The acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of "Between the World and Me," has written some of the most discussed articles on the presidential race looking at Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and his position on reparations. Coates wrote the articles after Sanders appeared at the Black and Brown Forum in Iowa and said he did not support reparations for slavery because it is too "divisive" an issue. While his critique of Sanders generated headlines, today Coates talks on Democracy Now! about why he still plans to vote for the Vermont senator.
In the Democratic New Hampshire primary, Senator Bernie Sanders beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by a margin of 60 to 38 percent. Eight years ago, Clinton won New Hampshire, defeating Senator Barack Obama. When polling first began in New Hampshire over a year ago, Clinton was projected to win by as much as 50 percent, but Sanders has steadily chipped away at her support. On Tuesday, Sanders beat Clinton in nearly every demographic area except for senior citizens and families earning over $200,000. According to exit polls, 55 percent of women—including 70 percent of women under 30—backed the Vermont senator. Overall, Sanders won 83 percent of the under-30 vote. By winning New Hampshire, Sanders becomes the first Jewish candidate to ever win a major presidential primary.
A shocking new investigation about private prisons has revealed dozens of men have died in disturbing circumstances inside these facilities in recent years. The investigation published in The Nation magazine documents more than 100 deaths at private, immigrant-only prisons since 1998. The investigation’s author, Seth Freed Wessler, spent more than two years fighting in and out of court to obtain more than 9,000 pages of medical records that private prison contractors had submitted to the Bureau of Prisons. We speak to Wessler about his piece, "This Man Will Almost Certainly Die."
Earlier in the presidential campaign, Black Lives Matter activists made headlines disrupting campaign events by Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and others, demanding candidates focus on criminal justice issues. Now the group has opted not to endorse any candidate in the presidential race. We speak to journalist Darnell Moore, a member of the New York City chapter of Black Lives Matter.
In 1986, Bernie Sanders, then mayor of Burlington, challenged sitting Vermont Governor Madeleine Kunin. Sanders largely ran on a platform to tackle economic inequality. We speak to Kunin about the consistency of Sanders’ message and why she and the political establishment have opted to back Hillary Clinton this year.
Scholar Michelle Alexander made headlines last week when she wrote a critical post about Hillary Clinton’s record on criminal justice issues. "I can’t believe Hillary would be coasting into the primaries with her current margin of black support if most people knew how much damage the Clintons have done—the millions of families [that were] destroyed the last time they were in the White House thanks to their boastful embrace of the mass incarceration machine and their total capitulation to the right-wing narrative on race, crime, welfare and taxes." We look back at Clinton’s record with three guests: Darnell Moore, a member of the New York City chapter of Black Lives Matter; former Vermont Governor Madeleine Kunin; and former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous.
Likening him to Jesse Jackson in the 1980s, former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous praises Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for consistently addressing the issues that Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. referred to as the "giant triplets of evil"—racism, militarism and greed. We speak to Jealous in North Carolina. He was just in South Carolina campaigning for Sanders ahead of that state’s primary.
Voting has begun across New Hampshire for the first primary in the country. A half-million voters are expected to cast ballots. Just after midnight, voting took place in three small towns. In the Democratic race, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders got a total of 17 votes to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s nine. In the Republican race, Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich each received nine votes. We speak to Madeleine May Kunin, who served as governor of Vermont from 1985 to 1991. She is a professor at the University of Vermont and the author of "The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family." Kunin’s new article for The Boston Globe is called "When Bernie Sanders Ran Against Me in Vermont." She has endorsed Hillary Clinton.
More than 100 million people tuned in to watch Super Bowl 50 last night. In addition to seeing the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers, viewers also witnessed one of the most political halftime shows in the Super Bowl’s history as the legendary singer Beyoncé paid tribute to the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter movement. Backstage, Beyoncé’s dancers posed with their fists in the air, recalling the black power salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics. Meanwhile, homeless advocates staged a series of protests in recent weeks over San Francisco’s efforts to sweep the homeless from the streets ahead of the Super Bowl. Many of the homeless were supplanted to make way for Super Bowl City, a gated exhibition area for NFL sponsors and fans to participate in game-associated festivities. We speak to sportswriter Dave Zirin.
At Saturday’s Republican debate, Donald Trump and Ohio Governor John Kasich offered competing visions for improving police relations in the wake of the police shootings in Ferguson and elsewhere. Trump said the police have been "absolutely mistreated and misunderstood," while Kasich highlighted efforts in Ohio to bring community leaders and police together in dialogue. We speak with Vince Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
At Saturday’s debate, Jeb Bush attacked Donald Trump for using eminent domain to try to seize the home of an elderly woman in Atlantic City to build a "limousine parking lot." Trump defended the practice but hit back after the debate, accusing the Bush family of using eminent domain to build the Texas Rangers baseball stadium. We speak to George Mason University professor Ilya Somin, author of "The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain."
North Korea is facing international condemnation after launching a long-range rocket over the weekend carrying what it called a satellite. The issue came up during Saturday’s Republican debate. Jeb Bush backed a preemptive strike, while Donald Trump pushed for China to solve the crisis. We speak with investigative journalist Tim Shorrock.
In the final debate before Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire, Republican presidential contenders battled it out Saturday night at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. While much of the post-debate coverage focused on Marco Rubio for repeatedly reciting the same talking points about President Obama, less attention was paid to how the candidates embraced the use of torture and expanding Guantánamo. We air highlights and speak to Pardiss Kebriaei, senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. She represents current and former Guantánamo detainees.
A United Nations panel has officially concluded WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been "arbitrarily detained" and should be allowed to walk free. Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for more than three years. He wants to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crimes allegations, which he has repeatedly denied and for which he has never been charged. He fears Sweden would extradite him to the United States, where he could face trial for WikiLeaks’ revelations. We air reaction to the U.N. decision from Assange and his attorney, Melinda Taylor, and speak with Mads Andenæs, U.N. special rapporteur on arbitrary detention.
During Thursday’s debate in New Hampshire, while Sen. Bernie Sanders conceded former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has more experience in foreign affairs, he questioned her judgment for voting for the Iraq War. "But experience is not the only point—judgment is," Sanders said. "And once again, back in 2002, when we both looked at the same evidence about the wisdom of the war in Iraq, one of us voted the right way, and one of us didn’t." Clinton repeatedly touted her time as secretary of state. "I was very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State Department better—better than anybody had run it in a long time," she said.
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