WBEZ | politics http://www.wbez.org/tags/politics Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en You're Wrong About Reagan http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-09/youre-wrong-about-reagan-114785 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Reagan_Flickr_Opus Penguin.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Ronald Reagan&rsquo;s presidential bid took a fateful turn in 1980 after his fiery &ldquo;Nashua Moment&rdquo; during a New Hampshire primary debate. As that state&rsquo;s voters head to the polls today, we look back at the 40th president&rsquo;s legacy with Jacob Weisberg, author of the biography, &#39;Ronald Reagan.&#39;</p></p> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 22:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-09/youre-wrong-about-reagan-114785 Film Takes on Stereotypes About Arab Americans http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-02-09/film-takes-stereotypes-about-arab-americans-114780 <p><h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6a3e3e8f-c80e-2194-e0ce-907ac4c57714"><span style="font-size: 16px; color: rgb(33, 33, 33); font-weight: 700; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Who Will Be The Next President of Burma?</span></span></h3><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="color: rgb(33, 33, 33); font-size: 16px; font-weight: 700; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.38; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/246268220&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Burma.jpg" title="Military representatives of Myanmar parliament leave after attending a session of Union Parliament Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. The names of Myanmar's next president and two vice presidents will be revealed on March 17, an official said Monday, setting a clear timeline for the transition of power from a military-controlled government to democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi's party. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Burma is set to put in a new president to run its government. &nbsp;Last November, former political prisoner and Nobel laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party, &nbsp;won in a landslide, ending decades of military rule in Burma. &nbsp;Though Suu Kyi is the overwhelming favorite to become president, there are constitutional snags to her taking office, including being a woman and the ethnicity of her husband and children. Negotiations are underway to change that. &nbsp;We&rsquo;ll talk about Burma&rsquo;s new government and what is likely to happen next &nbsp;with Maureen Aung-Thwin, director of the Burma Project and Southeast Asia Initiative at the Open Society Foundation.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guest</strong>: Maureen Aung-Thwin is the director of the Burma Project and Southeast Asia initiative at the Open Society Foundation.</p><hr /><h3><span style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: 700; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.38; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Documentary Examines What it Means to be Arab and Muslim in America</span></h3><p><span style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: 700; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.38; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/246268249&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></span></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AmericanArab2.jpg" style="height: 800px; width: 540px;" title=" Poster for the new film, American Arab. (Courtesy of Usama Alshaibi)." /></div><p dir="ltr">A recent Pew study found that nearly half of all Americans believe that a substantial segment of the U.S. Muslim population is anti-American. &nbsp;Last week, &nbsp;President Obama was criticized by several Republican presidential candidates after he made an official visit to a mosque. &nbsp;There has been a rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes. &nbsp;Filmmaker Usama Alshaibi, an -raqi American, found his own family was personally impacted by growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States. He took on the topic in his latest documentary &ldquo;American Arab.&rdquo; Alshaibi joins us to talk about the film and what it means to be Muslim in America. The film airs tonight on WTTW.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guest</strong>: Usama Alshaibi is a filmmaker and director of the documentary <a href="http://www.americanarabmovie.com/">&ldquo;American Arab.&rdquo;</a></p><hr /><h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-weight: 700; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; font-size: 14.6667px; line-height: 20.24px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><font face="Arial">B</font></span><span style="line-height: 1.38; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-weight: 700; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">razilian Electoral Politics</span></h3><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-size: 16px; font-weight: 700; line-height: 1.38; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/246268259&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Brazil.jpg" title=" Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff speaks during the swearing-in ceremony of her new Economy Minister at Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015. The change in ministers comes on the heels of the decision by the Fitch ratings agency to downgrade Brazil's credit rating to junk status. Another one of the big three ratings agencies, Standard &amp; Poor's, took the same step in August. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)." /></p><p dir="ltr">As the Brazilian government fights the Zika virus, its president, Dilma Rousseff and her Workers&rsquo; Party, are fighting for their political lives. Though Rousseff appears to have survived impeachment proceedings, her goals for economic reforms to combat deep unemployment and double-digit inflation are probably dead-on-arrival with a polarized and hostile legislature. We&rsquo;ll talk about some of &nbsp;the cultural and societal intricacies of Brazilian electoral politics with Ruth Needleman, professor emerita of Labor Studies at Indiana University. She&rsquo;s researched social justice issues, especially in the Americas and Global South, for decades. &nbsp;Needleman&rsquo;s latest op-ed is &ldquo;Not one more Coup in Latin America!&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Guest</strong>: Ruth Needleman is a professor emerita of labor studies at Indiana University.</p></p> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 16:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-02-09/film-takes-stereotypes-about-arab-americans-114780 Republican Running for State’s Attorney: Winning ‘Very Doable’ http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/republican-running-state%E2%80%99s-attorney-winning-%E2%80%98very-doable%E2%80%99-114743 <p><p dir="ltr">While the Democratic candidates are beating each other up in the primary, the lone Republican candidate for Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney is waiting rested and unbruised for the general election.</p><p>Attorney Christopher Pfannkuche spent 31 years as a Cook County prosecutor, his last four under Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney Anita Alvarez.</p><p>&ldquo;I was one of those prosecutors who wanted to be a career prosecutor,&rdquo; Pfannkuche said. &ldquo;But the last four years...I watched our office begin to change, the atmosphere changed, her priorities changed the priorities of the office. The office lost the direction that it should have been on.&rdquo;</p><p>Pfannkuche said he is looking to unseat his former boss because people have lost faith in Cook County&rsquo;s justice system.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;ve lost trust in the criminal justice system, and that is disastrous for an office like ours, [which] is there to represent the people of Cook County,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>While he is very critical of the incumbent Alvarez, in many ways Pfannkuche sounds a lot like her Democratic challengers.</p><p>In an interview with WBEZ, he even echoed Democratic candidate Kim Foxx&rsquo;s line that Cook is &ldquo;a county in crisis.&rdquo;</p><p>And he was equally critical of Alvarez&rsquo;s handling of the police shooting of LaQuan McDonald. Alvarez has faced intense criticism, and calls for her to resign because it took her more than a year to charge Chicago officer Jason Van Dyke with murder.</p><p>Pfannkuche said he understands Alvarez had to wait for the city&rsquo;s Independent Police Review Authority, or IPRA, to conclude its investigation into the teenager&rsquo;s 2014 death. But he said that&rsquo;s no excuse.</p><p>&ldquo;I did not hear Anita Alvarez complaining that it was taking IPRA months to conduct that investigation. She should have been out there complaining, advocating for the citizens of Cook County &hellip; She didn&rsquo;t do that, she just sat there and waited. And that&rsquo;s the problem, she&rsquo;s reactive not proactive,&rdquo; Pfannkuche said.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Slide3.PNG" style="height: 228px; width: 540px;" title="" /></div><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-28/cook-county-state%E2%80%99s-attorney-democratic-candidates-debate-114634">In a debate on WBEZ, Alvarez said</a> she did nothing wrong in the McDonald case.</p><p>&ldquo;That was a thorough and complete and meticulous investigation,&rdquo; Alvarez said.</p><p>As for how he would handle police shootings going forward, Pfannkuche said he would have a special division within his office, that would not deal with any other cases to avoid any conflicts of interest.</p><p>&ldquo;So their sole focus and sole cases that they handle are police-involved shootings. And those assistants should be answerable directly to me. As such they would be independent in the confines of the state&rsquo;s attorney&rsquo;s office.&rdquo;</p><p>That is the same position staked out by Democratic challenger Donna More. And Loyola University professor of criminal justice Don Stemen said it&rsquo;s a model that works.</p><p>&ldquo;The bolstering of an internal unit to address things like, not just police shootings but police misconduct &hellip; that&rsquo;s worked well in other jurisdictions that have had problems with police shootings and police misconduct,&rdquo; Stemen said.</p><p>Pfannkuche said his campaign will ramp up once the primary is over and he knows his opponent.</p><p>Despite all the attention on the Democratic candidates, the Northwest Side Republican believes he has a good shot of winning the general election.</p><p>&ldquo;The one thing that most people forget is that this is probably the one single county office that regularly swings Republican,&rdquo; Pfannkuche said. &ldquo;This is something that&rsquo;s actually very doable. And I think the reason for that is, people look at the state&rsquo;s attorney office, not as a political office. They look upon the candidates for state&rsquo;s attorney as who can do the best job to keep the streets safe.&rdquo;</p><p>Pfannkuche said he has had several meetings with Illinois Republican leaders, and is getting party support. But so far he is the only one who has given money to his campaign, including $25,000 in loans.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/pksmid">@pksmid</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/republican-running-state%E2%80%99s-attorney-winning-%E2%80%98very-doable%E2%80%99-114743 Are You Middle Class? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-25/are-you-middle-class-114608 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Middle Class-Flickr-Anita Hart.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Hard working Americans, the middle class, taxes. President Obama and the presidential candidates return to these phrases and themes over and over. And that&rsquo;s because top-of-mind for many voters is the economy, or perhaps we should say &ldquo;economic insecurity.</p><p>As we gear up for the Iowa Caucuses next week, we&rsquo;re partnering with NPR to take a closer look at what&rsquo;s making voters anxious.</p><p>A new study from the Pew Research Center confirms what many of us already know: More low-income jobs, a concentration of wealth at the top, and a shrinking middle class.</p><p>To help kick off this conversation, we&rsquo;re joined by Luciana Lopez of Reuters, a reporter covering economic policy this 2016 campaign season. And, sociologist Daniel Kay Hertz explains his research that shows the vanishing middle class in Chicago. Hertz is a Senior Fellow at City Observatory.&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 15:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-25/are-you-middle-class-114608 A Call to Action for Chicago’s Artists http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-21/call-action-chicago%E2%80%99s-artists-114560 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Call to Action-Chris Jones-Chicago Tribune.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In a recent column in the Tribune, the paper&rsquo;s theater critic Chris Jones issued a call to action to the city&rsquo;s artists to create work that addresses problems like violence and corruption. We check in with Jones to hear why he thinks Chicago&rsquo;s creative class could help the city take steps toward truth and reconciliation.</div></p> Thu, 21 Jan 2016 16:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-21/call-action-chicago%E2%80%99s-artists-114560 Indifference, But No Smoking Gun in Michigan Governor’s Emails on Flint Crisis http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-22/indifference-no-smoking-gun-michigan-governor%E2%80%99s-emails-flint-crisis <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/0121_rick-snyder-ap-624x403.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Michigan&rsquo;s Republican Governor Rick Snyder last night released more than 250 pages of his own emails relating to the lead-tainted water crisis in Flint, something he pledged to do earlier this week in his State of the State address.</p><p>The emails, which cover 2014 and 2015, contain no real smoking gun implicating the governor, but do shed more light on what the state knew, and when, about the crisis unfolding in Flint.</p><p><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s </em>Robin Young gets the latest from Michigan Radio reporter&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/lzsmitty" target="_blank">Lindsey Smith</a>.</p></p> Thu, 21 Jan 2016 10:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-22/indifference-no-smoking-gun-michigan-governor%E2%80%99s-emails-flint-crisis Politics Year In Review http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-28/politics-year-review-114303 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/raed mansour3.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As 2015 draws to a close, so does an unprecedented, roller coaster of a year in Chicago politics.</p><p>The city experienced its first ever runoff election, its schools chief pled guilty to federal corruption charges, and video after video of possible police abuse and misconduct led to calls for the mayor&rsquo;s resignation.</p><p>To take us back through the year and to discuss what&rsquo;s next for the city and its political leaders, we&#39;re joined by WTTW&rsquo;s Paris Schutz, NBC 5 Political Reporter Mary Ann Ahern, and NPR&rsquo;s Cheryl Corley.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 28 Dec 2015 13:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-28/politics-year-review-114303 Political wish list and overlooked political stories http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-28/political-wish-list-and-overlooked-political-stories-114300 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/red light robert couse-baker.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>There were a ton of stories from the wild and woolly world of local politics in 2015. So many in fact, that some may have gotten short shrift. Our panelists and callers tossed out some of the year&#39;s political stories they wanted to hear more about.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 28 Dec 2015 13:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-28/political-wish-list-and-overlooked-political-stories-114300 Under One Roof, Divergent Views on 'Black Lives Matter' http://www.wbez.org/news/under-one-roof-divergent-views-black-lives-matter-114284 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/151031_charleston_politics_family_dfranz_033_custom-6e73881ea9c01e790c2bd1081a160dd1014486bf-s900-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res460300365" previewtitle="Ranging in age from 12 to 95, (left to right) LaCurtia Brown, Serra Williams, Sherrie Snipes-Williams, Genita Snipes, Alfredia Snipes, Judge Richard Fields, Liz Alston, and Albert Alston pose for a family portrait outside Liz and Albert Alston's home in Charleston, S.C."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Ranging in age from 12 to 95, (left to right) LaCurtia Brown, Serra Williams, Sherrie Snipes-Williams, Genita Snipes, Alfredia Snipes, Judge Richard Fields, Liz Alston, and Albert Alston pose for a family portrait outside Liz and Albert Alston's home in Charleston, S.C." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/18/151031_charleston_politics_family_dfranz_033_custom-6e73881ea9c01e790c2bd1081a160dd1014486bf-s900-c85.jpg" style="height: 418px; width: 620px;" title="Ranging in age from 12 to 95, left to right, LaCurtia Brown, Serra Williams, Sherrie Snipes-Williams, Genita Snipes, Alfredia Snipes, Judge Richard Fields, Liz Alston, and Albert Alston pose for a family portrait outside Liz and Albert Alston's home in Charleston, S.C. (Dustin Franz for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>From Ferguson, to Baltimore, to Charleston, racially charged violence and protests dominated much of the news in 2015. While much of the country watched these events unfold, they had the deepest resonance in the cities at the center of them &mdash; going beyond the news and filtering into family living rooms and kitchens.</p></div></div></div><p>That&#39;s true of Liz Alston&#39;s family in Charleston, S.C. Six months ago, a white supremacist opened fire in a historically black Emanuel AME church in her city. Nine African-Americans were killed. Liz is the historian at that church, which is affectionately called Mother Emanuel &mdash; she&#39;s a self-described &quot;political guru,&quot; and the 74-year-old matriarch of her family.</p><p>It&#39;s a family that is deeply political &mdash; all of them have voted in every presidential election they could. But, this campaign season, the political disagreements aren&#39;t necessarily about a specific presidential&nbsp;<em>candidate</em>, but, rather, a specific&nbsp;<em>issue&nbsp;</em>&ndash; the rise of protests around issues of race and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.</p><p>BLM is a loosely organized group of young activists calling for racial justice; it sprung up after a series of high-profile police shootings.And, for Liz, BLM is a confusing new force.</p><p>Within her family, there&#39;s nearly unanimous agreement that racism is still a problem, but there&#39;s also plenty of disagreement about BLM and its protest tactics.</p><p>One Saturday afternoon this fall, Liz spent the afternoon with some of her relatives, as they often do, discussing politics, race, power, and protests at her home in the historic neighborhood of Old Charleston about a mile from Emanuel AME.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/460266297/460614146" title="NPR embedded audio player" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Liz&#39;s opinions are different from the younger folks in her family, including 22-year-old LaCurtia Brown. As she introduces her, Liz is having trouble finding the words to describe LaCurtia&#39;s generation.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/460266297/460614155" title="NPR embedded audio player" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The afternoon began with presidential politics. (Everyone in this family supports Hillary Clinton in her 2016 campaign &mdash; with varying degrees of enthusiasm).</p><p>Quickly, though, the conversation veered toward the protesters who&nbsp;<a href="http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2015/10/30/protesters-chanting-black-lives-matter-interrupt-hillary-clintons-atlanta-speech/">interrupted</a>&nbsp;a Clinton campaign event in October at a historically black college in Atlanta.</p><div id="res460592991" previewtitle="After more than an hour of political talk, Liz invited the family into the kitchen for some sweet ice tea, red rice, and collard greens."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="After more than an hour of political talk, Liz invited the family into the kitchen for some sweet ice tea, red rice, and collard greens." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/21/151031_charleston_politics_family_dfranz_017edit_custom-02d40896c1414f635ef48d7b2001a7e15d400516-s900-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="After more than an hour of political talk, Liz invited the family into the kitchen for some sweet ice tea, red rice, and collard greens. (Dustin Franz for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>LaCurtia has never attended a protest rally herself, but she agrees with the activists and understands why they&#39;re targeting Clinton now.</p></div></div></div><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/460266297/460614165" title="NPR embedded audio player" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Ninety-five-year-old Richard Fields (known in the family as &quot;The Judge&quot;) interrupted to politely admonish the young generation. Decked out in a matching vest, jacket, and hat, he said the Clinton protesters were being disrespectful and showing off.<iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/460266297/460614336" title="NPR embedded audio player" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Some family members awkwardly shifted their weight on the sofa, but nobody publicly disagreed with The Judge. He&#39;s not biologically related to anyone in the room but he&#39;s like an adoptive father to Liz and her husband Albert, and has been close to the family for more than half a century. They give deference to him. After all, he&#39;s an icon, not just in Liz&#39;s family, but in the city.</p><p>Born in the segregated South, The Judge was an attorney during the Jim Crow era who became the highest ranking black judge in Charleston. Liz sort of agreed with The Judge. &quot;I think [the activists] are pushing the wrong [candidate]. You know, Hillary already agrees with you, so why make her life difficult?&quot; she asked.</p><div id="res460588639" previewtitle="Judge Richard Fields, affectionately known as &quot;The Judge&quot; to his family, and LaCurtia Brown embrace outside of Liz and Albert Alston's home."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Judge Richard Fields, affectionately known as &quot;The Judge&quot; to his family, and LaCurtia Brown embrace outside of Liz and Albert Alston's home." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/21/151031_charleston_politics_family_dfranz_003_custom-63815d3cadac920e3cac82baf560c21303963f2c-s900-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Judge Richard Fields, affectionately known as &quot;The Judge&quot; to his family, and LaCurtia Brown embrace outside of Liz and Albert Alston's home. (Dustin Franz for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>Liz was a student of the Civil Rights movement. She went to college in the &#39;60s, protested for equal rights, and even got arrested. So, initially, she said she felt a kinship with BLM and wanted to support them.</p></div></div></div><p>But, now, Liz feels like BLM doesn&#39;t have a clear end goal.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/460266297/460614163" title="NPR embedded audio player" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Liz is effusive and opinionated, but also circumspect. She&#39;s attended Emanuel AME for 47 years. A painting of the church hangs on the living room wall, gazing down on her family - a constant reminder of the deadly shooting. Liz says &quot;hidden racism&quot; is still alive, but, she also thinks times are changing. She points out that compared to the &#39;60s, police and politicians in South Carolina are now responding to violence against black people with &quot;swift justice.&quot; She mentions the arrest of a white police officer in North Charleston for fatally shooting Walter Scott, a black man.</p><div id="res460589015" previewtitle="Liz Alston says &quot;hidden racism&quot; is still alive, but, she also thinks times are changing."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Liz Alston says &quot;hidden racism&quot; is still alive, but, she also thinks times are changing." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/21/151031_charleston_politics_family_dfranz_026_custom-081e593989bbe63d91dc0a9a3e3961c765fad58c-s900-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Liz Alston says &quot;hidden racism&quot; is still alive, but, she also thinks times are changing. (Dustin Franz for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>She also points to the fact that the Emanuel 9 shooting was immediately referred to as a &quot;hate crime,&quot; and that the Confederate flag on the capitol grounds was taken down shortly thereafter.</p></div></div></div><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/460266297/460614360" title="NPR embedded audio player" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>In some ways, perhaps the generational fissures within Liz&#39;s family are a uniquely South Carolinian response toward BLM and race. Liz herself says her home state &quot;dances to the tune of a different drummer.&quot;</p><p>And, it&#39;s true - in some ways, the state is unusually quiet about these issues. Despite the shooting at Mother Emanuel and the killing of Walter Scott by police, there were no wide-scale protests akin to Ferguson or Baltimore.</p><div id="res460591486" previewtitle="Liz Alston lives about a mile from the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, which she's been attending for 47 years. Nine people were killed in a shooting there earlier this year."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Liz Alston lives about a mile from the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, which she's been attending for 47 years. Nine people were killed in a shooting there earlier this year." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/21/151031_charleston_politics_family_dfranz_055_custom-d3c0b974a0db4536fc97148fb426d4862db4606e-s900-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Liz Alston lives about a mile from the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, which she's been attending for 47 years. Nine people were killed in a shooting there earlier this year. (Dustin Franz for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>But, for recent college grad LaCurtia, the quiet disguises the tension.</p></div></div></div><p>In front of her older relatives, LaCurtia hesitated to defend BLM; but, after The Judge left, as the rest of the family filtered into the kitchen, she went into to the backyard where she spoke more candidly.</p><p>LaCurtia said she&#39;s frustrated by the racism she&#39;s witnessed as she&#39;s grown older and by the &quot;lack of training&quot; cops demonstrate in dealing with everyday people. And, for her, this isn&#39;t abstract, it&#39;s personal. Here she describes an encounter her cousin had with the police after being pulled over for speeding.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/460266297/460614364" title="NPR embedded audio player" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&quot;It happens, I guess,&quot; LaCurtia said with an exasperated sigh. She thinks the relationship cops have with the black community needs to change &mdash; that&#39;s why she supports BLM. Then, she lowered her voice to explain how &quot;some older people&quot; in her family don&#39;t understand that the movement is about more than protesting.<iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/460266297/460614366" title="NPR embedded audio player" width="100%"></iframe></p><div id="res460593480" previewtitle="Twelve-year-old Serra Williams says her mostly white classmates once taunted a police officer by yelling out &quot;Black Lives Matter&quot; from a bus."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Twelve-year-old Serra Williams says her mostly white classmates once taunted a police officer by yelling out &quot;Black Lives Matter&quot; from a bus." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/21/151031_charleston_politics_family_dfranz_041_custom-2cc95d8a89d6e5f0854bebcd914e9869b4d3a0d2-s900-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Twelve-year-old Serra Williams says her mostly white classmates once taunted a police officer by yelling out &quot;Black Lives Matter&quot; from a bus. (Dustin Franz for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>The youngest family member, 12-year-old Serra Williams, doesn&#39;t have a concrete idea of what BLM means, but she does take it seriously. Serra goes to a predominantly white school, and she said one day last year she was riding the bus when it passed a police officer and bunch of her classmates tried to rile him up.</p></div></div></div><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/460266297/460614400" title="NPR embedded audio player" width="100%"></iframe>Serra&#39;s mom, Sherrie Snipes-Williams, 47, chimed in to defend the intentions of the younger activists. She said the BLM movement is &quot;relevant&quot; for today&#39;s culture, but not as effective as it could be. Rather than protest, activists should &quot;use their wits and their intelligence to attack an issue in a very different way.&quot;</p><div><div id="res460593828" previewtitle="The Black Lives Matter movement is &quot;relevant&quot; for today's culture, but not as effective as it could be, said Sherrie Snipes-Williams."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="The Black Lives Matter movement is &quot;relevant&quot; for today's culture, but not as effective as it could be, said Sherrie Snipes-Williams." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/21/151031_charleston_politics_family_dfranz_043_custom-80d86c150d0c3b97ed6060c4ad4ae2835ba7914a-s900-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="The Black Lives Matter movement is &quot;relevant&quot; for today's culture, but not as effective as it could be, said Sherrie Snipes-Williams. (Dustin Franz for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>Traditionally, some politicians have built relationships in the black community with the leaders of the civil rights movement or the NAACP. But, Black Lives Matter has upended that old-school hierarchy. Personally, Sherrie sees this cultural moment as an opportunity for young black folks to change the conversation.EMB</p></div></div></div></div><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/460266297/460615582" title="NPR embedded audio player" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 24 Dec 2015 12:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/under-one-roof-divergent-views-black-lives-matter-114284 For Some Illinois Kids, Budget Battle Means Going to Prison Instead of Home http://www.wbez.org/news/some-illinois-kids-budget-battle-means-going-prison-instead-home-114251 <p><p>For some Illinois kids, the state&rsquo;s budget impasse means going to prison instead of going home. That&rsquo;s because the lack of a state spending plan is forcing a universally-renowned program to disappear.</p><p>The program is called Redeploy Illinois. It takes serious or repeat juvenile offenders, who would otherwise be headed to prison, and gives them therapy, mentoring, drug counseling, a case manager and sometimes, even round-the-clock supervision.</p><p>The idea is to invest in troubled kids, address their underlying problems and save money in the long run. Redeploy costs about $6,000 a year, for each kid. That&rsquo;s compared to an expense of more than $110,000 to send that same kid to prison.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/redeploy%20map.JPG" style="height: 696px; width: 540px;" title="Redeploy Illinois has closed or stopped accepting new kids in 23 Illinois counties. That’s more than half of the programs. (Map courtesy of the Illinois Collaboration on Youth)" /></p><p>Last year, Redeploy saved the state about $30 million, and kept almost 500 kids out of the state&rsquo;s youth prisons. One of the kids it helped was Philip Graceffa. Graceffa works at the fast food joint Beef-a-Roo in Rockford.</p><p>The minimum wage job, where he prepared the food, he said, is just &ldquo;alright.&rdquo; But it is a big deal that Graceffa has a job: Before the 18-year-old got hooked up with Redeploy Illinois, he was headed down a bad path.</p><p>&ldquo;Once my dad died, passed away, everything changed,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I had to switch schools&hellip;everything started going downhill for me.&rdquo;</p><p>That was in 2010, when Graceffa was 12.</p><p>His mom, Cynthia Graceffa said her son didn&rsquo;t grieve at all, which was odd because the two were &ldquo;extremely close.&rdquo; She said in the years after her husband&rsquo;s death, Philip was, &ldquo;pretty much out of control.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;He was doing whatever he wanted to do, coming home when he felt like it, running with the wrong crowd,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>And he started getting arrested.</p><p>First he was caught breaking into a school, then he was with a friend shoplifting at the mall. Things escalated when he got caught stealing a car.</p><p>&ldquo;Real pretty girl at school, stole her dad&rsquo;s car out of the driveway and wanted Philip to drive it and of course he hit a car and he ran,&rdquo; his mother remembered.&nbsp;</p><p>His last arrest was for selling his medication for his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at school. Philip was headed either to a youth prison, or an out-of-state boot camp. But Redeploy gave him a last chance to stay at home.</p><p>Cynthia Graceffa has had to work full time since her husband died. She said the Redeploy case manager, her name was Sarah, gave her son support she just couldn&rsquo;t provide.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;He had somebody to take him where he needed to go, who made sure he did his school work,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;They were able to talk to him and he listened to them, he didn&rsquo;t want to always listen to me. &nbsp;You know that&rsquo;s the way it is, they&rsquo;re mean to the ones they love.&rdquo;</p><p>Now, Philip has a job, a girlfriend and is about to earn his G.E.D.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m very proud of him, I&rsquo;ve got my son back, he&rsquo;s just totally turned around. And I pretty much credit that to Redeploy,&rdquo; Cynthia said.</p><p>In October, the Redeploy program in Rockford shut down. And this program, beloved by all, is disappearing across the state. John Johnson runs juvenile probation for Winnebago County.</p><p>&ldquo;Due to the budget impasse, our provider could no longer continue without being financed by the state,&rdquo; Johnson said.</p><p>Winnebago is one of 23 counties forced to either stop accepting new kids, or close their Redeploy programs altogether because Illinois doesn&rsquo;t have a budget. That&rsquo;s more than half of the state&rsquo;s participating programs, and there are even more teetering on the brink.</p><p>&ldquo;The ending of the program was like someone else walking away from the families and those kids,&rdquo; Johnson said. &ldquo;That was my biggest concern, &lsquo;what&rsquo;s going to happen to these minors and their families when someone else just walks out the door?&rsquo;&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Johnson said they&rsquo;ve already had kids sent to youth prison who would have been eligible for Redeploy; and there are juveniles in the county detention center right now who will head to the Department of Juvenile Justice because of Redeploy&rsquo;s absence. And, he said this isn&rsquo;t just a matter of a good program being put on hold: They won&rsquo;t be able to just flip the switch when funding is restored.&nbsp;</p><p>Real damage has already been done, and it will need to be untangled whenever the state finally gets a budget in place.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;My concern is the length of time, because we&rsquo;ve already lost staff so it&rsquo;s almost like re-starting the program all over again,&rdquo; Johnson said.</p><p>Cynthia Graceffa said she doesn&rsquo;t believe state politicians realize this budget fight means kids like her son are being locked up instead of getting the help they need.</p><p>They can&rsquo;t, Graceffa said, or they wouldn&rsquo;t be doing this.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer/reporter. Follow him @pksmid.</em></p></p> Tue, 22 Dec 2015 10:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/some-illinois-kids-budget-battle-means-going-prison-instead-home-114251