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One Serious Problem Gone (Jewish Journal, February 1, 2012)

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The City Council's Shameless Pander (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Stout Awards Honors Olney, Morrison and Mantle (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Dance With Who Brung ‘Ya (Jewish Journal, September 28, 2011)

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Jury Got It Right in the ‘Irvine 11’ Case (The OC Register, September 23, 2011)

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'Irvine 11' Muslim student protesters found guilty on both charges (KPCC’s Airtalk, September 23, 2011)

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Voting Rights Act Outdated in Modern Day LA (The Daily News, August 21, 2011)

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What Los Angeles Can Teach the UK (BBC News World, August 15, 2011)

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When Did Carrying An ID Become A “White Thing”? (The OC Register, August 15, 2011)

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Bill Crafts Disneyland Version of History (The Sacramento Bee, July 14, 2011)

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An Education Game Changer (The Wide Angles, July 12 2011)

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A Flotilla of Fools (The Wide Angle Blog, July 8, 2011)

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Advocacy, the Academy and Mushy Thinking (The Wide Angle Blog, July 1, 2011)

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Tragic Fiction comes to Life (The Wide Angle, June 23, 2011)

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Coalition Sues to Keep Circumcision Ban Off Ballot (The Jewish Journal, June 22, 2011)

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The Circumcision Wars (The Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2011)

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Male Circumcision Ban Proposed in Santa Monica (The Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2011)

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Right Goal, Wrong Strategy (The Wide Angle Blog, May 11, 2011)

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The Bus Has Left the Station (City Journal, April 1, 2011)

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UCLA Leads the Pack (The Wide Angle Blog, March 29, 2011)

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Mixed Race Marriages and Our Attitudes (The Wide Angles, March 25, 2011)

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The Uncle Tom Accusation, Again (The Wide Angle Blog, March 18, 2011)

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A Forward Looking Decision in Civil Rights (The Wide Angle Blog, March 9, 2011)

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A Rising Wave of Anti-Semitism (Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2009)

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The Wide Angle, A Community Advocates Blog (July - September, 2009)

July… August… September…

Israeli Consul General, Palestinian Lobbyist Reach Mock Peace Agreement (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 6, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Mock Peace Summit in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, April 29, 2009)

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In Battle Between Teachers, LAUSD, It’s the Kids Who Lose (Daily News, March 6, 2009)

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L.A. at the Tipping Point (www.RonKaye.LA, February 13, 2009)

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Theatrics by the Teachers (Daily News, February 8, 2009)

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Chicago Vs. Los Angeles Their Supe Is Obama’s New Education Man. Our Supe is Nice But… (LA Weekly, January 23, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Millennials Remaking America with KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, January 21, 2009)

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The Good News About Gaza in America (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 21, 2009)

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What Oakland Should be Protesting (Los Angeles Times, January 19, 2009)

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Calling All Radical Reformers to LAUSD (Daily News, December 14, 2008)

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Attention Politicians: Pandering Won’t Fly (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, November 12, 2008)

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Presentation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali of Ziegler Prize for Courage of Conviction (Japan American Theatre, October 22, 2008)

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The Problems and Potential of South L.A., A Dust-Up Exchange between Joe R. Hicks and Earl Ofari Hutchinson (Los Angeles Times, August 11-15, 2008)

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Find Fresh Ideas to Battle Hate, Letter to the Editor (Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Fast Food Freeze is a Good Choice for South LA by Jan Perry, Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Do You Want Poppycock With That? by Tim Rutten (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2008)

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Fast-food Moratorium is Meddling (Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on the Role of Race in the 2008 Elections in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, June 27, 2008)

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Shalom is not Funny (Letter to the Editor, Los Angeles Downtown News, June 23, 2008)

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A Dangerous and Precedent Setting Intrusion (Jewish Journal, June 13, 2008)

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“Ziman and Lee” (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 16, 2008

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We Don’t Need More Gabfests on Diversity (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 2, 2008)

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Families Deserve More than a Moratorium (Los Angeles Times, Blowback, April 10, 2008)

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On Any Given Sunday, Rev. Wright is Wrong (www.theroot.com, March 26, 2008)

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Obama’s Minister (KPCC’s Airtalk, March 18, 2008)

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LA Gang Violence Spikes (Associated Press, March 6, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on The State of the Black Civil Rights Movement Today in conjunction with the Los Angeles Public Library and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February)

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Asking Too Much (Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2008)

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Playing a Frayed and Faded Race Card (Jewish Journal, January 18, 2008)

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Limiting Fast Food Outlets---Path to Better Health? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 20, 2007)

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The State Bar and Revealing Data on Minority Passage Rates (KCET’s Life & Times, December 18, 2007)

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Divisions in the Jewish Community—Talking About Jerusalem (KCET’s Life & Times, December 12, 2007)

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Do Los Angeles’ Anti-Gang Programs Work? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 6, 2007)

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Sharpton Leads Call for Federal Investigation of Hate Crimes (Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2007)

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Race Card Backlash (Los Angeles Times, October 30, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar on Charter Schools in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 5, 2007)

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The Private Lives of Public Officials (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, October 2, 2007)

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“Smart Growth” and Los Angeles Planning (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 20, 2007)

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Civil Rights in Louisiana (To the Point, KCRW-FM, September 20, 2007)

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The Racial/Ethnic Educational Achievement Gap (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 12, 2007)

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Board Vote Not Aimed At Students (Los Angeles Daily News, September 9, 2007)

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Healthcare Reform and Politics (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 5, 2007)

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The Constitution and Sex Offenders (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, August 30, 2007)

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‘Profiles in Courage’ ( Jewish Journal, August 24, 2007)

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Where’s the Fire? (Washington Post, August 2, 2007)

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Race and Politics in a Changing South LA (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 20, 2007)

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Gangsta Rap and its Impact (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 13, 2007)

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Mexican Americans and Drunk Driving (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 6, 2007)

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Baseball and the Decline in African-American Players (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 30, 2007)

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Los Angeles Unified’s New Board (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 23, 2007)

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Hollywood and its Impact on Political Discourse (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 16, 2007)

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New Times and the NAACP (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 9, 2007)

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Downtown Homeless and the LAPD (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 2, 2007)

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Immigration and the new Sanctuary Movement (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 25, 2007)

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The Teachers’ Union and School Reform, (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 18, 2007)

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Drop the Race Card (Washington Post, April 15, 2007)

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The Takeover of the Times (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 11, 2007)

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The Governor’s Health Care Plan (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 28, 2007)

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Racism in the LA Fire Department? (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 14, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February 26, 2007)

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“Has the Nanny State Gone Too Far?” (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, February 28, 2007)

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“Justice Takes A Beating In Long Beach Racial Hatred Case” ( Jewish Journal, February 16, 2007)

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“Gang ‘Marshall Plan’ - Will It Work?” (KCET’s Life & Times’ Kitchen Table Conversation, February 14, 2007)

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“Living Wages or Dying Businesses?” (KCET’s Life & Times Kitchen Table Conversation, January 31, 2007)

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“Gangs of New York and LA” (Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, January 26, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “The Future of the Middle Class in Los Angeles” (Life & Times, January 17, 2007)

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“Does Abe Foxman Have An Anti-Anti-Semite Problem?”, (New York Times Magazine, January 14, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Military Recruitment on Campus---Right or Wrong?” January 3, 2007

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Is There An Assault on Christmas?” December 13, 2006

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Racism Claims a Stretch" (Daily News, December 1, 2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “What is Racism Today?” November 29, 2006

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"Racism in Entertainment", (KCRW's "Which Way LA?", November 27,2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Border Fence---Boondogle or Barrier?” (life & Times, November 15, 2006)

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“LA’s Jews and Other Minorities---Oh How They Danced” (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, November 11, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Racial Profiling and a National ID Card" (Life & Times, October 18, 2006)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 9, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Immigration Debate Divides Conservatives" (Life & Times, October 5, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Drugs in Sports" (Life & Times, October 3, 2006)

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Award Dispute", KPCC's Airtalk, September 15,2006

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"Two Faced On Terrorism", Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2006

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Award to Islamic Leader Hathout Stirs Dispute", KCRW's Which Way LA?, September 14, 2006

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "California's High School Exit Exam?", ( Life & Times, August 23, 2006)

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"4 Los Angeles Latino Gang Members Convicted of Anti-Black Conspiracy" (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2006)

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"Muslim Council's Bias All Too Clear" (Los Angeles Daily News, August 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "UCLA's Minority Admissions, (Life & Times, July 19, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Celebrity Causes--Ego or Altruism?", ( Life & Times, July 13, 2006)

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Did Anti-Semitism Take Root at the South Central Farm? (Jewish Journal, June 23,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversations regarding Immigration and Employment (Life & Times, June 21,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of news segment on the South Los Angeles Farm controversy (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kithcen-table Conversation regarding the Mayoral takeover of the Los Angeles Unified School District (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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Letter to the Editor regarding Race, Religion, and Demographic Change (Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Hybrid Cars and Energy Conservation (Life & Times, May 23, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Teen Sex (Life & Times, May 18, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black Brown Tensions in LA (Life & Times, May 2, 2006)

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Debate education policy, not race (Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Fatherless Parenting (Life & Times, April 11, 2006)

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Border Protests Not Fight for Civil Rights (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, April 7, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black-Brown tensions (Life & Times, April 4, 2006)

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Civil Rights? How About Lawlessness? (Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Immigration (Life & Times, March 30, 2006)

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Differing Views of Race in L.A. Collide in 'Crash' (Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2006)

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Disputed Film Draws Muted Response (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, February 10, 2006)

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Blacks vs. Latinos at Work (Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2006)

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The Munich Concern Is Us--Not Film (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 20, 2006) with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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NAACP Leader Turned Heads By Backing Tookie (Baltimore Sun, January 15, 2006) Joe Hicks quoted

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Munich Portrays Real World Issues (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, December 23,2005), with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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New Farrakhan Embodies Old Message (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, October 21, 2005)

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Levees Let Loose An Ugly Flood of Black Paranoia (Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2005)

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Lessons From the Ruins (LA Weekly, August 12, 2005)

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Let's Make A Diploma Mean Something (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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Police Beating of Minister Disputed (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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We Only Burned Ourselves, Baby (Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2005)

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Knee-jerk Activists and Their Tantrum Politics (Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2005)

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"Crash" Is No Picture of the Real Los Angeles (Los Angeles Daily News, June 24, 2005)

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Hit Film Paints Inaccurate Picture of Diverse LA (89.3 KPCC Perspectives, June 23, 2005)
Joe Hicks, the vice president of Community Advocates, says the hit movie Crash ...
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Jackson Trial Reaction Shows How Unimportant Race Is in US (Los Angeles Daily News, June 19, 2005)

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"Reel Life" (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, June 10, 2005)

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Joe Hicks talks about the election results (89.3 KPCC AirTalk, May 18, 2005)
with KPCC's Larry Mantle and reporter Adolfo Guzman Lopez, Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Raphe Sonenshein, Bill Rosendahl, Rick Caruso, Antonia Hernandez, , Joel Kotkin and D.J. Waldie.
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  David A. Lehrer
Joe R. Hicks
 
Latest Headlines
 

Gangsta Rap and its Impact (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 13, 2007)


Val Zavala>> Most of us who happen to hear gangsta rap are pretty shocked at some of the lyrics, how graphic they are when it comes to sex and violence. But do these songs really have an impact on the young people who live in gang territory, or is it just entertainment?

For a provocative conversation about gangsta rap, we brought three people together at our Kitchen Table. David Lehrer of CommUnity Advocates, along with commentator, Joe Hicks, and Davey D, a hip hop historian, journalist and community activist. Our Kitchen Table segment is made possible by Ralph Tornberg.

David Lehrer>> What is your view, Dave, of what's going on, of the impact and the import of hip hop and if any transformation is in the works?

Davey D>> Well, I mean, the way it's been framed at least in the mainstream media is that because of the Don Imus situation, suddenly there's this great interest in the content in hip hop and whatever changes are being considered, it's been framed as if it's a direct result of the Don Imus conversation.

What usually takes place in these conversations is the rhetorical question of "How come hip hop doesn't police itself? Where are the rappers, etc., etc." as if there's been a great deal of irresponsibility from people in my generation. The truth of the matter is that what made the discussion around hip hop jump off was that these discussions were already taking place. Last year --

David Lehrer>> -- among whom?

Davey D>> Well, amongst hip hoppers.

David Lehrer>> Naturally, everybody knows the difference between hip hop generally and gangsta rap.

Davey D>> Well, it's not just about gangsta rap. For people who don't know gangsta rap, it's just one sub-genre within the whole hip hop spectrum of music. Just like you might have speed metal or, you know, punk is just a narrow cast of all of rock and roll. But the problem that we've had is, yeah, there's been an overabundance of presentation of things that fit the sex and violence themes and it's having an adverse reflection on the community.

It's also having an adverse influence on people who see this sort of material being presented with all the bells and whistles resulting in folks saying, "Well, I know you're telling me to talk about other things, but the people that are getting put on are the folks doing this other type of salacious material, so maybe I should follow suit." That's people we're trying to get into the music industry.

So our contention, people that I work with and folks that I see, has been that there either, one, needs to be more of a balance where you have a diversity of voices so that it's not just this one viewpoint, or the other thing is you just get rid of it altogether because it's not really something that the community is embracing. The community is being used as the face of that.

You know, we can go to the hood and stand there and look at the most deplorable conditions and then say, "This is hip hop." Then you go back and you repackage it and you sell it outside the community. Meanwhile, people in the community is like, "This is not me. Even if I live in horrific conditions, even if there's crime in my neighborhood, it's not something that I want to have glorified in music and have a marketing budget behind sending a signal that this is what's going on."

David Lehrer>> Joe, what's your take on hip hop, being the hip hop maven you are?

Joe Hicks>> I think Davey's exactly right. There are a lot of people in communities that supposedly that genre of rap represents that reject that message universally and are trying to live decent, good lives and raise kids with values. Hopefully, people get that.

But see, I wonder though, with the contention that the problem is sort of a narrower problem because anybody who does, in fact, spend any time among black youth -- get on a city bus, get on a train, walk by a high school, go to an inner city basketball game -- you hear commonly the kind of reference points, the kind of language, the kind of terms that indicate that there's been a focus on the music as the problem.

I think there's been a role of the music in forming a cultural strata in black urban communities and not just young blacks, by the way, who relate to this. But it's certainly become a part of how folks relate to each other.

The "N" word is a common reference point now seemingly being appropriate as a term of endearment. At least, that's the argument. "N" word, "Ho", you know, the "B" words as they're called. Common kind of linguistic reference points. So there's clearly a larger part. For me, the question is "Well, what do you do about it?"

Davey D>> This is the classic argument. Go by any high school and you hear these words. Well, go to any high school, whether you're in the suburbs or whether you're in the hood and you'll hear many curse words. You know, you'll hear the "MF" word, the "S" word, the "F" word.

David Lehrer>> Independent of race or ethnicity.

Davey D>> Right. And the point that I'm making is that, over the past fifteen years, let's say from 1990 to now, society in general has become more coarse. You know, the Bill O'Reilly's. They're combative and they're rude and disrespectful when they're on air and that's considered, you know, entertainment and them being very shrewd.

David Lehrer>> What are you saying, then?

Davey D>> So what I'm saying is that, when you go by a high school in 2007, you hear these words. I'm not surprised that they would have a coarseness to them, that you would hear these types of language because, one, the language is being marketed by corporations.

David Lehrer>> Are you essentially saying that record executives are picking and choosing and cherry-picking the messages that are salacious and anti-police and sexy because they know that's what's going to sell and they could choose from a whole variety of other things which are far more comfortable and less discomforting?

Davey D>> It's not just record executives. There's also the broadcasts that reach a million people a day in some cities, two million if you're in New York. They will play certain types of material.

Joe Hicks>> But they're not the ones that are shaping this cultural kind of milieu that urban communities are carved in and my argument is not because you got white record executives forcing, you know, black artists to use those words. People are using those words because that's the view of what's real supposedly on the street and that's what's shaping the culture.

Davey D>> But you got to always ask, "Real to who?"

Joe Hicks>> Real to a lot of these kids living in these neighborhoods.

Davey D>> Well, no. You got to really be focused and answer the question like real to who? I talk to young people all the time. I go to, you know, juvenile detention centers and all that. Yeah, there are people that do embrace that material, but if you have more than ten percent, they can have a huge impact especially if it has hundreds of thousands of dollars up to millions of dollars marketing it.

David Lehrer>> Like you'd think that the trend is changing.

Davey D>> Definitely.

David Lehrer>> Within the black community, this kind of material is being rejected and now the mission is to get the broader community not to view this as exotica that has to be embraced, but it ought to be rejected as well.

Davey D>> Well, I think at the very least, we have to put it in context. You know, if Arnold Schwarzenegger does a crime movie, do we walk away and see him as governor and think he's going to be a criminal? No. You know, if some of these artists are doing crime-laden songs, most of these people don't do the crimes that they talk about in these songs. You know, most of the people don't live the lifestyle that they advocate.

So we have to just make it very clear that that's entertainment. It's R-rated, adult entertainment that should, first of all, not be marketed to kids and we need to put it in that sort of context and then also be able to offer to listeners other voices so that you can really put it in context and go, okay --

Joe Hicks>> -- yeah, but what's the relationship, Davey, from your perspective though? I argue, as you well know, that every urban community across this country from Boston to Baltimore to Oakland, your hometown, has a problem with violence, homicide in a disproportionate way. What's the relationship in a cultural way to the genre and the kind of thing that even some of these clowns that, you know, haven't figured a piece in God knows when and living in the hills in luxury, but still talking to Smack about --

Davey D>> -- I don't know if you can necessarily make that jump from crime that's being committed, say, in a place like Oakland with songs that you hear from these artists. I don't think the criminals or people that I talk to that I've seen in juvenile centers are going, "You know, I listened to Snoop and then ran out and then starting jacking fools." It's not like that. I think there are conditions that exist that have, you know, led people down that path. I don't necessarily think it's just the music by itself.

David Lehrer>> Well, on that note, we'll end the music. Thank you, Joe, and thank you, Dave, for joining us today.

 

 
   
 
 
   

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