Month: April 2013

From Pentecostal to Muslim to atheist, rapper breaks down religious barriers

From Zack Kopplin’s quest to improve the state of science education in the United States to the abuses of unchecked power as granted to the clergy, atheist rapper and musician Landon Tombstone Taylor has a lot to talk about—and more specifically rap about.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with Landon Tombstone Taylor to talk about his art, his thoughts, and frankly, the state of the world as he sees it.

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All eyes turn to Bangladesh to improve labor laws after deadly factory collapse

The collapse of the garment factory building in Bangladesh this week has opened up the conversation about working conditions around the world, especially as they relate to Western retailers who outsource production to countries where labor laws are more lax.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with Charles Kernaghan, executive director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, to discuss the role that labor and human rights should play in a more just world.

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World demands Bangladesh to stop jailing people for blasphemy

Blasphemy laws across the world are driving arrests and imprisonment of atheists and those who don’t adhere to the predominant religion of their region.

A planned protest, on Thursday against the country of Bangladesh, has been postponed in the wake of this week’s garment factory fire which has left at least 238 workers dead.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with Ronald Lindsay, president of the Center for Inquiry, to discuss blasphemy laws across the world and the organization’s planned protest.


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Secular Americans demand reform, flex political muscle on Capitol Hill

Members of the Secular Coalition for America convened with their representatives on Capitol Hill on Thursday where members called for secular tax reform by removing religious entitlements and for better science-based education in schools throughout the country.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with Lauren Anderson Youngblood, communications director of SCA, about this year’s event and how Sen. Tom Harkin’s address marked the first time a sitting U.S. Senator attended the event.


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New doc dissects the challenges, feats of pastors-turned-atheists

A new documentary called “Refusing My Religion” is diving into the issue of former pastors coming out as atheists. The film is nearing completion and features a number of the world’s leading authorities on atheism.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with documentary filmmakers Marc Levine and Michael Dorian to discuss the film.

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Michelle Obama flexes muscles in gun control debate

Michelle Obama, known for the White House vegetable garden and her “Let’s Move!” program, is showing another side to the public during her participation in America’s gun control debate.

Voice of Russia’s Carmen Russell-Sluchansky and Jamila Bey with more:



Bey and Russell-Sluchansky talk about the cultural push back the First Lady may receive for talking about gun violence as a black woman.


“Saturday Night Widows” tells story of woman taking grief into her own hands

Journalist Becky Aikman’s new book, “Saturday Night Widows”, chronicles her journey from young widow to a woman learning to heal and finding love again.

Voice of Russia’s Jamila Bey talks with author Becky Aikman about her new book:


From getting kicked out of a grieving widow’s support group to rounding up a motley crew of friends who wanted to find joy again, the book explains her own journey in a culture which isn’t particularly good at dealing with helping people to cope with death.


Britain’s “Iron Lady” was no friend to organized labor

Margaret Thatcher changed history when she brought her iron will to bear on the UK’s labor unions.

Voice of Russia’s Carmen Russell-Sluchansky and Jamila Bey continue a conversation about how Thatcher shall be remembered in terms of her role in the 1984 UK miners’ strike:

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Advocate: Women making tiny victories in workplace, but much progress remains

Next Tuesday marks Equal Pay Day, a day to draw attention to the disparity in pay between men and women and the disparities between the pay of Caucasian workers and those who are not.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with Linda Merica, national executive director of the women’s labor organization 9to5, to discuss where women of color and women in general stand in the fight for equal rights in the labor force.



GOP making progress in outreach to African Americans, expert says

As the GOP continues to rebuild its image in the wake of an election that saw constituents of color and different ethnic backgrounds vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party, Republicans have started several outreach programs to gain popularity among these groups.

Most notably the issue of immigration has forced the GOP to re-evaluate its position on the matter with many politicians paying attention to the prominence of Latinos in the U.S.

However, the GOP is also focusing on outreach to African Americans.

The most recent step in this goal includes the hiring of Raffi Williams by the Republican National Committee to serve as the group’s deputy press secretary. Williams is the 24-year-old son of commentator Juan Williams.

The hiring is seen by some as a step in the right direction and now puts GOP chair Reince Priebus in the lead against President Barack Obama in terms of African American hires since his re-election.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with conservative political commentator Raynard Jackson to discuss the forward progress of the Republican Party in terms of its outreach to African Americans.


Ohio dad went too far in punishing kids over ‘twerking’ video, poet says

A video of an Ohio father using a video cord to whip his 12- and 14-year-old daughters for posting a sexy dancing video online has gone viral and raised numerous questions on the issue of parenting and corporal punishment.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with poet Bomani Armah to talk about whether or not parents should be spanking their children.