
Inclusive Excellence: Dr. Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.
Inclusive excellence Diverse leadership and promoting inclusive excellence benefits everyone. In fact, it’s critical to success in any organization. Always including women and minorities in a pool of job candidates increases the likelihood in finding the best possible person. This is also especially important in traditionally non-diverse positions or departments, like the IT department. Diverse leaders can both promote new ways of thinking and prevent harmful decisions from being made. Social Mobility Higher education provides social mobility to many students, and is perhaps the most important aspect of a college degree. Many of UNC Greensboro’s students come from disadvantaged backgrounds, but arrive with intelligence and drive to succeed. UNCG is committed to replicating some of the advantages of well-off students for its own student body and delivering excellence in education. Unsurprisingly, UNCG is rated number 1 for social mobility in North Carolina. Get Invited to the Cookout Cross cultural understanding is key to an open and diverse future. Getting invited to the cookout by a person from another cultural background is a great way to get outside of your own identity, form new connections with new groups, and learn about different ways of life. The most important step in overcoming ignorance and indifference involves listening and being open to the experience of discovering the norms and traditions of other groups. Find out more: Dr. Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., was elected the eleventh Chancellor of UNC Greensboro (UNCG) in 2015, and brings a wealth of experience from a career that spans more than 30 years in higher education. During his tenure, UNCG has surpassed a record 20,000 students; grown its endowment, research enterprise, and overall facilities and campus infrastructure; significantly increased its fundraising; and elevated the presence, reputation, and real-world impact of the largest university in the North Carolina Triad region. Prior to this appointment, Chancellor Gilliam served as Dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs for seven years and was a longtime UCLA Professor of Public Policy and Political Science. His research focused on strategic communications, public policy, electoral politics, and racial and ethnic politics. As Dean of UCLA Luskin, Dr. Gilliam shepherded a $50 million naming gift and launched and executed an ambitious strategic plan and capital campaign, establishing the school as a regional leader in addressing and finding solutions to some of society’s most pressing problems. You can follow Chancellor Gilliam on Twitter @UNCGChancellor.
Implicit Teacher Bias: Dr. Walter Gilliam
Implicit Bias in Preschool Teachers In a study to detect implicit bias, preschool teachers were instructed to watch a video of four young children (black and white, boy and girl) and identify potential behavioral issues. By tracking their eyes, the study showed that the teachers watched the black children more closely for behavioral problems than white children. When asked, teachers said they thought they had a gender bias and watched the two boys more closely. In fact, the defining factor was race. Preschool Expulsion Preschool children, ages 3 and 4, are expelled at a rate more than three times that of K-12 combined. More shockingly, they are expelled for normal, age-appropriate behavior, such as running in hallways or being rambunctious. Preschool programs are supposed to prepare children how to behave in school; instead, they often punish children who don’t know the very rules they are meant to teach. Expulsion at such a young age can have wide-ranging negative impacts on a child. Free, universal Pre-Kindergarten offers a way to mitigate implicit bias because it would provide access to underprivileged children and create diverse learning spaces. Many preschool and childcare options today are segregated because of de-facto housing segregation. Instead of teaching different groups of children differently – whether in expensive private preschools or in low-income neighborhood programs – all children would learn the same set of standards, rules, and preparatory practices, promoting equality at an early age. Find out more: Walter S. Gilliam is the Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale University Child Study Center, as well as the Director of The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. Dr. Gilliam is co-recipient of the prestigious 2008 Grawemeyer Award in Education for the coauthored book A Vision for Universal Preschool Education. His research involves early childhood education and intervention policy analysis (specifically how policies translate into effective services), ways to improve the quality of prekindergarten and child care services, the impact of early childhood education programs on children’s school readiness, and effective methods for reducing classroom behavior problems and preschool expulsion. His scholarly writing addresses early childhood care and education programs, school readiness, and developmental assessment of young children. He has led national analyses of state-funded prekindergarten policies and mandates, how prekindergarten programs are being implemented across the range of policy contexts, and the effectiveness of these programs at improving school readiness and educational achievement, as well as experimental and quasi-experimental studies on methods to improve early education quality. Dr. Gilliam actively provides consultation to state and federal decision-makers in the U.S. and other countries and is frequently called to provide U.S. Congressional testimony and briefings on issues related to early care and education. You can follow him on Twitter @WalterGilliam.
Unapologetically Indigenous: Sarah Pierce and Amy Sazue
Achieving Education Equity Championing Indigenous students to be successful in school systems starts with school curriculums – telling the accurate history of the United States – and leadership that represents the Indigenous Americans they serve. Schools need to create spaces where Indigenous students can be unapologetically Indigenous by building immersion units and hiring Indigenous teachers. Most importantly, Native leaders, educators, and students need to be involved in each step of the process. Education Today The US education system was built to eliminate the Indigenous, and curriculum choice continues to perpetuate the silencing and erasure of Indigenous history. As a result, Native students are often subjected to discrimination by white teachers and administrators, and suffer high disciplinary rates. Native students in South Dakota today have one of the lowest achievement rates, graduation rates, and even mobility rates. Though they add up to about 10% of South Dakota public school students, only 1.6% of staff is Indigenous. History Starting in 1868, Western education was imposed on Native Americans. Children were forcibly taken and put in boarding schools. Native elders refer to this now-abandoned practice as the "severing of the sacred loop." The goal was to "tolerate" or assimilate Indigenous students, removing them from their cultures and ways of life. Trauma has been the biggest repercussion of the boarding school movement, and the current education system has failed the Indigenous for generations. Find out more: Sarah Pierce, Director of Education Equity at NDN Collective, is Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Pierce has 8 years of experience working and advocating for Title VI Indian Education Programs, working at Rapid City Area Schools in South Dakota and at Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a master’s in education degree from Creighton University, and a PK-12 Administrator endorsement from the University of South Dakota. Pierce will lead NDN Collective’s education equity campaign work, expanding opportunities for Native American students to have access to culturally relevant and culturally responsive learning environments. Amy Sazue, NDN Collective Organizer, is Sicangu and Oglala Lakota, and an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. She is a teacher and program coordinator, and also has experience working in development. She has associate degrees from Bay Mills Community College in Education, a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Oglala Lakota College, and is currently working on a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership through Arizona State University. You can follow NDN Collective on Twitter @ndncollective.
Separating Children: Laura Briggs
Child Separation Policy’s History The United States has a long history of using child separation to further racial nationalism. The two main groups targeted by these terrorizing policies were African Americans and Native Americans. Enslaved families were routinely split up, and Black families continue to suffer from child separation today thanks to 20th century laws like Suitable Home Rules and other similar legal mechanisms. Children of Indigenous Peoples were forcibly removed and put in boarding schools. The current separation of Central American children at the southern border follows these precedents. Boarding Schools The removal of Native children was originally considered a progressive policy to end the Indian Wars. Putting Indigenous children in boarding schools was touted as a non-violent solution to ending a ‘native problem’ at the time of westward expansion. The true ultimate goal was to turn Native children into a servant class, so it is not surprising that these boarding schools were rife with abuse. This program created mass trauma for entire generations of Native Americans, which is still felt heavily today. It also caused incalculable harm to the transmission of tribal culture, language, and tradition. Foster Homes As the Black freedom movement transformed into a movement of desegregation in public accommodations, Black children became the focus of the civil rights movement. At the same time, white segregationists focused attention on welfare and impoverished mothers, pushing narratives of welfare fraud. The more Black communities fought for their freedom, the more welfare was cut. Eventually, the small child welfare program that primarily served white families became an agency that actively worked to take Black children. Through Suitable Home Rules, the government villainized Black mothers and remove their children. This welfare system remains in place today. Find out more: Professor Laura Briggs, PhD is an expert on U.S. and international child welfare policy and on transnational and transracial adoption. She received her A.B. from Mount Holyoke College, her M.T.S. from Harvard University, and her Ph.D. in American Studies from Brown University. Her research studies the relationship between reproductive politics, neoliberalism, and the longue durée of U.S. empire and imperialism. Briggs has also been at the forefront of rethinking the field and frameworks of transnational feminisms. Her newly published book Taking Children: A History of American Terror, examines the 400-year-old history of the United States’ use of taking children from marginalized communities—from the taking of Black and Native children during America’s founding to Donald Trump’s policy of family separation for Central American migrants and asylum seekers at the U.S./Mexico border—as a violent tool for political ends. Briggs is a public intellectual whose work has been featured in court cases, podcasts, and journalism, including National Public Radio, Slate, PBS, New Republic, Indian Country Today, and Ms. Magazine. She began her intellectual career as a journalist for Gay Community News. She regularly teaches seminars on transnational feminisms, reproductive politics, and contemporary feminist theory.
Unions & Racial Justice: Tamara Lee
Colorblind Organizing US unions traditionally operate on a 'colorblind' approach to organizing, but focusing on class issues alone often fails to acknowledge that class is also racially coded. Unions need to combat racial disparities and inequality within its own membership and leadership. Diverse leadership brings lived experience to decision-making and problem-solving that can work against racist and classist discrimination. Union Innovation Innovation in organizing helps better serve union members. 'Whole-union organizing' looks at all the problems facing a union demographic. These may include immigration, police violence, and institutional safety issues, as well as race and pay issues. Working to alleviate these types of problems improves members' lives. Addressing issues of justice, in addition to economics, is key to the future of the labor market and labor movements. New Labor Laws & Equity Creation Current labor laws are 90 years old and need to be updated and reimagined. New laws should strive to create racial and economic equity, as well as social, prison, and climate justice. For example, setting pay-scales by industry can eliminate race and gender discrimination; and loan forgiveness could be based on wealth instead of income, alleviating the burden of student debt for the poor. Find out more: Tamara L. Lee, Esq. is an industrial engineer, labor lawyer, and Rutgers professor. She received her Ph.D. from the department of labor relations, law and history from the ILR School at Cornell University. Her academic research focuses on the popular participation of workers in macro-level political and economic reform in Cuba and the United States. She also conducts research on the political practice of workers under the National Labor Relations Act, the intersection of labor and racial justice, cross-movement solidarity building and the impact of radical adult education on workplace democracy. Her teaching focuses on identity politics in the workplace, and labor market discrimination. You can follow her on Twitter @tamilee2003
State-Sponsored Segregation: Richard Rothstein
Government Created Segregation The US government codified overt segregation in housing policy at the beginning of the 20th century. The New Deal created the Federal Housing Administration, which required all new public or government-backed housing developments to be segregated. Zoning laws and plans around the country segregrated urban areas that were already integrated, and relegated African-Americans to less desirable areas. The government sought to solve the housing crisis after WWII by underwriting the development of suburbs for whites only. It also mandated racial covenants against African-Americans to secure housing loans and created red-lining and income-based discrimination to segregate urban areas. Unequal Access African Americans were excluded from government programs designed to create homeownership by being denied access to purchase a suburban home and to qualify for a mortgage. The Home Owners Loan Corporation provided government-backed, low-interest loans to whites who wanted to buy a house but refused to insure African Americans' loans. After World War II, the VA provided subsidized huge housing developments for white returning soldiers by allowing them to buy homes on mortgage without a down payment. Finally, real estate developers would not receive government-secured loans from banks to build suburban neighborhoods if they sold homes to African-Americans. These economic policies created and then entrenched housing segregation. Segregated Labor Organized labor flourished during and after the New Deal, but only whites felt the benefits. Unions were allowed to segregate their workforces, and some unions – like the construction workers’ union – excluded Blacks outright. Blacks were routinely denied jobs held for whites and were never promoted if it meant overseeing whites. African American workers were forced to pay full union dues but only received partial fringe benefits, and the benefits of collective bargaining sometimes only applied to white workers. Being forced into lower-paying jobs exacerbated the income and wealth disparities between Blacks and whites. Find out more: Richard Rothstein is a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow (emeritus) at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He is the author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, which recovers a forgotten history of how federal, state, and local policy explicitly segregated metropolitan areas nationwide, creating racially homogenous neighborhoods in patterns that violate the Constitution and require remediation. He is also the author of many other articles and books on race and education, which can be found on his at the Economic Policy Institute. Previous influential books include Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black–White Achievement Gap and Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right. If you’d like to get a notice about the New Movement to Redress Racial Segregation, send an email to Carrie at email@example.com. Refer us to your friends and get a free button or Moleskine notebook! Please use this link to get your personal referral code: https://refer.glow.fm/future-hindsight, which you can then forward to your friends.
Ending The Filibuster: Eli Zupnick
What is the Filibuster? In the Senate, a bill passes if it receives more than half of the vote. To bring a vote to the floor, the Majority Leader asks Senate members if anyone has any objections before moving to a simple majority vote. If any member objects, the filibuster comes into play. The filibuster forces a debate on the bill. A ‘cloture’ vote must be taken to end this debate and move forward with the original vote. This cloture vote requires 60 votes, significantly more than is needed to pass the legislation. Since any senator can object to any bill and force a debate that can only be overcome with 60 votes, the minority party can effectively scuttle any legislation without a vote if they control 41 or more seats. Undemocratic Filibuster Proponents of the filibuster argue that it promotes bipartisanship because it forces the majority party to negotiate its way out of the cloture vote. The Senate is already an undemocratic institution because it favors rural (mostly red) states and is not based on population. The filibuster further increases this undemocratic nature by forcing any vote to overcome a supermajority—something nearly impossible in today’s polarized world. It also increases the power of a small minority of senators who can use to unilaterally end a vote on any bill they don’t like and allows them to do so at will, without negotiation. The filibuster has a long history of terminating civil rights discussions and scuttling equality proposals for this reason. Ending the filibuster would force the minority party to negotiate with the majority to create better legislation instead of killing anything that comes to the floor. Eliminating the Filibuster Both Democratic and Republican Majority Leaders have already set a precedent for ending the filibuster in the last decade. Abolishing the filibuster outright would require 67 votes—an impossibility. There is another way, however. First, a cloture vote on a bill must be taken. If it fails to reach 60 votes, the Senate Parliamentarian will rule that the vote failed, ending its chances to become law. Once this occurs, the Senate Majority leader can object to the Parliamentarian’s ruling. Only 51 votes are needed to overturn this ruling. That sets a new precedent, dictating only 51 votes are required to end cloture. Since the Senate operates on precedent, this will be the new standard, and the filibuster will no longer need a supermajority to end cloture, effectively ending its minority power. Find out more: Fix Our Senate is a campaign committed to tackling the filibuster problem head-on and making sure that Biden and the Senate majority can deliver on the promises they made to voters and make the progress our country desperately needs. Its highest priority is the elimination of the filibuster, an outdated Senate tool that gives veto power to a fraction of senators representing as little as 11% of the American population. President Obama recently called it “a Jim Crow relic” that cannot be allowed to continue standing in the way of progress. Fix Our Senate is focused on the rules and procedural changes needed to fix the broken Senate, but the campaign is ultimately about moving toward a government that can respond to its citizens and address the major problems we face. From COVID-19 response efforts, to critically-needed democracy reforms, the climate crisis, poverty and rampant inequality, the gun violence epidemic, police brutality and structural racism, health care access and affordability, child care, education and student loans, and so much more – meaningful progress will be impossible until the Senate is fixed. You can follow Eli on Twitter @elizupnick, and Fix Our Senate @fixoursenate.
Critical Race Theory: Mari Matsuda
Critical Race Theory Critical Race Theory is a theory of justice designed to respond to the endemic racism in America’s legal system. It places intersectional anti-racism at the center of analysis of law, politics, and power. It examines the origins of the idea of race and seeks to understand how institutions continue to perpetuate racism today. Although slavery and the genocide of Indigenous people have ceased, these past practices continue to inform our institutional systems and create injustice. Critical Race Theory reveals unconscious bias and systemic disenfranchisement as legacies of racist attitudes and legislation. Inequality as a Threat to Freedom Inequality harms our freedoms in many ways. Corporate monopolization harms our freedom to choose where we get our food, products, and information. Inequality in the form of sexism and racism harms our freedom of expression, such as valuing some people’s ideas over others. Education inequality can harm our freedom to learn, communicate, and succeed. Income inequality can dictate who people listen to in politics through campaign contributions and investments. Solving these inequalities will create a level playing field for everyday citizens to thrive in our society. Harmful Speech Valuing all speech necessitates cracking down on harmful speech. Hate speech has spread rapidly around the internet, which has a stifling effect on many who would otherwise make their voices heard. Hate speech is often directed toward women leaders, journalists, and authors. It can result in resignations and the withdrawal from public life—effectively stifling free speech. Free speech is critical to democracy, so we must keep tabs on speech that decreases the democratic conversation, like racism and misogyny. The market of ideas is suffering a failure, and like the real financial markets, we need better regulation to keep it working correctly. Find out more: Mari J. Matsuda is an American lawyer, activist, critical race theorist, and law professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii. Prior to returning to Richardson in the fall of 2008, she was a professor at the UCLA School of Law – the first Asian American woman to be tenured at a law school in the US – and Georgetown University Law Center. She specialized in the fields of torts, constitutional law, legal history, feminist theory, Critical Race Theory, and civil rights law. From her earliest academic publications, Matsuda has spoken from the perspective and increasingly used the method that has come to be known as Critical Race Theory. She is not only one of its most powerful practitioners, but is among a handful of legal scholars credited with its origin. Voices from the bottom, Matsuda believes—and critical race theory posits—have the power to open up new legal concepts of even constitutional dimension. Paradoxically, bringing in the voices of outsiders has helped to make Matsuda’s work central to the legal canon. A Yale Law School librarian ranked three of her publications as among the “top 10 most cited law review articles” for their year of publication. Judges and scholars regularly quote her work. She has also published several books, such as Words that Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, and the First Amendment and We Won’t Go Back: Making the Case for Affirmative Action. Matsuda serves on national advisory boards of social justice organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Asian American Justice Center. By court appointment, she served as a member of the Texaco Task Force on Equality and Fairness, assisting in the implementation of the then-largest employment discrimination settlement in U.S. history. A Magazine recognized her in 1999 as one of the 100 most influential Asian Americans. Refer us to your friends and get a free button or Moleskine notebook! Please use this link to get your personal referral code: https://refer.glow.fm/future-hindsight, which you can then forward to your friends.
White Too Long: Robert P. Jones, Ph.D.
The Lost Cause Before and during the Civil War, Southern Baptist leaders argued that slavery was just and the slaveholding South represented the pinicle of human civilization. After the South lost, they began to espouse the idea of the Lost Cause—that the war on Earth may be lost, but God would ultimately redeem the South with the Second Coming. This idea became widespread throughout the South, and can still be seen today in Confederate Monuments like the one in Richmond, VA which reads “God Will Vindicate’ in Latin, a direct reference to the idea of the Lost Cause, and the salvation awaiting Southerners. White Churches Perpetuate White Supremacy The Southern Baptist Church was founded on white supremacist principles and helped maintain a quasi-caste system where white Christians benefited. Other denominations like Protestant and Catholic display similar blind spots to—and even affinities for—white supremacy. Regular churchgoers are no less racist than the average American, and church-going evangelicals hold more racist attitudes than the average. Under the Doctrine of Discovery, the Catholic Church encouraged Catholic explorers to claim the lands of non-white, non-Christians, and thus has held up white supremacy for hundreds of years. White Christian America’s Warped Morality White supremacy has warped and stunted the morality of white Christian Americans. After the Civil War, Southern Baptists argued civilization was in decline that could only be rectified by Jesus’s Second Coming. This belief focused on inner piety while waiting for Jesus to reappear – being “good Christians” – and overlooked the injustices caused by white supremacy in society. This inward looking theology created a moral framework that sought reconciliation without the work of repairing the damage and/or achieving justice. Find out more: Robert P. Jones is the CEO and Founder of PRRI and a leading scholar and commentator on religion, culture, and politics. He is the author of “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity,” and “The End of White Christian America,” which won the 2019 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Jones writes regularly on politics, culture, and religion for The Atlantic online, NBC Think, and other outlets. He is frequently featured in major national media, such as CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others. Jones serves on the national program committee for the American Academy of Religion and is a past member of the editorial boards for the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and Politics and Religion, a journal of the American Political Science Association. He holds a Ph.D. in religion from Emory University, an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a B.S. in computing science and mathematics from Mississippi College. Jones was selected by Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion as Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2013, and by Mississippi College’s Mathematics Department as Alumnus of the Year in 2016. Before founding PRRI, Jones worked as a consultant and senior research fellow at several think tanks in Washington, D.C., and was an assistant professor of religious studies at Missouri State University. Refer us to your friends and get a free button or Moleskine notebook! Please use this link to get your personal referral code: https://refer.glow.fm/future-hindsight, which you can then forward to your friends.
- Season 12
Surveillance Capitalism: Shoshana Zuboff
Surveillance Capitalism Surveillance Capitalism is the dominant economic logic in our world today. It claims private human experience for the marketplace and turns it into a commodity. Vast amounts of personal data are necessary -- often harvested without our knowledge or consent –- in order to predict future behavior. Surveillance capitalists create certainties for companies by modifying people's behavior. Instrumentarian Power Instrumentarianism seeks to modify, predict, monetize, and control human behavior through the instruments of surveillance capitalism, our digital devices. Having mined all of our data, instrumentarians can tune and herd users into specific actions through triggers and subliminal messaging. It is ultimately a political project intended to install computational governance instead of democratic governance. Protecting Your Privacy A myriad of programs and apps can block tracking and scramble your location, making your behavioral data less accessible or even inaccessible. Since instrumentarians gain their power through our use of their devices, limiting internet use and working in-person reduces the power they have over you. Find out more: Shoshana Zuboff is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor Emerita at Harvard Business School and a former Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. Her masterwork, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, synthesizes years of research and thinking to reveal a world in which technology users are neither customers, employees, nor products. Instead, they are the raw material for new procedures of manufacturing and sales that define an entirely new economic order: a surveillance economy. In the late 1980s, her decade-in-the-making book, In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power, became an instant classic that foresaw how computers would revolutionize the modern workplace. At the dawn of the twenty-first century her influential The Support Economy: Why Corporations Are Failing Individuals and the Next Episode of Capitalism (with James Maxmin), written before the invention of the iPod or Uber, predicted the rise of digitally-mediated products and services tailored to the individual. It warned of the individual and societal risks if companies failed to alter their approach to capitalism. You can follow her on Twitter @shoshanazuboff
Fixing High Schools: Ted Dintersmith
Innovation in the Classroom Classroom innovation stems from teachers and students working together to pursue subjects that excite students to learn. Examples include allowing students to design robots and make documentaries about local landmarks. In the age of Zoom learning, keeping students engaged by letting them solve community problems or pursue independent learning goals will achieve much more than endless worksheets and standardized test prep. Standards V. Standardized Tests Implementing and upholding academic standards are not the same as demanding high scores on standardized tests. Engaging and exciting students about a topic should be the focus, like teaching students to think critically like scientists. Information retention rates are abysmal when the emphasis is to just regurgitate scientific facts for a test. Other basic standards should include knowing how democracy works, reading, writing, and thinking critically. High School Education A high school education should prepare all Americans for a life of civic and economic success. Our current education system fails to deliver this promise, which has resulted in many of our current social problems. Maintaining a functioning and thriving democracy requires high-quality education that equips students with pragmatic life and civic engagement skills. Find out more: Ted Dintersmith is one of America's leaders in innovation, entrepreneurship, and education. Ted has become one of America's leading advocates for education policies that foster creativity, innovation, motivation, and purpose. He knows what skills are valuable in a world of innovation, and how we can transform our schools to prepare kids for their futures. His contributions span film, books, philanthropy, and the hard work of going all across America. He's funded and executive produced acclaimed education documentaries, including Most Likely To Succeed, (Sundance, AFI, and Tribeca). With co-author Tony Wagner, he wrote Most Likely To Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era. During the 2015/16 school year, he went to all fifty U.S. states, meeting with governors, legislators, educators, parents, and students, and encouraging communities to work collectively to re-imagine school and its purpose. The culmination of that effort was his recent book What School Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers Across America. Ted's professional experience includes two decades in venture capital, including being ranked by Business 2.0 as the top-performing U.S. venture capitalist for 1995-1999. He chaired the Public Policy Committee of the Board of the National Venture Capital Association. In the public sector, he was a staff analyst in 1976-78 for the U.S. House of Representatives, and was appointed in 2012 by President Obama to represent the U.S. at the United Nations General Assembly. Ted earned a Ph.D. in Engineering from Stanford University and a B.A. from the College of William and Mary, with High Honors in Physics and English. Learn more about his work from his website or by following him on Twitter @dintersmith. We've started a referral program! Refer us to your friends to get a free button or Moleskine notebook. Please use this link to get your personal referral code: https://refer.glow.fm/future-hindsight, which you can then forward to your friends.
Reimagining Higher Education: Leon Botstein
Democracy and Education Democracy and education are inextricably linked. A democracy can only work when voters have an open mind, the ability to think critically, and are tolerant of others and their beliefs. A good education should be designed to cultivate these instincts, and the result should be we well-rounded citizens who respect each other, engage in healthy public discourse, and are able to think critically to uncover lies and bad ideas. Education should prepare all citizens to properly participate in civic life. The 4 Pillars of Good Education First, students should gain a firm grasp on language, and be able to read and write critically, uncover lies and discuss opinions respectfully. Second, students need strong mathematic, scientific, and computational literacy. Third, we need to understand and be able to think critically about the past, because the way we understand history has an impact on what we do in the future. Finally, we need to encourage creative thinking, and learn to understand the beauty and importance of things like poetry, art, and design. The Bankruptcy of US Education Our education system does not prepare us for the nation and the economy we live in. First, a high school degree does not prepare students for a life of work. With the current level of specialization and technology, we must make higher education free in order to give graduates a way to succeed. Our education system is also failing us civically. Most adults can’t name the three branches of government, a huge percentage of the electorate can be easily manipulated by obvious falsehoods, and many lack critical thinking skills as evidenced by COVID denial. Find out more: Leon Botstein’s entire life and his work in all its aspects is devoted to one mission: the improvement of peoples’ lives through education and exposure to the arts. A child of a generation that experienced extreme prejudice and barbarity, his firm belief that a better and more equitable world can be created by cultivating the life of the mind remains the principle that informs and connects all of his performances, writing, public service, and teaching. He was born in Zurich and immigrated to the US as a child. He studied history and philosophy at the University of Chicago and earned a PhD in history from Harvard University. In 1975 Botstein became the president of Bard College, a position he still holds. Under his leadership, Bard has developed into a distinctive liberal arts institution offering a vast range of undergraduate and graduate programs. In 1990 Botstein established the internationally admired Bard Music Festival, the success of which helped in the development of the beautiful Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, a multi-functional facility designed by Frank Gehry on the Bard College campus. Opening in 2003, the Fisher Center inspired a programmatic expansion, Bard SummerScape, that includes opera, dance, theater, and cabaret over six weeks every summer. In 1992 he was named music director of the American Symphony Orchestra, a position he still holds. During his directorship, he transformed ASO into a pioneer, presenting great works that have long been ignored by history, alongside the acknowledged masterpieces, in concerts curated thematically, using history and ideas to catch the imagination of a wider and non-traditional audience. On January 23, 2020, Botstein was named chancellor of the Open Society University Network, of which Bard College and Central European University are founding members. We've started a referral program! Refer us to your friends to get a free button or Moleskine notebook. Please use this link to get your personal referral code: https://refer.glow.fm/future-hindsight, which you can then forward to your friends.
Ending the Counter-Revolution: Bernard Harcourt
Counterrevolution Since 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, US warfare has focused on counterinsurgency. America now uses this counterrevolutionary playbook to govern domestically. Counterrevolutionary theory identifies a passive majority in all populations and a small insurgency. The first step is to brutally eliminate the rebellion, and then win over the passive majority. Using counterrevolutionary measures necessitates creating an internal enemy—for instance, Muslims, immigrants, minorities, or ANTIFA. Counterinsurgency establishes brutal violence as a policy, which quickly becomes the norm, as we’ve seen with the current level of government violence directed at US citizens. Legalizing Brutality America is a profoundly legalistic country, which looks to the law for the protection of rights. At the same time, it also has a long history of rendering questionable actions legal. The CIA redefined torture under the Bush Administration to require organ failure, which legalized many torture techniques that fell short of this standard. The summary drone strike execution of US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki required a 41-page legal memo to frame it as legal under due process. Prisoners are legally held indefinitely in Guantanamo Bay through convoluted legal justification. Counterinsurgency requires state-sponsored violence, and America is adept at legalizing actions that are normally viewed as illegal to achieve this. Once these actions are legalized, they then become normalized. Abolition Democracy To move past counterrevolution as a governing theory, we should look to WEB Dubois’s idea of Abolition Democracy. Abolition Democracy stated that no action was taken after slavery’s end to support former slaves with education, employment, and other necessities. Because of this failure, we are still combatting the legacy of slavery in the US. Abolition theory can be applied to the counterrevolution as well. We cannot merely disassemble the drones and/or shutter the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. We need a new governing paradigm, new institutions, and new norms to ensure we move away from the institutionalized brutality of counterinsurgency in a country with no insurgents. Find out more: Bernard E. Harcourt is a distinguished contemporary critical theorist, justice advocate, and prolific writer and editor. In his books, articles, and teaching, his scholarship focuses on social and critical theory with a particular interest in punishment and surveillance. Harcourt is the founding director of the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought, which brings contemporary theory to bear on current social problems and seeks to address them through practical engagement including litigation and public policy interventions. He is also the executive director of Columbia University’s Eric H. Holder Initiative for Civil and Political Rights, which sponsors courses, public events, student internships, and fellowships dedicated to strengthening the pillars of all communities—truth, justice, and law. Harcourt is the author or editor of more than a dozen books. Critique & Praxis (2020) charts a vision for political action and social transformation. In The Counterrevolution: How Our Government Went to War Against Its Own Citizens (2018), Harcourt examines how techniques of counterinsurgency warfare spread to U.S. domestic policy. Harcourt served as a law clerk for Judge Charles S. Haight Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He began his legal career representing death row inmates, working with Bryan Stevenson at what is now the Equal Justice Initiative, in Montgomery, Alabama. He continues to represent pro bono inmates sentenced to death and life imprisonment without parole. In 2019, Harcourt was awarded the New York City Bar Association Norman J. Redlich Capital Defense Distinguished Service Award for his work on behalf of individuals on death row. You can follow him on Twitter @BernardHarcourt. We've started a referral program! Refer us to your friends to get a free button or Moleskine notebook. Please use this link to get your personal referral code: https://refer.glow.fm/future-hindsight, which you can then forward to your friends.
Reimagining Law Enforcement: Norm Stamper
Community Policing The future of public safety is community police partnership. Stamper suggests a plebiscite in which neighborhoods elect representatives to work side by side with the police department. These citizens would be involved in every single aspect of modern policing from setting policy, crafting procedures, selecting new police officers, developing the curriculum for police academy training, and partnering with those best equipped to deal with substance abuse, homelessness, and mental illness. Cop Culture The structure of American policing is top-down, paramilitary, bureaucratic, and antagonistic to democratic values. Patterns of behavior are institutionalized through interactions in locker rooms, patrol cars, and other unmonitored places. The paramilitary structure of police forces leads to an “us-vs-them” mentality, which results in a toxic culture of distrusting civilians. Undoing this culture begins with undoing the existing structure of the organization and reshaping it to meet the needs of civilians, municipalities, and communities. The War on Drugs The War on Drugs is actually a War on Americans. Most drug dealers and users swept up in the War on Drugs are low-level offenders who are addicts, mentally ill, or chronically poor. They need medical and financial help. Instead, police treat them as enemy combatants, resulting in death and destruction for many Americans, including police officers. Ending the War on Drugs would make it possible to repurpose some police funding for rehabilitation and mental health services. Demilitarization is also a critical factor to creating a safer America. Find out more: Norm Stamper was a police officer for 34 years, the first 28 in San Diego, the last six (1994-2000) as Seattle’s Chief of Police. He earned his Ph.D. in Leadership and Human Behavior, and is the author of two books: To Protect and Serve: How to Fix America’s Police (2016) and Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing (2005). He recently finished a novel and is at work on another. Throughout his career and into “retirement,” Norm has served as a trainer, consultant, expert witness, and keynote speaker. His commitment to police reform and social justice has shaped an agenda that calls for an end to the drug war; abolition of the death penalty; vanquishment of domestic violence from our society; a concerted effort to drive bigotry and brutality out of the criminal justice system; development of broad respect and support for the nation’s police officers; a campaign to make every school, every workplace, every neighborhood and home a place of safety, particularly for our children; rejection of mass incarceration; and a fully-fledged dedication to our civil liberties and constitutional guarantees. Norm lives in the San Juan Islands off Washington State, and is a proud and humble father, father-in-law, grandfather, uncle, brother, and friend. We've started a referral program! Refer us to your friends to get a free button or Moleskine notebook. Please use this link to get your personal referral code: https://refer.glow.fm/future-hindsight, which you can then forward to your friends.
The Precarity of Taxi Work: Veena Dubal
Proposition 22 Prop 22, the most expensive California ballot initiative in history, carves out app-based gig economy workers as a new employee class that lacks the benefits and protections that other workers in California get. Prop 22 also makes it more difficult for drivers and delivery workers to unionize. Uber, Lyft, Doordash, and other app-based services threatened their workers with lack of flexibility and job loss. They also spent more than $200M to persuade voters. The passage of Prop 22 is a significant loss for labor law, and copycat legislation in other states is already following. Taxi Unions The San Francisco chauffeurs’ union was powerful and effective because it had 100% participation from taxi drivers and built a strong collective identity for drivers. It even had a union hall! Unions negotiated fair contracts – wages and hours – and prevented oversaturation in the taxi market. For most of the 20th century, US taxi drivers were unionized. Today, most app-based drivers are completely atomized, lack tools to communicate with each other, and don’t see driving as a craft identity. Laws and Regulations Since the 1930s, taxi work was considered a public utility. In San Francisco, the Taxi Commission regulated fares and worker supply in order to ensure a living wage. Although the San Francisco Taxi Commission is disbanded, the Municipal Transportation Agency could again take up regulation and supply management. In addition, employment protection should be strengthened by including proper unemployment and work place insurance. Find out more: Veena Dubal is a law professor at UC Hastings. Her research focuses on the intersection of law, technology, and precarious work. Within this broad frame, she uses empirical methodologies and critical theory to understand (1) the impact of digital technologies and emerging legal frameworks on the lives of workers, (2) the co-constitutive influences of law and work on identity, and (3) the role of law and lawyers in solidarity movements. Professor Dubal has been cited by the California Supreme Court, and her scholarship has been published in top-tier law review and peer-reviewed journals, including the California Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, Berkeley Journal of Empirical and Labor Law, and Perspectives on Politics. Based on over a decade of ethnographic and historical study, Professor Dubal is currently writing a manuscript on how five decades of shifting technologies and emergent regulatory regimes changed the everyday lives and work experiences of ride-hail drivers in San Francisco. Professor Dubal joined the Hastings Faculty in 2015, after a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University (also her undergraduate alma mater). Prior to that, Professor Dubal received her J.D. and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, where she conducted an ethnography of the San Francisco taxi industry. The subject of her doctoral research arose from her work as a public interest attorney and Berkeley Law Foundation fellow at the Asian Law Caucus where she founded a taxi worker project and represented Muslim Americans in civil rights cases. You can follow her on Twitter @veenadubal We've started a referral program! Refer us to your friends to get a free button or Moleskine notebook. Please use this link to get your personal referral code: https://refer.glow.fm/future-hindsight, which you can then forward to your friends.
The Future of Antitrust: Zephyr Teachout
Monopolies are Anti-Democratic A monopoly is a company that has the power to set the terms of interactions, from the pricing of consumer goods to interactions with suppliers and resolving disputes. The most insidious and anti-democratic example is private arbitration, a judicial system where the parties to the suit pay the judges. Large companies force employees and even customers to litigate all grievances through arbitration courts, making a mockery of justice and infringing upon our civil rights. In essence, monopolies exert a form of private governing power and control over citizens within our democracy. US History of Trust-Busting America has a long history of trust-busting, dating back to the late 19th century. At that time, thousands of antitrust leagues around the country verified that companies were not controlling large market shares. Anti-monopolism was once a vital facet of American political activism, and it could be again. US antitrust law still exists; it just isn't being enforced—and hasn't been since Reagan's administration. The Biden-Harris administration could start enforcing existing laws, which would create a sea-change in the antitrust landscape. We have the tools to break up monopolies, but we lack the political and organizational will-power. Chickenization Chickenization refers to the ways large poultry distributors subjugate independent chicken farmers who depend on them to bring their chickens to market. These regional monopolies exercise immense control over these farmers by forcing them to use their feed, abide by their coup house specifications, and accept the equivalent of poverty wages. They also require arbitration contracts, ban communication between farmers, and retaliate against farmers who break the rules. Other sectors of the economy are following suit: delivery apps control restaurants and ride-share apps control taxi drivers. Find out more: Zephyr Teachout is an Associate Law Professor and has taught at Fordham Law School since 2009. In addition to Break ‘Em Up: Recovering Our Freedom from Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money, she published Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens’ United and has written dozens of law review articles and essays. Teachout was a death penalty defense lawyer at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in North Carolina. She co-founded a non-profit dedicated to providing trial experience to new law school graduates. She is known for her pioneering work in internet organizing and was the Sunlight Foundation's first National Director. She grew up in Vermont and received her BA from Yale in English and then graduated summa cum laude from Duke Law School, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. She also received an MA in Political Science from Duke. She clerked for Chief Judge Edward R. Becker of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. She ran unsuccessfully for New York State Attorney General in 2018, for Congress's 19th Congressional District in 2016, and for the Democratic nomination of the Governor of New York in 2014. You can follow her on Twitter @ZephyrTeachout. We've started a referral program! Refer us to your friends to get a free button or Moleskine notebook. Please use this link to get your personal referral code: https://refer.glow.fm/future-hindsight, which you can then forward to your friends.
A Keynesian Future: Zach Carter
Keynes's Goals Keynes concerned himself with his day's most significant problems: WWI and WWII, the rise of fascism and revolution, and the Great Depression in the United States. He believed that assuaging fears about an uncertain future was most important, and that a more equal society would also be more secure from deflation, deprivation, and dictatorship. He aimed for policies that would grapple with crisis and uncertainty. Economics as Politics Keynes firmly believed that economics was an extension of politics and government, not a separate entity that existed outside of the governmental sphere of influence. Governments needed to manage their economies to ensure success, by controlling wages and working conditions, as well as setting interest rates and fiscal policy. Economics and monetary policy were political tools to achieve healthy and stable societies. A Keynesian Future A Keynesian in the incoming Biden administration would prioritize solving the problems of climate change, COVID, and economic inequality through a large-scale project like FDR’s New Deal. Together with traditional infrastructure spending, decarbonizing our economy would require massive public works efforts similar to the New Deal’s WPA, creating millions of new jobs, buoying the working class, and mitigating income inequality. Find out more: Zachary D. Carter is a senior reporter at HuffPost, where he covers economic policy and American politics. He is a frequent guest on cable news and whose work has appeared in The New Republic, The Nation, and The American Prospect, among other outlets. He is also the author of The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes, which was just selected as one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by Publishers Weekly. Carter began his career at SNL Financial (now a division of S&P Global), where he was a banking reporter during the financial crisis of 2008. He wrote features about macroeconomic policy, regional economic instability, and the bank bailouts, but his passion was for the complex, arcane world of financial regulatory policy. He covered the accounting standards that both fed the crisis and shielded bank executives from its blowback, detailed the consumer protection abuses that consumed the mortgage business and exposed oversight failures at the Federal Reserve and other government agencies that allowed reckless debts to pile up around the world. Carter graduated from the University of Virginia, where he studied philosophy and politics. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. You can follow him on Twitter @zachdcarter. We've started a referral program! Refer us to your friends to get a free button or Moleskine notebook. Please use this link to get your personal referral code: https://refer.glow.fm/future-hindsight, which you can then forward to your friends.