Today is last day for “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor

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After having a second brain-seizure last month, Keillor’s time with the popular show on NPR has come to an end. On Saturday, Garrison Keillor will sign off as the host of A Prairie Home Companion for the final time, ending a four-decade run as the public radio show’s writer and voice. This fall, the program will return to its original format as a musical variety show, transitioning away from Keillor’s unique brand of radio sketch humor and his monologue of the news from the fictional town of Lake Wobegon where, he notes each week, “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, […]

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Slavery in America today: Welcome to Angola

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When King, now 71, arrived at Angola, his first impression of it was that it resembled a slave plantation, he said. And it used to be just that. Its name is derived from the home country of the slaves who used to work the land. Today, the comparison remains sadly accurate: Inmates are disproportionately black. They’re forced into hard labor and monitored closely by armed white staff on horseback. There is a sex slave trade behind the bars and many black inmates are deprived of basic constitutional rights. King landed a tough lot in life: He was born black in […]

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Race and racism from a random NPR segment: Diane Rehm, Abraham Foxman, James Eagan Holmes & the NAACP

It is clear that race is becoming more and more of an issue that is being covered by mainstream media today, from the epidemic of cops killing unarmed black youth to whether the Confederate Flag should fly outside government buildings, to the issue of immigration which will dominate the Presidential Election next year, especially if Donald Trump is still a part of the race. One of the major obstacles to understanding each other today has to do with perspective. There is already a lot out there written about White Privilege and Colorblindness, so we will not delve into that dissertation for […]

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Looking forward 2015 – Are hipsters the new colonizers destroying Tucson’s barrios?

European colonization of the Americas has taken many forms, from the blatant conquest by military force and genocide unleashed on indigenous people living here to the new and approved hipster movement that accomplishes the same thing in terms of taking land away from those living here and replacing the culture. What is a hipster and why should you care? The definitions are broad, and no one should self-identify as a hipster which is the same subculture-blind attitude that TEA Party members take when they ignore racism and proclaim to be color-blind, but many urban centers, including here in Tucson, are […]

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Walter White Supremacy and Privilege: Why I still love Breaking Bad

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I think we can learn a lot about other people, and in this case the dominant culture in America, by learning about what they really enjoy also; what entertains them. Just as with Orange is the New Black, I first learned about Breaking Bad from none other than NPR. It was everywhere, from Terry Gross to Charlie Rose. Smart people were talking seriously about this show which is filled with many wrongs. The main character is evil. He makes meth. He was involved with Mexican drug cartels. He’s killed many people in atrocious and violent ways. Yet, for some reason, […]

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NPR asks if White Stereotypes are bad, but do we even notice Minority Stereotypes on TV?

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On cable TV, there’s a whole truckload of reality shows that make fun of working-class, white Southern culture. They are some of the most popular and talked about new shows, too, such as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. MTV tried cashing in on the redneck TV trend with its own hyped-up platform for young Southern kids behaving badly, Buckwild. It played like a Southern-fried version of Jersey Shore. Its stars were a dimwitted crew of young people in West Virginia drinking hard and riding pickup trucks through ditches filled with mud. Then, one of them died, along […]

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