90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Race In America Today

The president, the country and race after Trayvon Martin

The country’s first black president has not made a big deal, regularly, about race. In office, his most important statement on the subject has arguably been just being there — the nation’s leader, African-American, with his strong African-American family at his side.

But on Friday, President Obama spoke directly, personally, to race in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict in the killing of Trayvon Martin. That, said the President of the United States, “could have been me 35 years ago.” Let’s think again, he said. Deeper.

This hour, On Point: The president, the country and race after Trayvon Martin.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Touré, writer and cultural critic. Co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle. (@Toure)

Laura Washington, columnist at the Chicago Sun Times. (@MediaDervish)

Bryan Monroe, editor of CNNPolitics.com. (@BryanMonroeCNN)

From Tom’s Reading List

TIME: Stopping The Slaughter: “Every death is a tragedy in this nation, whether in Pennsylvania, Connecticut or Florida. We all have suffered a great tragedy with the death of Trayvon Martin. But Trayvon’s story is only the latest in our epidemic of violence, compounded by race, that must be addressed in America.”

New York Times: President Offers A Personal Take On Race In U.S.: “After days of angry protests and mounting public pressure, President Obama summoned five of his closest advisers to the Oval Office on Thursday evening. It was time, he told them, for him to speak to the nation about the Trayvon Martin verdict, and he had a pretty good idea what he wanted to say.”

National Journal: President Obama’s Other Major Speech On Race In America: “In March, 2008, Senator Barack Obama was under fire. Video of the senator’s former pastor and supposed ‘spiritual mentor’ Reverend Jeremiah Wright making a series of racially controversial statements was making the rounds, and threatening to derail his presidential campaign. So the senator decided to give a speech in Philadelphia about race in the United States. It proved to be one of the most memorable moments of not just 2008, but of Obama’s political career.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 2, 2015
In this Tuesday, March 4, 2014 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, right, speaks before the screening of the television documentary "Israel: The Royal Tour" at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. (AP)

On the eve of Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress, we look at the US-Israel falling out over Iran nuclear negotiations.

Mar 2, 2015
This image provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows an artists rendering on how a gamma ray burst occurs with a massive star collapsing and creating a black hole and beaming out focused and deadly light and radiation bursts. Astronomers and space telescopes in April 2013 saw the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, a large gamma ray burst. (AP)

A super-massive black hole, newly discovered, deep in space. We’ll peer into the realm of the black hole.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 27, 2015
This image released courtesy of the Lead Belly Estate shows folk and blues musician Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter never had a hit record before he died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 1949. (AP)

Going back to Lead Belly. The blues legend is back. His influences, as big as ever.

 
Feb 27, 2015
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ChairmanTom Wheeler, center, joins hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.  (AP)

A US-Israel rift. A win for net neutrality. “American Sniper” verdict. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment
 
Two Congressmen Weigh In On DHS Funding
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland present their views on the ongoing Congressional budget fight over Department of Homeland Security funding. (Spoiler: They do not agree on a resolution of the crisis).

More »
1 Comment