Friday, January 13, 2012

Patt Morrison for Martin Luther King holiday, Monday, January 16, 2012 - SHOW ON TAPE


Monday, January 16, 2012

1-3 p.m.



1:00 – 1:20

1965, 1992 and 2012: change for African-Americans in L.A.?

In 1965, at the request of local citizens’ groups after what has come to be known as the Watts Riots, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., traveled to Los Angeles to inspect the situation and attempt to ease tensions. Stunned by what he saw, King wrote that not only had federal, state, and city governments failed to do their due diligence for Los Angeles’ African American community, but that the Southern civil rights movement was also culpable, due to its failure to provide the kind of organizational support necessary to help Northern communities. King’s legacy in Los Angeles began before this visit and continued long after, but 1965 was a watershed moment in the effort to end poverty and economic inequality in South Los Angeles via community organizing. While many of the original community activist groups in Southern Los Angeles have either folded or been folded into larger (sometimes governmental) organizations, other groups continue to arrive – and thrive, such as the Community Coalition of Los Angeles, founded in 1990 by Congresswoman Karen Bass, D-CA’s 33rd District.  Originally established in response to the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, the Community Coalition expanded exponentially after the 1992 riots which followed a jury acquittal of four LAPD officers accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King following a high-speed pursuit. particularly its approach towards eliminating “nuisance businesses” – such as liquor stores – in Southern Los Angeles. On today’s program, Patt checks in with Congresswoman Bass and current Community Coalition president and CEO, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, about King’s legacy of community activism and its effect on Southern Los Angeles, especially post-1992.


Rep. Karen Bass (D – Los Angeles); founder of the Community Coalition of South L.A.

Marqueece Harris-Dawson, president and CEO of the Community Coalition of South L.A.

1:20 1:40

Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers surprising ancestry of famous Americans

When Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was famously arrested by Sgt. James Crowley in 2009 after allegedly breaking into his own home, no one would have guessed that the two men were actually distant cousins and share a bloodline that dates back to 450 A.D. This surprising fact was discovered after the two men made amends at the so-called “beer summit” President Obama held at The White House and is an example of the type of discoveries uncovered in a new PBS miniseries called “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” The 10-part series, hosted by Gates, explores the surprising ancestry of notable individuals such as Harry Connick, Jr., Barbara Walters and Condoleezza Rice. Gates works closely with leading U.S. historians and genealogists to investigate and analyze the fascinating ancestral history of prominent Americans. How would you react if you discovered that you were related to someone who discriminated against you? How much have race relations improved, if at all, since the “beer summit” and President Obama’s 2008 election? How can we benefit from learning more about our genealogical and ancestral history?


Henry Louis Gates, Alphonse Fletcher Professor at Harvard University, where he is director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research; He is also the host of the PBS series Finding Your Roots, which airs Sunday, March 28th at 8 pm

1:40 2:00

What’s the Economy For, Anyway?

Is the point to have the largest GDP, or a healthy and happy society? What do Americans hold as their most powerful economic ideals—teamwork? Pragmatism? Equality? These are questions economists John de Graaf and David K. Batker set out to answer in their film and new book, What’s the Economy For, Anyway? De Graaf, who writes on overwork and overconsumption issues, and Batker, an environmental economist, challenge the U.S. reliance on the GDP as an indicator of progress, which they argue can run contrary to overall quality of life factors, as it did during the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, according to data analyzed by de Graaf in areas such as quality of life and health outcomes, the U.S. often under-performs, and not just against Western Europe, but poorer nations, too. Do you equate GDP with our national well-being? Are there other factors you consider to be more important?


David Batker, director of Earth Economics, a non profit that provides ecologically-oriented economic analysis; he’s co-author with John de Graaf of What’s the Economy for Anyway? Why It’s Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness


2:00 3:00

Justice Sandra O’Connor talks about her legacy

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court and she was the tiebreaking vote on landmark cases such as Bush v. Gore. What she experienced there has made her a crusader for civics education. The Justice joins Patt to walk through what she believes will be her greatest legacy,, a web site designed to engage and educate today’s young people to become tomorrow’s civic leaders. Patt talks with her about the Justice’s legacy on the Supreme Court and the challenges of inspiring today’s students to become informed, active participants in our democracy and justice system.


Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, former Supreme Court Justice (1981-2006) appointed to the court by President Ronald Reagan; she is also the founder of iCivics 

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