NEXT New England
About This Show
NEXT is a weekly radio show and podcast about New England, one of America’s oldest places, at a time of change. It’s hosted by John Dankosky at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut. Through original reporting and interviews, we ask important questions about the issues we explore: where are we now? How did we get here? And what's next?
Most Recent Episode
Episode 18: The Side of the Road
5 days ago
We dig into data showing racial disparities in traffic stops and get a play-by-play of one, talk to historian Colin Woodard about what means to be a Yankee, and get rid of invasive plants and animals… by eating them, with chef Bun Lai of Miya’s in New Haven.
Police Traffic Stops and Racial Disparity
Getting stopped by police is a good way to ruin any driver’s day. But if you’re African American, data show these stops happen more often, result in more searches, and can break down trust between police and communities. Below is police dashcam video from West Hartford, Connecticut — where, like several other towns in Connecticut, you’re much more likely to be pulled over if you’re black or Hispanic than if you’re white.
We hear personal stories and examine the data in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont with WNPR investigative reporter Jeff Cohen.
The officer in the video above asks the driver, Paul O. Robertson, what brings him to West Hartford.
“Having that line of questioning, honestly, I was just floored,” Robertson said. “Because in my mind, I’m trying to be respectful at the same time, and not create a conflicting situation in that moment. … It is the language, the demeanor, in terms of how it’s communicated. And then, just the line of questioning made me feel like I didn’t belong.”
The map is a thing that’s never more analyzed than during an election year: red states versus blue states, cities versus rural towns, maps divided by gender, age, race, population, and more. And it’s possible there’s been no other election cycle in which we thought we had a map figured out, only to realize we had it all wrong.
Writer and historian Colin Woodard has spent a lot of time looking at – and redrawing- the map of the United States. He’s thrown out the idea of “states” … and instead imagines eleven distinct “nations” connected not by our current governmental boundaries, but by a common culture.
American Nations map by Colin Woodard, design by Tufts Magazine. In his book, Woodard chronicles how “Yankee” influence spread from New England westward, and even eastward into Canada.
New England is the home based of a region Woodard calls “Yankeedom,” stretching from Nova Scotia in Canada west to Minnesota. It’s just one of the nations he