This week's guest is W. Kamau Bell: standup comedian, prolific podcaster, and host of his own show on CNN, "United Shades of America." He's known for his incisive socio-political commentary and activism, including on behalf of the ACLU, where he serves as an artist ambassador for racial justice. He joins At Liberty to discuss race, his show, Anthony Bourdain, parenting, and more.
How One Woman Took on Misogyny and Sexual Violence in the Military
Anuradha Bhagwati has long been at the forefront of the fight for gender equality within the military. She is a former Marine Corps captain, a three-time ACLU client, and founder of the Service Women's Action Network, a lead plaintiff in a groundbreaking lawsuit challenging the military's ban on women serving in combat. Her recent book, “Unbecoming: A Memoir of Disobedience," details her experience as an Indian-American, bisexual woman in the Marines confronting a culture permeated by racism, misogyny and sexual violence.
Obstacles and Opportunities in the Fight for Police Accountability
Last month, protests erupted when the Justice Department announced it would not bring civil rights charges against the NYPD officer who put Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold in 2014. Mr. Garner's death was one among countless examples of deadly police violence toward Black and brown people. Yet despite a growing outcry, most officers implicated in civilian deaths have escaped punishment. Carl Takei, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU who litigates police practices, joins At Liberty to discuss the way forward in the fight for police accountability.
The Constitution Gets the Broadway Treatment
Heidi Schreck is the playwright and star of Broadway’s “What the Constitution Means to Me.” The play, which was nominated for two Tonys and was a Pulitzer finalist, was inspired by Schreck’s experience as a teenager competing in debates about the Constitution at American Legion halls across the country. As an adult, she revisits her personal connection to the document to see how it holds up in new light.
Have We Reached Peak Xenophobia Yet?
It’s been a dizzying few days in U.S. immigration policy. Earlier this week, the Trump administration issued rules to ban most refugees arriving through the southern border. Despite legal setbacks, the administration continues to try to build a border wall. At the same time, the president has launched sustained attacks on four American congresswomen of color. Cecillia Wang, deputy legal director at the ACLU, talks to At Liberty about all of these developments and the ACLU's legal efforts to push back.