‘How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics’ with Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò
“Identity politics” polarizes discourse about virtually every aspect of contemporary political life. But what exactly is it, and what role does “elite capture” play in how it has come to be understood? Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò is a philosopher, assistant professor at Georgetown University and author of several books, including “Elite Capture: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics (And Everything Else)” and “Reconsidering Reparations,” both of which were published in 2022. He joins WITHpod to discuss the origins of identity politics, the problems with what he calls deference politics, and how elites have co-opted the language of social justice to their own ends.
A gun industry insider perspective with Ryan Busse
There are more guns than cars in the United States. And studies show that gun sales go up following mass shootings. We had a different episode planned for this week, but given the marked rise in gun violence, we pivoted. This week’s guest spent 30 years as a leader at one of America’s most popular gun companies. Ryan Busse is a former firearms executive at Kimber America and is author of “Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America,” in which he talks about how America’s multibillion-dollar gun industry has profited from and fueled cultural divisions. Busse joins WITHpod to discuss how we got to this point, why he chose to leave the industry, what he observed behind closed doors at NRA meetings, how political division fuels extremism and what the failure to enact stricter legislation means for the future of our democracy.
'Liberalism and Its Discontents’ with Francis Fukuyama
Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World survey notes that liberalism has rapidly declined each year for the last 16 years. And its precipitous downturn is more evident now than ever amid waning respect for individual rights, increased growth of autocracies and most recently in the seismic Russian invasion of Ukraine. Decades ago, political scientist and professor Francis Fukuyama was one of the preeminent scholars to predict the marked impending fall of liberal societies. He serves as a senior fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and is a bestselling author of numerous books, including one published in March 2022 aptly titled, “Liberalism and Its Discontents.” He joins WITHpod to discuss why liberalism doesn’t always live up to its own principles, challenges from the right and the left and why our democracy will be under continued threat without a revitalized approach to its core tenets.
‘A Genetic History of the Americas’ with Jennifer Raff
Who were the first people to migrate to the Americas? When did they arrive, and how? For centuries, those questions have been shrouded in mystery. No written records and very little archaeological evidence exists to provide clarity. In recent years, however, the examination of genetic data has revolutionized researchers’ ability to find answers. A recent family trip to the Grand Canyon furthered Chris’ interest in talking with one of the most celebrated scholars in the field. Dr. Jennifer Raff is an anthropological geneticist and associate professor at the University of Kansas. She’s also author of the New York Times best-selling book, “Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas.” Raff joins to discuss how the first people migrated to the Americas nearly 20,000 years ago, how genomes showcase the very close relatedness of humans across the globe and the impact of genetic discoveries on narratives.
Unpacking Title 42 with Thomas Saenz
Title 42, a decades old and rarely used public health order used to bar people with medical conditions from entering the country, revived by the Trump administration, enables immigration authorities to swiftly expel migrants to Mexico or their home countries. The enforcement of the policy, which also bars individuals from seeking asylum, continues to be met with skepticism by immigration advocates and public health officials. The Biden administration and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced plans to end Title 42 by May 23rd, now that vaccines are widely available. But the fate of the policy remains in limbo because of Republican-backed lawsuits and opposition to its cessation. Thomas Saenz is president and General Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF). Saenz joins WITHpod to discuss the role of misinformation in the characterization of migrants, immigration and refugee policy reform and the implications of a potential continuation (or end) of Title 42.