A look at burning political issues and debates and their historical context within the US and worldwide, hosted by Mitch Jeserich.
Letters and Politics
10:00 AM Pacific Time: Monday-Thursday
Letters & Politics seeks to explore the history behind today’s major global and national news stories. Hosted by Mitch Jeserich.
Eugenics is the science of improving the human species by selectively mating people with specific desirable hereditary traits. It aims to reduce human suffering by “breeding out” disease, disabilities and so-called undesirable characteristics from the human population. Early supporters of eugenics believed people inherited mental illness, criminal tendencies and even poverty, and that these conditions … Continued
The Trump administration moved to dramatically limit Central American migrants’ ability to seek asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico, an escalation of the president’s push to stem the flood of border crossers that are severely straining the U.S. immigration system. Under the rule published online on Monday, with limited exceptions, migrants who pass through … Continued
After the National Party gained power in South Africa in 1948, its all-white government immediately began enforcing existing policies of racial segregation under a system of legislation that it called apartheid. The apartheid system made laws forced the different racial groups to live separately and develop separately, and grossly unequally. It tried to stop all … Continued
The Chicago Defender is an African-American owned and operated newspaper founded in 1905 by Robert S. Abbott. It brought publicity to race riots in 1919 and reported on the lynching of black citizens. The paper would also rewrite stories pertaining to its readers with an African-American point of view. Abbott also hired the first female … Continued
States with conservative governments are moving quickly in bringing bills to restrict when a woman can have an abortion. Currently there are about 20 cases concerning abortion restrictions in courts across the country and about 300 bills throughout the state legislatures with similar restrictions. Bringing all these cases to the Supreme Court is part of … Continued
The Farabundo Marti Liberation Front was formed when five politically different organizations joined forces to overthrow the Salvadoran military government. This was preceded by 50 years of military dictatorship supported by the U.S. government and the national oligarchy that kept a vast majority of Salvadoreans in extreme poverty and squalid working and living conditions. The … Continued
In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt signed the New Deal, which was meant to save the U.S. economy and give the federal government a bigger role in civilian life and local government. The program was implemented from 1933 to 1939 and was broken down into three goals: relief, recovery, and reform. It all started with what become … Continued
Take a look inside one of the new symbols of the San Fransisco Bay Area; a tent village where many unhoused people live in the middle of our cities, in one of the wealthiest regions in the world. We will explore this encampment using the interviews and recordings of its own residents. Since 2015 there … Continued
Denis Diderot was an 18th-century French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the Encyclopédia along with Jean le Rond d’Alembert. He was an important member of the Age of Enlightenment, who claims the Encyclopédia as its crowning achievement. Diderot used his influence in society to … Continued
The common notion of the beginnings of civilization is that it was remarkably better than a nomadic hunter and gatherer type of existence. It is in fact the opposite; early cities and city-states throughout history were so miserable that these early states went to war in order to capture slaves to keep the city operating, … Continued